[ View the story "Why I don't date white men" on Storify] Why I don't date white men A writer's public dating choices generate debate on avoiding people of a certain race
The Stream· Fri, Sep 04 2015 17:48:55
“So you see, Mother,” I said, “there are only 21 potential Bangladeshi males that I might be able to date in the entire L.A. County. And the chances of them being not stupid is really slim.” “Yes, there aren’t a lot of smart ones,” she agreed. “But you know, he doesn’t have to be Bangladeshi.” “I know, Mom.” “He could be…white.” “Mooooom!” I exclaimed, exasperated. “I would never marry a white guy! I would marry anything but white. Person of color, only.” “Ehhh!” Mom responded, frustrated. “Why not? He could convert!” “It’s like being with the colonizer. Or an oppressor. I can’t do that.”loveinshallah.com
Ahmed said her decision was partly motivated by her experience dating a white man from a wealthier background and the insecurity it caused her.
When you are dating as a woman of color, it’s a struggle. But when you are “poor” and dating, the struggles are nuanced and different. Passing becomes of the utmost importance. Pretending to have privilege is paramount. You wonder what your significant other will say when they see the peeling paint on the walls of your parents’ house, or the roof that needs repair. How what you thought was a middle class home will be perceived as less than when viewed by privileged eyes. How they’ll see your immigrant parents as less intelligent because of their thick accents. How will they even communicate? Will he remember not to touch you or kiss you while they are watching?loveinshallah.com
Online, many readers celebrated Ahmed's essay. Some women of colour on Twitter said it reflected their own past relationships with white men.
@theaerogram @TazzyStar so beautifully expressed and resonates with the experience of so many. Thanks for writing and for sharing.Zareen Jaffery
"Anything but white. Preferably, some kind of brown.” -- so true I think with most women of color. Good1 @TazzyStar
Others on Twitter and the blog's comment section disagreed with how Ahmed generalized about white men.
I am disappointed at how this post paints me and fellow white Muslims. Yes, white privilege and racism exist, but lets not act like every white person is well educated and well connected.loveinshallah.com
When you condense the culmination of an entire race down to one particular experience you had with one person of that race, you form a stereotype. Now there may be some truth to a stereotype but applying it as an archetype for an entire people is out right racist.loveinshallah.com
What do you think? Is swearing off white men a reasonable dating preference given white privilege? Or is it racist?