The Black Woman in Society’s Mirror
It’s dangerous to be a Black Woman over 40 and seeking that special life partner. You’re an entity of exotica, scorn, repellent to some and desired by others. Both Jezebel and Sapphire. Succubus and Saint. Are we sex monsters or vixens. Or have we become the seductive Sirens of Green mythology dangerous and beautiful femme fatales who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting melody and singing to shipwreck on the rocky coasts of their deserted island.
Do we aspire to Hatshepsut or the Mata Hari?
At the demands of a modern sex driven society some of us re-imagine ourselves as the Vixen capable of seducing any man, but is this only a self-imposed illusion that aligns and binds us within men’s’ fantasies?
There are special dating challenges for dark-skinned Black women and Black Women over 50. All women have insecurities about their looks and self-worth. Am I ever good enough? Do I measure up? Thomas doubted Jesus. We doubt ourselves. In the process we lose some of our dignity. We are raised to compete for a so-called small pool of Black men. Daily images of perfectly shaped buff voluptuous curvy young sisters are thrown in our faces by the media. Women must always be perfect. Perhaps we are more lumpy than curvy.
We must fit the image society has for us. Even though in this country we have the right to choose a marriage partner, but from youth girls are trained to believe marriage and children are the end-all and be-all of life. We aspire to that. We are misguided. Then as you approach 40 some of us become more desperate because that’s when you fall off men’s radar.
After age 50 you totally disappear. Relegated to the trash heap of modern antiquities. Relics of a bygone era. Back in the day women like me were called spinsters or Old Maids. Heck there was even a kid’s card game called Old Maid and you didn’t want to get that card! Even though we no longer use those terms they are still in the back of our minds. So many emotions jockeying for position inside our heads and ingrained in our Psyche. I think it is much worse for Black Women. We become veterans of romantic wars at odds with our uniqueness vs. the Stepford Women of society and media.
And we do know that Beauty misplaced may yield the seeds of misfortune.
In my 20s I was just coming into my sexuality and my imagined power to get men to do my bidding based on my body. In my 30s I yearned to settled down, not necessarily to have children but to play the role of wife. Such a role was never realized. By 40 with both my parents gone and not wanting to spend the rest of my life alone I entered into a long-term relationship with an abusive man who in small doses of love mixed with pain destroyed my self-confidence, belief in myself and planted seeds of doubt that it took years to root out. Age 48 my abuser left me for a younger woman after years of tearing me down. I was rid of him physically but emotional, physical and sexual abuse had taken its toll.
Emotional scars take longer to heal than physical. More rapidly than I would have like 50 seized me by the synapses and the emotional roller coaster of Menopause played havoc with my emotions and feelings. I had to throw off the shackles of past abuse and find a new me that I could love. So I re-imagined myself into Storm and Cat Woman. Sounds odd but fictional strong female characters allowed me a safe space to grow into this new phase of womanhood. Now at age 54 I can truly say I’m about 95% at peace with myself and for the most part I enjoy the pleasure of my own company. Perhaps one day I’ll dip once more into the dating pool but today it’s all about me. Me being a Unicorn.
Eye of the Beholder
Masks for the Masquerade
Be Original. Be Yourself.
- Be Original. Be Yourself.
Ms. Afro Rojo signing off.
- Me channeling Cat Woman Halloween 2011