20 February, 2013
Changing the Definition of "Selling Out"
I remember way back when, in a land far far away, when selling out for black women and black men meant dating someone outside of his or her own race. Fortunately for us as black women, that definition has changed due to the increase of black men (beyond athletes and the wealthy powerful elite), who have openly and honestly dated women outside of their own race. Black men had to date "other" women first, in large enough quantities for it to be socially acceptable within the black culture, it seems. Now, most black men, whether they be white collar professionals or blue collar labor men, see beyond race and give more leverage when seeking a mate or just someone to "mess around" with. Now as black women, we can officially take the leap and say, "Yea, I guess I'm open to something different".
So this begs me to ask the question, what does "selling out" mean as it relates to dating in 2013? Is the phrase socially relevant or applicable in mainstream society?
It seems to me, that the more I share my openness to dating a male outside of my race, the more I catch a weird side eye or shocking glare, as if I'm either out of my league or that my expectations for mutual attraction are far beyond reality. When in reality, the scope of men who have shared their attraction towards myself and other black women spans all colors, ages, ethnicities and socio-economic classifications. Often it catches us by suprise because it's unexpected, but welcome. In no way shape or form should finding someone who shares your same values, goals and quarky behaviors be called selling out --at least not in my book.
In other words, "selling out" SHOULD mean selling yourself short, or dating someone who's unworthy of your time, love and beauty - inside and out. Selling out SHOULD go beyond race and not based soley on such surface level attributes. I can't count how many times someone has approached me expecting that I, as a black woman NOT speak articulately and intellegently, and with those ingnorances, expect that I would not want the same from a mate. They, black/white/purple/yellow, were all mistaken -- they sold themselves out. Lowering expectations, settling for less and expecting less is the definition of selling out...