If I Date White Guys?

93744a28cdd540ef0d61bae12d8bb907

A friend recently asked me if I date white guys. My awkward answer was I don’t know.

I used to. All the time. My first love was 6′, blond, and blue-eyed. Bless that man. He set the standard for attraction for several years. But the reality is that it’s become increasingly difficult for me to date white men.

white-guys

My edges are sharper and I have less interest in explaining to my date that there are multiple countries in South Asia and Africa where people who look like me come from. Can’t I just drink this latte and bat my lashes?

But here we are, on this date, and you are telling me that you like my bindi. I cringe, I look away. I hear my friend Megan telling me “Use kindness Meech. Don’t make him feel ashamed just because he doesn’t know something. Use kindness.”

I’m breathing, I’m using kindness. I’m letting the conversation move on and away from your non-knowing, North Indian, neocolonialism and staying present to the heart that you imbue. This man’s vulnerability is so deep. He’s really showing up for this date.

Except then he does it again. His eyes are roaming my face. “You’re looking at something,” I say. “You have beautiful eyes,” he says. (Well, shoot! #hairflip) “And your bindi’s so pretty.”
At this point, I choose honesty. “You know it’s really hurtful when you use that word,” I say. He’s aghast. Apologetic. Wanting to understand. “Educate me,” he says. The words hung like twinkling stars in a nursery rhyme I may never get to sing to my children.

“I don’t know if I want to,” I say. “I mean I will, but I don’t know if I want to.” He looks confused. And I get it. I get that he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get that I don’t want the responsibility to educate to be a requirement of my existence. Not on a date, not here.

hatecopy
Artwork by Hatecopy.

I move past my feelings of bleh and share with him my feelings on the word bindi and why I prefer the word pottu. “Pottu,” he repeats. “Your pottu is so pretty.” And here he gets one more shot.

“So tell me what you like about my pottu!” I say. I am waiting to hear that he likes the shape. The symmetry is so round. Or maybe he likes the velvety texture. These are things I like about my pottu. I am curious as to what interesting things my date sees that I have missed. “Your pottu makes you unique,” he says. “It sets you apart from everyone else.”

Oh GAWD bruh. You might as well call me exotic. This date is officially over. But I am appreciative – of this man and of this date – because I received some damn deep opportunities. I got to practice showing up with kindness.

I got to practice holding my needs without shaming the person who wasn’t meeting them.

Feature image courtesy of Easy Freezy.

Looking to create your love story? Join the other couples who have dated and married through myTamilDate.com!

Related articles:

I am a Tamil Woman in Love with a Sinhalese Man
Norway Meets Switzerland In This Tamil Love Story
Love Can Be Better the Second Time Around
Why I’ve Decided to Get an Arranged Marriage
Observations of a Happily Married Tamil Man

Editor's Note


Thank's so much for being a TC Reader! To continue bringing you more of the stories you love for free, our team needs your help. Will you make a small contribution? Every bit helps!

Give $15 Give Another Amount

Author

Tags: , ,

28 thoughts on “If I Date White Guys?

  1. highly offensive,! Who in this day age wears pottu on a day to day basis?! very racist to say white males find it difficult to understand our culture based on ‘1’ very random clearly un -orthodox date! this is highly offensive! Noting is wrong with ‘Tamils (chocolate) dating what you’ve portrayed as ‘white’ I genuinely thought our generation has past ‘racism’ clearly not!

