meus intuitus

covert racism and Asian men

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I deleted a few pictures from my OKC account today leaving only a picture of me in a cowboy hat facing away from the camera—it defaulted to my main picture.  Suddenly, instead of my Asian mug spearheading my profile, it was “mysterious cowboy guy.”   This same day, my profile viewership soared.  This was not an experiment I was intending to conduct.  I was just decreasing my internet presence and taking a break from online dating.  However, this simple observation lit a lightbulb and summed up all of my experiences with dating in the mid-Atlantic.  I never noticed it before because I was brought up in it (how can a fish know what water is when water is the fabric of its reality).  It all makes sense now.  The racism here is not overt, but covert.  People are polite and reasonably well educated so race can go without mention, but that does not mean it goes without consideration.  With all too large of a fraction of my interactions with white women (of course certainly not all), there has been a stench that I have always despised…  a dismissiveness, a sense that I wasn’t even being given a chance.  I have loathed this stench for years.  I have generally assumed it to just be “me.”  Yet, objectively, if I may, I am tall, I have a defined jawline, I am of a fit masculine build, I am intellectually curious, I am considerate.  People tell me I should have no problems dating.  Yet I do.

From limited anecdotes, I contrast these parts with, say Seattle.  Seattle is known for its high relative numbers of AM/WF pairings.  Why?  The generalizations that persist around Asian men there are not that they are geeky and sexless objects of comedic relief.  Rather, the generalization is that Asian men are brilliant and successful.  Brilliance, success, power—these are the generalizations that white people enjoy in most parts of the United States (the world, really).  Is it any surprise that white men are the most successful in the dating world in America (as empirically shown by OKtrends data)? Is it any surprise that a minority population has comparable success in the dating world when it finds itself with such descriptors?  It’s all perception, people—on a population scale—subconscious perception, and it has been beaten into others as much as it has been beaten into myself.  I realize now that I deserve more than the crap that I have been dealt around these parts.  Now, this is not me giving myself license to be an asshole, not at all.  This is also not me writing off all of my dating problems to race—that would be a sad and inaccurate excuse.

What this is, however, is me giving myself the respect that I deserve.


Written by meusintuitus

April 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

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