Tag Archives: interracial relationships

LeBron James as King Kong on cover of Vogue?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

The King Kong-esque imagery on the latest cover of Vogue is so striking that even bloggers who don’t usually write about race are sitting up and taking notice. Blog Fashionista said: “It shows personality, sure, but the whole “Me, Tarzan. You, Jane,” vibe doesn’t sit well with the french fries we had for lunch.”

Brigitte at Make Fetch Happen wonders “why does Anna Wintour have such a hard nipples for black folks with their mouths hanging wide open on her magazine? Specifically, I’m thinking about Jennifer Hudson’s horribly unflattering cover last year.”

And Chic and Untroubled asks if Anna Wintour is just blatantly ripping off her French counterpart, sans drag queen: “Sure, Lebron could never be confused with the ultra-fabulous Andre J. But look how both covers – featuring black man and attractive model – are so similar in format. Even right down to the cover lines – look how they are both mostly concentrated to the left side.”

What do you think of the cover, featuring athlete LeBron James with supermodel Gisele?

Interracial Porn: Holding Us Back While Getting Us Off? (Pt. 2)

by Racialicious special correspondent Wendi Muse

(. . . Continued from Part 1)

The hypothetical situation I posed above is clearly as far-fetched as Jensen’s advocacy of ending masculinity, but in the long run, especially with so many supporters of the eradication of race and the installation of colorblind institutions, could an erasure of race as we know it lead to an altering of our fantasies and their portrayal on screen?

My answer is a definite yes.

Without a doubt, the use of race in fantasy scenarios aids the process of arousal. Taboo elements in porn assist in the option of living vicariously through the actors/performers on-screen. Particularly with regard to race, as one’s race is basically immutable, certain attributes assigned to the actors’ respective sexual prowess or lack thereof are also seen as immutable, rendering porn actors/actresses of color mere props in a fantasy, just like whips, chains, or clamps would be in an S&M flick. Their race, as set by the film’s theme or as interpreted by the viewer, becomes a vehicle for the fantasy, used solely for the sake of helping the viewer achieve orgasm. Race becomes a fetish element, if you will, and porn writers, producers, and the actors involved use essentialization as a key part—without it, the fantasy of interracial sex dissolves.

The very fact that interracial porn is a genre in itself is telling. With porn categories often catered to the specifics needs (or assumed needs) of its viewers, sex between a black man and an Asian-American woman, as an example, becomes comparable to sex between a dom and a sub, simply another image to fulfill the sexual desires of the audience, though through considerably dehumanizing means. For example, just as women in straight porn films are often degraded, usually supplying self-deprecating speeches to mirror the verbal abuse of her male partner, interracial porn performers must do the same, often spouting out racist rhetoric that would make a Neo-Nazi blush, solely to bolster the element of fantasy.

Stereotypes replace basic dialogue, with the characters often addressing each other in race-based sexual terms, most particularly those which employ synecdoche (i.e. a black man may be referred to simply as “big black d*ck” or, as commonly seen in films featuring American men with Brazilian female sex partners, a Latina may be referred to solely by the size and shape of her bottom). And just as in “mono-racial” porn, third person becomes the most common form of address, with the actors often self-narrating, giving some of the actions a more disturbing meaning if the dialogue is racist (i.e. lines like “watch me make this Asian b*tch my little Geisha whore”). Violence is often combined with sex in hardcore interracial porn, closely correlating with mono-racial porn, yet when added with racism and verbal abuse, interracial sex in porn takes on a unique meaning, that being mainly that in order to have proper sex with someone of a different race, or to enjoy that fantasy, defilement is essential. And again much like its mono-racial counterpart, interracial porn employs exaggeration as a device to enhance scenarios further, though in a racial context, often with stereotypes, race-based monikers, and objectification at a heightened level. Even the racial differences themselves are greatly exaggerated and, many times, inaccurate (much like mainstream Hollywood films), with people of color fitting a specific and predictable description physically (Latinas tend to have dark hair, olive skin tones, and physical proportions that weigh heavily on the lower half, black actors/actresses usually have dark skin as to provide a color contrast with their non-black sex partner, etc), transforming race into not only a prop, as mentioned previously, but also as a costume and a landscape upon which the cinematographic foundation relies for stability. Continue reading

Interracial Porn: Holding Us Back While Getting Us Off? (Pt 1)

by Racialicious special correspondent Wendi Muse

I am by no means an expert on porn, nor do I pretend to be. Yet considering the volume of hits on xtube.com or youporn.com that could be traced back to my IP address, one would assume so. If not that, one would at least be able to mentally file away my name with all the other people in the “creepy” category. Some of you may be wondering about this new obsession of mine that has developed during my period of hiatus, but I can fortunately hold someone else partially responsible.

