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I wish my male relatives luck and joy in their relationships, but I also feel a pinch when I watch them with their girlfriends.
It is the same sharp tug of disappointment that gets me every time I see a black man with a white woman on his arm.
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Genetically speaking, there are no racial categories; race is merely skin deep.
Dating and marrying across racial lines should therefore be natural, common and acceptable. This is the United States, where a deep-seated notion of racial difference has been the rationalization for oppression, the rallying cry for discrimination against people who are not white.
Once I overheard my black boyfriend telling his buddies how he preferred white women; on another occasion (with a different black boyfriend) a guy told me he didn't care that I was breaking up with him because he could go out and get a white woman, which was what he really wanted anyway.
For both these men (and to be fair, they were not much older than 20 at the time and thus had plenty of maturing to do), white women were the pinnacle of womanhood -- the prize that they secretly coveted, the emotional weapon that they knew they could wield.
Try as I might to suppress the reaction, I experience black men's choice of white women as a personal rejection of the group in which I am a part, of African American women as a whole, who have always been devalued in this society.
Certainly my reaction links back to a few bad apples in my own young dating years.
But personal moments of rejection are not the driving force behind my resentful feelings about black male-white female relationships now.
The driving force is, instead, my awareness of all of the (straight) African American women -- beautiful, smart, good women, some of them my own family and friends -- who might not have a honey to bring home this Thanksgiving holiday because they cannot find a date, even as rising numbers of eligible African American men will be wooing white women. Individuals would choose each other for kindness, intelligence, perseverance, courage, and a host of other mysterious reasons that make attraction so magical.
“Cultural portrayals of African-American women in the media continue to stress traits seen as negative, such as bossiness,” Feliciano says.
Studies point to increasingly tolerant attitudes about interracial relationships, but intermarriage rates remain relatively low, Feliciano adds.
But this collection of happily ever after stories does not mean that love is blind.