Why do we divide ourselves? (Part 1)

Occasionally I’ll see something in the news (or, more likely, on Facebook) that makes me particularly introspective. This one in particular also hearkens back to the issues I had with the last guy and the handful of men of a similar ethnic background.

I hate even making that distinction.

I’ve spoken before about how being raised in a family of a different ethnic make-up than my own has given me a particularly different view of the world: I don’t “see” color. I’m told that just saying such a thing is somehow racist because I’m denying the intricacies of a person’s heritage by not acknowledging their race. Or I’m told that people who say that, generally don’t mean it, and yet I do (again, the reason why I hate that I feel the need to make the distinction about several guys of similar ethnic backgrounds and an issue that seems to come from that).

I suppose it would be better to say that I try not to have preconceived notions of a person’s character based on their race, because to me it doesn’t matter where they’re coming from, but where they are and where they’re going and if (at least when thinking about potentially dating them) I want to join them on their journey or have them join mine.

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Today, while we’ll talk a little about those men whom I begrudgingly feel I have to link them by ethnicity, I mostly want to talk about some of what’s happening in the U.S. and how my level of concern and dismay isn’t diminishing. If anything it’s growing with what I’ve seen on Facebook in the news, and actually also an upcoming show on CBS!

But I’ll start with the guys, that way those of you who only care about the dating side of things on here won’t be too terribly bored with my political rant.

So these boys….

Well, since I’ve been back on the search, I’ve mentioned that I seem to have become very popular with men of Indian descent. It may be that I’ve always been popular with men of Indian descent and I just never noticed because, as I said, I don’t really take race into account when choosing a potential mate. After the experience I had with the last guy, and the comments that some of our mutual friends said (before they knew we were dating) about Indian men, it has made me look a little more closely at that particular group.

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So, since the big End, I’ve been on Tinder and Bumble, though I’ve given up on Tinder, and explained why a few posts ago. Either way, I matched with and spoke with 4 Indian men, two from each site/app, but all of which gave me pause a bit. From Tinder, there was the Candymerican and the married Indian guy.

The first acted like I owed him nude pictures even when he’d forgotten about me, and it reminded me of something the last guy said about how, if he and his arranged wife weren’t compatible in the bedroom, he’d just tell her she had to adjust (or something equally archaic). In both cases, the insinuation is that the woman’s sole purpose is to please a man. This did not fit with my experience with the last guy entirely because he often asked how something made me feel, and it was nice to be treated respectfully in the bedroom.

It is those types of contradictions that I still don’t understand, but that isn’t the focus of today’s post.

Moving on.

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Then, on Bumble, there was the guy who forced a rather awkward phone sex conversation on me. He told me that it would turn him off to find out he had offended me, and, even before the weird phone sex call, he asked several times when he said things that I thought of as being just flirty, he asked if it offended me for him to say such things. The things that didn’t offend me were very casual, flirty remarks that apparently were the beginning of a sexual conversation. Maybe a double entendre that I missed because I took it at face value.

That happens. It’s rare because words are kind of my thing, but it does happen from time to time. Especially with jokes and dry sarcasm…

But when he continued after I had specifically told him that I wasn’t comfortable with the conversation, it was again the idea that, as a woman, what I wanted out of the situation didn’t matter. Me trying to turn the conversation to an actual conversation where we discussed stuff was an issue and he just didn’t want to do it. He turned the conversation back to sex until I finally just let him say what he needed to say until he’d finished.

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The last one was a different experience, mostly because I didn’t let it get as advanced as the previous three. Mostly because those previous three (four if we count the last guy amongst them) proved to me that what people had told me about Indian guys might actually be true:

  1. They have no respect for women.
  2. They have even less respect for non-Indian women because those are women who are just to be used for pleasure and then tossed aside.
  3. They’re racist (see the previous comment), especially when it comes to women.

There had been a couple other Indian guys that I’d spoken to, but as soon as I told them I wasn’t of Indian descent, they unmatched. The second guy on Bumble told me it wasn’t an issue for him because he’d already been divorced, and that actually gave me a bit of hope that he wouldn’t be like the others, but then he refused to have a conversation until we’d met, and I really needed a conversation in order to be willing to meet. Brought us full circle back to the “no respect for women” thing.

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The last guy I’d dated hated that I brought up the fact that he was doing something stereotypical. It was the fact that he didn’t want to be a stereotype that gave me some hope that he’d be willing to see me as a person instead of just some random piece of ass that wasn’t Indian and thus was meaningless.

Which kind of brings us to what I really wanted to discuss today: the way we divide ourselves into categories instead of seeing each other as human beings.

(I think I’ll save the political part of the rant for another post… this one is bordering on too long as it is.)

Each of those guys was guilty of seeing me as less than a person because all they saw was a woman, which meant that I was not as important as a man. They may also have seen me as American, meaning I wasn’t worthy of considering as a true romantic option.

Many of the guys I date see me as being “exotic,” which we’ve definitely talked about before… beginning at least 2 years ago. And it’s not really a compliment:

I’m used to being seen as an object from time to time, but it’s time that sort of thing stopped. When will we just see people as people and not where they’re from or the color of their skin? When will we start seeing people as the summation of their personality and not judging whether or not their personality matches the preconceived ideas we have about their race or gender or age or land of birth?

The last guy told me that I wasn’t worthy because I wasn’t of the right descent, didn’t speak the right language, didn’t have the right religion, nor was I of the right caste… None of that stuff tells you who I am.

Even more frustrating, the fact that he and I got along and that we had great sexual chemistry as well as intellectual compatibility meant nothing. It’s maddening!

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But, maybe things are turning around for me.

Tomorrow, in the coffee share post, I’ll be sure to give you the update on my first Bumble Bee… At one point I told him that he hadn’t asked me what my ethnicity was, and he told me he’d never dream of asking such a thing because that didn’t matter… He’s got a lot of good qualities, but there is one big issue. We’ll discuss that tomorrow. And later, I’ll go through my rant about the current social/political climate in America. It’s equally as frustrating as the dating climate.

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