I live in Vancouver, which is a city that has a very large population of east and south Asian people. Having spent a number of years in Brampton, Ontario, and having done a degree at the University of Waterloo, I am more or less used to being in an environment with a large minority population. Some people, however, seem to have a difficult time dealing with the diversity, and retreat immediately into crude stereotypes when interacting with non-white people. If you think you might be one of those (and you are attracted to women), here’s a few handy tips:
Many people (mostly white people) express a great deal of incredulity when people of colour (PoCs) share stories like this. “How could anyone be so stupid?” they ask. Or, more commonly, “you’re exaggerating”. Life as a PoC in most cities in North America is emphatically not a non-stop barrage of racial insensitivity and adversity. However, it doesn’t take a lot of these kinds of comments to make you feel as though two things are overwhelmingly true:
- Your race/ethnic identity is the most important thing people see when they look at you
- You are the ‘other’ – a person who is tolerated but not part of the group
Now I don’t get hit on a lot (and when I am, most of the time I can’t hear the comments over the sound of me saying ‘yes’ and high-fiving myself), but it’s a pretty safe bet that when I’m flirting with someone who seems interested, at some point I will hear either “I just love black guys”, or “I’ve never been with a black guy before”. I’ve yet to hear “I’ve never been with a viola player before” or “health economists are so sexy” (and we really are – we’ve done extensive studies proving it through the use of computer simulation). It’s not a huge problem, but it’s just one of those things.
While it’s tough enough for women to walk down the street without being openly and unapologetically objectified by strangers, when you add race to that equation, life becomes even more difficult.
Like this article? Follow me on Twitter!