Monday, 14 March 2011

Save the date

Despite our better judgement, everyone has a 'type'. When it comes to dating, we all have our own preferences that determine the kind of people we go for. It's particularly complicated in the gay world, where there are so many subcategories that someone has even gone to the trouble of creating a matrix to help categorise the multiplicity of sub-groups.

But straight people are beset by just as many complexities, particularly when it comes to ethnicity. Some people choose to date exclusively within their own race, whilst others do the exact opposite. Hoping to explode some of the myths and stereotypes that exist within the dating world, a former stock-options analyst for Goldman Sachs has turned amateur anthropologist to help women negotiate the pitfalls of interracial romance.

Picking up the mantle from Katherine Chloe Cahoon, who became a one-woman meme last year with the publication of The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men, J.C. Davies has written a new book called I Got the Fever: Love, What's Race Gotta Do With It?, in which she recounts her own experiences of dating outside of her own race.

Aside from managing other people's money, J.C. counts interracial dating as "her other area of expertise", which is about the nicest synonym for 'slut' I've ever heard. And although she may claim to be kicking down the doors of prejudice in her four-inch heels, the fact that she describes her current Iranian Jewish boyfriends as displaying "terrorist face" in bed, suggests that her mind isn't quite as open as her legs.

If you're expecting a revelatory insight into contemporary human sexuality, you might want to hang onto those Barnes & Noble vouchers a little longer. Criticising the majority of books about sex and culture, J.C. claims: "You have to make it super-p.c. and be the professor of blah-de-blah and have charts and graphs. The expectation is that [black men] are great in the sack and have huge equipment -- don't people really wanna know? Is the equipment super-sized? Let's just go ask some people!" I believe that might also have been Einstein's preferred methodology for robust scientific investigation.

The Village Voice has provided a handy précis of the book, presenting some of J.C.'s revelatory findings: " is very important to Jewish guys. And Asian men have small penises. And Latino guys are macho and possessive." If that's the sum total of her insight, I'd hate to think what myths she thinks she's rewriting.

I'm also a little concerned by an interview she did with The Sydney Morning Herald, where she told the journalist, "Before you call me a racist, let me just premise this interview by saying that you can't have a real conversation about race and relationships by being politically incorrect. Because you have to be honest. And honesty and political correctness are completely at odds with one another!" Not only does she contradict herself when discussing the evils of political correctness, she uses "premise" when I think she means "preface". Good with words, she is.

Unfortunately, the people who proclaim their lack of racism the loudest, tend to be the ones who make the most inappropriate remarks. She may want us to believe that, in her mind, love sees no colour, but the evidence stacks up against her. Whether she's warning women of the threats posed by JAPs (that's Jewish American Princesses), referring to one black Republican as an 'Oreo', or simply treating multiculturalism as a novelty buffet counter, she's about as convincing as the fake smile she wears on the book's cover.

What's Race Got To Do With It? I think she just answered her own rhetorical question.

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