  2. This article is about as racist and ignorant as the person it aims to accuse. It starts off with:
    “My first love was 6′, blond, and blue-eyed. Bless that man. He set the standard for attraction for several years. But the reality is that it’s become increasingly difficult for me to date white men.” BOOM. You describe your first date based on his race and other physical attributes. You then proceed to admit that this physical set of traits set the standard for attraction (nothing further about his personality or accomplishments to merit this attraction). Then you proceed to generalize your inability to date men based on their race. Not because of their ignorance to your culture (“increasingly difficult for me to date men who don’t know about Tamil culture”?)- just generally their skin color.
    “…I have less interest in explaining to my date…” Great! So now you’ve gone from racist to self-important. The only solution to ignorance is education, and if you’re not interested in teaching others, you’re basically shifting the responsibility to accurately represent your culture to the internet.
    “I don’t want the responsibility to educate to be a requirement of my existence” – It’s a date. Getting to know each other is what the whole point of this is. Do you think if you met this guy 40 years ago before the internet, you would reasonably expect him to know about your culture? Probably not. Your friend has the right idea, approach with kindness and empathy. You are not an expert on Celtic traditions. If the white guy sitting across the table from you was Irish, do you think it would be reasonable of him to expect you to know that his tattoo was a Celtic Knot. Or to know the specific Gaelic pronunciation of it, as you did the man to know “pottu”? Or would you be able to muster any more meaningful of an analysis than “It looks very pretty”?
    Noise like this is why educated, reasonable conversations about culture and co-existence and understanding are more and more difficult to have. You create an unfair expectation which precludes anyone from being a participant in the conversation because they don’t come armed with what you deem as acceptable amounts of information; and it results in people not wanting to even open up to understanding . What you should try, instead, is to have a bit of empathy and humility, not hold yourself on so high a pedestal of importance and be open and engage someone who, from the story, seems like they are genuinely interested in learning about you. He said you were unique and the pottu sets you apart, both are facts of observation most likely. If you wanted to be part of the solution – instead of EXPECTING him to know what a valid reason for liking it was, you could have easily have continued the conversation with “Yeah it does set me apart from most people. Do you want to know what I like about it? I like that it’s pretty, and round, and it connects me with a culture that predates you or I. It is a piece of my homeland, etc. etc. I can understand why you say it sets me apart, but I actually don’t like being viewed that way as most women who were pottus or bindis do – we kind of wish people would view it as normal as you wearing a t-shirt.” To which he may have replied with “really? That’s so interesting – here I thought you WANTED your culture to be a highlight, how come you don’t enjoy it?” and you may have had what turned out to be a very fruitful conversation. But no you wanted this guy to not ask any meaningful questions at all because you’re too lazy to respond?

  3. Is this a joke? You wear a pottu on a date with a white man, and then get offended when he comments on it, actually compliments it?! Would you rather him stare at it awkwardly or even worse try not to stare at it as he conversed with you? Makes no sense. Who wears a pottu on a date anyway? I mean unless you’re going to a cultural event… I don’t get it.

  4. Offensive article. LOVE talking about my culture and hearing about others’ experiences. When someone asks you questions about your culture, it means that they want to expand their minds & understanding. What’s up with this TC?

  5. I don’t understand why the author is singling out white men; Latinos, Asians, Blacks, Arabs, & even certain South Asians can be just as uninformed about Tamil cultural practices. It’s also ridiculous to take offense towards someone who demonstrates a genuine interest in your culture! Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world & there’s no way that someone could be 100% informed about every single culture that’s represented in the city. If your date expresses interest in Tamil culture, I see no harm in educating him about certain things that he might not know about (like this ridiculous pottu issue for example)

  6. 100% agree with you Vythi. Well said! The author is being hypocritical by saying that she doesn’t want to be considered as “exotic” or that she is offended when her dates can’t differentiate between the various South Asian cultures… Meanwhile she sticks all non-Tamil men she dates into the “white guy” category. This article is beyond ignorant and TC is helping spread such weird views to its audience. There is nothing wrong with having preferences… There is everything wrong with boiling down our culture to a “pottu” while discouraging educational questions and conversations with people of other cultures.

  7. I don’t know what the author was expecting from the white dude but it’s a given that the “responsibility to educate” is inevitable when dating someone from a different ethnicity. I also think equating neo-colonialism to the usage of the word bindi is a bit far fetched ESPECIALLY since 1) white dude and 2) he probably views brown culture as monolithic, but hey, he asked to be educated.

  8. Good on you for embracing your culture & wearing your pottu. Shouldn’t only be worn at cultural events.

  9. Well, I think the author was simply pointing out the fact that western
    society, through its media, sells White Men. Meaning that they will
    often times be portrayed as the “Hero”. Many women, white and of color
    will often times only like white men because of this (this is
    statistically proven), and men of color usually get portrayed as “bad”:
    black men as thugs, brown men as abusif, asian men as weak…while, in
    movies, the white man is usually the confident fatherly type. Also,
    because of this, white men will feel a certain amount of entitlement to
    ALL women, as opposed to men of color. And often times women of color
    get portrayed as submissive and quiet and fetishized to serve white men.
    Why do you think that there are way more asian women with white men than
    the other way around, its not just a coincidence. So, basically, i
    don’t think the author was saying not to date white men, she is just
    trying to highlight the nuances. Interracial dating is more complex then
    just “having a type”, there could be a lot of racism involved. Western
    media could alsoo make people of color hate themselves by putting whiteness at such a high state…

