« Aqua aerobics | Main | Thoughts on Germany and Katrina »

September 16, 2005

Comments

BritGirlSF

As another person who is in an interracial marriage, I understand exactly where you're coming from. I'm white (Scottish and Welsh decent) and my husband is Filipino (people sometimes identify him as hispanic and sometimes, since he has long-ish hair and is generally rather hipster-looking, they identify him as Japanese - the way he looks fits the "cool Japanese art student" stereotype rather closely). I have been taken as belonging to every ethnic group from Persian to Russian to French to Jewish to Spanish to Italian to Tuskish - I have classically Welsh coloring, with dark hair and light olive skin (think Catherine Zeta Jones). It is infuriating the way in which other project their issues with race onto my marriage. Given the fact tht both my husband and myself are "identified" as belonging to different ethnic groups depending on who's looking we get a whole range of comments, most of them annoying. There's not much you can do other than simply accepting that some people are horribly ignorant when it comes to race, and avoiding the worst offenders.
I've had the experience of wandering around with a child who doesn't "look like me" too (my 13-year-old nephew, child of my hisband's older brother), and have also had some strange reactios. When nephew was a toddler people would stare and would occasionally ask "he's not yours, is he". I know it's tiresome, and the reactions are probably even worse when the adult who the kids don't look like is a man. The thing tht always worries me is that the kids will feel hurt by the reactions of others - I've tried to shield my nephew as much as I can, but he can't help but notice the way others react. Ultimately, it amazes me that adults can be so cruel as to put the kids involved in the position of feeling awkward.
In a way I think that the reaction to white women being involved with non-white men is even more extreme than in your situation, not that that's any consolation. When sexism and racism combine you get a particularly nasty blend. I just wish that people would have the decency to leave the kids out of it.

IT

Wow, these guys are really scary. Their vitriol would be pathetic, if it weren't so frightening. Ugh.

One thing my now very aged mamma always says is that mixed race children are often the most beautiful. If a woman of 80 can see that, why can't everyone else?

NYMOM

"We don't see many white men, black women couples in our society, after all..."

It used to be very rare, but I'm seeing more and more of these couples in my neighborhood today.

Of course, when I was growing up it was unheard of, although black men and white women couples were seen around (but considered by both races to be very low class, trashy, etc.,)...

I've never seen this type of reaction from people regarding white men/black women couples; however, although people might look or be curious, you won't face the stigma of automatically being considered low-class...

Perhaps it means people's reactions (or status) follow the male of the couple and any woman marrying or dating a black man is considered marrying 'beneath' her social class and thus scorned.

Whereas the opposite situation is considered acceptable as a black woman marrying a white man is considered to be attempting to make a better life for herself and her children and thus automatically more worthy...your wife and subsequent children, in essence, will inherit your status...

Something like that...

I know with non-custodial mothers, white women with black children are treated the worse in both legal and personal situations, as they appear to have no natural allies in the courts...both sides pretty much look down on them as 'deserving' of their situation.

Kind of like Nicole Simpson OJ's wife, where neither side felt she merited much sympathy...

And one mother of white children (in Florida) who married a black man did lose custody of them...

Her ex-husband's whole town chipped in to bid on a rifle he raffled to raise money for the legal fees. She finally gave in and let him have the children as she thought someone would eventually get injured or killed, as the emotions were running so high...

So the situations are treated differently if the men are white...you'll get treated better, albeit stared at and wondered about, but if your new wife had children I seriously doubt if your presence would result in her losing custody of them. You'd enhance her status actually amongst everyone. Nor will her family be calling her up angry because she allows you to take them out alone. If you were black and she were white, she would have gotten angry telephone calls from her family for allowing you to take her nephews anywhere probably.

Just the way things are...who knows the why of these things...

Amanda

LOL so adorable. They're still chewing over the anger that started when I decried Asian fetishists. They insisted against all evidence to the contrary that I was simply against interracial relationships, despite the fact that I have one and have had them. I am against treating one race of people like they have certain characteristics due to race. Beginning and end of story. Next time the "Ameriskanks" whiners show up on my blog and start praising Asian women for their supposed natural subservience, I'm putting a picture of one of my favorite famous couples up--John Lennon and Yoko Ono. But I suppose they have a reason that Ono, a ballsy woman to say the least, doesn't "count" for some reason.

nastyrobot

Culture and race are not synonymous. It's "Ameriskanks," right? Now tell me, what race is the "Ameri"-can race? Well? Go on. Hard question to answer as there is no American race, only American culture. A different race is not important, a different culture is. It just so happens that people of different cultures are likely to have different races to go along with those cultures. It seems that the only people making reference to race is you all. Try not to confuse the two.

