Earlier this weekend, in a quiet space, I started to reflect on most of the men I dated from 1996 through to present day (including the one I married too…). It hit me like a ton of bricks, except for my ex-husband, almost every dude I dated was color-struck, rooted in patriarchy or really didn’t value me because I am a very dark-skinned Black woman.
And I felt a dull pain in my chest.
First I asked myself, “why would you allow yourself to keep the company of those who are beneath you?” I consider anyone who is rooted in colorism and toxic patriarchy to be beneath me socially. I don’t make it a habit of engaging people who don’t value my me, my intellectual prowess or who at their core are turned off by my skin color. And my first thought was that I was young them, 23 / 24 /25. I was finding myself and enjoying the company of good looking men. I didn’t know what to expect because I wasn’t focused on building relationships and honestly, I didn’t know how. I was focused on my accounting career (insert wild guffaw here!!!) and finding out who I was as a woman.
Yet, this weekend, I think I reviewed over 20 years of conversations, dates, looks, jokes, thoughts, it all came flooding back to me with the same conclusion… I played myself because I engaged with men who didn’t value me. And it turns my stomach.
I won’t waffle on about how there are men who look like me, that think I’m vile merely because I look like them and they feel I don’t deserve to be cherished, adored or championed. Too many think pieces exists on this fact for some men. I won’t waffle on about how non-Black men don’t value my life, my humanity and have been taught to devalue my womanhood because of my lineage, the beautiful kink in my curls and my amazing dark skin. Again, a plethora of articles have been done on that subject as well.
I think I will just sit here in my silence, with this dull pain in my chest. I will sit with the fact that my Dad is still the only man who has championed who I was, how I was, from day one. I will just sit with his memory and know that I deserve more.