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Black Women Are Being Trolled on Tinder

• Sep 30, 2015

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Online dating is challenging for all women, but black women in particular have a rough time. Negative stereotypes seem to inform how black women are approached — or whether they are approached at all. In an eye‐opening article for Vice.com Toronto‐based Eternity Martis breaks down the many troubling attitudes black women face on popular dating app Tinder.

1. The assumption that black women are freaky.

A few months ago, I received a message from Leon*, a tall, dark (by European standards), and handsome man in Toronto. When I opened it, I received my first ridiculous encounter of the day: “I love black women. They are fire in bed.”

Now, aside from the racist, generalized comment just made to me, I was irked that this fool swiped right on the assumption that I would swing from chandeliers and be sexing all night like I’m straight out of an Usher music video. What if I wasn’t fire in bed, but a slow burning flame that didn’t put out?…

Candace O., from Toronto, received the following messages from a white guy named Alex: “my weakness is black girls,” followed by, “don’t take this the wrong way but i’ve [sic] always wanted to see if it was true when they say that cute coloured girls are pretty talented with their lips haha ;)”

2. Black women as sexual conquest.

One of these women was Marissa, a University of Toronto student, who was browsing Tinder when she got a message from Nick*.

I need my black belt,” was his opening line. Marissa thought it was quirky, a little bit random, but nonetheless an interesting introduction.

Haha do you? I should probably start with learning how to fight first,” Marissa replied.

They were off to a beautiful Tinder start.

No…” Max replied back. “A black belt is when you fuck a black chick.”…

Serenity Hart is a Toronto‐born nude model who has lived in Serbia, Italy, France, and London, England. She receives tons of messages from white men (mostly from Toronto) on Tinder who describe the creepy things they would do to her. “Some of the comments on Tinder (all by white men) have been about wanting me to be their first black ‘experience,’ ” she said in an email.

Andrew, a white male, wrote the following to Hart: “i really want to have sex with u for my first black girl can u help me open me up sexually [sic].”

When she called him out, he got defensive: “It’s a joke relax not everyone takes this app seriously.”

3. Fetishizing of black women.

Sheba Birhanu has had just about enough of men on Tinder. She lives in London, Ontario, and has taken a long hiatus from the app because she just can’t even anymore. After this message from Lucas*, I don’t blame her: “When ya waan breed mi gyal[?]” he said randomly. “Wrong continent,” she replied.

Birhanu is also tired of being called cocoa‐laden names. “I have never slept with a black girl before. I crave some dark chocolate,” Mark massaged her. She shut him down real quick.

It tastes like oppression and exploitation,” she wrote back. “Idk [sic] kind of bitter but if that’s your thing…” That definitely was not the chocolatey goodness Mark was looking for.

4. White male ‘wannabe down’ trolls.

Mandy is also tired of the struggle. She told me that 95 percent of the racist and sexist messages she gets are from white guys. Some of them even try to impress her with their gangsta street cred, like Alif, who asked her if she’s from Etobicoke because “people that live in ghetto/rough neighborhoods intrigue me.”

She’s from Caledon.

Tim also tried to earn his black stripes by saying he has two Jamaican friends and is “crazy passionate about bbal. [sic]”

5. Being cast as the ‘angry black woman’ or unable to take a joke when concern is expressed.

Candace wants to put thirsty chocolate lovers in their place, but she doesn’t want to give them the satisfaction of her rage. “It’s frustrating,” she told me. “You don’t wanna sound like the angry black woman, you don’t wanna add to that stereotype.”

6. Views of black women that date back to slavery.

Camille Hernandez‐Ramdwar is a sociologist at Ryerson University focusing on Caribbean studies and racism in Canada. She believes this kind of behavior derives from historical entitlement to black female bodies. “Why are white men perpetuating these aggressions on Tinder? Because they always have,” she said in an email.

I[t] has been around since the days of colonialism and slavery. Perhaps a younger generation of women find this startling, but I certainly don’t. It goes to show how little has changed in the arena of white male supremacy and the white male ‘gaze.’ ”

So what is Martis’ conclusion?

Just stop, and try to understand that if you can’t handle the chocolate like a gentleman, then stop trying to swirl.

We are inclined to agree. It’s unreasonable to expect a white suitor to understand all the complexities of being a black woman in society today. But the expectation of respect and decency is never unreasonable.

Ladies, what are your thoughts? And what have your experiences been with online dating?

