Why I Prefer to Date White Women; about Half of Black Men in Britain Are in Interracial Relationships. One Writer Explores the Reasons - Which Run Deeper Than Skin Colour

By Matthews, David | The Evening Standard (London, England), November 1, 2002 | Go to article overview

Why I Prefer to Date White Women; about Half of Black Men in Britain Are in Interracial Relationships. One Writer Explores the Reasons - Which Run Deeper Than Skin Colour


Matthews, David, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: DAVID MATTHEWS

BBC2's new series of Babyfather spells bad news for black men.

Apart from rehashing the same old racial stereotypes (we're still flaky, can't commit, etc), the show's subplot about a relationship between one of the protagonists and a white woman is guaranteed to make life extremely uncomfortable for cosmopolitans everywhere.

Especially me.

As a 35-year-old black man who has been sexually active for almost 20 years, it's fair to say I've dated more than my fair share of white women. I was married to one, had a child with another, and am now dating a woman who has red hair and happens to be Jewish. The majority of my long-term relationships have been with white women.

I'll probably get lynched by black women for writing about why, over the years, I've dated so many white females, but here goes. I've heard every cliche there is on the subject and have been accused of "selling out" enough times to have the strength of character to define myself by who I am, not who I choose to sleep with.

Do I have an unhealthy predilection for white flesh; do I have I have identity issues; am I ashamed of my "race"; or am I on the make (as a struggling author and because of the media circles I move in, most of the women I meet are well-heeled professionals)? None of the above. But as a black man living in a predominantly white environment, what am I supposed to do, don a bow tie, flog The Final Call outside Brixton Tube and build myself a mud hut in order to "keep it real"?

Black women in particular give me a hard time when they see me out with my white girlfriend. On the rare occasions that I have been to a black event with a white woman on my arm, I have felt tension, and had some dismissive looks. They accuse me of acting like a Premiership footballer just because I've had one or two blonde girlfriends.

They tell me I've "got a thing for white girls" because they're an "easy ride". Believe me, no woman is an easy ride, but I have to admit there is a grain of truth in this statement. Black women do tend to give us a hard time.

When I have dated black women, I've been dumped for demonstrating a lack of "consciousness" - ie, I don't hate white people enough - and I've had my advances spurned by numerous headwrap-wearing "black sisters" after admitting to "tupping the white ewe", as Iago put it in Othello. Black men are usually a lot less critical of interracial relationships, mainly because at any given moment 50 per cent of them are in one.

I'm often asked why so many of us date white women.

Undoubtedly there are those who have a preference for white women, much as they might have a fetish for tall women, or busty ones.

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