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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Attraction and Discrimination

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Author Topic: Attraction and Discrimination
Charlienail
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Hi everyone,

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I wanted some feedback, but, guilty me, I don't want to ask my friends about it. So I thought I'd get an account here and look for some comments.

Anyways, I wanted to ask people what they thought about people who aren't attracted to certain things. Mainly, I started thinking about this after realising that generally, I'm not attracted to black or chinese people. I've never thought of myself as racist and have several friends who are black or chinese and in all other aspects I feel I treat them equally. Yet, my lack of attraction makes me feel guilty and I've never told anyone about it.

I generally think that attraction isn't something that I can control willingly. This is a typical stance for people who are gay. (Like me.) I'm also not attracted to guys who are overly effeminate. Even though sometimes this makes me feel like a hypocrite, my friends don't think it's strange or wrong.

I wanted to ask people what they thought. Is it wrong for someone to not be attracted to someone else based on race? What about other things, like say gender, or age or even weight, height other physical properties?

I'll only read responses that are thoughtful and not rude or insulting. If you found this post rude or insulting, I apologise.

Thank you,
Charlie

[This message has been edited by Charlienail (edited 06-10-2002).]


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shh
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This is a really interesting topic.
I live in a predominantly-white area, so I haven't really thought about it.
I know in my experience a good relationship with someone is based on much more than appearance, so limiting yourself to people you are immediately attracted to isn't good.
But that doesn't sound like what you're asking...
Anyway, I'm just saying that I'm interested in what people have to say on this.

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Confused boy
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Well your lucky Charlie because rude and insulting posts are not allowed on this forum, and your was far from being one (in my opinion anyway).

I feel that you could not be accused of racism at all. Because race is not about appearence but about cultural, ethnic and genetic identity. Now while you may have problems with someones cultural values, it is unlikely you would be selecting your attraction on something as technical as genetics.

Instead you are selecting purely on looks. You simply dont like black skin in appearence, not because its an African skin. No. Racism would be if you were say attracted to black people but not at all to Ethiopians. Or attracted to everyone who was white except the Irish.

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Mary
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Charlie, good question!

I don't think attraction is discriminatory (unless you make an effort for it to be): you're attracted to who you're attracted to. Period.

I've grown up in a predominantly-white neighborhood, so I find myself being attracted to white people more than other races. I also had a person in my life who I trusted and felt secure with; she has dark hair and pale skin, so I find myself attracted to people with dark hair and pale skin now, because subconsiously I think I can trust them and have the same relationship as I did with that woman. It's how we've been brought up and the relationships we've been in that determine who we're attracted to. If I was abused by a person with red hair, I might not be attracted to people with red hair in the furture. Do you see where I'm coming from?

I don't think it's a problem unless you won't ALLOW yourself to be attracted to a person who you wouldn't normally be attracted to. So let's say you, Charlie, find yourself attracted to a black person, but you won't acknowledge it because they're black: in my opinion, THAT would be wrong.

I've never particularly been attracted to men. Not because I have anything against them, but because I've always been attracted to women more. This past month I've found myself attracted to a guy (which I never thought would happen!), but I'm embracing it openly.

Welp, that's my viewpoint! Hope I helped.


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logic_grrl
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Like everyone else, I'd basically say that attraction is attraction; you can't control who you're attracted to, or make yourself feel attracted to someone just because you think you "ought" to be.

One thing that does bother some people, though, is when attraction (or lack of attraction) is bound up with stereotypes about people of certain races (or any other physical characteristic, for that matter). For example, many Asian women hate it if non-Asian people are attracted to them because they think Asian women are "exotic" or "geisha-like", etc. You can't control who you're attracted to - but you can ask yourself if it's being affected by any false assumptions about particular races.

But otherwise, I can't see what there is to feel guilty about. Almost everyone has their "type".


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Daydreamer24
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Excellent question, Charlie. And I know how you feel.

I agree with Logic. You can't help who you're attracted, too, so don't feel guilty.

