Black women were armed, black women were dangerous and the less money they had the deadlier the weapon they chose. pic.twitter.com/4OKQDPKbrP
— 1-800-WOKE-AF (@gloed_up) January 6, 2016
As a 26-year-old black woman, I think us ladies deserve a moment of praise. Not only are black women leading in educational attainment, but we are fearlessly stepping into the forefront of social movements, and making major professional leaps and gains while still providing essential support for our families and friends.
We killin’ it!
And “Killin’ it” can also be translated to “WOKE AF.” With the aforementioned educational attainment, many of us ladies have managed to delve into a deep understanding of our society’s social structures that maintain male dominance and white supremacy. We have awoken to a world that is begging for change, and of course that change is fundamental to our own personal well-being. So many of us are willing to fight for it.
This, however, can make heterosexual dating a particularly tiresome and often depressing endeavor. Black men are struggling to keep up with the major gains we have made not only in the educational and professional sphere, but also in terms of our own growth and development. They also have very few experiences with patriarchy/sexism and tend to minimize our struggles. For those who date interracially, the experiences that can be had across racial and cultural differences can be even more difficult to manage. Finding a man who can deeply connect with and offer support for a woke AF black woman is a struggle.
So, I’ve compiled this list of dating tips for such ladies.
1. Wine or a good drink should be easily accessible. Some call it self-medicating. I call it the lord’s blessing to give me the strength to deal. Sometimes conversations can verge into the direction of blatant sexism, homophobia and even racism. And sometimes it’s not even worth address– just sip your wine.
2. Don’t tackle the big subjects right away. There’s more to life than eradicating racism, sexism and wanting to bring down all manners of patriarchy. Ok, well — perhaps — not much more. BUT, these subjects don’t necessarily have to be tackled right away.
3. Understand that you don’t have to completely see eye to eye in order to have a successful relationship. So he’s down to tackle racism? He understands that women are treated unequally, but he doesn’t quite fully grasp the pervasiveness of sexism? Or maybe he slips up and says homophobic/transphobic/sexist things occasionally. It’s not that we should overlook these things, because they are detrimental to our progress as women and as a people, but we should understand that societal change takes time. A man can still be loving, supportive and caring, even if he hasn’t completely caught up with the times.
4. Do something new/fun/interesting so your company’s strengths can shine. The easiest way to forget about all of the inequality in the world is to have fun! Instead of just meeting a dude for a drink or for coffee (where conversations can perhaps take the wrong turn), try to do something fun, new or exciting. Never been rollerskating? Find a rink. Always wanted to sky dive? Take the leap. Love playing sports? Hit the basketball or tennis court. Like hikes? Try a challenging one together. Your date’s strengths may shine in these novel spaces.
5. Avoid having sharp objects in your hands during difficult discussions. Ladies, don’t go to jail over a man’s ignorance. Some of the things dude’s say will drive you almost to insanity. If you do manage to get to that point, just be sure nothing sharp is in your hand because you don’t want to hurt nobody.
6. Create an arsenal of info to readily dispense to ignorant dudes, so you don’t have to constantly verbalize the same things over and over again. While it is true that black women aren’t obligated to being anyone’s teachers, sometimes this role just comes with the territory, sadly. Our experiences have been marginalized, so frequently we are speaking across those gaps that must be filled to foster better understanding. To facilitate this: save all of your favorite articles, books and share them. A man who takes the time to read and educate himself is certainly a keeper.
7. Learn how to quickly spot a Hotep and run like a wild banshee. Is he spewing homophobia/sexism while claiming that he is an African king? Does he want to call you his African queen? Is he a huge promoter of respectability politics? Is he obsessed with telling women what they should wear or blaming them for the black community’s shortcomings? RUN GIRL!
8. If you are going to date interracially, make sure the relationship is built on mutual love and respect not fetishization. I’ve never publicly written about this, but I once dated a white guy and form pregnant black woman porn under his bed. After we broke up (not too long after), he started dating another black woman who looked very much like me. It was as if I was some mold of a woman, a “preference” and not a thinking, autonomous human being with my own experiences and opinions. Beware that this is, sadly, much more pervasive than one would like to imagine. Some men from other races may attempt to fetishize you. Don’t be afraid to be forward with questions about why a potential date is interested.
9. Don’t feel judged if your partner isn’t quite equally woke– there’s time. Many of us have had the luxury of being educated to the realities of racism, homophobia and sexism, or even introduced to academic discussions about how those isms affect our lives. Not everyone has, and that is ok. Just as, at some point in time, you had to educate yourself and even be educated by others, sometimes others need the same thing but it may take a bit more time. Be patient and keenly observe the person you are dating. What is their potential for further wokedness? If there’s some, that’s enough.