John Mayer's bigoted penis has been in the news lately, as its taste for white women was the highlight of a ridiculous Playboy interview.
Unfortunately, during that interview, it was unable to in get a word as Mayer, himself, grabbed all the headlines.
That is, unless you count my first boyfriend – José – who, in the second grade, long-distance collect-called me from Puerto Rico and got me in a lot of trouble with my dad. But I think it’s worth revisiting these concepts within the context of romantic or sexual relationships. And the way we practice our allyship in those contexts should reflect that.
So, whether you’re years deep in a charmingly fairy tale-esque romance with your beau or you’re just now firing up to dive into your first, here are seven things to remember as a white person involved with a person of color.
– where affinity groups can be together without the presence of the oppressor – exist: so that tough conversations can be had with fewer guards up, so that you can communicate thousands of ideas in a single collective sigh, so that you can cry together with those who don’t just sympathize, but empathize.
And while it’s important to be willing to talk to your partner about race and to feel comfortable bringing it up, it’s just as important to be willing to step back and recognize when your whiteness is intrusive. I’ve been the “But I love you, and you love me, and why can’t you share this with me? Because it’s really difficult to watch your partner hurt and not be let in. Maybe it isn’t appropriate for your partner to take you home to meet their parents.
Maybe it isn’t even appropriate for your partner to talk to their family at all about their dating life.
Or maybe your partner has to go through almost a “coming out” process around dating someone white or outside of their culture.
Sometimes I want to talk to someone who just gets it.While it’s okay for conversations about white supremacy to make you uncomfortable (hey, we should be uncomfortable with that shit), being generally aware of how race plays out and feeling fairly well versed in Being honest about the ways in which race is complex – both inside and outside of your relationship – shows a willingness to engage with a part of your partner’s identity and experience in a way that really holds them.As a woman, I know that sometimes talking about gender with a male partner – even if he’s well versed in all things feminist – can feel exhausting.Whether it’s your well-meaning family or your supposed-to-be-socially-conscious friends, sometimes people are going to say or do things that are fucked up.
And it’s your job – both as the partner and a fellow white person – to They’re your loved ones, so you probably know what will work best for them, but in my experience, generally turning their mistake into a teachable moment will be more effective than just whining, “Moooom. That’s racist.”Do they want you to be the liaison – or would they feel more comfortable speaking for themselves?