I am not your fetish

It is not, and it has never been a compliment to hear that a man – more often than not, a Caucasian man – loves ebony porn.

Masturbating over black women, what an achievement. Look, I am not here to bash pornography –  but describing your lone bedroom habits is not a great way to communicate your romantic or sexual interest in me. It will never be flattering to be fetishized, or to hear that you beat your meat to women who share the same skin colour as me.  I’m terribly disinterested in being your exception, when you say ‘I’m usually not into black chicks, but…’.  It is never appropriate to comment on my having smaller tits than other black women, when the women you base your standards of beauty on are found at PornHub. No, I won’t twerk for you. No, I do not look like fucking (insert black female celebrity here). It is insulting.

I live in Melbourne, Australia. Take it from me: even in this day and age, fucking a black chick is still seen as taboo. An experiment. Mixed-race couples seem to be more widely accepted these days (which poses the modern-day problem of the fetishizing of mixed race children – such as my own), although questions are often posed. The man I am with today is vastly different from men I experienced when I was younger. In the past, when it came to bringing me home to a strictly-Anglo family: it was either ignored (as the relationship dwindled), or the suggestion was met with distaste. One boy was hesitant about me meeting his less ‘worldly’ friends. He was sure that his grandmother was racist. He laughed, because, and I quote: “Can you imagine? Your hair is so crazy”. Dudes loved to play with me, but they would never be serious with me. I felt shame and rejection as a result of this – I wish I could have slapped my old self and told her it wasn’t her fault. I felt less – comparing my petite body to that of celebrities and porn stars, and allowing men to do the same.

Part of it is my fault. If I had been more selective I could have weeded out a few of these experiences. We live and learn, and I did learn the lesson rather early, that many white men love black bodies, but not always black women. They don’t understand that the dehumanization of black bodies and the perceived hypersexuality of black women were used to justify the days of enslavement. They don’t understand that pop culture and porn has warped their brains – not every black woman is going to have an ass like that, or a ‘comfortable’ lighter brown skin tone. We aren’t all mixed race. We aren’t submissive, we are more than a trial, and we are not here to be used.

I made myself small for a long time, imitating the actions of men who couldn’t see my worth. As I grew older and more comfortable and harnessed my love of self, I realized that I had nothing to be ashamed of. The joke was finally on them. I figured that it was their mistake to overlook the strength black women embody effortlessly. I now know that even though they are intrigued, they are conversely threatened by the regal gold in our skin tones. I know they are confused by our ‘abnormal’ beauty routines. They are uncomfortable with the acknowledgement of our struggles, and they’ll never understand how we feel Western society paints us – that our features are beautiful, but we are not. As a teenager, I gave my power away to men who wouldn’t realize my worth until later. Thankfully, I learned discernment, lending my sensitivity only to a man who would respect my strength and purpose.

As an adult, it is a requirement that I don’t battle to have my voice heard, my intelligence overlooked, my nurturing qualities taken for granted. I’ve made it clear to myself, if no one else, that I was not an item to be checked off a list – an experiment, or fulfilment of a dark fantasy. I am a real-life, black woman in the flesh – not a fucking porn category.  I am a black woman with a universe inside her, with softness to be protected and strength to be revered.

 

Words by Kalida Edwards

IG – @wizkalida

Art by Phoebe Roberts

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