  10. Well, I think the author was simply pointing out the fact that western
    society, through its media, sells White Men. Meaning that they will
    often times be portrayed as the “Hero”. Many women, white and of color
    will often times only like white men because of this (this is
    statistically proven), and men of color usually get portrayed as “bad”:
    black men as thugs, brown men as abusif, asian men as weak…while, in
    movies, the white man is usually the confident fatherly type. Also,
    because of this, white men will feel a certain amount of entitlement to
    ALL women, as opposed to men of color. And often times women of color
    get portrayed as submissive and quiet and fetishized to serve white men.
    Why do you think that there are way more asian women with white men than
    the other way around, its not just a coincidence. So, basically, i
    don’t think the author was saying not to date white men, she is just
    trying to highlight the nuances. Interracial dating is more complex then
    just “having a type”, there could be a lot of racism involved. Western
    media could alsoo make people of color hate themselves by putting whiteness at such a high state

  11. Well, I think the author was simply pointing out the fact that western
    society, through its media, sells White Men. Meaning that they will
    often times be portrayed as the “Hero”. Many women, white and of color
    will often times only like white men because of this (this is
    statistically proven), and men of color usually get portrayed as “bad”:
    black men as thugs, brown men as abusif, asian men as weak…while, in
    movies, the white man is usually the confident fatherly type. Also,
    because of this, white men will feel a certain amount of entitlement to
    ALL women, as opposed to men of color. And often times women of color
    get portrayed as submissive and quiet and fetishized to serve white men.
    Why do you think that there are way more asian women with white men than
    the other way around, its not just a coincidence. So, basically, i
    don’t think the author was saying not to date white men, she is just
    trying to highlight the nuances. Interracial dating is more complex then
    just “having a type”, there could be a lot of racism involved. Western
    media could alsoo make people of color hate themselves by putting whiteness at such a high state…

  12. Well, I think the author was simply pointing out the fact that western
    society, through its media, sells White Men. Meaning that they will
    often times be portrayed as the “Hero”. Many women, white and of color
    will often times only like white men because of this (this is
    statistically proven), and men of color usually get portrayed as “bad”:
    black men as thugs, brown men as abusif, asian men as weak…while, in
    movies, the white man is usually the confident fatherly type. Also,
    because of this, white men will feel a certain amount of entitlement to
    ALL women, as opposed to men of color. And often times women of color
    get portrayed as submissive and quiet and fetishized to serve white men.
    Why do you think that there are way more asian women with white men than
    the other way around, its not just a coincidence. So, basically, i
    don’t think the author was saying not to date white men, she is just
    trying to highlight the nuances. Interracial dating is more complex then
    just “having a type”, there could be a lot of racism involved. Western
    media could alsoo make people of color hate themselves by putting whiteness at such a high state

  13. Derpnathan_McDeperson Well, I think the author was simply pointing out the fact that western
    society, through its media, sells White Men. Meaning that they will
    often times be portrayed as the “Hero”. Many women, white and of color
    will often times only like white men because of this (this is
    statistically proven), and men of color usually get portrayed as “bad”:
    black men as thugs, brown men as abusif, asian men as weak…while, in
    movies, the white man is usually the confident fatherly type. Also,
    because of this, white men will feel a certain amount of entitlement to
    ALL women, as opposed to men of color. And often times women of color
    get portrayed as submissive and quiet and fetishized to serve white men.
    Why do you think that there are way more asian women with white men than
    the other way around, its not just a coincidence. So, basically, i
    don’t think the author was saying not to date white men, she is just
    trying to highlight the nuances. Interracial dating is more complex then
    just “having a type”, there could be a lot of racism involved. Western
    media could alsoo make people of color hate themselves by putting whiteness at such a high state,,,

  14. What a useless article from a woman who sounds like a whining whinging bag…It’s best she stays single instead of wasting genuinely good men’s time.

