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‘Romance’ is white supremacy, Black Studies professor says

‘Romance is an old white cultural institution that began in the Middle Ages’

“Romance” promotes white supremacy, according to a Black Studies professor who said she has “endured” bad relationships.

University of California Santa Barbara Professor Sabrina Strings addresses this topic in her new book, “The End of Love: Racism, Sexism, and the Death of Romance.”

“I am only one of the millions of Gen X-to-Gen Z women who have endured a seemingly endless array of miserable relationships with men,” she (pictured) writes in her new book, according to the university news story.

It follows her 2019 book about how “fatphobia” is rooted in racism. Strings is also the “[c]o-founding editor of Race and Yoga journal,” according to her curriculum vitae.

“Romance had a beginning,” Strings said, as quoted in the UC Santa Barbara story. “Romance is an old white cultural institution that began in the Middle Ages.”

“One of the very first examples of a romantic story is Lancelot and Guinevere, she pointed out, which is about the trials of a man from a lower station who sets out to prove he is worthy of a higher class European Christian woman,” the UC Santa Barbara story said.

According to Strings, romance is about “women who are not peak white or are ‘insufficiently white’ are subject deservedly to deceit, manipulation, assault and rape.”

“Romance is white [supremacist],” she said.

She appears to blame the Civil Rights-era changes and backlash against feminism for furthering the problem.

According to the UC Santa Barbara story:

Offering a wide-spanning cultural critique, Strings covers questions from how colonization and slavery conspired to prevent Black women from being considered viable long term romantic partners to how changes brought forward during the Civil Rights era resulted in Black men distancing themselves from Black and “insufficiently white” women and aligning themselves with white men in order to pursue a rise in personal status. From the rise and fall of the Black is Beautiful movement to how Black music, including hip hop, abandoned its message about Black beauty and love once it took on a more white, more male fanbase.

In a summary of her book on her website, Strings makes the same point.

She said men becoming “emotionally unavailable…has been a hidden consequence of 20th century racial and gendered integration.”

However, she also blames “the widespread availability of porn online” and its influence on “sexual relationships and men’s expectations for partners.”

She “challeng[es]readers to accept the end of love as they know it and to embrace more queer and feminist ideas of love, equity and partnership,” according to UC Santa Barbara’s summary.

Strings is not the only academic to suggest romantic relationships are racist.

A George Mason University professor says marriage is part of “white supremacy,” as previously reported by The Fix.

“I theorize that marriage fundamentalism, like structural racism, is a key structuring element of White heteropatriarchal supremacy,” Professor Bethany Letiecq wrote in an academic journal.

Marriage, according to Letiecq, is “built upon White heteropatriarchal supremacy.”

MORE: 72 things higher ed declared racist in 2023

IMAGES: UC Santa Barbara; Sabrina Strings; Beacon Press

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.