The Racism of Online Dating



America is a racist country. (I know, shocking.) Depending on your point of view, it's very easy to draw a line between enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, the birth of slavery and America to the racism we see today. Again, no surprise there. 

Racism bleeds into all parts of American life. Online dating is a particular I've been thinking about lately. There are plenty of articles on the interwebs talking about how online dating is racist. (Here's a hint, it's really good for white men and women and not for a lot of other races).  I don't want to rehash that. What I want to discuss is how I see online dating anecdotally affect people of different races in my sessions. So here are three observations I've noticed over the years about online dating. 

White Men Have it Good

I'm almost always surprised by how easily white men are able to get dates and able to have multiple sexual partners in short periods of time.  These are generalizations, and obviously, it differs from individual to individual, but I see it a lot in my therapy sessions. White men are also far more confident about reaching out to many different people. 

Asian Males and Females Have Different Experiences 

Asian females in my experience are highly desirable, especially to white men. There is lots of evidence about this all over the internet of course. But what's often not discussed is how conflicted many of these Asian females can be. I have met many an Asian woman who hates the idea of being objectified for being "exotic;" and also know that it's "messed up" that they date a lot of white men and that they find them attractive. They understand the power and dynamics going on but often do not know what else to do. 

Asian males, on the other hand, do not do well in online dating. In my therapy sessions, I've noticed how much this can wreck their self-esteem, leading to a lot of depression among the group. Often times they feel like they are getting the "scraps" of the dating pool. 

Black Women Have It Bad

Black women are able to get dates... that's not the problem necessarily in my anecdotal experience (although there are many studies showing that black women have it much harder than white, Latino and Asian women). The problem is when a black woman gets a date from, especially white men. Whether malicious or not, I've heard black women discuss many awful sexist and racist words said to them. Offhand comments about "ghetto" behavior are far more prominent than you might think...