Exampe. Let's say we have an Asian and an Asian-American. Do you honestly think that these two people will be similar because they happen to have the same level of pigment? Their religion, ethics, politics, world view are all subject to be different. Why? Because although their nature, is the same, their nurture is completely different. By focusing on race, you are all are ignoring the factor that makes people of the same races different. Culture. Come on, people.

nastyrobot

Culture and race are not synonymous. It's "Ameriskanks," right? Now tell me, what race is the "Ameri"-can race? Well? Go on. Hard question to answer as there is no American race, only American culture. A different race is not important, a different culture is. It just so happens that people of different cultures are likely to have different races to go along with those cultures. It seems that the only people making reference to race is you all. Try not to confuse the two.

Exampe. Let's say we have an Asian and an Asian-American. Do you honestly think that these two people will be similar because they happen to have the same level of pigment? Their religion, ethics, politics, world view are all subject to be different. Why? Because although their nature, is the same, their nurture is completely different. By focusing on race, you are all are ignoring the factor that makes people of the same races different. Culture. Come on, people.

BritGirlSF

And your point in relation to this discussion is what, exactly?

Dylan

Indeed. Ameriskank is about culture, not race, no matter how desperately badly left-wing elitists try to paint the question as a racial issue.

nastyrobot

"And your point in relation to this discussion is what, exactly?"
***My gosh, are you serious? Do I seriuosly have to explain this or are you just trying to give me a stroke? In any case, I'll start over.

First of all, every word that was made about Mrs Schwyzer's ethnic background was posted right here. The idea that we were endlessly harping about the woman's background is laughable; it was just an observation. The main theme of the thread was actually Hugo's seeming masochim in getting married four times. Don't get me wrong, we all love a little S&M from time to time, but those who make it a lifestyle I find curious beings indeed. Meanwhile, Hugo goes on to say that "the boys" were "working off ugly stereotypes about women of color." He says they "assume that [he's] with her in order to be with a woman whom [he] can dominate" and that we declare a "white man who marries a woman of color has sold out...by marrying a woman whom he can dominate." Again, all of this talk of race and intent is based on his innacurate understanding of the three small lines posted here. An awful lot to assume. Of course, never to be outdone in a display of illogic, Amanda weighs in with "I am against treating one race of people like they have certain characteristics due to race." She accuses posters at her blog - at least those which aren't deleted in cowardice - of "praising Asian women for their...natural subservience." Even the title of this very thread, "Race, Marriage, and Nastiness," takes the leap of deciding that we care about anyone's race, let alone that of Hugo's wife. I know the latter portion of the essay was referring to race, but it muddles the two, putting groups of men in with one another who do not belong together. This is pretty convenient for all of you, since you get to paint everyone with the same evil brush. We all know no one has to take seriously what an evil person says, now don't we? (To brit: the inference here is that you like the idea of muddling culture and race to avoid any serious debate.)
Now my point? Don't make these men out to be racists, because this has nothing to do with race. Even when you're forced to look at the term "Ameriskank," it's obvious that you cannot tie it down to any specific race; the discussion here is obviously culture. You all seem to divide their opinion of women into "Ameriskank" and "women of color;" well who says that these two are mutually exclusive? This, I think, is a racist assumption, since you're defining "Ameriskank" as "white woman" which leaves no room whatsoever for the women of all colors residing in this country. If it were just about race, you wouldn't have to think twice about foreign women, because there are so many different races right here in the States. You all seem to think that there are only white women here, and that anyone residing outside of these borders is a "woman of color." Well let's not ignore the women of color right here! How about a little diversity? They can be skanks, too! It's not only about your Caucasian victimhood, you know? That's what I present to you. Race, in and of itself, is just an unintended consequence. If a person has a different culture, then they are probably going to have a different race. However, it's not their race that is interesting, it's their culture. Furthermore, I thought my Asian vs Asian-American example was pretty darn good. If you have two people, alike in race, but different in culture, then they will be different. I think it's more racist of you all to assume otherwise. It's Bush elitism: you basically assume that a person's makeup is all nature, no nurture. In short, culture is irrelevant. Doesn't matter what your country of origin is or how much history it has, your religious upbringing or moral values, you see all of this stuff is moot. Since none of those people's customs matter, they all must be just like you. "They'll love democracy. You watch." You all do the same when you assume that a woman raised in this country is the same as a woman raised in any other. Because you assume they are no different than you, you are concluding that their way of life doesn't matter; how arrogant. The point of my example was to get you to see that if two people of the same race of different backgrounds are different, then there's no chance of two people with different races of different backgrounds being the same. Since you all are assuming American woman equates white, you might begin to question your assumptions about the motives for some men preferring certain foreign women; maybe you'd consider that it's based on more than just physical characteristics being indicative of what person is like. I was hoping you would think logically. Obviously an error on my part. (To brit: the inference there is that feminists do not think with any continuity.)
The way you all jump immediately to the conclusion of racism is very telling. You all have been calling these guys racists for so long, because they recognize culture, that when someone brings up so much as the possibility of one of your own doing the same ("...CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG...his wife is from South America. IF(!) that be the case...") you assume that they're calling you a racist back. So you see, Hugoboy, there were no racial stereotypes about your wife having an inferior backbone; perhaps they were only wondering how you manage to absolve the "racist" label from yourself that so often gets applied to other men who pursue women of different cultres or races. If anything, I'm sure they'd prefer you extol your wife's intestinal fortitude. It may, in the future, prevent a lot of men who are attracted to women of other cultures from being labelled as disgruntled shoppers seeking an inferior product elsewhere. (Another of feminism's racist assumptions. "No one can do it like us American woman!") Oh, and Apanda, no one cares about an Asian woman's "natural subservience" no more than they care about her "natural eyelids." What one might care about though is the fact that SHE'S FROM ASIA!!!!!!!!!! Now you all sit here saying that just because you love someone of a different race that doesn't make you a racist, and you don't care about stereotypes based on race because that doesn't make them inferior, and what matters is who a person is... Of course. That's what we've been saying all along. Keep up. (To brit: the asides to you are in themselves inferences that you suck at understanding inferences.)

