Re: [Generation-Mixed] Re: Mixed Kids are NOT 'Prettier' (a memo on Mixed Stereotypes))
- i just think it's the first thing that comes to peoples minds when they see mixed people we're so rare, they think of us as exotic.in my opinion it beats being told you're pretty for a dark-skin girl.
From: multiracialbookclub <soaptalk@...>
Sent: Mon, September 20, 2010 11:19:32 PM
Subject: [Generation-Mixed] Re: Mixed Kids are NOT 'Prettier' (a memo on Mixed Stereotypes))
Well said -- Rosanna !!!!
And I agree with you 100% on this !!!!
For me it's another of those so-called
"positive stereotypes" (like all Asian
people are 'good at math' or Black
people have 'natural rhythm'; etc.).The target of the comment walks away
feeling insulted and 'typed' while theperson who offered it just happily
walks away with no more knowledge
of the actual person than before.
No group wants to be stereotyped --
especially not with some ingratiatingpandering nonsensical phrases like:
"you guys are the prettiest"
"mixed people are the cutest"
-- as if we were a bunch of 15 year
old high school kids who need our
fragile egos built up after being
rejected for the cheerleader squad.
And let's not forget that "positive" stereotypes
have a way of both limiting knowledge of the
true person AND of coming back to haunt the
person when being thrown at them as an insult.
It's like you said, Rosanna, we are
NOT some 'rare breed of animal'.
We are also not some rareanomaly of the human race.
The members of most monoracial groups
would never tolerate being condescended
to in such a manner nor allow themselves
to be 'set up' to come across as if they are
"fishing for compliments" at every turn
-- nor would they be expected to do so.Being 'objectified' is an insult
- and is not a compliment!!
--- In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com,
"rosanna_armendariz" <rosanna_armendariz@...> wrote:In my view, because it's objectifying and makes it seem as though we are some
rare breed of animal or something. And like the author of the article said,
there's no scientific basis for these generalizations. They don't even hold up
based on plain old observation. We've all seen plenty of mixed folk who are not
especially terrific looking, lol. It's like with any group; there's a lot of
variance. I don't want to be labeled with some characteristic b/c I'm mixed.
--- In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com,
keisha dixon <keishakandy@...> wrote:
From: rosanna_armendariz <rosanna_armendariz@...>
Sent: Sun, September 19, 2010 2:48:50 PM
Subject: [Generation-Mixed] Re: Mixed Kids are
NOT 'Prettier' (a memo on Mixed Stereotypes))
Yes, I always find it insulting when people make comments about mixed folk being
"exotic," "alluring," "mysterious," and so on. The people making the comments
usually don't see why it's offensive, but I find it objectifying.
"multiracialbookclub" <soaptalk@...> wrote:
Mixed Kids are not "Prettier":
Blowing Up "Hybrid-Vigor"
-- By CVT
Okay, I'm done.
Just done with this s---.
I am so sick of hearing people talk about Mixed folks
like we're some sort of science experiment.
"Positive" stereotyping out of ignorance and lack
of exposure to make us just a new kind of "other."
And I know people mean well, but . . . it gets 'tiring', to say the least.
A few days ago, my cousin ("E"), his girlfriend ("J"), and I ("me")
met up with a married couple that they are friends with.
In this couple, the man is a white Australian
man, and the woman is a Chinese woman.
(*1) The guy's a nice one, but he's not killing it in the looks department.
The woman (also quite wonderful) is average-looking. (*2) She's pregnant.
So after we part ways, "J" (also Chinese) is excited about the baby, and she
says, "I can't wait for their baby to be born – she is going to be so beautiful.
Because she is Chinese and he is a foreigner, the baby must be so pretty."
'Record-scratch'. I look at her, "What?!"
I don't say it, but I'm thinking – `Has she looked at the father?
What the H--- is wrong with people?'
Because this isn't the first time I've heard this kind of thing.
I hear it all the time – "Mixed kids are just so 'pretty'."
And – although I'd love to bathe in the ego-stroking
that entails (an interesting counterpoint to
"Asian men 'aren't' hot") – I'm not having it.
And before I break it down further, let me just say my family is now
'chock-full' of Mixed kids, and there's not a whole lot of "beautiful"
running around (I'm so sorry family, but I just got to be honest here). (*3)
The few kids that are actually above-average?
Well, the ones with the above-average 'parents', of course.
Just like with the majority of pretty "mono-racial" children.
It doesn't end there, though. I've also heard that
Mixed kids are "so intelligent" (mostly here in China).
I've even been told (back in high school)
that "all Mixed kids are just so 'nice'." (*4)
When this topic gets brought up on a larger level
– how beautiful and wonderful and 'healthy' Mixed kids
are – we inevitably get a reference to "Hybrid-Vigor."
In these cases, the person making the argument (wrongly)
describes "Hybrid-Vigor" as the genetic superiority
of "cross-bred" animals and plants in the world.
"It's 'science'," they say – and people usually buy it.
Well, sorry, people – but 'this' particular gorgeous,
super-intelligent and wondrously kind Mixed-race
"cross-breed" has a science background.
And y'all – apparently, from your
mis-use of scientific understanding – don't.
So step into my class for a second.
First-off, don't wrongly cite Gregor Mendel
and his pea-experiments as any sort of
evidence – either way – of "Hybrid-Vigor".
Yes, his cross-breeds did better than those plants
he did 'not' cross-breed, on an overall level.
But . . . uh . . . you're missing a vital fact here:
those plants that he 'didn't' cross-breed?
He 'self-pollinated' them.
As in, they were 'inbred'.
