attraction and race politics

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by vniow, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. vniow macrumors G4

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    #1
    Not sure if this is a better fit for the political forum so the powers that be can move if over there if they feel its appropriate.

    I don't know if I should be bothered by this at all but its always struck me as a little odd and I'm wondering if anyone feels the same way or I'm completely talking out of my arse. My dilemma is that it somewhat bothers me when I see someone state that they prefer someone of a certain race/ethnicity for a partner. I can understand say preferring someone of a certain religious conviction and similar world views but doesn't it open a whole can of worms when you use skin colour etc. to narrow down your search?

    I see this most often with white men and Asian women. I've talked to a couple guys about it and I've gotton responses from "I like the face" to "At least I'm racist in a positive way :p." Isn't it just as weird sounding if you substitute Asian for white? "I (white man) prefer white women."

    I'm part of a minority group where a another certain of people (99% men) literally fetishise people like us so I just notice some similarities. Not enough to say I find it creepy, just odd and I don't quite understand it.


    Thoughts?
     
  2. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #2
    Feel free to elaborate on that a little further. :D



    **waits for response intensely**
     
  3. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

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    #3

    And that's why you're not getting one. :)
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #4

    People have all sorts of likes or dislikes, often based on nothing but deeply-buried beliefs that never get any form of self-examination. A preference for a certain skin colour is just as irrational as a preference for a certain hair colour, but everyone knows there's nothing rational about sexual desire anyway.

    Me? I don't have any favourite types. People who make me laugh, I guess.
     
  5. Doctor Q Administrator

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    #5
    Isn't it just being honest about something that shouldn't be a surprise?

    Attraction can be not only to physical characteristics but to ethnic backgrounds that often correlate with social customs, ethnic interests, and other particulars. Since people of different race and ethnicity are likely to differ in these ways, isn't it perfectly understandable that people will have preferences?

    If somebody says "I like redheads", nobody objects, because redheads are not a race. If they tell you, honestly, that they like people with redder skin or with less red skin, is that really any different?

    There are many ways to detect racism, even when it's subtle, but I don't think attraction or lack of attraction is a trustworthy indicator. That's not discrimination in the frowned-upon sense, but in the sense of "discriminating taste" -- knowing what you like.
     
  6. shecky Guest

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    #6
    how is it any different? me saying "i like XYZ race of woman" as opposed to saying "i like XYZ religion of women" seems to be identical to me. both are based on a stereotypical view of a certain group of people. just because one is asian and one is christian makes no difference.

    and i do not think this thread is really about this, but since you brought it up: i disagree. many men (not 99%) fetishise "lipstick" lesbians, not lesbians in general. men like "pornstar" lesbians, not the "butch" lesbian. and all of the lesbians i have known (and going to art school i have known many, many, MANY lesbians) there is some of each end and some in the middle as well.

    and for the record i am a white male and i don't find asian women remotely attractive and i do not feel bad about it; its my choice to make. but i also respect the individual as opposed to the group that they may be associated with. and at the end of the day its the INDIVIDUAL you are attracted to - not the stereotype.

    besides, i am sure there are plenty of asian women that don't find chubby jewish guys attractive either :)
     
  7. pknz macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I think its about as deep as that.
     
  8. Doctor Q Administrator

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    #8
    Agreed, but I don't find fault with that.

    I'll make up an example. Suppose somebody says they prefer Wiccans. Maybe that's because they think Wiccans will like nature and that matches their interest in outdoor activities. They are basing that on the characteristics they think are likely for Wiccans (i.e., a stereotype). If they meet a particular Wiccan who stays indoors, he/she might not be of interest. If they meet a non-Wiccan who loves nature, he/she might be of interest. That doesn't imply that their original statement is wrong or shameful.
     
  9. shecky Guest

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    #9
    totally agree - i am not remotely ashamed or embarrassed about not being attracted to certain religious and ethnic groups. its just the way my synapses fire off.
     
  10. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

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    #10
    I suppose. I would just think that using race as a criteria brings up a different level of issues as opposed to hair colour or religion. Maybe I'm just imagining something that isn't there. *shrug*
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

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    #11
    are you making a distinction between inclusionary and exclusionary criteria?

    i would think each of these example statements would be judged differently:
    1. "i'm attracted to asian women"
    2. "i date asian women exclusively"
    3. "i refuse to date asian women"
     
  12. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

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    #12
    If I were to pick a race that was unattractive to me physiologically, I would say dark African. There's nothing racist about it; I just don't find them attractive at all. I would even go as far to say that for me, the icky factor is heavily concentrated in that instance.
     
