Monday, Nadra Kareem wrote about interracial dating for the blog Racialicious. Specifically: "Dating With A Vengeance." A few years ago, Ms. Kareem saw a comment on the IMDB page of actor John Cho. Someone wrote, "I hope he dates a white girl." Ms. Kareem explains: "The commenter, presumably an Asian male, explained that he made the statement because it would serve Asian women right if a desirable Asian male ended up with a white woman, since Asian women so often end up with white men." Ms. Kareem claims she has seen more and more comments like this online: People happy that Halle Berry has partnered with Gabriel Aubry, for instance, because, "black men are afraid of marriage, dating white women, in jail, 'on the down low' or dead, the commenters argue." You might think this attitude of dating as some kind of counterattack is crazy. I don't.
I had a Korean boyfriend who was often mildly pleased to see an Asian guy with a white girl. He felt that Asian guys have it the worst when it comes to the what the American culture finds sexually appealing. There's a size legend about black men, the lure of the "Latin lover" and white guys rule the country. Where do Asian guys fit in? They're usually the butt of jokes, deemed "small" or geeky or not masculine enough. In his mind, the fact that a white woman could ignore the stereotypes and see an Asian man as sexy was a step in the right direction.
I have also known dark-skinned black women who felt unashamed to date white guys since the black men they knew were chasing white girls or wanted someone "light-skinned" and therefore more desirable, more beautiful. Maybe it's not revenge, per se, but it is a conscious decision not to try and join a club that won't have you, so to speak.
But even if you've been burned or scorned by experiences within your own race, does anyone really date with a vengeance? Maybe it's more about looking farther than just next door. Maybe it's about exposing yourself up to new worlds, to being open to a different experience. Or maybe, more and more, we're living in a world where the guy next door is a different race? I've dated guys who were Korean, Puerto Rican and Armenian. (Current boyfriend? Mexican.) And yeah, I've dated white guys. Never was getting revenge on black guys in my mind. (I cannot date guys who look like my dad or my brother, however. Because that is weird.) Mostly I find myself attracted to those who know what it is like to be "other." (And maybe that's why I have so many friends who are gay? That's a different thread.) But Ms. Kareem writes:
"When Asian men and black women date whites, or any other group, is it a way to give the middle finger to those they feel have rejected them or, at the very least, avoid ending up alone?"
And I have to wonder, could it be that they're genuinely attracted to that person? That they saw or felt something they liked? Maybe I'm a hopeless romantic/idealist, but. Could the reason be as simple yet complicated as this: Love is a funny thing?
Interracial Dating: Interracial Dating with a Vengeance [Racialicious]