I find myself attracted to mainly whites. I don't feel guilty because it's not my fauly and I can't help it! I once read something written by a man, and I really, really liked it. It went something like this...

"I first notice attractive women, but I'm not going to limit myself to only attractive women because I'd be blocking out a lot of great girls. If you're at a party and want to talk to this really hot girl, then do it. But make sure you talk to *every* girl, wethere she's attractive at first sight or not."

And my good guy frind once said:

"Yeah, Britney Spears is hot!!! But if I dated a girl she'd have to have more than that. You can't base a relationship on looks."

I know I was probably getting off topic there. Sorry!

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Only In Dreams
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quote:
Originally posted by Mary:
I don't think attraction is discriminatory (unless you make an effort for it to be): you're attracted to who you're attracted to. Period.

That reminds me of something one of my African-American (I have a question: is it still considered "African-American" if you live outside the Americas? ) girlfriends told me once. I asked her, "Are you attracted to black guys?" and she said, "I'm attracted to cute guys." I thought that was a wise thing for her to say. You love who you love who you love. Or, rather, you're attracted to who you're attracted to who you're attracted to. I've found myself attracted to several different ethnicities before. While I've noticed a pattern in certain people I'm attracted to, especially since I live in an area that's mainly white/Mexican, overall there's quite a variety. Don't feel bad; you can't control who you like.

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[This message has been edited by Only In Dreams (edited 06-14-2002).]


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Dzuunmod
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quote:
Originally posted by Only In Dreams:
(I have a question: is it still considered "African-American" if you live outside the Americas?)

Just to answer your question, in Canada (part of the Americas, of course) I almost always hear the term 'black'. Whether it's on the news, among friends or on job application forms, say, it's pretty much always 'black'.


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Beppie
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For the main topic of this thread, everyone has pretty much already said what I would say.

In Australia most people with black skin are Aborigines- however, not all Aborigines have black skin. I went to school with a girl whose grandfather was a full-blooded Aborigine, and yet she had blond hair and blue eyes- so its not simply an appearance thing, its also cultural. I generally use the term "negro" to describe black people of African descent (I only say African-American if they're from USA), just as I use "caucasian" to describe white people of European decsent. However, someone mentioned in another thread that some people find the term "negro" offensive- I was not aware of that.


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logic_grrl
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quote:
I have a question: is it still considered "African-American" if you live outside the Americas?

"African-American" (like "Polish-American" or "Asian-American") is a term that describes someone's nationality and heritage - in this case, Americans whose ancestors came from Africa.

So if someone is not American (or if their ancestors didn't come from Africa, but, say, from Australia or the Caribbean), then the term "African-American" wouldn't apply.

In the UK, for example, people commonly use "black" or "black British".


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-Jill
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http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum3/HTML/001251.html

This thread about inter-racial relationships has some posts that may be of interest.


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by logic_grrl:
"African-American" (like "Polish-American" or "Asian-American") is a term that describes someone's nationality and heritage - in this case, Americans whose ancestors came from Africa.

However, it is important to note that there is a controversial caveat to this term. Under Affirmative Action rules, many organizations only recognize the term "African-American" as applying to those with black skin. In 1994 an applicant was admitted to the Universty of California after selecting the "African-American" box on his application, only to be summarily denied entry on grounds for fraud--the boy had white skin. It apparently didn't matter that his family hailed from South Africa, where they had resided since 1926, it was still considered a fraudulent entry on an application form and was therefore grounds for dismissal.

This ended up going to court, where the ruling was overturned and he was ultimately allowed entry. But since that point, many universities have carefully looked at all applicants who select "African-American" to ensure that they actually have dark skin.

A year after I got to UCLA, Affirmative Action was repealed in my state. Yet I still have two light-skinned friends (one from Cameroon and one from Zaire) who are African and yet do not consider themselves "African-American." They refer to themselves as "Caucasian" instead, feeling that the former term should be used only in reference to dark-skinned people of African descent.

It's mind-boggling sometimes, how ridiculous wordplay can be.

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