Sunday, December 29, 2013

Can Sexual Attraction be Racist?

So let me break it down for you, I was a weirdo in high school and still am.  My nickname on the school newspaper was Metaphysical Vegetarian.  So let me tell you a story about some stuff that went down in the nineties at Troy High.  If you were born during or after the nineties, I wonder if you will be shocked at what went on during this time period.  I've heard things have changed a bit.   

So back to 1993, I wrote for the newspaper and had a crush on a particular white guy who was waaay too "cool" and popular for me, I was nerdy and kinda alternative and hung out with all the Indian kids.  So I decide to set up a "blind" date with him for the newspaper, telling my editor that I'm gonna write about blind dates etc.  Well the guy shows up on the date expecting the homecoming queen I suspect, but he gets me.  I never went to homecoming cause I never had a date. 

It's a bad blind date.  All in all it's weird, uncomfortable and if I had any sense I would have realized we had no chemistry.  So we interview him after the "blind" date and he says he doesn't find girls who are not Caucasian attractive.  In short he only likes white girls.

So let me go over this real quick: I'm Indian and I'm not white.  I happen to like white guys, I happen to like guys period of literally any race.  My crush before him was a black guy my crush after him was an Indian guy.


We didn't publish the article because I was not allowed to date in high school and it occurred to me that if I printed this in the newspaper my parents would slaughter me.  But part of the reason I would not let this go to print was because I was ashamed.  I don't know if I was ashamed of being different, or I was ashamed that someone in the "mainstream" culture did not like me.     

The thing is, the guy didn't say he didn't like people who are not Caucasian, he just said he's not attracted to any girls who are not white.  I was devastated when I found out about this.  It was a different kind of hurt.  I mean I don't know, but I felt discriminated against.  I would have been much happier if he just didn't like me cause I wasn't "cool."  But the first and main reason he didn't like me was because I was a person of color.

But the thing is, one of my Indian friends in high school at the time only liked white guys as well.  So was she racist?  Now she likes guys of other ethnicities  but doesn't find black men attractive.  Is she racist or is she just exhibiting a preference? 

I know an Indian guy who really only likes blond women.  He also told me it was a good thing that I moved in with a white girl.  What?

What am I supposed to make of all this?  I like men of all races, ethnicities etc.  But people's sexual preferences, are they up for suspicion?  Should they be analyzed?  Are their weird factors of race relations at play here?

In the olden days during slavery, many slave owners were married to white women but raped black women.  The reason I bring this up is, the white men were sexually attracted to both races but could not respect the black women.  Fast forward to the present and let's be honest, you don't find many white guys searching for black women, but you do find more black men with white women.

Black women will tell you a black man who chases after white women is trying to find a trophy, a way to sell out.  I bet white men, a lot of them, will tell you they are just not attracted to black women.  And then there is us, the brown people.  We meander through, white men, black men, and brown men.  Since we are a medium color, we get an experience with all of this.   

In this whole weird game, is the white person the ultimate prize?

Is it because we see white people on the cover of magazines and besides the president, we see them in positions of power?  Is the ideal of beauty still white?  In Indian culture, the whiter your skin the more beautiful you are perceived.  If you look at ads on Indian marriage websites, they will often say that they are looking for a fair skinned bride.

It makes me want to vomit and I have fair skin.  In fact my skin is so fair she I am often mistaken for other ethnicities.  But apparently I am not the fairest of them all, because that one guy in high school did not find my ethnic coloring attractive.

Trust me when I say I'm over it...but I wonder?  I got to question myself here a bit.  In my school at the time, most of the popular people were white even though there were tons of Indians and other Asians in my school.  Was part of the reason I liked this guy because he held a position of power by being white and by being popular?  Hmmm.  Was part of my attraction to him about his power? Was part of his dislike for me about my ethnicity not being part of his group which he perceived as superior to my group of friends.   

I also wonder about other things.  I mean are there men who don't find Penelope Cruz or Halle Berry attractive?  Come on?

I mean there is a natural element, people are inclined to want their own "kind" for a whole host of reasons.  A lot of it has to do with familiarity and similar upbringings.  Some of it has to do with being attracted to someone who looks similar to you.  But to not at all find anyone who is different then you attractive is kinda closed minded I think.  I don't per say think it's racist, I think it's stupid.  

I don't want to judge, but I find it suspect, like when people have never tried other ethnic cuisines and only eat one kind of food.  I mean I respect the fact that some people don't like sushi, but there is plenty of other Japanese food to like.   There is a whole world of cuisine out there, you may not know what you are missing.  Just sayin...

Pretty soon people are going to be so mixed in this country that they will be part white, yellow, black, brown etc.  Maybe soon we won't really have a color.  I don't know if that time will actually come, but will we have these barriers up then?

I have a friend who is in law school with some young "kids" in their twenties.  He says that all this work about equality for race and women and LGBT people has really set in their minds.  Something is working.  They are not shocked that there is a black president.  Maybe they don't see so much difference in what races they find attractive.   

I hope things have changed for real.  I hope there is hope.

As for me I used to really want an Indian man in my twenties, I used to find that kind of man the most attractive.  Now that I've grown, I'm open to all sorts of men, race or ethnicity honestly does not matter to me.  I'm not against my peeps, but I'm open to all people.  But will they all be open to me?   

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