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Pet Sins January 2006

Myopia with regards to interracial dating

Have you notice, when people in the US talk about interracial dating, they usually mean "white+other"? Not that this is surprising, considering that whites are the majority. But what is surprising is that many minorities actually mentally limit themselves to dating whites when it comes to interracial dating. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in the Asian 'community' (though it isn't limited to Asians alone).

For example, a Vietnamese American woman T said, "I don't date Vietnamese men because they are blah-blah-blah. I only date white guys." Notice the binary mode of thinking - either Vietnamese or white. Even if T is right about Vietnamese men being blah-blah-blah in general (as if we can generalize the behavior of all Vietnamese men), there is a whole world of non-Vietnamese men besides white men - African men, African American men, Amerindian men, Latin American men, and even other Asian men such as Indian men, Chinese men, Afghani men. But none of these are even on her radar screen.

The whole problem is T isn't the only one who thinks like that. A Filipino American K told me she only dates whites because Filipinos have certain negative qualities. Again, you see this myopic view - she sees the only choice besides Filipinos as white. She does not consider dating non-Filipino, non-white people like blacks, Latinos or other Asians. She confessed, "I did consider the possibility of dating blacks or Latinos, but they are very loud and in-your-face, and I can't handle that." I am sure there are 'loud' and 'in-your-face' people in any ethnic group but somehow, none of my black or Latino friends are 'loud' or 'in-my-face'. I did remind K that it wasn't fair to make such generalizations about a whole group of people. K admitted that she generalizes about Filipinos, as well as other people, but refused to admit she needs to change her ways. She has an interesting reason for not changing her negatives - "there's good and bad in everybody. We need to balance the good and bad within us" (In other words, keeping her 'bad' traits like her bigotry is the right thing to do in the interest of cosmic balance).

K has so far not given any reasons for not wanting to date non-Filipina Asians. But she did make a rather telling statement: "I don't find West Asians (Arabs, Persians, Turks) attractive but West Asian women can be beautiful as long as they are not too dark-skinned." She has also, on occasion, mention that she was a 'hot commodity' in the Philippines because she is light-skinned. Not sure if she is proud of her light skin, or just making a comment on social trends.

2004