NYMOM

I actually think that Western men shouldn't be allowed to go to other countries and bring women back. Or at least education in our divorce/custody laws should be made mandatory for these women before they get here.

I think men are trying to take advantage of these foreign women and their lack of knowledge on how our divorce/custody laws work and that should be stopped.

Women from Russia and the Philippines seem particularly vulnerable. Their embassies should be given booklets or something to pass out to women trying to immigrate.

I've noticed quite a number of murder trials taking place on Court TV with the victims being Asian women with American husbands...in New York we have two of these women in the news recently. One an Asian woman murdered by her American husband, two, a Russian woman whose american husband got custody and moved the two children to Texas, so she can't even see them now...we had the same thing happen to an Irish immigrant woman too last year...

I think we definitely have to begin taking steps to stop this from continuing, as these women are not given a thorough understanding of what they are getting into when they marry americans and move here...

barb

ew, gross Hugo. MRAs??? I don't know what that stands for but I don't want to know. How do you attract so many scuzzy crazy people to your site like nastyrobot? You're good to engage them but I don't know if you always have to take them so seriously, you know? They're like members of the flat earth society: briefly interesting for the shock-value but ultimately you can't really have a serious conversation with them. They're nutso, man.

AsianSmiles

I was also thinking about the point that you raised, nastyrobot. Some weeks back, I tried to post a message in my blog re: stereotypes. It led me into thinking that sometimes, people are stereotyped because other people entertain and highlight the idea of it. Example: a blog headlined recently, "Ms. England 2005: first muslim to win the throne"; the mere emphasis on the religious belief is, in actuality, a statement of segregation.

The example however, is a confirmation of how "others" think - and it is real. I sure hope that all people think the same way as you do - but like I said - there are people like the ones Hugo described.

I am an asian, married to a caucasian. And I am here in the US. Although I haven't been offended because of my racial/cultural belonging, there "were" some instances when I was treated differently because I am asian. A simple example (again): there were times when cashiers spoke aloud and noticeably slower when they had to talk to me, obviously thinking that I may not understand english well enough; somebody asked me if i could cook anything other than "rice" and if i know how to bake and use the electric stove. My husband himself, bought 3 packs of velveeta before I came here because he thought that I haven't tasted it. Small things. But they are real and there are people with ideas like them.

And so I sincerely think that this topic does not "worsen" the issue on "culture or race difference" - it may highlight the issue but I think it's wise to discuss the truth.

God bless.

Sally

Culture and race are not synonymous. It's "Ameriskanks," right? Now tell me, what race is the "Ameri"-can race? Well? Go on. Hard question to answer as there is no American race, only American culture. A different race is not important, a different culture is. It just so happens that people of different cultures are likely to have different races to go along with those cultures. It seems that the only people making reference to race is you all. Try not to confuse the two.

