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Editor's Letter: The Problem With The Domineering Black Wife Stereotype

A few months ago I was out with friends and as you do over dinner, you chat about everything from the personal to the professional. The topic of romance came up and between us, we all talk about the highs and lows of being in relationships, the motions of dating or being single. In my case, the questions I always get are: “how's married life?” Or “when do you think you are going to start trying for babies?” At this point, I think my answers have become rehearsed, not because I’m trying to hide anything, but because everyone always asks and despite being asked those questions frequently, it really doesn’t bother me.

During this friend gathering, someone I hadn’t seen in a while within this particular friendship group, asked me how is married life going? But before I could answer, his partner said: “I can imagine you at home telling your husband to do this, do that, complete with hand gestures.” I literally froze and mustered a “huh?” My husband stepped in and said: “not in any way is that Tobi’s personality.” His response did shut the conversation down, but it also bought a small window of time to digest the fact that someone I hadn’t met before believed that I must be a bossy, demanding and most likely aggressive partner. I then had to say: “just because I am forthright in my work and my business, that is not exactly how those traits translate in my marriage.”