Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"But I Don't Date Black Guys..."
Dating and Diversity

I overheard a woman on her cellphone, outside of my office, this afternoon.

Apparently, some cute guy had asked her on a date.

How do I know she thought he was attractive? She must've used the word "hot" to describe this particular Romeo about ten times in under a minute. From the bit of the conversation I overheard through my office wall, he was also "sweet," "cool to hang out with," and "a good kisser."

She apparently wasn't happy about it.

As I was locking my office door, I heard a phrase I haven't heard in a long time:

"But I don't date black guys."

I started to say something, but decided against it. This woman, tan and looking very underfed, obviously has a lot of things on her plate.

Like NOT dating some HOT somebody because...they weren't born Caucasian.

I really hope there was some other reason. I pray there was something more...

But if what I heard was indeed the sole minimum dating standard, then die single, lady.

Seriously. If you're attracted to someone, race shouldn't really matter. This isn't 1906, 1966, or even 1996 - get over it. Date who you want. Go out and have a good time. I'm not be an expert, but I've yet to meet anyone from anywhere in the world who doesn't want to be romantically involved with someone they actually like.

Walking out to my truck, I lit a cigarette and thought about what I'd just overheard. Using the calculator on my mobile, I crunched some personal numbers out of curiosity.

I've never cared about race - not something I really think about when I find somebody attractive. Sure, I'm a stereotypical hetero male. I notice physical attributes. There are things I like, things I don't.

I've also know folks who care about race too much when it comes to courting. I've known black men who only date white women, white women who only date Latinos, people who only date within their own group, even Asian lesbians who would only date other Asian lesbians.

But frankly, ethnicity is just too stupid of a measurement for my libido. Hell, I can't even quantify what I'm looking for in a relationship, much less the physical stuff. If I find a woman attractive, well, I just do.

I basically calculated a statistical breakdown of all of the women I've ever been involved with - physically, romantically, or...um...otherwise. For simplicity's sake, I used that stupid U.S. Census criteria, where people from North Africa and the Middle East mysteriously cease to be Persian or Bedouin and become something called "White (Not Hispanic)."

Here's what the numbers revealed, rounded to the nearest whole number (won't equal 100% because of, well, the mysteries of mathematics):

"Hispanic" (Not White) - 36 %
"White" (Not Hispanic) - 30 %
"Black" - 20 %
Asian/Pacific Islander - 10 %
Native American/Aboriginal - 5%
Other/multiple ethnicities - 3 %

It was actually harder to do than it looks. Not the math; having to categorize somebody into something I never really saw in them is actually more difficult than I thought it would be.

Looking at those numbers now, the whole thing seems absolutely batshit. The human race has spent the majority of its history choping itself into definable groups based, mostly, on very superficial things - skin color, language, traditions, religion, diet, etc.

What a stupid thing. No wonder I've never noticed it.

Sure, there are a lot of folks who aren't attracted to certain features prevelant in many cultures. I don't want to judge anybody because they don't find members of one ethnic group sexually appealing. Every day, millions of people fall in love with people who look, talk, and share cultural similaries. These things happen, based on the environment that produced the individual...

But what if someone is admittedly attracted to someone but uses ethnicity as an excuse? Why the hell would somebody want to do that? Why limit yourself? If you dig somebody, what the fuck does being "black" have to do with it?

I guess I shouldn't be too shocked. I'll probably end up with more questions than answers on this one.



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16 comments:

Let said...

God, I just realized my numbers would be something like 99% Hispanic and 1% Anglo.

I should have gotten out more before marriage. Damn you Zen, for pointing out my boring social life.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Lol...don't sweat it. You've officially dated more Hispanic folk than 99% of Oxford residents will ever date ;)

It's probably good you didn't, in the long run. Less baggage...the more important stat: about 60% total were completely insane (some clinicly, unfortunately).

Hey, that's part of the reason I live like a monk these days. Social life retirement :)

Amanda said...

that is so true aboutmiami. i know too many girls who use that and i had a friend first year who used the n word in public!


i think your pic is completely adorable btw (:p)

The ZenFo Pro said...

Amanda:
Thanks for the compliment.

I've heard students here use the word nigger and other racial slurs way to often, which I find rather disturbing.

I think part of that is tied to a sheltered upbringing and the utter lack of any kind of diversity - not just race, but a lack across the socioeconomic spectrum. Were are the kids from working class families? Why can't the university attract more students from abroad?

Part of the problem is also the relative isolation of the community. It's hard to explore the regional diversity - many students, not having access to a car, can't explore nearby Hamilton or Richmond - both less than a half-hour away.

Cowgirl said...

I agree - if I am attracted, I am attracted. Race/ethnicity isn't a factor to me.

My factors are too complicated due to mixed races. Oh and BTW when are we going to stop using the word "mixed" and "race." They smell like stereotypes anymore.

Technically, I am "mixed", as my grandma is Cherokee. SO how does that factor into things?

Casey Kochmer said...

I only try to stay in my species. (unlike that hapless fellow who died with the horse in wa the other month. People are truly strange.)

Attraction is based upon as my friend once said:

finding someone whose issues compliment my own issues
and heavens knows we all have enough issues to go around and pair up with :)

snoopdon said...

Don't know why my comment didn't appear earlier but I will try again...

Rock on!

Also, could you click my email link and tell me about being a librarian....
Thanx

Let said...

