Late last week, a friend posted a link to an article entitled “White Women Do It, Too: 8 Things Black Women Can’t Get Away With,” on her Facebook page. Initially I wrote it off as another article that purports to speak to some sort of glaring racial inequality when it is really inventing and then reinforcing the damaging social stigmas and stereotypes they claim to loathe. That was until the comments on the article blew up almost immediately, jumping to well over a hundred in less than 30 minutes. After that, I figured it might be worth a read.
On the list were items like, “Walking around straight-faced,” “Speaking in a baby voice,” and “Getting a nose job.” None of those things would I agree carry any negative stigma with anyone except black women. If that was the entirety of the list, I could have left it there and been satisfied with my mystic powers of prediction. However, other items on the list included having sex on the first date, getting knocked up, and leaking a sex tape. From those three points, it was clear to me that LaShaun Williams wrote this piece as Jerome Nichols bait and well she hooked me.
Let’s start with point one, having sex on the first night. LaShaun claims that,
“Black women have to be especially strategic when it comes to giving up the goods. It is often an immediate dealbreaker if sexual intimacy happens too soon. Black men are turned off by black women they perceive as easy. However, for white women, it works a little differently. Black men cannot compare them to the female staples (mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc.) in their lives; thus, there are lower standards.”
Not only is this statement false, but it is filled with wholly inaccurate vintage tropes about female “propriety” and male sexual indiscrimination. I’m insulted by her insinuation that all black men are helplessly trapped within the virgin/whore dichotomy, like helpless children wandering from teat to teat. If I were a woman, I would be ashamed that she seems trapped with the mindset of a pre-1957 woman, bound to her chastity as a metric of her self-worth. Not to mention that with a statement such as this she is allowing men to place the onus for sexual activity on the woman in some version of a Victorian era blame-shifting scheme.
I see having sex on the first night as a positive thing, in the words of the prophetic Andre 3000, “I don’t give a shit about giving it up on the first night. That just let me know, she know what she want out of life.” However, regardless of race, I don’t know many people who consider having sex on the first night a positive thing. From my experiences, most people are either neutral or vehemently opposed to it. Those that are opposed are generally women, because they are socialized to hoard their cookies as if every man is Cookie Monster. Men who are opposed are generally just buying into the same tired rhetoric to which women too often fall prey.
Point two, “getting knocked up,” has much of the same sexist, blame shifting rhetoric as point one but with a splash of pre-Roe v Wade scare tactics thrown in for good measure. Let’s remember that a woman does not spontaneously get pregnant, it’s my firm assertion that even Jesus’ mother was telling some half-truths. Therefore, you can’t simply claim that the woman is completely at fault for her pregnancy. Just thinking about this brings visions of the sad teenage girl in the waiting room of an abortion clinic, a sad vestige of times past. Sure even in today’s less sexist common culture, we still follow similar tropes, think Quinn Fabray on Glee, but it is definitely not the earth shattering revelation that it would have been even as recently as the 90’s.
Ms. Williams backs her claim by saying,
“The fastest growing segments of the homeless population are women and children, the majority of which are black. Class differentiations make black, single mothers more susceptible to poverty than white women. In many cases, single mothers (commonly referenced as baby mamas) receive little financial support from fathers and do not come from families with a significant amount of extra income to help.”
I would really like to see the sociological studies she sourced, because I see a few glaring flaws in her claim. While it may be true that black single mothers account for a disproportionate amount of those living in poverty, it is also true that minority groups tend to have very large social structures, which help to lessen the impact of a child’s birth. I would counter that a large majority of single mothers living in poverty were living with very similar means prior to birthing a child. In addition, I find issue with her claim that, “a solid percentage of white, single mothers are divorcées, which is a dissimilar scenario.” Has she never heard of a “shotgun” wedding?
Finally, LaShaun set her sights on the celebrity phenomena of “leaked” sex tapes. While I can definitely agree that Montana Fishburne’s attempt at infamy via pornography seems to have failed, it is important to remember that she was the first and only black socialite/heiress to attempt it. Then you have to consider that she made a porno, not leaked a sex tape. That is a very big distinction in the eyes of Middle America, look at how we regard Miley Cyrus versus Lindsay Lohan. You should also consider that she reeked of desperation and daddy issues, which is not sexy. Besides all of that, she lacked the ambition, mystery or ass of Kim Kardashian to make the public pay attention. I should also make it clear that Kim Kardashian is Armenian, not white. She’s much closer to terrorist and fried chicken than mayo on the spectrum of racist stereotypes.
It may seem as if this has been a rant against Ms. Williams, but it’s not. I understand that her intentions are pure, but like many of my ethnic cohorts, she seems to be poisoned by the legacy anti-white socialization of generations past. This is a common and unfortunate artifact of a time when this countdown would have been far too accurate for my modern comfort. However, the reality of modern times is that the only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves. As a college educated, black, gay, polyamorous, humanist, certified pastry chef, who fucks on the first night I can tell you that the sky is the limit. There is no need for the crutch of racist or sexist compression to keep you from doing anything you want to do. So don’t buy into that same old bullshit, recognize the just like White women, Black, Latin, Middle Eastern, Asian, Chaldean, and any other woman can do it too.