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Saran
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Saran

I guess the pervert, disrespectful bunch among white males who wish to swirl rendez-vous’d on tinder.

Cami
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Cami

No and nope! I have zero interest in online dating and even less in Tinder. Meeting the old‐fashioned way (through a mutual friend, at church, the grocery store or the gym) for me is the only way to go.

The Darling Kinkshamer
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The Darling Kinkshamer

It’s not that easy for everyone though, what if you live in a backwater town and you’re not Christian.

Cami
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Cami

Well then, perhaps online dating is the answer. Nevertheless, meeting the old‐fashioned way isn’t necessarily a walk in the park either — at least not for me. I’m just under 6 ft. and all things considered, let’s just say the word of the day is “PATIENCE”.

All day, everyday.

Yurilyte
Guest
Yurilyte

Yea…it’s Tinder, people aren’t on their best behavior since they are primarily looking for hookups. You’d think they’d understand that being a fetish‐y douchebag isn’t going to win a black woman over but they don’t seem to realize this lol. I actually expected the racist/sexist “pickup lines” from non‐black dudes and they certainly delivered. Not all, but most. A majority of those who actually approached me respectfully and piqued my interest through conversation were black men, although most of my matches were non‐black. You can meet nice people on there, I have and am still with him 6 months later,… Read more »

FreeTea
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FreeTea

Exactly. I got quite a few creepy ass messages (the 1st experience and sexual fetish ones seem to be the most popular approach), but in the end, I ended up with a nice White guy whose first message to me had to do with video games, movies, books, and not sex in anyway. He was a refreshing change from the sea of toads I had to swim through to find him.

Elle P.
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Elle P.

Interesting article and very true. We as black women get the shorter end of the dating stick! Granted I have not been on Tinder and plan not to sign up, but I’ve had such cases where a white guy who claimed they ‘liked’ me but they wanted another black girl. I shared this in another discussion. They would tell me that their exes were African American! Yes so that justifies their actions. ? Then I ran into a few that were curious as listed in the second point. After those scenarios I just shit it down. There is so much… Read more »

Brianna Nicolas
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Brianna Nicolas

Speak for yourself.

Elle P.
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Elle P.

Unnecessary. Bye!

palmeria
Guest
palmeria

No, I agree with Brianna. Speak for yourself.

Tooth and Claw
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Tooth and Claw

I believe that she IS speaking for herself, Brianna. That was the point

maji
Guest
maji

Completely agree with you. Ive had more than a few occasions where white men thought it was 1815 Georgia instead of 2015 New York . My body is mine. Im glad we dont need their ranks or admiration, I look to Africa.

The Darling Kinkshamer
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The Darling Kinkshamer

I’m sorry that these have been your experiences. My sister met a white guy online and it turned out that he was a good guy. He had no black exes, they met as friends and they just wanted to get to know each other.

dmalikat
Guest
dmalikat

I don’t even know where to start. First, I want to preface that I love being a part of the BGLH community and appreciate the recent blogs that celebrate black achievement outside of celebrity and entertainment as well as educating us on our history. Keep it coming! It’s refreshing and I find myself forwarding your posts to friends at least a couple times per week. HOWEVER, I ask you this…what purpose does this article serve? No, really? Vice.com already published it, you pretty much just summarized and re‐published it. Black women are bombarded with published content that says we’re not… Read more »

TWA4now
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TWA4now

True, no matter the color of the man, love/like, respect, decency, and good manners NEVER go out of style.

Hair Anomaly
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Hair Anomaly

1) I am not surprised. However, I didn’t know that any woman was on Tinder with the expectation that they would find anyone of quality on there. I am not a fan of online dating at all.

2) Remember: We are talking about white Canadians…you have to live in Canada to understand how different they are. There’s a lot of hipster racism that occurs here. And sometimes, they really just don’t know any better.

3) Check out “Bye Felipe” on Instagram. Comments such as these, and far worse, are made on a regular basis to women on Tinder.

Beans
Guest
Beans

Yah, I’ve experienced this in real life too :P. Once I went on a date with a guy that seemed nice, and after a few minutes of chatting he just blurted out that he wanted to stroke my brown skin and wondered what it would be like to make love to me! I met him at church so that was a bit of a surprise. The other was a white guy I ran into out shopping, and he said he heard black women are fire in bed and proceeded to plead with me to go home with him. We were… Read more »

Beatrice
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Beatrice

Dear Beans,

You can find a group of people who believe in God and practice what they preach. That a man should love a woman as he does his own body and that we need to show love to one another. Lovin your neighbor as you love yourself (2nd). The simplest form of showing love is not making any trouble to someone you don’t know. For a man it would be showing genuine interest and selflessness (not wanting to have you only for an intimate reason). There are people who live by that standard.

