Editor’s Note: Sincere Parks originally posted this piece on her FaceBook; it has been republished with permission. The views expressed in this piece are solely her own.
*tap tap* POC, specifically Asian men for the purpose of this article, y’all ok?
Y’all need some milk? How are you crying about a fire when you have a role in feeding it?
Let’s talk about these supposed “preferences” and let’s throw in a little self reflection while we are at it.
Let me start with a simple example:
Apples are my favorite fruit, but I will eat bananas if apples aren’t available.
Apples are my favorite fruit, and I would starve before considering eating a banana.
The first example is an example of “preference” meaning that though someone prefers one thing over another, they will not exclude other options in favor of their preferred choice. The second example is an example of aversion. An individual that practices this will, under no circumstances, consider alternate options to their preferred choice.
Many people hide behind the definition of preference because it sounds like they are flexible in their options when, in fact, their wording and considerations of options are anything but. “I don’t date Black people because (insert reason)” is NOT a preference. Just the same as “I only date White guys” or “I prefer light-skinned people over dark-skinned people” is not a preference but an aversion. Any person presenting either statement can not name a reason why they exclusively date or don’t date a specific race that isn’t rooted in racism, stereotypes or some socialized bias.
No worries, I will wait for a non-racist, non-biased, non-stereotyped reason for aversions. I won’t hold my breath though — I like living.
To be clear, based on this article and many comments from Asian men, you understand the hurt associated with negative stereotypes and being considered unworthy dating candidates based on race, right? So please help me understand how you could complain about racism in dating preferences and then turn around and do the same thing to women of another race?
I understand how the negative stereotypes have harmed you and continued to harm you and you do NOT deserve that. I also understand you have done nothing to start the rumors challenging your manhood and masculinity. That was done by a system of White supremacy that sought to preserve the perceived “White purity” of White women and ruin your reputation and chances to court them. It was born out of a threat to white manhood and the future of the “White race” and it has been a battle to undo that damage. Knowing that you are not to blame for this stereotyping and that most, if not all of it, is untrue, why are so many of you so willing to accept it about another race? So the stereotypes about Asian men aren’t true but the ones about Black women are? Either we are to believe them or we aren’t.
Pause, let me be clear — I am not interested in answering this question for myself.
I am married to an Asian man who never once considered me “undateable” based on the negative stereotypes started by White supremacy to tear down Black women. Thanks, white supremacy — you the real destructively divisive MVP. Also, never once did I concern myself with the negative stereotypes widely spread about Asian men — also thanks to White supremacy — or more accurately feelings of White male fear and inferiority. My only goal is to expose a hypocrisy here and hopefully get you to think outside the box (or at least stop asking for special consideration).
To be clear, preferring to date intraracially is not inherently negative. The problem presents itself when a person/group cries foul over being the least desired by individuals from their race and possibly the race they desire that sees them unfavorably while also honoring negative stereotypes about those from a race you don’t belong to and excluding them as candidates. You can’t have it both ways. If you internalize, accept and uphold racist stereotypes about any race, then you become a hypocrite for wanting those you’re interested in to overlook negative racist stereotypes about you and consider you a worthy candidate when you’re unwilling to do the same.
In the article, I noticed an increase of favorability from Asian women towards Asian men (up to 24% from 10% while the increase for Asian men rating Asian women went from 11% to 15%) and that should be celebrated. Perhaps it is due to the spell of white supremacy starting to fade. It may be, also, based on the increase of positive Asian representation. It could also be that Asian men are listening to the valid concerns of Asian women, centering their needs and desires and acting upon that.
Asian women, I am happy for you in that your men, based on these results, seem to be seeing you with new loving eyes. I have seen the harm in threads of Asian men shaming Asian women for interracial dating, especially when it comes to dating White men. I will continue to strongly support your right to date whomever you choose. I, along with many Black women, know the pain of loving your men who hold you to standards they don’t hold themselves to.
This “study” doesn’t reveal the reasoning behind the positive increase. What I could not ignore was the negative increase in anti-Blackness in the study. It is odd, as the increase in love and admiration of black culture is steadily increasing, but the love of Black people, especially Black women, is not improving. The rating from Asian men towards Black women was negative to begin with, starting at -16% and rising to -20%. It was not lost on me the negative rating from Black women towards Asian men, -11% to -13%, either.
The reason for my focus here was the framing of the issue with Asian men feeling less desirable and emasculated, which was the intended goal of the negative stereotypes associated with Asian men. The favorability rating for Asian men went up in every category, up 14% with Asian women and and 2% with Latina women, except with Black women, where there was a 2% drop and White women who stayed the same.
Black women are feeling a similar burn on the spectrum of negative stereotyping that associates them with masculinity, and they are being hit worst of all, with even Black men not favoring them more than women of other races. I am not expecting an overnight shift, I am simply trying to get people to realize how hypocritical it is to complain about a situation that the individual plays an active part in.
I tried not to focus my attention on Black women because anyone’s disinterest in you based on your race is not a reflection on you, in any way, but entirely on them. You are worthy and deserve partners that are bright enough to look past negative racial stereotypes introduced under a White supremacist model meant to tear you down and present you as the opposite spectrum of purity and beauty as they would have others do for them, that can love and appreciate you no different than they would a person of their own race, and that sees your humanity and values your diverse uniqueness.
For those that experience dating racism, how do you deal with it?
For those that are on the “preferred” side of this, how do you work to dismantle dating racism?
Finally, for those that still believe that dating preferences aren’t racist, how do you justify your exclusionary “preference?” FYI: stating it is just a preference is not justification but an excuse.
Happy dating. Do whatever makes you happy. Be honest with yourself and understand that who you choose to be with or not be with may be rooted in something other than an innocent preference.
About the Author: Sincere Parks does not consider herself an activist; instead, she just considers herself as someone who is interested in leaving the world a better place than the condition she found it in. She spends her free time as an admin of a a small intimate Facebook group called The Tea Shop. When she is not there, she is enjoying the simple pleasures in life, including spending time with friends and family, collecting memes, and finding new places to eat. She LOVES BLACK WOMEN, her favorite animal is the elephant, she enjoys the occasional drink or two and food because “Food IS life!”
Featured Image via FaceBook / Mazelee