Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tiger stirs emotions, good and bad

I was e-mailing with some girlfriends about photos of Tiger Woods and his wife and new baby. While most of the comments were cooing and cute ("They'd better hide that girl. Angelina will try to adopt her!"), I found myself in an exchange with one good friend that I wasn't expecting. Here's an excerpt:

Me: I'm really happy for Tiger. I wish his dad had lived to see his granddaughter.
Friend: I'm not unhappy for Tiger, but I don't have enough love for him to be happy. ... As a black person, not just a woman, I've always felt rejected by Mr. Casablanca or whatever made-up race he decided he was. Yes, I accept the accuracy of it, however ... I knew then he'd never end up with a black woman.
Me: Doesn't matter to me what race he married. But I know I'm in the minority on that point.
Friend: It doesn't matter what race he married ... if I felt that someone black had had a chance.
Me: I refuse to hold that against him. So he's not attracted to black women. That's his choice. He lives his life, we live ours.
Friend: You're right. If only he weren't an example of so many men. It's hurtful to be the least attractive of women ...

At this point, I asked if I could mention the conversation on the blog. She said she didn't mind, then continued (the parentheses are hers):

Friend: You understand what I'm saying tho, right? Tiger simply magnifies the issue (or he's the most prominent example): Many men are looking for any ethnicity of woman except African-American. And usually I would say black. But there are many white men who find African women attractive (or end up with them), but don't like (never considered) African-American women.

I avoid this topic, because it depresses me. Black women are the least likely people to get married in America. We're the most likely to raise children alone. And as far as male-female relations go within the black community, some women get really pissed off when they see a black man with a woman of another race. They see it as selling out, or abandoning their race, or as just not giving black women a chance. (As an aside, author Joy Jones wrote a provocative Washington Post essay entitled "Marriage Is for White People" that was heavily forwarded and discussed among blacks. Check it out.)

Race doesn't matter to me in my search for potential partners. The way I see it, people have such a hard time connecting, let alone building committed relationships, that limiting yourself to a certain race may hinder your efforts. Yet I totally understand the desire and preference for people to marry within their race as well.

As I said to my friend, we live our own lives. We make the decisions that are best for us. But let's try not to hold it against others if they make a choice that we wouldn't.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a tough one for sure. I'm a white male and I see how this could make black woman very resentful of black men and white "blonde" women as well.
Blonde seems to be the flavor of the day for successful black men all over.
But maybe it's just the simple fact that most men are attracted to beautiful blonde women. It doesn't matter if the men are Black, White, Hispanic, Arab or Asian. Blonde is generally the flavor for all.

Who knows why..........blame Barbi.

Personally htere are also beautiful black women out there as well. Why these successful black men aren't pursuing them I don't know ?
Possibly because they lack the spine to handle a relationship with a strong willed black woman ?

Anonymous said...

The point about Tiger is very short-sighted. People almost always end up in relationships with, and marry, the people we spend a lot of time around. That often means the workplace. Tiger is an infamous workaholic, and he's always, always at "work" -- the golf course. Not a diverse place. It's no surprise he married someone he met on the golf course (another golfer's nanny) -- where the heck else was he going to meet someone? and the golfing community is overwhelmingly white. tiger isn't one of those athletes in the news for clubbing, going out a lot, etc. i think tiger's case is not about race, but about who, by default, he was spending all his time with.

Anonymous said...

The US media, beauty, film, and fashion industries have always idealized the Northern European teenage girl. The problem is that after many decades of these images being pushed; It also has affected other cultures as well people in the US in how they view themselves and other. Countries like Japan and Argentina for example have high numbers of young girls who go under the knife to look more "white".
One thing that Joy Jones forgot to include in her expose was the high number of married "black barbies" to both black men and men of other races. Those women with their café au lait skintone, fine delicate features, long straight hair, and slender built, are considered attractive since they meet many of the "beauty ideals" most men find attractive. Also white women who are BBW or of a rubenesque shape also have a hard time finding a mate in an era where "thin is in." It is an open secret that if it had not been for their money, many of the black athletes would of not married their "token" blonde throphy wives.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone leave room for the idea that many african-american women don't act feminine; thus, making them less attractive to men of any race? Whether it is the coarse language used, the refusal to shave legs and arm-pits, or the "I can be both man and woman" persona many have adopted (out of depseration due to the lack of men in many african-american homes), there is not that is becoming. If we are going to blame the media and society on the idealization of the blonde female, we must also condemn the media, such as BET and the WB, for reinforcing negative stereotypes about black women in both men, but also showing that this manner is acceptable to females.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Well, I am a leg- and armpit-shaving, feminine (not loud), African-American female, and it's still hard out there for a "sister." I generally don't have a problem with interracial relationships, so if black men want women of other races, I say do what you want. I don't get upset when I see mixed-race couples. But at the same time, I wonder, since even in the South, you are seeing this everywhere you go, should I be more concerned that there won't be any black men available to black women after a while?

Anonymous said...