I think living in Miami (FL, that is) finding a real Anglo to date anyway was impossible. If I had a more diverse menu, my culinary tastes would have been different, I suppose. At this point, who the hell remembers.

shayna said...

Oh You!!! You have done it again... Great Post!

My ex husband was "half" latino. So... I never looked at race. I have my physical attraction... some more to other races than others.

If one is attracted or in love with another race... who are we to judge?

Have you been watching Black/White? Awesome reality show... Highly recommend! ;)

Again, Great Post! ;)

Carla said...

urghh.. this subject. i found it a lot at my hometown but these things really happen.

like chinese indonesian people shouldn't date (marry, for the worse) straight indonesian people. they're at different level and they're just gonna ruin your bloodline. fook that!

got a dutch boyfriend once and all i got from all the stare was a thought that i was his bitch, instead of some more respectable status, just because he's white and i'm brown.

people's socially-built-up perspectives towards life are killing us, really.

KFigment said...

Around the world in 80 lays. In this day and age if you are dumb enough to say that you don't date black guys then you are cutting out a majority of the population in the US. There are very few people that don't have mixed blood anymore and if you have had even 1 blood relation pass through the southern states chances are you have dated a person that has "black" in them. Get over it embrace the feeling and enjoy.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Cowgirl:
Yeah, the idea of a mixed race in the Americas (From Canada to Chile) is pretty stupid. Anybody who's third-generation or greater in our corner of the world is more than likely mixed. Hell, I'm made up of about a dozen different European cultures, some Creole/Cajun, some Roma (Gypsy), and about three Native American cultures.

I tend to think most Americans have more in common with Mexicans, Brazilians, Canadians, Inuit, Mohawk, Haitians, etc., than I do with most Old World cultures.

Casey:
That's sort of where I come from on this issue. I've never really given a shit about race. It's a social construct. That's like choosing to date someone based on something like clothing or what kind of car someone drives.

I prefer to date within my own species, but, having grown up on a steady diet of science fiction, I'm open to dating ETs, should they exist....Star Trek -like aliens maybe, but not Ridley Scott, Alien aliens... ;)

Let:
I had similar issues growing up in Virginia. I had relatives who were appalled that I dated mostly Afro-American women in high school. What the hell was I supposed to do as a hormone-driven teenaged boy? Pretend to NOT be attracted to someone because of Jim Crow? Please!

Shayna:
Hey, thanks!

I haven't seen Black/White yet, but I hear I need to. Ice Cube is actually one of my childhood idols and he's the exec. producer. I'll have to check it out!

Carla:
It's amazing, isn't it? There's always this bias somewhere in the world. Its sad that someone would judge anyone as being some skank simply because of who they date.

You're right; it is killing us.

Kfig:
;) No comment on the 'Round the World crack, chica.

Casey Kochmer said...

I thought about that after I posted it actually. I agree, and that could be an issue in the future.

The answer is the definition of what it is to be human. In time it will expand out to include other intelligent life. Humanities defination doesnt have to be based upon homo-sapiens... But that will be a thorny issue years from now. Heck it's even possible our own species could branch off into new species. Its happened to many other species, if we ever go to the stars, its likely to happen to us also.

if we happen to make it pass the next global bathing session that is.

Smurf said...

One thing I found SO strange was moving back home with my parent for this temporary time of getting things together... the first time I walked my kids to the bus stop was an experience and a half. I gelled Sebastian's hair, and did Kaylee's hair and got them dressed nice and then walked them to the bus stop.

The majority of the people at this bus stop were hispanic, primarilies children of families that came from OLD MEXICO. The thing is moving from the city to the country I didnt expect things to be this much more ghetto. (that comment is one hard to explain.) But all of the Hispanic kids were dressed NICE, they all had their hair done nice and had nice clothing and all the white kids, minus my kids, looked very neglected and unkempt. It was sad. It was very evident who were the cool kids and who werent. You could see attitudes.

I had this little half black boy come up to me and tell me stories about this little boy that I know the mom of, I grew up with his mom, and how he tried to kill his cousin, I just listened to the story.

But to see Kaylee's little friend being in this bity tiny mini skirt in freezing cold weather, her hair un brushed and knotted and her clothing not matching made me really sad.

The last time I picked Kaylee up from the bus stop this cute little hispanic girl who lives a couple doors down asked me if I was new here, and I said "sort of." She said, "do you live here?" I said, "yes." and she said, "Well, welcome to our Parking Lot." LOL ;) that was too cute... welcome to our Parking lot... what a more perfect name for a trailer park, parking lot.. ;)

Anyways, in my family we have a lot of mixing and I agree, I wish skin color didnt make such a difference in the way people were treated, I wish we could treat people by the way that they are on the inside, but if that were the case, a lot of the super models wouldnt have as many men after them, cuz some of them even though they are absolutely angelic on the outside on the inside the garbage and utter yuck and meanness... anyways... I am rambling... but GREAT POST JASON WAYNE!!!

cooper said...

I'm late of course but I'm with the dude that prefers to date within his own species. I think it is strange but coming from the subs of Washington and going to school with a lot of hispanics- who are cacausian by classification if not by ethnicity, and a lot of asians and many kids of mixed races black / white, hispanic, philipino, eurasian, indonesian etc . I always felt that we should just try to mix it all up and see what we get.

Anonymous said...

Oh, don't get so worked up about this. It's good you show concern but there will always be ignorance in this world and idiocy and we can do little to change that.

BTW, Amanda, I love white girls who use the N word...in bed, with their black dude ;-)