Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Finally Surprised Me

Since I can't sleep, I've been thinking about this experience I had this past weekend and decided to come share.

Some friends of mine and I went out. This particular group of friends is great because we always end up having real conversations, whereas with some of the other people I know they always want to talk about the same empty twenty-something nonsense. Closer to the end of the conversation, we somewhat did that by talking about guys. One of my white friends, whom I've referred to here before as my best friend in law school (BFLS), said that she thinks black men are the most attractive men in response to my mentioning that another one of my white friends (my best friend in music, BFM) thinks black people are the most attractive. And since she was speaking to two black women, she assumed we would agree with that. I guess my black friend agreed, but I didn't see her response because she was sitting beside me and I was looking at BFLS, who was across from me. Plus, I just figure she probably would agree--I can't really see her dating interracially, though we've never talked about that.

When BFLS kind of asked us if we agreed that black men were the most attractive, I was thinking, "HELL NO!" and just shook my head no. She was kind of like, "You don't?" And I could feel that the next thing would probably be to assume I thought white guys were the most attractive, because that's what so many people do, i.e. the only options are black or white. At the same time, this is a friend of mine who should know better, because I tend to carry on about white men and not in a good way. I've been doing that with her almost ever since I've known her, so 2 & 1/2 years. So I just said, "I like Asian guys."

And then both of my friends went crazy. How? I guess just out-of-this-world couldn't believe I said that or could think Asians are more attractive than white or black people. Now, with the black female, I'm not necessarily surprised. I know how most black women are about Asians, especially when thinking about blacks and Asians dating--it's weird to most. But with BFLS?!?! White females actually do date Asian males. And, though I know Asians still do experience racism from white people, I have just never seen it, at least not in real life. To me, white people generally love Asians and have no problems with dating or doing anything else with them, so this was really amazing to me. And it still is. And, you know, I'm not ever surprised by racism, but this has really caught me off guard.

I kind of want to ask BFLS what that was all about. Chances are the whole thing will get lost in the hustle to graduate and figuring out what to do about the Bar exam. But I have a hard time resisting attempts to answer questions like this. And the other reason why her reaction surprised me is I know she would have something to say if someone acted like that in response to blacks. Usually, I hate when people try to act like everyone in the US gets way more up in arms when bad things happen to black people and just 100% won't tolerate unfair treatment towards blacks while they will do so with every other disadvantaged group and sometimes even with whites--it's not true. But with her, I think it is; she would have poo-pooed someone if they had acted shocked that anyone thought blacks were hot.

And this isn't the first time this has happened, but I guess I'm more shocked because I know her better. The other time was actually when BFM told me that her fiance--white guy--said he doesn't find Asian women attractive. Now, I was really surprised at that, too, and still think about that comment in amazement. But with that comment, it's not the racism I find in it so much as...you know, I've never heard of a white guy not liking Asian women, HAHA. And with him, I think he wouldn't totally dismiss dating a black female, so that's also interesting. I'm pretty sure many Asians have these experiences as teenagers and younger with white people, but I didn't really think it kept happening after that because the majority of white people appear to grow into a point where they accept Asians as almost no different than they are.

And the funniest thing is after her reaction, BFLS got back on her liberal (though she denies being a liberal) throne and started talking about how Asian men are hurt by interracial dating. As always, she was correct and knowledgeable with what she was saying. But still, you're going to act like I told you I was going on "Flavor of Love" so that I can date Flavor Flav at the idea that Asian guys can look better than black guys, and then talk about how much harder it is for Asian guys than other guys to find women. With people reacting like that, uh, YEAH it's harder!!

I guess another thing that surprised/bothered me was this idea that one race is better-looking than another. For some reason, it seems like black men are the flavor du jour while Asian women are the counterpart flavor du jour. I'm tired of that. While I have my preferences, I know there are times when a white guy will be the best-looking in a room, a black man will be the hottest, etc. In the past year, I've gone from being interested in a lily white-looking female to a dark black female to a half-Asian/half-white female. This weekend, I stayed up all night watching re-runs of "I Love New York 2" on VH1 and just thought the black guy Buddha was the sexiest thing. She picked this wimpy white guy called Tailor Made because he would allow her to run the relationship, and I get that--I applaud her for that one, not to mention find it hysterical. But the white guy had nothing on the black one. Buddha was just sexy. I'm not one of those people who exalts one race; I see beauty where beauty exists, and it could be in anybody.

So, I just can't stand when people make a blanket statement that one race is the most attractive, or act like a couple of races are acceptable but others aren't. Part of the reason I was like, "HELL NO!" was because I was rejecting the blanket nature of BFLS's statement. In other words, no, I don't think black men are more attractive than other men--I think there are all kinds of attractive men. Generally, I don't want to date them. But I notice good-looking guys. Furthermore, I feel like this sudden fashionability of black men is, yet, another symptom of this mass movement occurring in the US entitled "White People Dying To Demonstrate We're Not Racist." I know this is not true of BFLS. She's marrying a white male, and she said she wouldn't date black men because 1) that hurts black women, and 2) she would be afraid of black women, HAHAHA. Oh, man, I love that woman! HAHAHA. Plus, you can't be friends with me unless you acknowledge your racism, which she did a long time ago. But I think some of these other women are silently self-congratulatory, thinking they are waging their own modern-day civil rights movement or some such crap with their black boyfriend or husband and a Barack Obama sticker on the car or whatever. With Asian women, who knows...perhaps white men are being "revolutionary," too, but are generally too wimpy (or shall I say too fond of white male power?) to go too low on the social totem pole.


Meanwhile, they've got a little problem with Asian men and black women, gasping at dinner tables when people find them attractive or completely acting like they don't exist. Yep...definitely not racist. You see, I've kind of noticed that white women who get with black men tend to not have black female friends or even associates, and white guys who get with Asian women tend not to have Asian male friends or associates, HAHA. Not all, though, but I've seen it too many times.