Online dating, racial preference and prejudice
Ever called someone and all you got was “you aren’t what I was expecting?” Sometimes it feels like online daters tend to resort to stereotypes and blatant racism when referring to other races in an attempt to choose their mates. Some are subtle (like merely stating racial preference of sought mate) while others are more obvious in their description. Case in point:
“I am looking for a woman who is slim, drama-free, intelligent, and who has no children. No black or Latin women please.” Much as the sentences are not connected, you end up connecting the dots. I must admit some rejection lines people use are pretty racist and offensive to say the least.
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“I’m looking for a nice all American woman…Tell me about yourself and what you do, etc. I’m not picky about age, older is fine with me. White Irish or Italian is my preference, not into Latin women. . .” All American? What is that supposed to mean? Does this person imply White Irish and Italian women are all American and Latin women aren’t?
In another incident, XM Shade 45 radio show hosts were discussing about online dating. They were talking about how a dude might get a possible match online; but once they make a call and the woman hears the voice on the phone and discerns he is black, she becomes disinterested. The hosts had to use “white” voices when taking to the women on a particular online dating site. Does this mean one isn’t supposed to declare he is a single black man on online dating sites?
I believe some of it is just preference. PERIOD. But somehow, according to some people’s posts, racial preference seems to be interpreted as racial prejudice. We tend to read too much into people’s preferences. Here is an example:
“It seems that every non-Asian woman have preferences for pretty much everyone except Asian. Even Asian women in New York city have started to steer their preference more towards non-Asian males…I’d like to know why the majority of New York women are so close-minded toward us. You guys claim you aren’t racist or anything but why have such a preference? I figured since NYC was so diverse, it would be different but I guess I was wrong. I can understand if women like a guy who is tall/short, or strong/fat but based on race is kinda weird.”
Seeing as people see online dating sites as the last resort when it comes to dating, some people or races claim they find it difficult to date online too. One African American woman says online dating is only a reminder of her problems (just how difficult being a minority can make dating), because of the rejection she has faced. I found what she wrote after that interesting though: “Let me say first that I’ve actually always been attracted to white men as well as men of my own race and other races.” My interpretation is she prefers white men then the rest follow. She also has some kind of racial preference.
When it comes to dating, whether online or offline, people will always have preference. All online dating sites have done is give people that option of selecting preferred race so that they can be able to match like-minded individuals. I don’t think their aim is to make people come off as racist by merely stating the racial preference of sought mates. However, some people actually go the extra mile of bashing other races overtly of covertly in their quest of finding their soul mates.
We all have preferences. Should we claim other online daters are racist just because they prefer other races? Should we blame online dating when we face rejection from others for being ‘what they weren’t expecting?’ So where is one supposed to draw the line? How do we divorce mere preference from prejudice? Or are they just the same?
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