OK, as a 70+ year old man, I don’t use dating apps anyway. But recently I’ve seen some articles online equating limiting race when using apps for personal dating as “racism”. Really it goes way beyond just race. For example, it used to be common to see “no fats, no fems” in print ads for dating.
One article I saw a couple months ago by Samantha Allen on the Daily Beast, “’No Blacks’ is not a sexual preference; It’s racism”. And very recently, Donovan Trott opined “An Open Letter to Gay, White Men: No, You’e not allowed to have a racial preference”. Milo Yiannopolous would dive right into this one on his new site here.
Superficially, if a dating app were a “public accommodation”, this would make sense. I am reminded how things were around 1970, when I was living in Princeton NJ (having started my first job) and contemplated joining a singles social club (before my “second coming”). One club had no shame in saying it was for “Whites only” because “Blacks have their own clubs”, like on “Amos ‘n’ Andy”. (Loving had already come from the Supreme Court.)
Trott’s article does indeed become a head trip. The heart of his argument seems to be “If your preference for partner supports an existing racial hierarchy which marginalizes minorities, then your preferences are racist.”
I can rationalize my own actions somewhat by saying, I don’t even state preferences on a commercial site, perhaps; but I do go to gay bars and discos, although less than I used to. Consider Peter Laarman’s essay in the LA Progressive, “When a Pride march means owning the shame of racial and economic justice”. There is discussion of the idea that some gay bars and discos seem to cater to white cis gay men.
As a practical matter, the gay bars I have visited recently in Washington, New York, and Rehoboth seem to have plenty of women, plenty of non-white men, and plenty of older people who don’t fit anyone’s stereotype of perfection. Some establishments do have a higher non-white clientele than others, and some have specific events and shows intended to attract sub-minorities, other have these less often.
I’ve even noticed a behavioral change. I may be standing “watching” (or “spectating” which can mean mentally “criticizing”) certain men who may be closer to my own tastes dancing. Often, a minority person, especially a female, will notice and ask me to dance. Sometimes I don’t want to be distracted, and the other person becomes angry.
Now I’ve explained “what makes me tick” in my books (especially DADT III, Chapter 2) and other sites as here (also June 25, 2014; the WordPress category “upward affiliation and complementarity” explains this whole psychological area). One important idea was that, when I was growing up, women were encouraged to be valued for external beauty and men were not. Another biological observation, where race matters, is that among Caucasian men, the relative amount and distribution of body hair can “distinguish” men from one another (when visible to women, as a part-object of symbolic marker for reproductive fitness and likelihood of more children), but that is not so very much among non-white races. Like it or not, environment (that is, evolving in colder and less sunny climates) has led to genetic adaptations that eventually mediate sexual attractiveness within certain populations. On the other hand, intermarriage and having mixed-race children probably means fewer genetic diseases and quicker evolution of the strongest traits (indeed an argument against “erotic racism”). But personal tastes in potential partners becomes a very personal matter indeed. Even so, in today’s world, there is “no double life” anymore, and when someone like me makes himself visible online, then his behavior regarding potential dates and partners (even at a fantasy level, as I had to deal with a NIH in 1962 after my William and Mary expulsion) might be viewed as having an effect on others. In DADT III, I called all this “my alien’s view of anthropology”.
All of this has a bearing on the salability of my novel draft (“Alien’s Brother”) and DADT screenplay (“Epiphany”). In both there are major gay male characters, and how well certain characters fit into a preconceived idea of being “Desirable” (to quote a buzzword from my days at Fort Eustis in 1969) does affect how they turn out. It does seem that the cis males win out in the end. (Were a movie to be made, I can imagine questions about “casting diversity”, because interchangeability doesn’t work for a few characters.) In more recent years, I’ve gotten subtle (or not so subtle) suggestions about joining the parade of pimping gender fluidity because it would make me popular and sell books, but I cannot bring myself to do that. That is simply not what I believe. Twenty years ago (when DAT-1 came out, in 1997), nobody would have challenged me this way, as far as my own creative output is concerned. Indeed, there is no double life anymore, not even in make-believe.
(Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 at 5:45 PM EDT)