I thought swiping right on Tinder was finally going to pay off, but I can’t make this stuff up.
Moving to North Carolina had brought me many firsts, this being one of the more disturbing.
I had a date with a guy out of Fayettville the one night. He was 6’4″ dark chocolate, big, bald and bearded (you know, my type).
The conversation flowed effortlessly. We covered all the serious things, from goals for the future to religion. But the later it got, the more he started to slip up.
Two hours and non-stop talking later he reveals his deep dark secret:
“I’ve never talked to a black woman.”
My initial thought was…FIRST!
Then I came to my senses.
Naturally, my response was to ask why, and he obliged with a more than terrible explanation.
“Because black women have bad attitudes.”
I dared not ask any more questions. Instead I decided to continue the conversation, to my surprise it became very enlightening, but his hope for a second date was void.
It went something like this…
There are so many ways people describe black women. From “strong” black woman to “awkward” black woman (then there’s “angry” black woman via my date). I’ve also often heard a lot of women say, “I’m not the typical black woman.”
My questions are, what is the “typical” black woman and why can’t we just be “black women”? Why do we need an adjective to aid in defining who we are? People spend so much time trying not to fit into a box, but we put ourselves in boxes anyway.
Maybe these are meant to be *positive* boxes? So we can feel confident in being different.
I have never been a fan of boxes. Growing up, I was put in the “Oreo” box, not fun.
It’s so much we have to deal with as black women, and society doesn’t help.
Who created the notion that we have to appear strong when we’re weak or tone our emotions down so that we’re not labeled angry? Who has time to adhere to all these societal margins?
I have recently found out myself that it’s ok to be weak. I spent so much energy trying to appear strong, it wasn’t until I let myself feel it that I felt better. So I say if you feel weak, feel it. If you’re angry, it’s ok to be.
It’s a shame that there are people walking around who feel like “black women have bad attitudes” like we can’t have a moment to feel and not be defined by it.
Being a black woman + society = a week long conversation that stems back past Nelly’s “Tip Drill” music video.
What my date said is only the tip of the iceberg.
Black women are wonderful when we’re mad, sad, have an attitude and conquering the world (all at the same time) don’t ever let anyone tell you different or make you feel less than that.
As for my date…