In November of 2007, Courtney, a contributing blogger for Feministing, reviewed a book aptly titled Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity by Robert Jensen. Much like fellow feminist theorist, the late Andrea Dworkin, Jensen considers pornography a visual manifestation of misogyny—hatred of women captured on film. With sexual arousal distracting the viewer, acts of violence and subjugation of women are interpreted through a different lens than, say, if they were portrayed minus the element of sex. Yet also like Dworkin, Jensen’s work borders on misandrist, stating as his major thesis that “If men are going to be full human beings, we first have to stop being men.” Using pornography as a microcosmic representation of the world as a whole, at least insofar as relationships between men and women are concerned, Jensen proposes that masculinity must be abandoned altogether as, in his opinion, it is inextricably linked to a world in which women are viewed as stupid, submissive, and deserving of abuse.

I agree with Courtney in her mention of the many loopholes within the book, in particular her comments regarding women who enjoy submission or even pain during sex. I also concur with regard to her discussion of images and scenarios within pornography playing out in real life. Many once-taboo subjects and sex acts, including, but not limited to, threesomes or multi-partner sex, anal sex, BDSM, and even the use and purchase of sex toys, have become mainstream. Porn is not entirely the culprit, but its proliferation has certainly aided Americans in their burgeoning sexual open-mindedness. With an orgasm only a click away, pornography has experienced a similar transformation to that of the music industry, with the creation of mp3s and pirate sites, and the film and tv industry, with the onslaught of youtube and bootleg dvds of sidewalk entrepreneurs.

After reading Courtney’s review of Getting Off (which you can read, in full, here) I wanted to take Jensen’s argument a bit further. Despite my disagreeing with him on some points, I felt that Jensen’s thoughts on gender roles in porn could be easily applied to the use of race in porn, particularly interracial porn. Following his thesis, in short, that masculinity by definition supports a system of misogyny, a characteristic clearly demonstrated in (straight) pornography, and the only way to progress beyond this conveyance of hatred toward women is to eradicate masculinity in its entirety, I came up with the following: Continue reading

Two books I won’t be reading, thanks

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

A couple of books have come to my attention lately that are truly cringe-worthy. The first is self-published (thanks Wendi):

Check out the official description:

If you’re a White man interested in dating Black women, this book shows you how to make it happen. Learn how Black women think, what they like and don’t like to see in White men, and where and how to go about meeting them. Find out how to cope with public reaction to interracial couples, learn how to counteract the psychological inhibitions that can hold you back from getting involved and understand why those who oppose interracial relationships feel compelled to think and act the way they do. Find out what works and get involved.

It’s amazing how popular this genre is: self-help for the racial fetishists. See here and here and here and here for more examples.

The other one has to be the most Orientalist personal finance book every written (thanks Francesca):

As you read the official description, can’t you just smell the sweet opium hear the goooooooooonnnnnnnngggg?

Millions of readers have thrilled to the astonishing true adventures of the tiny peasant who achieved ultimate prosperity during history’s most turbulent epoch. Now, The Prosperous Peasant reveals the Secrets that guided him–and successful people the world over–since time began.

A colorful cast of teachers–the peasant-turned-samurai Hideyoshi, Kembo the Vengeful Priest, Fernao the Portuguese trader, the brilliant strategist Nobunaga, Daizen the ronin, and many others–bring to life five ageless Secrets of Fortune and Fulfillment in parables whose beauty and truthfulness haunts and inspires.

The key to Prosperity, readers learn, lies not in “techniques” or “strategies” but in ancient knowledge drawn from the great philosophies of China and Japan–wisdom more fundamental than any “how-to” advice.

Forged in an extraordinary collaboration between an acclaimed novelist and a Japan specialist who made his own fortune, The Prosperous Peasant will teach, charm, and motivate–but above all, its powerful message may change your life.

Begin your journey to prosperity and fulfillment today. Heed the ageless wisdom of The Prosperous Peasant!

This edition includes an all-new abridgment of Bushido, Nitobe’s classic on the Eight Virtues of the chivalrous code of the samurai.

Ebony magazine takes on Africa

by guest contributor Harry Allen, Hip-Hop Activist & Media Assassin

This is almost too easy, but if you’ve not yet picked up or flipped through December 2007′s self-proclaimed “special collector’s edition” of EBONY, get a gander at:

- Michael Jackson on the cover…and way too much inside (“25 Years After Thriller“), glowing, translucently; with an almost inner light.

- “The Africa You Don’t Know”: An ehh-not-the-worst-given-it’s-EBONY section on the continent. (Even if you don’t buy the issue, check p. 115 for Nigerian journalist Gbemisola Olujobi’s pull-quote about “disaster pornography”; probably the sharpest 42 words you’ll read about the continent this winter.)

