Dear White Boy,
Once I came across a tumblr post that read something to the effect of “this white boy lookin at me like he wanna colonize my vagina.” I can’t remember who posted it or if there was any real context behind it, but it’s stuck with me ever since. I was especially reminded of it when I had my unfortunate encounter with you.
Everything about it was wrong. Your timing, your approach. Your race. I met you at a cocktail party in a friend’s room. You claimed to already know me from a class we’d had one year earlier, but for me, it was the first time being aware of your person, outside of that vague kid who spoke once or twice over the course of a semester. It could’ve been the start of a friendship, because that’s what I think about when I first meet people. Friendship. Did I mention I’m asexual?
It didn’t seem like you were interested in friendship when you were messaging me at 3am, telling me to come to your room. The key word here is telling, not asking. Oh, White Boy. Where was my agency? Are you so used to getting what you want when you want it that you don’t even realize you are ordering others? I suppose that was your form of an acceptable request. It didn’t offend or annoy me; it interested me, and I talked back with you. Your commands, your rapport, it was all different from what I was used to, and for a moment I almost enjoyed it, even though I knew that I would never actually go to your room.
I didn’t trust you, White Boy. It was clear that I interested you physically, but I did not trust that interest. I do not want to be someone’s exotic experience. When the Europeans colonized Asia, the men were intensely attracted to the native women. And why wouldn’t they have been? They had never seen such features, never been aware of other sexual possibilities outside of their own women who paled in comparison. And so in order to preserve European supremacy, it was established that men could take concubines, or generally go after the women they saw as sexual objects, but white women were known to be the only women you could wife. White women, pure women, were held to a high standard of moral righteousness. They became the backbone of greatness, the ones needed for progression and positivity. Women of color, conversely, were only good for sexual distraction.
Those ideas may have been created centuries ago, but they are still very much embodied today. You can tell by the issues feminists find salient. When white pop stars dance suggestively, half nude, singing sexually charged lyrics, people take notice. It seems that half the population rushes to condemn them as whores without morals, while the other half rushes to defend them for being sexually empowered. Yet who is talking about the wall of women of color behind the white pop star, dancing just as if not more suggestively yet without any real agency of their own? The women of color who have been shipped in to authenticate the white pop star’s actions in the first place. No one pays attention to them, whether to condemn or defend, because their actions are not seen as anything other than what society would expect of them.
What did you expect of me, White Boy? Was I supposed to sexually satisfy you? Even after I told you, 36 hours after meeting you, that I was asexual, you still wanted me to send you “…ahem…” sexual photos of myself. How in the world could you think I would want to do that? I couldn’t get anything out of the situation, other than the worry that pictures of myself would be exposed all over the online world. It would be purely for your benefit, and White Boy, I did not care about giving you any benefits.
Why am I calling you White Boy? Part of it is to preserve your identity. I know your name; no one else needs to, and you’ll probably be thankful for that. More of it has to do with the way I saw you the entire time. I do not look at my friends, or anyone I’ve known extensively, in terms of their race but when it comes to new people, especially guys who are expressing some sort of interest in me, I am hyper-aware of race. How can I not be, as a light-skinned girl? I know my privilege, and the potential hidden politics behind actions. To the white boys who will see me as black, I do not believe I can truly be attractive without them knowing my personality. To the black guys who will see me as closer to white, I am not trying to get into a mess of colorism, which again is more likely to happen if we are more attracted to each other’s bodies than our persons. To everyone else, I do not know what to expect. You are a white boy, and 36 hours after knowing you and seeing your attempts to get with me, you remained a white boy.
When you realized you would get nothing from me, conversation stopped. No more texts, no messaging, and I’ve seen you in passing but once since. I have heard, however, from an actual friend who was in our class, that you have a girlfriend. A white girlfriend.
White Boy! I feel a sick sort of satisfaction, knowing that I was right about you, and right not to trust you. Imagine if I had been to your room, or sent you pictures, while you were attached to someone else. Did you think that you could dip your dick into the campus’s SOC community because the perceived chances of you getting caught were small? Are you stupid?
You allosexual people need to realize and appreciate the blessing you have been given, being able to completely connect emotionally and physically with others. It’s not something to waste with cheating and physical selfishness. And White Boy, you need to recognize that the women of color around you are more than mere sexual objects. We do not exist to be used and flung about at your “whim.” My vagina is not open for you to colonize.