Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making; and they have needlessly worsened their situation by limiting themselves to black men. I also arrived at a startling conclusion: Black women can best promote black marriage by opening themselves to relationships with men of other races.
New York Magazine has a long article whose themes won’t be unfamiliar to readers of my 1997 essay Is Love Colorblind?
What happens to all the Asian-American overachievers when the test-taking ends?
By Wesley Yang
Yang complains that while years of test prep help East Asian guys get prestigious credentials, then after schooling they’re not getting enough blondes and CEO jobs. He recommends, reasonably, that Asian guys study Game and other self-help techniques. (The Successful White American Executive / Salesman personality that Yang envies was honed by generations of self-improvement efforts, from Ben Franklin’s Autobiography and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s lecture tours through Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.)
And though the debate [Amy Chua] sparked about Asian-American life has been of questionable value, we will need more people with the same kind of defiance, willing to push themselves into the spotlight and to make some noise, to beat people up, to seduce women, to make mistakes, to become entrepreneurs, to stop doggedly pursuing official paper emblems attesting to their worthiness, to stop thinking those scraps of paper will secure anyone’s happiness, and to dare to be interesting.
Both in the UK and in the US, we observe puzzling gender asymmetries in the propensity to outmarry: Black men are substantially more likely to have white spouses than Black women, but the opposite is true for Chinese: Chinese men are half less likely to be married to a White person than Chinese women. We argue that differences in height distributions, combined with a simple preference for a taller husband, can explain a large proportion of these ethnic-specific gender asymmetries. Blacks are taller than Asians, and we argue that this significantly affects their marriage prospects with whites. We provide empirical support for this hypothesis using data from the Health Survey for England and the Millenium Cohort Study, which contains valuable and unique information on heights of married couples.
Yes, I’m sure height plays a role, as I wrote in 1997 (citing height along with hair length and muscularity as visible differences) but black and white men are almost identical in height in the U.S. (Non-Hispanic white men are 0.4 inches taller on average than black men.) Moreover, Asians appear to have been getting taller at a fairly fast rate, both in Asia and in America, while whites and blacks have barely been getting taller. (White men age 20-39 are only 0.4″ taller than white men age 40-59.)
And yet the Gender Gaps did not shrink between the 1990 and 2000 Censuses.
Black women have seemed to be getting fatter, while black men have tended to stay in decent shape. Among blacks 20-39, women now have larger waists than men, which can’t help black women in the mating market.
Singer Alicia Keys, who was raised by her white mom after her black dad split, provides another example of how interracial mating automatically creates transracial harmony among the mixed race offspring:
NEW YORK (AP) – There’s another side to Alicia Keys: conspiracy theorist. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter tells Blender magazine: “‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. ‘Gangsta rap’ didn’t exist.”
Keys, 27, said she’s read several Black Panther autobiographies and wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck “to symbolize strength, power and killing ‘em dead,” according to an interview in the magazine’s May issue, on newsstands Tuesday.
Another of her theories: That the bicoastal feud between slain rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. was fueled “by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing.”
Keys’ AK-47 jewelry came as a surprise to her [white] mother, who is quoted as telling Blender: “She wears what? That doesn’t sound like Alicia.”
Despite careful inspection of the pendant in the picture above, I can’t quite tell if that’s an AK-47. As they say at the end of every scientific paper ever published: More research is necessary!
He points out:
Oh, now I get it! AK …
Isn’t she adorable!
And yet, if Alicia Keys were 47-years-old, making the whole “AK-47″ thing even more appropriate, theoretically-speaking, it would somehow be less cute.
Funny how that works.
A reader writes:
This might interest you.
I collected data from the new DHS site’s immigration statistics division for the years 2003-2006 on the gender of immigrants who were admitted as ‘immediate relatives of U.S. citizens’. As a practical matter, the majority of such immigrants are the SPOUSES of U.S. citizens (who may or may not be native-born Americans). Although DHS very unhelpfully stopped collecting separate statistics for spouses, parents, and children in 2003, I did my best to cut out adopted orphans which would skew the ratio for some important countries such as Russia, China, and Korea, which I did for 2003, 2005, and 2006 (2005 had defective data which included only about half of adopted orphans).
The upshot of all this is that doing this seems to show nicely how attractive the men versus the women of a given nation are!
Click on the map to see the full size version. The key reads that Navy Blue countries have over 3 times as many female relatives of American citizens being brought into America as males. Medium Blue countries are 2x. At the other end of the scale is Dark Red.
I haven’t looked into this in detail, but it looks pretty plausible. I suppose it could be skewed by arranged marriages, such as all the arranged cousin marriage that bring Pakistani boys to Britain to marry their cousins. Another thing that could skew it is citizens bringing in non-spouse relatives, such as widowed moms and sisters. This would be especially high for countries that mostly send men to America as pioneering immigrants.