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

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    #14
    It's the word "refuse" that would strike me as odd or suspicious. "Not interested" is one thing, while "refuse" sounds more like an active dislike of a class of people (not a lack of interest in their typical characteristics). But maybe that's being too picky about words.
     
  14. zimv20 macrumors 601

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    #15
    that's fair. let's change it to "don't".

    but to see what refuse might look like, refer to post #12.
     
  15. iBlue macrumors Core

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    #16
    I think it's a little strange to exclude so many people like that (seems closed-minded to me) but I suppose everyone has their preferences. I had a boyfriend that did seem to have an affinity towards Asian (primarily Thai) women. He liked to remind me of that just to annoy me, being as I sport blonde hair. He was a bit of a wanker.

    I seem to have traits that I find attractive in people but none of it is very inclusive of any specific race. I consider myself picky too but apparently it has little to do with race. Religion however, a whole different story. ;) I can't wrap my mind around some of that and couldn't imagine myself falling for someone who did.
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

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    #17
    I also find "I date Asian girls exclusively" to be strange. You only date Asians? To me, that's just stupid.

    I don't limit myself to any race. I like Korean food, but it doesn't mean I'll stick exclusively to a Korean diet. Or what if a really hot blonde Swedish model walked up to him and found this person to be cute? Would he say no if he also thought she had a great personality? It's hard to choose based on race, so in a way, I do understand vniow.
     
  17. solvs macrumors 603

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    #18
    Some of it might be racial. Some of it cultural. A lot of it is just preference, based on what, we don't know yet. It's like asking why some people have foot fetishes, or like *ehem* younger types. :eek: Some of it may be chemical, hereditary, upbringing or socially ingrained. Or someone close to them who they had feelings for that looks or acts like a certain "type". Sometimes it's just personality. Sometimes it's all physical. I've never known it to be completely exclusionary. I mean, people do seem to have types they prefer, but a preference is not always a prerequisite.

    I, for one, seem to be attracted only to crazy, so I'm not sure what that says about me.

    You need a girlfriend.

    Don't knock it til you've tried it.
     
  18. tobefirst macrumors 68040

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    #19
    This may be one of the most interesting conversations in the poly forum! :)

    I believe that at least part of what attracts us is society based. By that, I don't mean what is portrayed on television or in movies (although that could be the case as well), but by what surrounds us in society.

    For instance, I'm from a somewhat affluent suburb of St. Louis, and in this suburb, most of the community is Caucasian. The percentage of minority people in my community was significantly lower than in other parts of the metropolitan area. As a result, I was surrounded by, and attracted to, what I saw everyday: Caucasian females.

    My friend, however, is from a part of the area where there is a much higher percentage of minorities, and, I think, as a result, she's more attracted to all different kinds of people.

    That is not to say that I am not attracted to African Americans or other minorities, but certainly not to the degree that my friend is.
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    I find it creepy both ways... my best friends are Chinese and Korean, and they also complain a lot about the reverse, with Asian girls who date Caucasian men exclusively (and I feel like I've seen it happen).

    I do occasionally get hit on purely because I'm Indian also... and not by Indians. Which I don't get. Whatev.

    I think it's okay to like physical features, although I've never imagined my girlfriends or future mate or whatever as having this hair or that hair or this eye or those eyes.... But I think when you get to the point where you're in the market for a person of a certain ethnicity (particularly one that's not the same as your own)... that's kind of wrong. People aren't cars. It's okay to go out shopping because you want to end up with a German car. It's weirder when it's about a man or a woman.
     
  20. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I never honestly gave this topic conscious thought back when I was dating. I guess for me there would be a big difference in my opinion whether I was asked whether I would date someone of a certain ethnicity or whether I just found them attractive or not.

    I could rattle off an example from about every racial group that I found attractive, but thinking back to when I last dated (30 years ago) I couldn't imagine going out of my way to date someone that was different than I am.
     
  21. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #22
    The notion of race itself is a myth, a scientific fallacy.
     
  22. Doctor Q Administrator

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    #23
    I refuse to be friends with anyone who doesn't have a sense of humor.

    There. I've said it. I guess I'm guilty of being jokist.
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

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    #24
    I was going to make a sarcastic response, but in the spirit of inclusiveness, I have decided not to do so, in recognition of our many members who do not have senses of humor.
     
  24. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #25
    Yeah, it's all the same parts. Sometimes. There was this one time...

    Erm, nm, I don't want to talk about it. :eek:

    I'd say I have a prejudice against stupid people, but I seem to date a lot of them too. Crazy and/or stupid. Doesn't matter what color they are.
     

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