Hey Grey Peeps!
I’m coming to you today with more tales from my personal life. This one I just have to share and get your opinions on, because nobody has ever come out and said it before, and it presents an interesting question.
So, I’m going on a date tonight, with a woman I met online. Online dating is totally popular right now, and since my only dating prospects include my closeted gay sister (which, contrary to what Dan Savage’s caller in episode 265 of the Savage Lovecast says, is fucking gross—cousins and siblings are a no-no!) and my best friend (who is crazy. I love her, and we’re both crazy in the same way, but I’m still allowed to think my crazy is better than hers), I decided to branch out from the not-so-big town I live in, and take the plunge. I’m going to skip all of the fun awkardness that goes along with the online scene, and cut straight to the chase. I met a girl.
She seems great. We sent a couple of messages back and forth, then moved to texting and Facebook, and shortly after, made our way to phone conversations. We talk for an hour or two everyday, and she’s hilarious! She’s intelligent and witty—good things all around. We have been doing this thing where we ask each other questions. Mostly they are questions about past relationships, preferences, et cetera. I ask her if she gets jealous easily, she asks me if I’ve ever cheated—that sort of thing. It’s very entertaining. So, the other night, we’re talking on the phone, and I, on a whim, ask her if she has ever dated a black girl. There are all of these comical stereotypes about black women being sassy and amazing in bed, and I guess I just wanted to see if she what she might be thinking, what sorts of experiences she’s had, et cetera. She says that she was seeing a black girl for a while, but they never really dated. She then admits that, she likes me, but is intimidated by the fact that I’m black! When I ask her what she means, she says that it’s because she just doesn’t have a lot of experience with black women. I am not easily offended—I have spent my life as the token, and have become accustomed to being a sort of ambassador in my circles, explaining how you can tell if a girl’s hair is her own, what certain terms mean, and all that jazz. For some reason, this I have never heard.
The first thought that I had was “Well, would you be intimidated if you dated a Christian girl? A girl from the south? An overweight girl? A rich or poor girl?” These are all things that can constitute disparate cultural experiences, and can greatly inform the people we become. And yet I got the sense that there was something in particular about my being a black woman that caused her to feel anxious. I told her that it didn’t phase me, and that I’m always happy to answer questions about my culture, and we moved on, but I couldn’t really let it go. So I guess I’m asking for your input. Non-black women: is it a black thing? Is there something in particular about black women that is unnerving? And black women: have you gotten this before? Are we really that scary? I also want to ask a third group. Other minorities (racial and otherwise: Hispanic women, religious women, wealthy women, and anyone I have left out): have you experienced this? Do people from other cultural walks of life express nervousness at the prospect of dating you? I know that there’s a general phenomenon of dating one’s own kind, but is this fear, this apprehension, is it more than that?
My date is tonight, and I am excited about it, but I must admit that when I was thinking about what I’m going to wear, I wondered if there was something I could wear that would make me seem less scary. I quickly gave up on that, and I have decided to just be my cute (black) self :)
Peace and Love and Bugs Named Doug,