And it would be interesting to look at the sex ratio of foreign adoptions, since prospective American parents are very interested in how well their future child will do in the American marriage market.
But, it’s a good start.
Another old movie review from the dustiest corner of my cyberattic:
Mar. 23, 2001 (UPI) –
The success of “Waiting to Exhale” revealed there was a sizable market for movies about upper middle class African American women frustrated by the difficulty of finding and hanging onto black men who make at least as much money as they do. The new romantic comedy-drama “The Brothers” shows us the flip side of this demographic imbalance.
Life is sweet for four affluent black men who enjoy an abundance of willing women, black and white. Yet, when the handsomest of the four announces he’s settling down and getting married, his friends have to reconsider whether that old joke – Why buy the cow when you can get all milk you want through the fence? – offers a fully satisfying philosophy of life.
Much of the movie consists of good-looking guys talking to each other about their relationships with women. Female viewers seem to love this kind of stuff. In soap operas, men are always having heart to heart talks about the women in their lives – “So, Josh, how are things between you and Heather?” – although not on any actual planet in the known universe.
Ladies, I’m sorry to have to break this to you, but what men really talk about when they’re alone together is whether they should switch to those new solid core golf balls.
So, I don’t think the men of
are going to turn out in droves for a movie with no explosions, nudity, guns, or even much rap music on the soundtrack. (It’s a mild “R” for a lot of raunchy conversations. There’s one fight, kartoon karate-style.) Still, the fellows who get dragged by their women to see “The Brothers” are probably going to enjoy themselves more than they expected. The heart-to-hearts chats are intermingled with enough quite funny comedy scenes to keep most guys from sneaking out of the theatre to see if “Exit Wounds” is playing somewhere else in the multiplex. America
Stand up comic D.L. Hughley (star of UPN’s “The Hughleys” sit-com) provides excellent comic relief as the short married guy amidst all the tall, dark, and handsome bachelors. A very funny Tamala Jones plays his wife. She’s got a round face with bulging round eyes, perfect for her role as a sort of black Betty Boop.
Comedian Bill Bellamy portrays the only one of the friends who has had to rise up out of the ghetto. He’s given up on black women because he believes white women are less feisty, more happy to make him a sandwich without a lot of backtalk. Being from the old school, he fears that all this talk of settling down will break the “the brothers” apart.
Soap opera star Shemar Moore (“The Young & The Restless”) is the ex-man about town who wants his friends to support his decision to marry. Moore, who closely resembles the L.A. Lakers forward and part-time actor Rick Fox, is an extraordinarily good-looking man of mixed black and white descent. In the looks department, he must have lucked into getting the best genes from both races.
Morris Chestnut (the groom in “The Best Man,” another black yuppie comedy-drama, and the tragic high school football star in “Boyz N the Hood”) radiates huge waves of sincerity and earnestness in the most important role as the good-hearted pediatrician from a wealthy family who feels guilty over breaking so many women’s hearts.
Movies like “
” that portray the glamour of evil can certainly do well at the box office. Yet, there also can be a glamour to goodness. Chestnut embodies that in his character: a wealthy, striking-looking man who could have as many women as he wants, but instead wants to do the right thing by just one woman. Hannibal
Gary Hardwick, who wrote and directed “The Brothers,” is an impressive man. Born into a working class family of 12 children, he made himself a lawyer, stand-up comic, and published novelist before trying his hand at filmmaking.
“The Brothers” is representative of a welcome mini-genre of non-violent movies about wealthy blacks in love and lust. It stretches at least as far back as Eddie Murphy’s delightful “Boomerang” from 1992.
Non-blacks watching these “buppie” movies, however, may not understand why the male characters tend to have the upper hand in romance. In the black middle class mating market, the supply and demand balance is sharply skewed in favor of men. Today, there are simply far more black middle class single women than there are eligible black bachelors. For example, in graduate schools, black women outnumber black men by 80%.
Also, marriages to white women drain off a small but noticeable fraction of the most successful black men. According to the 1990 Census, a black man was 2.5 times more likely to be married to a white woman than a black woman was likely to be married to a white man.
That’s why the only fight in “The Brothers” is between a beautiful black lady judge who is stalking Bellamy because he had dumped her and Bellamy’s new blonde girlfriend. By the time the happy ending rolls around, however, a reformed Bellamy has learned to pass up blondes in favor of hitting only on black women. A movie with a white cast that took a similar stand against interracial dating would be barbecued alive, of course. Yet, considering the demographic odds they must endure, it’s hard to criticize the black women who will cheer this scene.