So you're saying that Hugo's wife isn't American because she's of Afro-Colombian descent, right? Because the only reason she's exempt from the "Ameriskank" category is that you think a woman of Afro-Colombian descent is not really American, even if she's an American citizen who was born in America. She can't possibly be part of "American culture." Her culture, whatever that is, can't possibly be an "American culture." America is a monolith; American women are skanky; and Hugo's wife is really lucky to be a perpetual foreigner in her own country, because at least MRAs think she knows her place!

Oy, vey.

I actually think that Western men shouldn't be allowed to go to other countries and bring women back. Or at least education in our divorce/custody laws should be made mandatory for these women before they get here.

What do you mean by "go to other countries and bring women back"? My brother went to another country to live, and while he was there, he met his fiance. They're not sure where they're going to settle permanently, but they're in the U.S. for the time being, because they both want to take advantage of educational opportunities here. She's already finding U.S. immigration a major hassle, and I think she'd be irked if she were required to take a special mail-order-bride class.


JadedGuy

Hugo. Hugo. Hugo.

I am the one who wrote, " I understand ... and correct me if I'm wrong ... that his wife is from South America. If that be the case then perhaps EVEN HUGO can't stand to marry an Ameriskank."

Of course, knowing what I do about you, I wrote what I did partially in jest. Racism? Hahahahaha. Hugo read my sentence once more. Did I mention the skin color of your fiancee? I fear your ideological bent has colored your perceptions so much that your mind doesn't even register the things that are actually said by your opponents.

Really the stereotype that [b]I[/b] had in mind is the one advanced by arrogant gynocentrists in this culture who assume that a man who prefers women from more traditional cultures is a "loser who can't handle strong, liberated women." Supposedly, these men just want uneducated, backward, peasant-girls. We saw this ugly stereotype surface in something Amanda wrote a while back. Of course, this stereotype ends up degrading the women in these relationships ("Why they must be poor, ignorant, emotionally retarded wenches to seek a American man."). This ignores the fact that many foreign women are very educated (perhaps much more so than the unfortunate by-products of our dumbed down system in the States). Really, the bottom line for many American men and the foreign women who love them is that [b]both are sick and tired of being treated like garbage by the opposite sex in their respective cultures[/b].

So, I took a jab at you for breaking the gynocentrist stereotype that white men who marry foreign women are just looking for ... well "doormats" (to borrow your phrase). I though it would be delicious irony to have a male feminist bear the same type of scrutiny and impugning of motives as the rest of us. As usual, the irony is lost on you and your feminist friends.


Speaking of "doormats," regarding your hilarious accusation:

"Ameriskank is the charming MRA term for those women in this country who are unwilling to be doormats."

True, but these same women are unwilling to do much of anything else for men, either. Many foreign women are also unwilling to be doormats and yet know how to respect men, just as they themselves want to be respected as women. They know some about reciprocity in relationships, a concept which eludes the consumeristic mindset of many an American female.

Your reconnoiterers can continue to selectively report, deride, and distort the meaning of what is said in the private forums. Just remember that we monitor the feminist blogs, too.

NYMOM

"ew, gross Hugo. MRAs??? I don't know what that stands for but I don't want to know. How do you attract so many scuzzy crazy people to your site like nastyrobot? You're good to engage them but I don't know if you always have to take them so seriously, you know?"

NYMOM saids: I think they are regular posters just using different handles. If Hugo checks their IP numbers he should be able to identify who they really are...


"She's already finding U.S. immigration a major hassle, and I think she'd be irked if she were required to take a special mail-order-bride class."

NYMOM saids: Unfortunately if this ever becomes law (and it should) we can't exempt people because they think it's a 'hassle' as it will be a much larger 'hassle' later if your brother brings her here, marries her and they divorce before she becomes a citizen in her own right. As the woman in the story from Ireland, for instance, was immediately deported back to Ireland w/o her five year old son, after she lost her custody fight. He stayed here with his father. Who knows if and when she'll ever see her son again.

Many foreign women who marry Americans are not aware that they must STAY MARRIED for five years and actually become a citizen before they have legal grounds to stay here permanently. If they should divorce before that happens, they can be deported even if they have children, the children remain here with the citizen father.

AND Americans can get a child support order against a foreign national; which even if it never gets honored by foreign courts can effectively wind up blacklisting non-custodial parent from ever entering the US again if they don't have the money to pay it...