  15. I don’t find this article to be as offensive as other commenters do. But, race and dating people from other cultures are both complex topics and this short article does not fully explore all the nuances. I Googled the author’s name – I think she lives in the US, and perhaps in a place where there are few Tamils and not the multicultural scene we enjoy in Toronto. Perhaps this author is forced to explain her culture to others on a daily basis? Maybe she’s tired of doing that and wishes it wasn’t always her responsibility? Maybe she didn’t want to do it on a date, and wishes her companion could just google and look up basic info about Tamil culture on his own? Give this girl a break.
    I do agree with previous commenters that it doesn’t make sense when she seems to fetishize ‘the white guy’ but then gets offended when he seems to fetishize her in return as ‘the brown girl’.
    Also, this article is far more interesting than another tired exploration of ‘arranged marriage vs love marriage’ so thank you Tamilculture for posting it.

  16. If the author is cultural enough to wear a pottu on a daily basis, why go for a white guy? Seems like an attention seeking drama queen. Consider yourself lucky “white guy”. Also, is it not offensive to call him a “white guy”? She should have been more sensitive and called him a “Caucasian Male”!
    Let’s not be ignorant pottu wearing girl!

  17. I completely agree with the author. Good for her for being proud of her heritage and not supporting the fetishization of minority women. I’m sure that our parents didn’t struggle to escape genocide and persecution just so that we can be submissive exotic objects for white men.

  18. Why should the pottu be considered only for “cultural” events? You are just supporting the “othering” of an everyday item worn routinely by women around the world. Your mental colonization has made you see the world through a neo-colonial perspective. We should be able to wear what makes us feel comfortable and proud without being made to feel “othered” or ashamed of our heritage. The author should be able to wear whatever she wants without having a need to explain herself or her culture.

  19. Shetty Sivaruban It is not very nice to label other women and call them ‘unattractive’ and ‘low value’.

  20. Shetty Sivaruban what about the Tamil women who decide to date Christian, Catholic, agnostic or atheist Tamil men? Are they somehow “low value” too? It’s also a bit rich to make such a broad generalization about Tamil women who choose to date outside our community. As long as your partner loves you & respects your culture, it shouldn’t matter what race they’re from

  21. Vythi Devarajan You are correct, in my haste (it is the holidays!) I accidentally put Hindu when what meant to say was “South Asian”. There is nothing wrong with all types of Tamil and South Asians. At least there is some level of cultural connection and a shared minority experience. When it becomes problematic and fetishistic is when white men are involved. It does seem minority women who have self-confidence issues and some level of internalized racism do seek out white men. Even relationships with other minority men, don’t have the problematic issues of fetishization and support for the white patriarchy.

  22. I find this article agressively racist and backwards – you’re seriously upset because a guy is making a genuine effort to know and appreciate our culture? This type of mentality is what holds us back from learning and unifying with each other #blatantracism #notimpressed smh

  23. When someone says “educate me” what they’re actually saying is, “I don’t value you enough to make the effort to sit down and learn, on my own, about your culture.” We live in a world where all it takes is a simple Google search to learn about anything from the Korean language to molecular biology. I know I would not want to spend my life being anyone’s teacher. This is not to say that all white men or men of other cultures are daft. When the learning is mutual, relationships (of any kind) between people of different races and backgrounds can be fulfilling.

  24. Shetty Sivaruban I agreed with your comment above but was disappointed to read these replies. It is never OK to make generalizations about people based on who they choose to love. If there are deeper issues within these women or men, that is something for them to come to terms with individually.

  25. It is understandable that you may not want the responsibility to educate someone, however how can one expect someone to google search such specific differentiations (this case being a pottu/bindi which even has further socio-political connotations). The man asked to be educated from a person that is a primary source of the culture they practice and so strongly appreciate. Learning is mutual, but this was an opinion based off of just ONE date… and if the man were to sit down and learn about her culture before the date, how could he possibly research the specific ethnic group she is a part of as there is a plethora of South Asian/Brown cultures? It’s complicated. I personally don’t condemn people for not knowing about my culture simply because ignorance is always present, I don’t think it’s about value… It’s not like I’m well versed in European and Scandinavian cultures. I would not be bothered by educating someone about MY culture because I live it, breathe it, I AM it. I’d rather my white date ask me than resort to google, but that’s just me. I did not mean the condemn the author, just stated my opinion.

Leave a Reply

More In Life