Why does the race even matter? Who says a black woman never had a chance with Tiger? Who says he never dated any? He hasn't exactly been tabloid fodder of the years. Your friend who inspired this with her bitterness has problems that go deeper than this topic. It's no surprise she's having such a hard time getting a date.

Anonymous said...

I don't appreciate all the black men in Charlotte that target white women. I cannot go anywhere in a given week without some black man staring/gawking at me like I'm some piece of fresh meat or trying to hit on me (I do not try to draw attention to myself--I'm just out minding my own business). I think they are rude and this behavior a few times a week constitutes harrassment. Black men need to "back off". I've spoken to my female white co-workers on this matter and they agree it happens to them too and they don't like it either. I judge people by their character and not their skin color so this is not predijuce but I only experience this bad behavior from black men. Also in my "extended family" circle of friends here in Charlotte 2 women are African-American women so it's not predijuce, it's just bad behavior from the black men towards white women that is I believe inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the person who commented that we don't know if Tiger has dated a black or asian woman for that matter. If Tiger was incredibly weathly, would we still be interested in him? Now, it does bother me that he married a babysitter (black, white, or other). I would have thought he would have upgraded. And she is definitely not Barbi, b/c she is no beauty queen by far (so she must be nice and has a good inner core). If he would have married Halle Berry or Lucy Lui, I don't think they would have made it either.

The QCs very own said...

I'm an AA woman and I'm not loud or over bearing. I am strong just like my white, mexican, and asian female counterparts who go thru the same situations that black women go thru.

I do find it frustrating that there aren't very many black males to choose from, but what sets a black woman apart from women of other races, is that women of other races are more open to dating outside of their own race where we aren't. I've thought about it from time to time, but i just don't know how to determine if a white male (for example) would date a black female. Now, we can all tell a black man who would date a white woman. Its written all over them.

Black woman are also choosier than most races...particularly those in high paying, professional careers. When you see us with a white man, its not just any white man. We choose the white man who acts like he is white and knows he is white. He is also going to be attractive.

I've always said, if I date outside of my race, the standards have to be much higher. I'm going to be much choosier (and I'm already choosy when it comes to my own).

Anonymous said...

The white woman that the brothers keep hitting on must have a big ole booty.

Anonymous said...

You southern hillbillies crack me up. Acting white? What's that? Acting black? Help me out with that one too. As I said before, people are people. If you can't see past race you're an ignorant bigot. There may be some shades of grey involved, but for the most part it's true. Then again, I'm talking with people who still like to fly the confederate flag. No wonder the rest of the country makes fun of you guys.

Anonymous said...

As an OWG (old white guy) that was raised in another state, I must say that attitude and loudness certainly are different here. While in college, I briefly dated the daughter of one of the professors. She was very sweet, lovely, kind, gentle, and genteel. She was black, but it didn't matter to me because all I saw was her spirit; the shell didn't matter that much. Her daddy, though, broke us up because he had higher expectations for her.

The point is that I have encountered soooo many black females in Charlotte that are obnoxious, outrageous, overbearing, and totally self-centered. They announce themselves by the over-the-top way they dress, or their continuous loud cell phone conversations that reveal to everybody within earshot more things than they want to hear (TMI), or they "cop an attitude" at the slightest provocation or perceived insult. My descriptions probably triggered a flicker of recognition for several folks you know also, so it's just not me.

Personally, I thought the pictures of Tiger's family were precious. Their love for that new baby shows, and I'll bet that's going to be one pampered little girl.

BTW, I found another lady with that same sweet spirit and we're about to celebrate our 45th anniversary.

blackbarbie said...

I too am happy for Tiger and I affirm his right to marry whomever he wants. I do expect he will come to understand it better when his daughter Sam, who is a black woman (no matter what he thinks)is confronted with these same issues.

Anonymous said...

I'm just surprised he married the nanny. But then again, people marry those in close contant proximity.

Anonymous said...

What you fail to take into account, tiger was made that way, from the government with the help of the media to the Genocide most Americans see or don't care to see all around us, the world is made up of 80% Color and 20% Non-color "That's the Real Threat" Kill them before they kill us the America Indian, used, murdered, and his-Story speak for itself, just as tiger would never turn on his Mother. White Women, Black men, White men Asian Women, believe it or not. the word is Assimilation and the fight is for Power.
"Who Loves You Baby".

LM Floyd said...

Black women are only the "least attractive of all women" if you believe the guilt-ridden masses of white men. All white men don't fall into that category.

But gosh, it's hard to tell... all "tipping" in slavery days and all. Sorry, folks, but the US still deals with the residue of that evil. So to off set all of that “guilt” the white woman is placed high, high on a pedestal. And the black woman is pressed low, low somewhere under the house. And, unless you actually think for yourself, you buy into all of that foolishness.

Black women are the standard-bearers of beauty and strength. History bears witness to that. It’s not a race thing. Black women have just endured so much cruelty in this country, it takes a really sound, solid black man to appreciate her qualities and help facilitate her healing on a lot of levels. Lots of black men want to run away and have fun. It’s just easier NOT to deal with black women for many of them. Their loss. Doesn’t keep a queen from being a queen!