Carnal Knowledge and Screw Yer Roommate

Excuse me for being pretentious but this is really exciting. So my suite mate Clara mentioned to me that for this annual event at Rice where you find a blind date for your roommate and make them both dress up as something and embarrassingly go to dinner, people are vigorously advertising their roommates with elaborate descriptions, many of which were encoded with race-and-exoticism- heavy language.

What does KC mean by that? Well, we recently read Ann Laura Stoler's chapter on "Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Gender and Morality in the Making of Race" for my Sexual Debates in the U.S. class. How race, gender, and sexuality were managed and constructed were crucial to upholding imperialism. And now, race and exoticism are crucial to how we participate in this event where we actively find the perfect match.

And this is where it gets juicy. If a person was not Caucasian, their heritage was mentioned quite often. And sometimes, their ethnicity became a point of discussion to spring board off of, a selling point. Take a look at these delectable examples that I had too much fun looking through to copy & paste...

"... is an Indo-Persian beauty destined to steal the heart of any man worth her valuable time"

"With a exquisitely dark chocolaty exterior that radiates sex appeal and a caramel, peanut butter-like interior that is just irresistible to even men, he is built like a Reeses cup straight out of heaven. "

"Basically, if your roommate likes short, funny, and downright perfect blonde girls (and I mean who doesn't) then send me a message!"

"This fine Jamaican queen is very outgoing, energetic, laugh, and just loves to enjoy life."

"Not your average Egyptian Queen, she loves basketball and when she’s not out playing pickup with the guys, she’s beating you at Ping-Pong and engineering and Sudoku...So hurry before she gets snatched up by some smoky Arabian knight in shining armor"

"At 6’0” this Chino-Hispanic has brown hair and hazel eyes (SO DIVERSE, SO EXOTIC)."

"5’10” Indian hunk who can really put some spice in your life. You may have seen this bronze Adonis casually gliding to classes on his longboard or seducing the ladies with his Chris Brown-esque body rolls."

"This Bolivian motherly woman is looking for a long-term relationship."

"This Puerto Rican beauty will make you smile and give you an evening you'll never forget! This hot latina has got salsa moves and drawing skills that you will not be able to resist!"

"Half filipino, his exotic aura will entice you."

"Are you ready to be captivated by this exotic nigerian beauty?"

"She's sure to entice you with her sexy mexican dancing-- YES, she knows how to salsa"

"...is Peruvian-American and boy does she know how to roll them "r"s ;))))))"

"Argentina is known for is their "tasty meat" and seasonal hot climate. If you are looking to experience these two wonders of life for screw your roommate look no further than Julian Navarro. This tall Argentina born hunk is bilingual so I guess you can say he has a tongue of many talents."

"Whoever said, “big things come in small packages” must have been talking about this Southeast Asian stud. That’s right, size does matter. "

Of course, just because we advertise our roommates by playing on their heritage doesn't mean that we always link desire and sexuality with exoticism. But it does tell us that we're all culturally proficient and feel that in order to exaggerate hotness, we need to appeal to exotic senses, like the fact that someone comes from a different culture. Because that will automatically make your date/romance that much more interesting. In a sense, interesting heritage becomes valuable asset, cultural capital, in the market of love. I wonder why we have preferences and prejudices about certain candidates because of their background. In the men looking for men community, there is a notable amount of racial/ethnic preferences, put in a way that is problematic. For example, http://www.douchebagsofgrindr.com/ is a website featuring the blunt/obnoxious men on the Grind app, an app to help you find local gay, bi, and curious guys. A lot of the douchebags state what they do or do not want in a very adamant way. "Not interested in black guys," "fatties go away," "Asians blacks keep moving." Is love an area where discrimination by race okay? Is someone's preference for certain races and disinterest in others okay?  

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