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Old 11-02-2012, 02:57 AM
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Helo Helo is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I don't think it's fair to compare hair color to skin color, because they don't have the same connotations in our society. If you said you didn't date blond women because you found their hair color unattractive, I'd be a little confused, I'd ask you if it was really such a hard line that you wouldn't date a blond girl even if she was smart and funny and kind and witty and you really got along... like, could the color REALLY be such a big deal? And if you said yes, I'd just shrug and wonder if, like, a blond woman was mean to you when you were a kid or something. I *would* kind of consider it a prejudice of a sort, but it certainly wouldn't mean you were racist, because blond is not a race.
The basic question is is it prejudiced to refuse to date a specific group of people based on something about that group of people, real or imagined? Couch it in race, hair color, eye color, sexuality, gender, or whatever provided you dont have an issue with that group in daily life; you dont consider them inferior or treat them worse than you would a member of your own group.

On the other hand, if you said you didn't date black women because you found their skin color unattractive, then, yeah, I would say "wow, that's kind of racist, man, you might wanna examine and work on that." Because, for centuries, our culture has held up whiteness as the height of attractiveness and looked down on black people. You could be the most un-racist person in terms of your *conscious* thoughts and beliefs, but still have absorbed unconscious prejudices because we live in a prejudiced culture. It happens to the best of us. And it's something to recognize and work on. If you told me that you wouldn't date a black girl even if she was smart and funny and kind and witty and you really got along, I would consider it a *racial* prejudice, because black, unlike blond, is a race. I'm NOT saying it would make you a bad person or even a racist (consciously)... but if you were completely unwilling to consider that it might be an unconscious racial prejudice and work on it, then, yeah I would look at you differently. Same for the Asian thing that Hades brought up, for the record -- if a person could honestly say that they wouldn't date, say, a Japanese girl, even if she was perfect for them in every other way and there was a real, genuine connection, I would tell them that they ought to really think that through and try to break it down.
I'm uncomfortable with the idea that racism can be unconscious because it takes responsibility away from the individual and is completely indefensible from a personal stance.

You (not you specifically) can accuse someone of being racist (or just prejudiced in general) and when they deny it, you can say its unconscious and there really isnt anything you can say against that. It basically turns the idea of racism into a "finishing move" to which there is nothing the person its leveled against can say without being accused of further prejudice.

Sex and gender, on the other hand, are *completely* different from either of these things and, again, it's an unfair comparison.
I disagree and I think we can make that comparison in this instance.

I dont think I'm going too far out on a limb by assuming we both agree that neither sexuality nor race are plastic concepts within a person; you cant forcibly change either one, they are inherent and inborn characteristics of us all.

So why then can we not level the charge of sexism at the gay community for refusing to sleep with someone of the opposite gender just as we have been talking about leveling the charge of sexism at someone who refuses to sleep with a certain ethnic group provided they dont have a problem with that racial group in daily life or act any different towards them?

As I said, I think we're stretching the definition of racism to cover something that it doesn't actually refer to and as a result we get caught up in a possible double standard.
I am as direct as a T-Rex with 'roid rage and about as subtle. It isn't intended to cause upset, I just prefer to talk plain. There are plenty of other people here who do the nice, polite thing much better than I can. I'm what you'd call a "problem dinner guest."
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