Even closer relatives than brother and sister –
because the sex cells came from the 'same plant'.
It was practically 'cloning'.
And even though lots of people like to say
members of a particular "mono-racial" group
"all look the same," you're really not all clones.
Okay, so then our faulty scientists will say,
"well fine, what about with dogs and
pigs and horses and sheep, etc.?
Cross-breeding 'them' increases fitness."
Well, yes and no.
First off, "Hybrid-Vigor" actually just references
the times when cross-breeding 'happens' to
increase fitness – 'not' a fact that it always occurs.
There's another term, "Outbreeding Depression,"
for when cross-breeding causes 'more' problems.
So, again, y'all are skipping some important details.
"But cross-breeding 'more often' increases fitness, then."
In dogs and pigs and other
domestic animals, that's true.
But again – look at the comparison –
those animals that do 'not' get cross-bred:
these are either "pure-bred" animals
(like pugs, for instance) or "inbred" animals.
We've talked about inbreeding (and no,
I don't think mono-racial folks are all the
products of thousands of years of inbreeding), so . . .
Artificially, 'selectively-bred' animals?
These are animals that have been forced to breed together
for many many generations to enhance some specific physical
characteristics –--- at the cost of a lot of health problems.
These are not real-world animals.
Outside of the domesticated world,
"pure-breeds" simply 'do note exist'.
Because, in the real world, "pure-breeds" would die out
within a couple generations because of all their problems.
All that remains in the natural world are cross-bred animals.
So comparing races or ethnicities to
"breeds" is just stupid, and poor science.
Every racial and ethnic group out
there is a result of "cross-breeding".
Our human gene pool is all mixed up – because we
have been (mostly) avoiding the inbreeding and
artificial selection that creates domestic animals.
Our DNA is more varied 'within' any particular
"racial group" than it is 'between' them.
Which then suggests that – if any of this "science"
can be applied to human beings – then, perhaps,
so-called "mono-racial" offspring would
be 'more' likely to have the advantage of
"Hybrid-Vigor" than "multi-racial" offspring.
Of course, that would also be abusing the
science, but I hope you can see my point –
there is no such thing as "purity" in race.
Every "race" is the result of hundreds of thousands
of years of 'inter'-breeding, 'cross'-breeding.
We've survived as long as we
have 'because' we are not "pure."
The result of exactly the same reproductive processes
and selection pressures as the rest of humanity.
(*5) Some of us are super-hot or
wondrously intelligent (or both), for sure.
But, sorry, some of us just have to pull on
'inner' beauty or wouldn't exactly astound others
with our coherence of thought (or both), as well.
B.S. "positive" stereotypes like this are just as
damaging as negative ones (on a large scale).
Allowing ourselves to be reduced to the
equivalence of domesticated animals?
Let somebody "other" you in a "positive" way, and
you're just setting yourself up for the negative stereotypes
and prejudice to follow suit – and trust me, it's 'going to happen'.
And, finally, for those anecdotalists (*6) out there who want to say,
"but, really, 'all' the Mixed people I know 'really are' beautiful,"
.... I've got some things for you to ask yourself:
First off – are they "beautiful" simply
because they're "different" and "exotic?"
That would be my first guess if they
literally all are so gorgeous, in your eyes.
And I don't need to go further into
that one about why that's not okay.
Second – honestly, how many normal,
everyday Mixed people do you make note of?
What does it take for you to even get to the point
where you know for sure that we 'are' Mixed?
Chances are, for us to be noticed on that level,
we either have to be in the media (which is going to
obviously over-represent the "hot" Mixed folks), or else
we just have to stand out from the backdrop of everyday life.
And if we're good-looking, that's one way to do so.
I mean, how often do you think about or even 'ask' some
"below-average" guy or gal, "wow – you have such an
'interesting' look, what is your racial background?"
So you likely aren't even 'aware'of the
thousands of Mixed people you walked
right by on the street that were 'not' "beautiful."
It's Confirmation-Bias, people – look it up.
And that's it.
I've gotten it out there now.
I feel confident in my breakdown of that particular line of "othering."
And, even if I didn't, I tired myself out.
Mixed folks are great – GO US – but it's simply 'not' due
to our genetic difference from the rest of humanity.
We are not aliens; we are not dogs
or other domesticated animals.
We're just another socially-defined group of people, and
a force to be reckoned with – like the rest of our species.
And if you 'still' don't believe me . . ?
Well, sh–, 'please' don't make me fully throw my
extended family under the bus and send you photos . . .
(*1) In general, if I say "Chinese" without specifying
another country of origin, then I mean born and
raised in China and of Han (majority) ethnicity.
(*2) For perhaps the only time on this blog, I'm working
off a general, shallow-as-Hell societal concept of physical
"beauty" here, because that's the level on
which I mean to take this stereotype down.
If people were talking about Mixed-race folks being
"beautiful" within a completely different framework
for beauty, then we'd be living in a better world than we do.
(*3) All my Chinese-American cousins except
one – 8 of them – married white partners.
(*4) Man, I thought of so many ways to disprove
that last one after the fact, but – in the moment
– I was too surprised to do much of anything.
(*5) This is just plain-damn common-sense, and it
just irritates the H--- out of me how people who
have no idea what they're talking about mis-read
scientific findings to "prove" stupid theories like this.
(*6) I make up my own words, sometimes –
because I'm so 'vigorous', I can do that and make it cool.
(*7) And yes, I am wholly conscious of the fact that
this entire post so fully falls out the way I lament we
teach our kids to "argue" in my "Broken System, Part III."
Sigh . . . see what prejudice can do to a guy?