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Monday, 31 December 2012

British/Ghanaian mixed race journalist is worried most white men still not willing to date black women

A New Yorker once said to me, when I told her where I grew up, that she had heard incredible things about the English capital. "Oh word, you're from London?" she exclaimed. "I heard you have a lot of interracial dating there!"
I never forgot this remark because, in my mind, it turned something I had previously considered normal into a unique phenomenon. Apart from the fact that in my innocence I had never even heard the term "interracial dating" before, she made me realise that something I think Londoners take completely for granted is actually quite unusual in most of the world.
Americans are an excellent source of this kind of upside-down perspective. Another American woman – this time a black American who lives in London – told me in 2008 how Obama's first election victory had completely reversed her dating fortunes. Not because there was a new president in the White House, but because of Michelle. "Ever since Michelle became the first lady, people have discovered black women," she said. "We are now the high-powered partner of choice. Suddenly all these guys at work want to date me."
I was surprised that she had been having a hard time pre-Michelle, because I know several white men who only date black women. They are easy to spot. When they chat you up, within minutes they have asked you about your heritage, before dropping in that their ex-girlfriend was also half-Ghanaian, another was from Trinidad, you get the picture. At least we don't describe people who have partners of other races like they have some kind of weird disease – "interracial disorder", as I sometimes make fun of the American terminology.
There is a major but. A quiet, retrogressive revolution has been happening right before our eyes. My black American banker friend was a bit quick off the mark in celebrating the Michelle Obama effect, because it didn't last. Still single, she recently invested several thousand pounds in an expensive matchmaking service in Mayfair, hoping to find someone that way instead. The service – which to be fair gave her a refund – told her they couldn't help her. No one on their database was willing to date outside their own ethnic group.
She is taking this in her stride. "Most of the men have homes in the country and do rural activities on the weekend," she told me. "They want to get married and are not interested in being with someone outside their race. And black men don't pay for these kinds of matchmaking services."
Without going back into the "Are there black people in the countryside?" debate, I felt scandalised. Why do only white men pay for overpriced matchmaking services? And why don't they want to date black women? And why does the service even matchmake on racial grounds in the first place?
Well, I was soon confronted head on with my own naivety. Ethnicity is a big deal when it comes to dating services. I subscribed to eHarmony for the purposes of writing this column, and as well as learning that I strongly agree that I am optimistic and well dressed, not great at resolving conflict and sometimes leave my room untidy, I also answered three questions about race and ethnicity. My own, the one I want my partner to belong to, and how much this matters.
It matters quite a lot, I have discovered. A study of Yahoo! Personals profiles revealed only 7% of men on that site were willing to date black women. OKCupid, after studying the messaging patterns of more than 1 million users, concluded on its official blog that, with online dating, black women got the "cold shoulder" and "racism is alive and well".
One expert found a very scientific explanation for this. Men think that black women are too bossy. If only I'd known – I could have saved myself the effort of answering a trillion eHarmony questions about the depths of my personality and just ticked the "bossy black woman" box instead.

1 comMENTS:

Greetings:

You are invited to read a fresh, fascinating and timely contribution to the current topical issue of inter-racial families.

Johnny Williams, a debonair likeable young graduate student, raised by a loving adoptive elderly couple started his life journey as an abandoned one day-old, in a basket left at a Westchester church-front. His birth mother was a teenage blond blue-eyed student who returned to her university in California; unable to find peace, even later as a professional magazine editor. Due to Johnny’s hair being peculiarly tangled from birth, he’s forced to permanently keep his hair in braids and to adopt the name DADA because he firmly believes his birth mother must have been from West Africa. His university degree course in Social Anthropology may have been subconsciously driven by his burning desire to find the mother that abandoned him at birth. His fascination with the Yoruba culture leads him on some adventurous travels with many twists and turns while he is also privileged to meet and make friends with some elderly intellectuals along the way.
JOURNEY OF HOPE OR DESTINY adopts Yoruba philosophical worldview to narrate a story that reflects the global influence of race and social construct on different cultures.

The insightful new eBook title is published by Amazon Kindle eBook. Please visit:
http://www.amazon.com/JOURNEY-DESTINY--Phenomenon-refuses-ebook/dp/B007PKQS4U/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359139999

You may also borrow to read from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de and Amazon.fr.
It is an ideal eBook title as supplementary reading in Social Anthropology, Sociology and Humanities.

Best Regards
Raymond Ladebo


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