A warrant can be issued for non-custodial parent who cannot paid for whatever reason...

You need to ensure that this woman is informed of these things, otherwise it's not fair to bring her here...

Sally

All of those things could, of course, also happen to a non-citizen man who marries a woman who is a citizen or permanent resident. I have no problem with a policy that would inform all non-citizen spouses about immigration law. (I think it's probably a good idea to change some aspects of the law, too.) I do have a problem with a policy that assumes that non-citizen women are being "brought" to the U.S. and need special protection from husbands who are assumed to be predators. I have a problem with a policy that would require immigrant women to jump through hoops not required of immigrant men. And at any rate, I'm pretty sure that forcing women, but not men, to take this class would be illegal.

Hugo

Sorry, everyone -- I should have told everyone up front that MRA stands for Men's Rights Advocates.

mythago

You realize, Hugo, that if you were an MRA, they'd be praising you for your wisdom in choosing a non-American woman and lauding your lack of racism.

One thing I don't get about the guys who hate "Ameriskanks" is that they seem to think foreign cultures are all about submissive, adoring women. They aren't quite as clear on the male-head-of-household-as-breadwinner part of the equation.

JadedGuy

mythago quipped: "One thing I don't get about the guys who hate 'Ameriskanks' is that they seem to think foreign cultures are all about submissive, adoring women. They aren't quite as clear on the male-head-of-household-as-breadwinner part of the equation."

One thing I dont get about the Ameriskanks who hate MRAs is that they still seem to think men should show preferential treatment and protection of them. They aren't quite as clear on the female-as-supporting-housewife part of the equation. Translation: I'll believe feminism has something to offer when I see lots of female doctors marrying male clerks.

mythago

You realize that the foreign women you adore also expect men to show preferential treatment and protection of them? It seems that your point is not that you object to showing women preferential treatment or to being their meal ticket--you only object when they refuse to be supporting housewives. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you realize it goes both ways, and that Traditional Non-American Woman may expect a little more for her supportive housewifeness than merely the pleasure of being your helpmate.

My comment was only to note that the "traditional arrangement" is not quite as one-sidedly supportive of men as you seem to wish, nor would it eliminate many of the common MRA complaints about being expected to be the meal ticket and do all the harder work of bringing home the bacon and taking dangerous jobs and so on.

when I see lots of female doctors marrying male clerks

Or vice versa; surely male clerks have some choice in the matter of whom they marry?

NYMOM

"I do have a problem with a policy that assumes that non-citizen women are being "brought" to the U.S. and need special protection from husbands who are assumed to be predators. I have a problem with a policy that would require immigrant women to jump through hoops not required of immigrant men. And at any rate, I'm pretty sure that forcing women, but not men, to take this class would be illegal."

NYMOM said: Well then let's do it for both. A film I think explaining the laws specifically relating to marriage and citizenship, children, divorce, the whole 9 yards (and maybe a translator with differing groups to ensure people understand); then a pamphlet or booklet should be given out to take with you. An 800 telephone number should be listed if people have follow-up questions.

It should be mandatory to avoid all this nonsense I see in the news all the time. Clearly a lot of immigrant women do NOT understand US laws for these things to keep happening.


"Ameriskanks"

NYMOM said: What is this Ameriskanks business? It sounds like something emanating from one of those MRA websites.

Unfortunately I think we are going to have to admit there is something seriously wrong with a large group of American men, like some form of collective psychosis. Living in the greatest civilization in the world and still have nothing to do but complain about everybody and everything all the time???????

I'm not quite sure how we should handle it, maybe medication sprayed over their annual meetings/events or something?????

But it definitely needs to be addressed and soon.

Hugo

NYMOM, I'd be wary of suggesting that the fellows at Nice Guys represent a large group of American men. They are a fringe element, even among MRAs, many of whom manage (like Glenn Sacks) to be civil and thoughtful.

mythago

And as Hugo's said repeatedly, not all men's-rights activists agree on everything. No political group is a hive mind.

Dylan

Hugo boy you a the definition of wimpy wimp of a man. I have more respect for a tiny little bush(Hah hah Kerry lost) than you. I also would like to add, with Hugo boys permission, got distracted and forgot...

Hugo boy my duel still stands...

What duel is that?

You should not be spoken of a man. You should remove maleness from your vocab.

That's pretty damned harsh, don't ya think? I think a lot of what Hugo says is nonsense, but you don't have to attack him personally.

Dylan

Wow. What happened to the comment I replied to? I was going to make another point about it, but now it's gone. :(

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Regular reads

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2004