Essence Magazine Features Two Blasian Couples But With a Catch...

15.8.11 ShaSha LaPerf 9 Comments



So a few days ago, Shen and I were in line at the grocery store when I picked up the latest Essence magazine. Yes I still do read Essence occasionally. I usually steal them from my mom's house because she has a subscription (LOL I try to wait til after I know she's read them though). I enjoy reading some of the celebrity interviews and the fashion articles. Anyway, I'm flipping through the magazine when I spot a Blasian couple. Actually, not just one, but TWO blasian couples! Then I flipped to the first page of the article and gave a big, "fuck." It seems that the interviews with the couples was part of an article that also heavily featured Ralph Richard Banks.

That name sound familiar? Well it should, this is the same guy that wrote the Wall Street Journal article recently that's had many black women all over the place rolling their eyes. At The Bar, The Black Snob, and Racialicious did excellent jobs of breaking down Bank's article and I suggest you take a look at what they wrote. I was hoping the hoopla would die down soon but in the end Banks article was just perfectly timed for the release of both his book and Essence magazine.

Sigh.

First I'll get to the good. What I liked about this article was that four other couples were interview and two of them were Asian men with black women. And one of the men are Indian, which is probably a more forgotten type of IR dating than black women and East Asian men.


 Thank you for reminding people that IR dating doesn't have to involve white people, like so many people would like to believe.

Unfortunately, what killed the article for me was the fact that it was framed around Banks and his whole, "Dating out your race helps black people! Black women are too stubborn about not dating out!" spiel.

Sigh.

This article wasn't as obnoxious as Banks' WSJ article, but I was a bit bothered that the potentially interesting interviews with each couple were overshadowed by his ideas. And it gets confusing because what he wrote didn't seem to apply to the couples. Two of the couples seem to have completely met by chance. We don't know who these women were dating beforehand and who they were looking for so we can't say they've been dating outside their race most of their lives or if it was a recent thing. Or if it even mattered to them at all. Meanwhile, the other two women who admitted to having specific preferences for non-black men, are dating or married men that had preferences for black women. On the one hand, the women were also a bit narrow-minded in their preferences, but they lucked out to meet men that were on the "only black women for me" track.




It seems like each couple touched on topics that I would loved to have seen addressed and are very relevant to IR dating. The guy in the Vietnamese/black couple said he'd been with black women for over 10 years. Like I said he was on the "black women for me!" track, but why didn't we read more about his decision to do so? We hardly hear the other side and it would have been interesting and probably more enlightening had they went with this angle.

The article wants us to believe that black women are screwed because we're not interested in IR and look! Here are four super happy, smiling IR couples! You can be like them to if you decide to date out! But this is bullshit. Whether you're in an IR relationship or not, married or just dating, any relationship takes fucking work. And yes, you may encounter some things in an IR relationship that you may not hit when you date someone in your race. The black/Indian couple were living in Trinidad and briefly touched on issues of her being mistaken for a maid while with her own child, and the distance between Indians and blacks in Trinidad. I would loved to heard about how they dealt with those situations! It's more beneficial to discuss both the ups and downs of IR dating rather than just throwing a cute couple picture in my face, trying to make me believe that I'll be as happy as these people are simply because I gave that white guy over there my phone number. If anything I think it sets people up for creating expectations could just blow up in their faces.

Sigh.

Now of course I'm not downing interracial dating, LOL that's what my blog is clearly about. But these type of articles fall into the "How Not to Promote Interracial Dating" or "Stupid Stuff IR Dating Supporters Say" categories. IR dating really shouldn't be about saving anybody's race or because so-and-so in your own race are terrible at so-and-so. As for the couples involved, I'm not sure if the Essence article turned out the way they expected. I don't have negative views of them but more on the way Essence magazine handled this whole ordeal. Man, is it really that hard to write articles that featured IR couples that don't need to talk about black women's lack of options? Oh wait, I found one. Take notes Essence.

9 comments:

  1. Sounds like they chose to focus on the "expert" instead of giving us some background into these couples. I put expert in quotes because I find it hard to believe that this particular black male knows anything about the interracial dating experiences of black women. Really it is just another way of privileging the black male experience over that of black women's.

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  2. I haven't read ESSENCE magazine in a while,but I think I will be checking out this issue.

    Mr. Banks talk like a sorry man. He seems like one of those men who just want to take the easy road out of life.What is dude implying? That Black women are naturally born to be single and that Black people don't know how to stay in marriages/relationships?

