Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Look for love online! Fork over your cash and trust the algorithms perfected at Match. Looking for a hookup? Try Grindr or Tinder. There's dozens of choices. Well, at least if you're not a minority. If you're young, black and female, your identity might be a liability. Recent studies have proven that online dating can be tainted by racism. Using OkCupid as his data pool, he gathered the following information about the racial breakdown of user interactions: Regardless, the everyday racism that Black women encounter in the real world is often translated into a few thoughtless and crass keystrokes.
In fact, the Wall Street Journal declared that Black women are "the most unmarried group of people in the U. Hiding behind the relative anonymity of the Internet allows all walks of bigots and sexists to vocalize their views. Some are so bold as to state this "preference" in their profiles, listing which races they don't want to date. What woman wants to be constantly reminded that she's deemed unwanted every time she logs into her OkCupid account?
I've decided to give up on online dating as an act of self-care. In the more eloquent words of Audre Lorde, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare. The suburbs of Connecticut aren't shining beacons of racial diversity. Sometimes strangers make a game out of guessing my ethnicity; I've been asked if I'm Puerto Rican, Indian, Spanish, mixed and Hawaiian.
White people are always fascinated by my natural hair. I was once in a restaurant when an older, white, weathered-looking man decided to pet my head without warning. When he later bought me a shot, I promptly told the bartender to send it back. The people in my lunch party, who had witnessed the entire awkward exchange, couldn't understand why I was "being so sensitive.
When I did add pictures, I got a barrage of poorly typed one-liners ranging from, "Wut are you? There were a few who would adamantly make plans, only to stand me up. For example, when I was contacted by one particular man, I thought I'd finally sorted through the endless reject pile and found someone who was respectful, interesting and thoughtful.
Turns out my expectations were too high. After expressing that sometimes I felt uncomfortable walking through my neighborhood due to the laser-beam stares of some of the white residents, this white man recommended that I "stop taking racism so personally. My OkCupid account quickly turned into a black hole of negativity. Logging on began to feel like indulging in masochism. What new form of abuse would I see next? What form of anti-blackness would I encounter?
I learned that as soon as you deleted and blocked a troll, another would be ready to take his place. They all resembled one another and they all recycled the same catch phrases and idiotic lines.
There were the ones who thought that they were complimenting me by confessing that they didn't normally find Black women attractive, but they'd date me. There were the ones who overcompensated and declared that they "even though [they] were white, [they] didn't date white girls. As word travels down the small town grapevine of former classmates' engagements and weddings and babies, I am not intimidated by these mainstream markers of "successful adulthood. I am not saying that all Black women should completely give up on online dating.
For me, the choice is more about preserving my mental, emotional and psychological health. Why should I go online to read some guy hiding behind a computer spew the same garbage that I hear in the real world? Ralph Richard Banks from The Wall Street Journal may say that the quick fix to marriage rates among Black women is to stop being picky, but he fails to realize that battling racism and objectification while clicking through dating profiles is an exhausting, taxing feat.
Some women would rather avoid the pain of being humiliated and coldly rejected. Originally posted on Literally, Darling an online magazine by and for twenty-something women, which features the personal, provocative, awkward, pop-filled and pressing issues of our gender and generation. This is an exact representation of our exaggerated selves.