Blog of the week: Dating As An Indigenous Woman

Mikey, 30. Full of charm…

I honestly thought today’s foray into the blogosphere would be about Invasion Day, the date that we as a nation “celebrate” the Invasion of our traditional lands and the subsequent massacres, attempted genocide, racism and all that loveliness that is supposed to fill us with patriotism.

I guess I will get to that in another post and will fill it with a whole host of links because quite frankly, I have some deadly friends who have ways with words that constantly inspires me.

However, I digress. It was Lakota man Simon Moya-Smith’s article in Indian Country today that inspires today’s post.

As you’d be aware by now, I’m single for the first time in nearly 10 years. It’s a bizarre experience that is constantly filled with firsts.

The first post-relationship kiss.

The first account creation on an online dating site.

The first time that you are confronted with the idea of dating outside of your race in nearly 10 years.

While other races will have their tensions relating to whether or not they should “date within their race”, in my opinion, we, as first nations people – a group of people who were, for hundreds of years, a group of people who were seen as nothing but a species to be eradicated, feel the pressure far more.

Whether it is verbally acknowledged or something that we quietly hold within ourselves, our fears to preserve our culture and our cultural lines are incredibly strong and of course, when it comes to dating and having children, it at least factors into my mind.

I remember being an awkward teen pouring over her diary dreaming of my ideal man.

He would be Aboriginal, maybe a little darker skinned than I, with the connection to country and traditional stories that I missed out on.

He would be smart, compassionate and between the two of us, we would raise this next generation of proud and strong Aboriginal children who didn’t have to face the things that our ancestors had to face.

Since awkward teen Ebs created this myth of her perfect man, I’ve dated a series of imperfect ones. There was the first boyfriend, a White boy who I still think may be in the closet. The older Aboriginal guy who promised the world but never delivered. The two Sri Lankan immigrants who will go on to live happily ever afters with someone else. The lying Moroccan-Italian player who I’m not gonna lie, received a fairly decent smackdown sisterhood style after the group of lovers kept increasing exponentially.

I recently thought that I may have found the guy that 14 year old Ebs created in her head (well, he ticked most of the boxes) but that may have not meant to be so I’m back reluctantly playing the field again.

While I don’t mind dating non-Indigenous men, it does become tiresome to be someone’s introduction to Indigenous Australia. I jokingly tweeted today that if you’re gonna make me give you a cultural awareness training session, my consultancy rate is a whole lot larger than just the cost of dinner…but it’s kind of true.

I remember reading my tidda Anita Heiss‘ book Not meeting Mr. Right  in my early twenties and retrospectively now see my earlier self not getting the full gravity of her words and her experiences. That being, the experience of having to not just be a woman who’s dating.

To be an Aboriginal woman who is dating is to be a contemporaneous museum piece, a novelty, a wealth of knowledge on all things Indigenous. A 2 dimensional book full of all the answers to your frequently pondered questions on Indigenous Australia.

Yawn.

While I still hold out hope that my Mr Right will be the Prince Deadliness of Charming Mission that I dreamed up all those years ago, I am incredibly thankful that I have twitter, this blog and twiddas like Wimlah and the Harlot Blogger who not only get this landscape that I’m navigating, but are navigating it also.

– Written by Ebony Allen.

This post is part of NAIDOC week and is originally from Ebs’ blog, where she is conducting her own #30DayTinder experiment. Follow and read her adventures @Ebswearspink

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