Aug 16, 2016

Is it Racist to Have a Type?

I've met many white guys who say things like "I'm not at all racist, I'm just not into Black men sexually."  Or Asians, or Hispanics, or Native Americans...

When I look surprised, they continue: "It's a taste, not a statement of social status.  If you're not into fat guys or guys with small endowments, or guys with beards, it doesn't mean you don't want to hang out with them, or be their friends, or that you think they're inferior socially -- just the bedroom is off limits.   They don't turn you on."

Ok, is liking your men thin, or big beneath the belt, or clean shaven the same thing as liking them white?

Not at all.

Let's say you are not attracted to dark skin.  You like your men pale.

It's never a set-in-stone rule.  Everyone is open to exceptions with the right guy.  I am not at all into blonds or redheads -- except when I am.

I like them big, muscular, bodybuilders, or husky or fat.  But I've been with skinny.

Even if, for some crazy reason, you have a set-in-stone rule -- only pale guys can ever get through your bedroom door  -- is every Black, Asian, and Hispanic guy automatically disqualified?

Of course not.  Many People of Color have relatively light skin, and many Caucasians are quite dark, either naturally, or through tanning beds. Spot the Caucasian in the photos below:

Actually, there aren't any significant physical traits shared by every member of any racial groups.  That's a myth.  No matter what configuration of skin, hair, and eye color you find attractive, there will be some white, Black, Asian, and Hispanic guys with it.  Why block them out?

So what, exactly, are you not attracted to?

1. An Image in Your Head.  Let's say you're "not attracted" to Asian guys.  The image in your head is probably of a very specific Asian guy: short, thin, smooth-skinned, beardless, under-endowed, sort of feminine.  You're forgetting about the many Asian men who are tall, muscular, chunky, kind of hairy, and aggressively masculine.  Why cut yourself off from an entire population based on a stereotype?

2. Social Status.  Sociology tells us that we are attracted to markers of social position, wealth, prestige, and power.  Institutional racism means that "whiteness" is valued, and markers of racial difference devalued.  Juries are more likely to convict black defendants than white defendants charged with exactly the same crime.  Students give black professors lower course evaluations than white professors.  And in the bedroom, you want to ally yourself with someone of a "high" social status.

People of Color often report that white guys who date them expect to be dominant, "in charge" of the relationship, as fitting their "higher" social status.

3. Culture.  Racial minorities have developed distinctive subcultures, with their own distinctive foods, costumes, vocabulary, music, and social norms. Group members differ in their participation, but the culture is always out there.  Maybe you're worried about trying to fit into a culture that you don't know well.

4. Family.  Many of my relatives practice "subconscious" racism, the little things that signify social exclusion, such as subconsciously rolling up the car windows when we enter a black neighborhood.  My father is a little more consciously racist.  When I date Black, Asian, and Hispanic guys, I always think very carefully about how to bring up the subject.  Maybe you're thinking "I'm not into that group" because you fear your family's disapproval.

So you're not attracted to negative stereotypes, markers of low social status, a different culture, and your family's disapproval.  Gee, it sounds almost like what you had to go through to acknowledge your attraction to men in the first place,

See also: Alan and I Cruise for Thugs; Body Shaming

1 comment:

  1. It's part of America's whole "racism without racists" thing. You know what I mean?


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