Hope you find a person like that.

Kind regards,

B.

Dee
Guest
Dee

You are so right. I asked myself the same question, what is the purpose of this article? This article could have been the perfect opportunity to “warn” women about men who fetishizes black women, but don’t love us. The fact that they just summarized a report was pathetic. Not to mention it further stigmatizes dating online. and this article just seemed to overgeneralize the dating arena for black women.

guest
Guest
guest

I agree 100%

Guest
Guest
Guest

I mean…this article is sensational, it grabs attention quickly and it will probably bring great traffic to the website, however.…I find it hurtful, and harmful to black women. It’s one thing to talk about social justice, and expose racism, but it’s another thing to litteraly feed readers with a useless and inaccurate article that reinforces this idea that black women are always fetished, treated badly, isolaed and such and such. This article pictures tinder (and online dating) as just another hellish platform where black women are ridiculed. In reality, many black women get more flirting opportunites online, some of my… Read more »

April
Guest
April

I agree. I came here thinking the trolls were saying, “Aunt Jemima go back to Africa, your kind is not wanted on Tinder!” or something of the like. This is not trolling. This is ignorant men looking for a hookup, the same I (unfortunately) expected to encounter when I still went out to the clubs. I’ve had worse sent unsolicited to my FB inbox. Idk, I just expected something else from this article.

Maymuna
Guest
Maymuna

PREACH HUNTY <3 Wow I love this comment

R.Cola
Guest
R.Cola

It’s Tinder lol. Finding a gentleman is like trying to find organic kale at Burger King. Good Luck!

mlank64
Guest
mlank64

Let’s be clear as well.…white men are not the only men capable of offending and fetishizing black womenhood. In fact, most of the mysogynoir by its definition comes from men who share your melanin…especially the fetishes of black men on light skinned women. So, if you are going to write or highlight a topic in regards to black womenhood being disrespected or fetishized, then you better start with the men within your own community since these are the men most black women date. The motives behind this article are suspect. In fact, I think many within our community are so… Read more »

jazinegrrrl
Guest
jazinegrrrl

THIS^^^

Tiffany Williams
Guest
Tiffany Williams

Too much truth. It’s like the moment black women want to date out, “Don’t forget you’re fetish, feeding into white s

guest
Guest
guest

@dmalikat @@mlank64:disqus Keep bringing the truth out there! Preach! You are so accurate and well spoken!

lis
Guest
lis

BOOM!!!!You summed it up perfectly about what’s going on with these articles.…and how they are never focused on Black men even though they are the last picked group of men except by Black women but you never hear about their difficulties.…only Black women.…yup.…it’s calculated.

palmeria
Guest
palmeria

Exactly. Btw I met my (white) boyfriend on Tinder.

Brianna Nicolas
Guest
Brianna Nicolas

Just ignore the trolls.

Eve
Guest
Eve

Seriously who looks to settle down with anyone they meet on Tinder? I was under the impression the site is strictly for hookups anyway. So finding your dream mate on there is just that.…a dream.

LW
Guest
LW

maybe in the profile they should put serious inquiry only and specifically put I am not a experiment on how to be with a black women

Likewaterforchoc
Guest
Likewaterforchoc

I’m not even on Tinder and I get craziness from white dudes on regular online dating site. I just block and report.

nyna
Guest
nyna

what is hipster racism??? this is a serious question.

The Darling Kinkshamer
Guest
The Darling Kinkshamer

ironic” racism, it’s meant to be funny and tongue in cheek, but it’s still racist.

The Darling Kinkshamer
Guest
The Darling Kinkshamer

I used to troll sexist/racist white and black guys on a popular dating website. It became depressing after a while to see how committed people are to their bigoted ideology.

Charlena Thompson
Guest
Charlena Thompson

I did find this to be an interesting article, but I agree with many of the others’ comments here saying this really isn’t something we didn’t already know. It isn’t new and it’s not surprising.. And it’s CANADA for goodness sake! I actually tried a personal experiment with a dating app called AYI. I don’t meet men thru dating sites, but I created a profile to prove a point. I was hearing things just like this article has basically pointed out that, in the online dating world black women are minnows and all other races are salmon. Anyhow, I created… Read more »

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