Racism and online dating
"A guy asked me if I was part white, and I was like, ' No,' and he was like, ' Oh, I thought you were,'" she says. By simply swiping left or right on a certain profile without a lot of context besides looks (and let's be honest, how many people are reading profiles? African-American investment banker Justin*, 44, hardly deals with these kind of questions or comments from women, suggesting that this is a male-oriented issue. "I do have a high attraction to white women, so I'm not really asking them where they're from," he says."But they're also not asking me, ' Oh are you African?They’re just thinking about their own personal preferences. It’s cultural, it’s national, and it’s fucking everywhere. Christian Rudder, co-founder of Ok Cupid, writes: Scrolling through Ok Cupid’s blog, you’ll stumble across a myriad of depressing race stats.“White women prefer white men to the exclusion of everyone else — and Asian and Hispanic women prefer them even more exclusively.” “Men don’t write black women back.” Their gay data reads the same: “Blacks get fewer responses.” Have you closed your browser and crawled into a hole to live out the rest of your days unencumbered by society and its bullshit yet?"This is depressing, but it shouldn't be a revelation."I suppose that means I should just get used to comments like the one I received on Bumble last week, when a guy said, "How did you know I [heart emoji] Indian Texans?! As a professional matchmaker, I’ve interviewed over 1,000 singles, and in the past two and a half years, I’ve made around 2,500 matches.I met lovely men—many of whom remain my friends—but by my mid-thirties, I still hadn’t met anyone with whom I felt that same degree of connection and passion I had known with my first love.
Height, religion, career paths, Netflix show most recently watched, the list goes on and on. (This seems as good a time as any to mention that when I say “all my clients,” I do mean clients of all sexual orientations.According to the 20 Hollywood Diversity Report, minorities “remain underrepresented on every front.” They’ve reported that “more than half of films had casts that were 10% minority or less.” (The Every Single Word Spoken project is a great illustration of this.) Hollywood is also hot. The problem is that no one is inundating us with hot Asian guys, or hot black women who aren’t Kerry Washington. Studies have shown that we are attracted to what we know and are used to, but as Deborah Ward writes, “Repeated exposure to certain people will increase our attraction toward them.” This means that a conscious change in behavior will impact subconscious desires. Whether workplaces to their goals of diversity is another, much longer, discussion, but the guidelines are there. But somehow, dating someone based on their skin is not.So when I ask my clients who their celebrity crush is, they pick white people. I know it’s awful, but I’m just not attracted to black people.”Often, what I want to respond is:1) There are other races besides white and black.2) You’re not attracted to black people? You’ve met all of them, and not a SINGLE PERSON does it for you? Of course it Now switch the scenario and pretend it’s an employer, discussing who to hire (maybe replace children with interns? We’re comfortable (theoretically) with integrating our schools and workplaces, but we stop short when it comes, quite literally, too close to home. As Ward says, “You cannot control what you’re not aware of.And when you close your eyes and think of someone hot, you’re probably thinking of a white person. Man, you must be exhausted after traversing the ENTIRE GLOBE searching for just ONE black person that you could get it up for! But this kind of racism is so deep-seated, so ingrained, that people believe their attractions are chemical. But you can develop awareness and create a new pattern.” Without recognizing that this is an issue, we don’t stand a chance at fixing it.Unfortunately, most people feel like attraction is out of their control. So the next time you’re absent-mindedly swiping left, ask yourself why you’re rejecting those profiles.