    Black women aren't mentally challenged,though with Mr. Banks ,his logic needs to be questioned. Also, someone needs to tell Mr. Banks Black women aren't stubborn about dating/marrying IR,it's the other way around. Until the day Black and other races of men stop seeing Black women as stereotypes and be patient enough to understand us as human beings then he'll see more Black women dating out.

    Mr. Banks also contradicts himself in finding way to so call " improve" Black people. If I was one of those women who were seriously pro-Black, I would want to date all Black men from all over the world. That is how you preserve your race.Why do he think that many cultures are weary of outsiders marrying people who are not in their own family. They feel that the outsider will destroy their culture.Duh!

    Lastly, someone should also tell Mr. Banks that marrying outside your race will not improve your marriage. Don't get me wrong, I've been attracted to all races of men,but when it comes to wanting Mr. Right, I do not put race into the equation. Good men come in all of them and for all I know, I could be blessed with a good Black,White, Latino, Asian, Samoan, Arab etc man. If he is a good man and he just happens to be of that race that is fine,but to just up and marry someone because of their race is not the right way to go.

    I come from a single parent family. Mr. Banks would probably say that just because I come from this kind of family that I could never have a good marriage. It's ironic, I grew in a mostly White community. As of this day, my younger sister still talks about the White man who was abusing and dragged his wife by the hair up the street. Another neighbor did LSD.

    I also grew up envy some of my Black friends, because their parents didn't divorce until the day one of the parent died. I would go over my grandmothers house. They were considered to be part of the Black elite and most of their friends were also like this. It is Black people like them is why what Mr. Banks is saying isn't true.

    What he should be promoting is healthier marriages/relationships within our community. he should be telling them how to remain in them. Just to tell people that dating/marrying people outside of your race will save the day is delusional.There is not such thing as the " prefect" race.

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  3. @ modest-goddess: The couples really do seem interesting with is the annoying part. I'm sure we'd learn a lot more from them about IR dating than this guy. Granted I have not read his book, but the articles by him have turned me off so much. I have no interest in him or his theories.

    @ M: I agree with everything you wrote. I think there is too much focus on what black women are doing "wrong" and no focus on why men aren't growing the balls to really find out what where about. This is why I wish the article had elaborated more on the two men who had a history of dating black women. We just don't hear enough of it.

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  4. @ Shasha,

    Thanks. I just get sick and tired of people like Banks, just talking about the supposed woes of Black women and just about Black people period. It's like at least a good 60 percent news that is reported about Black people is never good.

    The reason that I say what I say is because for every piece of bad that is found about Black people, we can always find the good about them. I was talking with my mom about the " what if's" of having mixed raced kids. If I had some, I thought about them living in a racially mixed and Black neighborhoods and moreso with Black communities for one reason. Just like my folks sending me to my grandparents side of town to experience the positives of Black people, that is what I would want for my kids.

    As a Black woman, I can proudly say that I've been around the great sides of Black life,which is why I have a more favorable assessment of us. Don't get me wrong, I love diversity and love living in it,but I would want my kids to know that not all Blacks are in ghettos, that were hard working and are there at the PTA meetings and in this case..seeing more successful Black on Black marriages. Though my folks weren't my grandparent were and so were many of my Black friends.

    Finally, I got to see that Essence mag. I agree, I wished a little more voice would have been put in it,but it's a great start in seeing something different. I admit, I almost surrendered because it just seemed that the magazine was full of ads and no stories.

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  5. I just ignored the article by Mr. Banks (I want to reserve judgment on his book until I read it for myself...all these excerpts may not be telling the whole story) and went straight to the couples' stories. "At last!" I thought "An Indian man/black woman couple in a major magazine! It's about freakin' time!"

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  6. I bought Essence just for the stories of the 4 IR couples - Didn't read Mr. Banks' article at all.

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  7. I have an phillipino/japanese boyfriend ....fine as HELL X3 deep voice 5'11' (works for my short ass, 5' "3) and he's just incredible. I don't think it matters about "Whoa! An IR couple! !" As long as your both happy and having a great time :)
    OH! And PS : that RUMOR that asian guys have small chopsticks??? .....I JUST BEEEGGG to differ X3

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  8. my man is just Mexican when were together we get such bad energy but o welli love ma man ta death !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =] some ppl love that were together o well long as were happy!

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  9. It's more of bw expanding their options, every other race expands their dating options but too many bw are focused on strictly bm when studies show that bw outnumber bm a great deal and discounting the ones that are in prison married and the ones that prefer to date every other race of woman but bw.

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