Stop believing what other people have to say about Black women, and start believing what Black women have to say about ourselves.This week, rumors about actor and heartthrob Michael B. Jordan's alleged new girlfriend — Latina Instagram model, Ashlyn Castro — began to take root. Almost immediately after, news of a boycott against "Black Panther" appeared, supposedly led by Black women (but we didn't get that memo). Not a boycott of Michael B. Jordan or any of his other upcoming projects. Just "Black Panther", which is currently everybody's favorite Black power emblem. In this narrative, Black women quickly became traitors to our race, thoughtless and trivial. Our imagined lack of support for "Black Panther" translated very easily into a lack of support for Black men altogether, and this was used as a justification for the misogynoir that ensued. First of all, the sheer ease and momentum with which this wildfire rumor spread is proof enough for me that some people simply cannot wait to talk shit about Black women. All they need is a reason to air their already long or deeply-held misogynoir, whether or not that reason is based in any truth. The "Black women are boycotting "Black Panther" because Michael B. Jordan is dating a non-Black woman" hoax of 2018 was a pathetic attempt to make Black women appear bitter and paint us as irrational and irresponsible, unfit to make decisions about the media we consume — an old song that also plays during conversations about Black women's love for "Scandal" and disdain for "Birth of a Nation". The beginnings of it rest on misogynoir as much as the public’s willingness to believe in it does. Created by a known troll account on Instagram, ground zero of the fake "Black Panther" boycott effortlessly built its narrative around a familiar stereotype: Black women become irrationally angry when Black men date people of other races, especially white and white-presenting women (I'm sorry this discussion is so cisnormative and heteronormative). This is a belief that continues to grow more and more, with less and less context in each evolution. Even Jordan Peele's "Get Out" dipped its toe in this flavor of misogynoir when Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) insisted to his girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), that the most likely reason for Georgina’s (Betty Gabriel) apparent coldness towards him was because she did not like the fact that he was in a relationship with a white woman. He had no evidence to support this claim when Rose questioned it, except to flatly say, “It's a thing.”
As fat, Black femmes: how can we navigate and decolonize the politics of desirability?By Tina Colleen Black queer women and femmes and female identify people (FIP), we are celebrating our natural melanin and manes more today than ever before. We demand equality, but have we truly broken free from European influences when we choose a partner? Dating in the queer world feels pretty hopeless on a lot of levels. Especially for me as a black, queer, plus-size femme. In the last year, I have been going to 'Meetups'. I first went to speed dating events that were queer-inclusive, yet they were not racially diverse. It wasn’t a fit, and I didn’t feel comfortable. I began attending meetups and events for Black and non-white Latina women and femmes. At these events, there were always three extremes: queer women who were cliquey and had no desire to include you; women who had a partner and just wanted to be your friend; and/or couples. Again, I felt like I didn’t fit in, so I stopped going to these events. I started dating online in July. I connected with this lovely androgynous black woman quite quickly. Despite my fear she would not accept my size, our dates went well and things seemed to be looking up. After our second date, she called it off. She was stuck between liking me and another woman at the same time. I came in second place. Following this blow, I was lucky to have received tickets to the Afropolitan Insights: Self-Care Festival. At the festival, I attended a panel discussion. The topic of decolonization came up. One of the panelists mentioned that she was unsure if she was genuinely attracted to a specific type of man, or if she was experiencing undue European influence from decolonization.
As sexist and misogynistic as it is heteronormative, this inordinate value placed on romance and marriage is consistently used to devalue single and unmarried women, painting us as inherently unworthy and pathetic, too difficult and too picky.Romance is not universal, or necessary. However, due to the way that romance has been heralded as a fundamental part of human experience (and even non-human animal experience in some instances), this is something that many people will disagree with. So, I will say it again. Romance is not universal, or necessary. The idea that it is necessary is one that is deeply embedded among societal expectations and permissions about relationships (and sex), and it is imperative for us to understand that our experiences with romance are not universal and that all orientations are valid. To many people, romance is a necessary part of their lives, and that is fair. For others, however, romance is a foreign and sometimes impossible concept. For some, romantic entanglements easily become toxic. For some, romantic involvements easily trigger many anxieties. For some, romantic situations are traumatic. The term amatonormativity, coined by Elizabeth Blake, refers to the “widespread assumption that everyone is better off in an exclusive, romantic, long-term coupled relationship, and that everyone is seeking such a relationship.” It constructs romantic relationships as inherently superior and more necessary than non-romantic ones. This pervasive idea is damaging for everyone, as Elizabeth Brake details in her scholarships on marriage and policy, but especially so for those on the aromantic spectrum and others who fall outside of the heteronormative monogamous model of romance. Amatonormativity erases the significance of familial, platonic, and queerplatonic friendships/relationships. So much so, that we refer to romantic partners as “significant other.” As a largely heteronormative concept, it is one of the driving forces behind mind-boggling and widely accepted cultural myths like "men and women can't be friends,” because it assumes that romance, and by extension, sex are the default in relationships between men and women. It's also why so many people abandon friendships and neglect other people when they start dating someone new. And why the contemporary concept of marriage is viewed as the end goal of dating, despite the fact that marriage is neither wanted or needed by many people for legitimate reasons.
Related: OUR IDEAS OF ROMANCE ARE ABUSIVE
I feel like I am finally experiencing the love that has always been my due, not just as a black woman but as a creature on Earth. By Kim Wong-Shing Knuckles in your roots, fingertips massaging your scalp, wrists pulling your braids