Story Time: “I’ve Never Been With A (Insert Race Here) Girl Before”

Bonjour à tous!

It’s official. I’m an owner of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. I haven’t been this excited and fulfilled in my entire life. I’ve jumped many hurdles in life, but this amazing accomplishment is, by far, the biggest. Now, it’s time for grad school to accomplish another huge goal; receiving my master’s degree.

Post-graduation, I’ve decided to take advantage of things that I’m unable to do during my the school semester like watching Netflix with a glass of wine, going out and meeting up with friends, and just having a great headstart into the summertime.

While having some drinks in Downtown Manhattan with a friend that I met in France last summer, I got to meet some new people, including one interesting guy that got me thinking about a statement that he had made while attempting to flirt with me (very poorly I might add) over a glass of rosé. Let’s call this guy ‘Alex.’ After the “you’re gorgeous” statements and standard “tell-me-about-yourself” questions, Alex slightly giggles and says, “I’ve never dated a black girl before.”

How did I respond? I didn’t. If I did, I’d instantly become the “angry black woman.” I turned my back to him as if we’d never met.

Let’s talk for a moment.

It’s completely okay to have never dated outside your race or outside of your normal dating preference, but it is absolutely not okay to blurt out that fact when you first meet someone. Regardless of your intentions, it’s offensive and it only tells us one thing.

Now, let me explain thoroughly.

Let’s start with the stereotypes put upon women of color (par example). Latinas are sometimes stereotyped in society to be fiery and sassy while black women are said to be loud and/or (wait for it) “exotic.” If the first thing that you point out to a woman of color when meeting her for a date or talking to her for the first time is her race, then this is a form of objectification. It expresses that you see her as nothing more than an object; one more “to-do” to kick off your bucket list or a great story to tell your pals about that ‘one time with a [insert race here] girl.’

As a young woman of color who has experienced such events, I’ll tell you honestly that statements like these are not funny or cute in the slightest.

They’re actually quite ignorant.

When I meet people for the first time, contrary to popular belief, their race is not the very first thing that comes to my mind. So excuse my astonishment that my race, along with racist stereotypes (yes I said it,  because, let’s face it, stereotypes are racist) are almost absolutely the first thing that comes to mind when I converse with the opposite sex of a different race apart from my own.

It doesn’t keep me up at night but it’s definitely a conversation starter. What are your thoughts?

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À la prochaine,

A.

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