- An interview with Bill Clinton about Africa, continuing mainstream Black media’s despicable tradition of speaking to important government leaders through mouths full of puffery. ESSENCE interviews Condoleezza Rice, but doesn’t ask her why she was buying BDSM boots while New Orleansers were floating face down in rancid water, or EBONY talking to Clinton about the continent, but not a single question about Darfur, not to mention Rwanda. (They did get in two questions about “the American Dream,” however. What????)

In fact, Clinton raises the genocide in Rwanda. He doesn’t discuss it, though, or his role in it. He just says, “Take Rwanda, devastated by the 1994 genocide,” the lets fly a paragraph’s worth of “but now”-type banter, plus violas: “Now look at what they’re doing. They’re growing rapidly; they have all kinds of partners, including [Microsoft's] Bill Gates and me. They’ve opened themselves to the world. They’ve even developed a film industry, for goodness sakes.” Yes; that’s what they needed 13 years ago to stop crudely stamped, Chinese-made machetes: software partnerships and film.

- A story of interracial love as only EBONY can tell it: Janet Langhart and Bill Cohen (Clinton’s defense secretary), with an opening, “our love is alive” photo portrait (p. 158) so fake it’ll make you swear off interracial romance.

Wow. I guess EBONY is still good for something.

Mandingo party on Nip/Tuck

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Did anyone catch Nip/Tuck this week?

I was amused to find that the episode included a faithful reproduction of the “Mandingo party” that was the topic of a much-discussed Details magazine article in April 2007. I swear, they even recreated this exact photo, with two actors who looked exactly like this black man and white woman, and made it a point to show one scene where some revelers get it on in a kid’s room.

The episode even included a cameo by the ultimate Mandingo, Mr. Lexington Steele himself!

Was the episode racially problematic? Well yeah. But for some reason I just can’t take it that seriously – especially since that original article was such a joke. And the show totally played it for laughs.

Also, I was too busy cracking up at the fact that the head Mandingo was played by Boris Kodjoe, who just happens to be the celebrity crush of a certain former New Demographic co-director! *cough*jenchau*cough*

And then we get things like Blatino porn

by guest contributor Luke Lee

Ugh. Who would’ve thought that a conversation about pheromones and guys from Eastern Europe would’ve led to talking about Mendel, evolutionary biology in terms of “interracial mixing” and accountants dating accountants. Such was the case on Episode 57 of Dan Savage’s Savage Love Podcast (“Lovecast” as it is officially called).

Dan Savage, a syndicated sex-advice columnist who I’ve always been a big fan of had The Stranger’s (a local Seattle newspaper) resident science expert Jonathan Golob on the podcast to answer the various listener questions that came up. As one person inquired about the legitimacy of pheromones and whether he (the listener) had a weakness to the pheromones for men from a certain country from Eastern Europe, the conversation somehow stumbled to:

[13:03-16-12] Dan: We know that mutts are healthier than purebred dogs, right

Jonathan: Oh yea, for sure

Dan: So genetic mixing, [lowers voice] race mixing…is actually good and healthy for human populations and human society.

Jonathan: Oh for sure. I mean The more mixed you are…the bigger the difference genetically between…you and…your parents…You just tend to do better. I mean everyone has two copies of the same genes, blah blah blah…

Dan: That’s why those Euroasian guys are so fucking hot.

Jonathan: Exactly, and so it’s F1…F1’s the key. It gets the biggest pea plants with the best peas..this is Mendel going back to…

Dan: OK, so I have a question about that…because we know that to be true…that dog mutts are healthier from dog mutts to human mutts. Is there something in us that compels us to…you meet people that are attracted to their ethnic or racial polar opposites. And some people think that’s all formed in a welter of racism. That it’s an objectification…you know a White guy only into black girls. You know, uh an Asian guy whose only into white women. You hear that this is ohh racism expressing itself. Is there some sort of like genetic compulsion there? Where there’s some people who there for the health of the greater population seek out the radically different…racially, genetically?

Jonathan: I think there is. It’s a really hard thing to test. Cause it’s hard to separate the genetic from the cultural and the race and all this stuff. And you tend to date the people you tend to see…

They then start talking about interracial dating preferences and some studies which Jonathan makes some references to which he says that women are basically more race-specific when it comes to choosing potential partners whereas men “will fuck anything.” Towards the end they start talking more in general biology terms with the whole hybrid vigor “race mixing is good for the planet” suggestion led by Dan and backed up by Jonathan. So prepare for eyeballs to be rolled, the three minutes of “race mixing talk”, very much unlike Dan’s usual podcasts and columns, are all over the place.

Check out his podcast here.