Confronting My Preferential Prejudice
Last year, my father told me he would have no problem if I married a man from Pakistan. He is all game and it would be cool. Back then, I laughed at his desperation to see his 30-year-old daughter and first child get married. Lately, I have revisited his words and concluded, it is easier said than done because there are factors to take into account – what would it be like to cross culture, country and continent? It would be far from home and an entirely different world. I have to be honest and say I have no knowledge of a Pakistani man married to an African woman and vice versa. It would be different and a few heads would turn to look at them but after a while people have no choice but to accept that love is colourless and has no race or ethnic background.
The idea of dating a caucasian man or marrying one is something I have often toyed with and joked about with a few friends. It has been surprising to hear and watch the resistance with which some responded. I remember one friend said: “White man, kie!” The other was more direct, “I won’t marry a white man because I want to keep my heritage and I want my children to know where they come from.” And the one that had me in stitches a few weeks ago was when my friend, she is my sister too said: “B, I didn’t know you were interested in white men?” And I said yes, I have been for a while. I even told her some likes and dislikes about what a relationship with a white guy involved? She said: “Wow, you have even researched the market? ” To which I responded yes 🙂
This has left me baffled on some level and on another, obsessed as to why some of us Black and African sisters are not willing to go outside our race. In light of the statistics out there…for frigging sake, between 42 per cent of African American Women have never been married in the US. While I don’t know what the true statistics are for the UK, all you need do is take a frigging look at your local church, and then tell me how different that is to what you hear about your sisters in America? And of course, let’s take into account that some Black men are so easily boxed up into broken, secretly gay, no job, students ( there is nothing wrong with being a student), got criminal record and so on…The Good ones, well, the good ones have been taken and you cannot have them because they are married or in a relationship. It would be downright ugly for you to take another woman’s man anyway. A girlfriend recently said this about my local church, ‘I look around and I see nothing. Absolutely nothing.’ I thought to myself, I hear you. In addition to thaat…you can count the number of white brothers or other race in a predominantly black church. This once again, goes to show how divided we are on sunday mornings.
I have also noticed people have different reasons and complaints why they will not do it. The one that makes me smile sheepishly is the one about some white men not being circumcised. Allow me do some plain speaking/writing, as far as I am concerned, if he can bone, we can work on the circumcision bit. I would like to know if is there a law that says a man must be circumcised for you to have a loving relationship with him? I read an article sometime ago in The Voice Newspaper, where a black girl stated, she was dating a white man but when it came to the sex aspect, his penis was just not right. While a college friend of mine said a white man’s penis reminded her of pork meat. Let’s say when you get so bloody cold and you body is speaking its own language, you will not remember pork meat but the fact that you have a need to be loved like a woman. The tongue has different functionalities, I hope some of you are still able to kiss your married friends after this but I learnt from a group discussion that some African men and Black men refuse outright to perform cunnilingus on their women because of cultural beliefs. In the same vain, marriage is not all about sex. It has different definitions for different people. Do figure yours out.
For crying out loud, there are people in inter-racial marriages and relationships. Halle Berry, whose mother is white, if I may add, Gelila Assefa, an Ethiopian bag designer married to Wolfgang Puck, Alfre Woodard and Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon. Fair to say these are faces we see on the screen and so we will admire them from afar but when it comes to us as individuals, what do we think and say to ourselves before we walk away from the person who could be our dream because he is white.
The film, Something New with Sanaa Lathan deals with this subject and while it is fiction, fiction does mirror life. Race might not mean you are interested in the same things or want the same things. However, you will never know if you are too afraid to try because of what others might say. I remember when Kenya, Lathan’s character first met Brian, Simon Baker’s character in he coffee shop, she was so self conscious that she started saying hello to people she did not know. But that was history when brother threw her down after she had not been boned for ages. He introduced her to things she had no business with and what do you know, she likes it. Kenya forgot what living life outside work was about and that was something Brian gave her though they were from opposite ends of the world. I must add, she confronted her preferential prejudice too.
I am not saying there are no good Black or African men but I do think we need to get past the race thing and broaden our horizons. The way I see it, you best get over whether or not he is circumcised in that department and think: (A) Is he impotent? If the answer is no, then that is good because if he is, that would be worse than you not liking the colour of his weapon. (B) Can he bone? Hell, you cannot be single for that long, only to get married and the man don’t know how to direct his own personal movie. Think about it, why be single for years and the furthest he or she can go is five minutes, and it feels flat like a flat key in a song composition that no one in the choir can get right?
Truth is, Black British or African, it is becoming challenging for some of us to find ‘that joy’ in the type of relationship we desire. Hence, if A is not working for you and B does, you have a decision to make. It should not be a colour thing but a heart thing if it works for you. I thought that’s what life is supposed to be about…doing what works for you. I know there is a history of African American and Black British men dating white women when they have made it. I have no idea why they do so and cannot judge them. I have however noticed that if it does not go well and ends in divorce, someone usually takes the other to the drycleaners and it is not the man. I will not mention names but I am sure you all have ideas of a few such cases.
While I don’t know if there are queues of white men waiting to date Black British or African women, if you do not envision yourself spending the rest of your life alone, then you will have to expand your circle of friends and broaden your horizon and be open to possibilities. Besides, meeting interesting people and doing interesting things, makes you interesting. (Excuse the pun on words, I could not help it.) One thing, don’t settle for anything just because it is better than nothing. Instead stay single and save yourself heartache for that can truly drive you crazy.
The world is getting smaller and cultures are mixing in ways that was not thought possible before. I believe in preserving and keeping one’s culture and heritage. I also believe in celebrating it but when you see things from other people’s culture that you like. Don’t be afraid to share with them or embrace it. This is a subject that will have us talking for years and we may never find a solution but if like me, marriage is something that you desire, then do go out of your Black and African zone and explore life without negotiating away your non-negotiables. Forget what others will say…embrace what you want and live your life.
Personally, I find Caucasians, African-American, Latinos and South American men attractive. Does this mean I would not marry an African man? No! It just means I am now open to ideas and I chose to keep my options open. I have been attracted to a few Africans over the years and nothing has become of it. So, I chose to spread my wings. There is no need boxing all your hopes in one basket and pinning it on one race or one man because what if it does not happen that way, you end up losing out.
I am fully aware that you can name it and claim it but in naming and claiming it, believing against all hope that your Black or African Adonis is on the way, you need to be ready for the possibility that the man or woman who is going to love you the way you want to be loved might not be from your race. If that happens to be the case, you will have to adjust and deal with certain issues to make sure all parties are comfortable. The same way you would when you have an inter-tribal marriage. You may have to listen more carefully to hear what he is saying, do not speak your language violently when he or she is with you and your family, and your lover is left wondering why you are all fighting with words when you are merely having a conversation.
If love is colourless and has no race or cultural tag, then why can’t we live with the thought of marrying outside our race? When you take on anyone to love and to hold, for good and for bad, do ask how bad? In sickness and in health, do ask, mental or physical? Okay, I am teasing with that. I guess what I am trying to say is, when you take on a man, you take everything that comes with him including his uncircumcised penis if he is caucasian.
PLEASE NOTE, THESE ARE MY OPINIONs/THOUGHTS, NO ONE NEEDS TO AGREE. AT THE SAME TIME, IT IS NOT A CALL FOR APPLICATIONS. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY. THANKS!!!!!! 🙂 HOWEVER YOU COULD TAKE CHANCE BUT AT YOUR OWN RISK! 🙂
Do let me know what you think about this subject though. It sure is an interesting debate.
Images: Hale Berry and Beau – Essence Online
Something New Film Cover – Amazon
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