--cross-posted on Musings in the Dark
Recently, I had the experience of corresponding with a young woman I’ll call Brina. Brina was friends with a Filipino guy I’ll call Asshole. You’ll understand why in a little while. Anyway, Brina got out of a relationship and became friends with Asshole. They got along very well, and five months after meeting, they became friends with benefits.
I’m going to digress for a moment to say this: FWBs just don’t work. It requires a particular mindset, and most women don’t have said mental perspective. We will rationalize the hell out of the situation and look for validation in the tiniest of opinions, but the truth of the matter is that FWBs simply.don’t.work. Because once that happens, the power dynamic shifts. In this case, Brina allowed the power to shift to Asshole, and he began to demonstrate his name.
Anyhoo, the FWB situation went on for a few months. One day, Asshole tells Brina (who’s rocking a ‘fro) that he prefers her hair to be “long and straight.” For us seasoned vets, that’s the first red flag. Brina recognized it (probably via hindsight) as a red flag, but she dismissed it. Then one night, Asshole got drunk and told her that he really liked her and he was considering asking her out, but couldn’t because she wasn’t white.
Take a moment; let that marinate.
Brina dismissed his drunken statement as the musings of a drunk, but my Momma always told me that a drunk speaks a sober mind. Sometime later, Asshole (now sober) told Brina again that he couldn’t date her because she wasn’t white, and she became upset. To paraphrase her words; if he liked her and considered her a friend, then he wouldn’t have said such things to her. She ended the friendship and it took him two months to apologize. The situation caused Brina to question her attraction to Asian men in general, and she wanted to know how to get past the hurt.
I’m not an expert on anything, but I’m old enough to have learned some things when dealing with a significant other. Brina said that she never saw him as anything more than a friend, but I call shenanigans. I’m reposting some of my responses below.
“What I first have to ask is did you truly like this guy as potentially more than a friend, or was he was someone you were just cool with? Based on the rest of your message, I'm inclined to think the former was the case. Otherwise, it wouldn't have hurt so bad.”
“The second thing I should point out is that you didn't take time to heal from your last relationship, regardless as to you being "friends" with this guy. You were hurting and it was instinctive to transfer some of your emotion onto the new guy. So when the hurt came, it was a double whammy.”
“But the second you had sex with him, you lost your power. He didn't see you as anything more than a piece of ass…You should have ended your relationship with him immediately after he let you know that he couldn't accept you as you are, in spite of having sex with you on a regular basis. Again, this is indicative of how he sees you.”
In re: the hair:
“Your hair wasn't long and straight when you entered into the FWB agreement, correct? He didn't have a problem with your hair when you guys were sweating it out, right?”
In re: him telling her that he couldn’t ask her out because she wasn’t white:
“What you heard from him is the pure, unadulterated truth. He wasn't confused; he was simply being honest for the very first time. Again, you were black when you were doing the horizontal bop and he didn't have a problem with it then…You shouldn't have been surprised. He told you this before. Him being drunk is irrelevant. He was looking for the courage to tell you this. That he found it in a bottle tells you what kind of man he really is...and is this a man you want to be in a relationship with?"
In re: her questioning his perspective in regards to their “friendship”:
“Yet another indicator that you thought more of him than he did of you. If he liked you and was an actual friend, he would have never said the words. That it took him two months to apologize tells you one more time that he's a dick...and you're better off without him.”
In re: Brina’s claim that they were nothing but friends:
“Are you sure about this? You don't have to tell me, but you need to be truthful with yourself. If all he was to you was a friend, then I don't think his words would have hurt as much as they did. Only you know this for sure.”
In re: Brina questioning her attraction to Asian men as a result:
“It don't matter what color he is; he could be black, white, Asian, Arab, Hispanic, purple or Scotch plaid...men of all colors have pulled shit like this. His skin color has nothing to do with the fact that he's a dick. Your interest in Asian men should not be deterred by the actions of one asshole…you can't judge an entire race or gender based on the behavior of that one guy. A brotha could have done it, as could a white man or a Hispanic dude. Just so happens, this cat was Filipino.”
And in re: her question on how to deal with the debacle:
“I suggest you take some time to be alone and process all this. Give yourself time to heal and decide what it is you really want in a relationship, then be open to it. And when I say time, I don't mean a few weeks. Stop dwelling on it. You didn't do anything wrong. Cry if you need to, throw things, cuss him out, burn his picture...whatever. Once you get past the immediate anger, then letting go becomes easier. And when I say let go, that means ending your "friendship" with him. Close that door and lock it. If you try to maintain any kind of relationship with this guy, all it will do is draw out your pain. He's already shown you who he is, so believe him…The next time your instincts tell you to run or drop a mofo, listen and obey.”
I know it wasn’t easy for Brina to read my responses, but she didn’t email me with the expectations of getting a sugarcoated reply; at least I hope not. I hope she took my words to heart, because I speak from experience. It isn’t fair for her to assume that just because one douchenozzle (who happened to be Asian) broke her heart that all Asian men will do the same, and it isn’t fair to Asian men that she make such a broad supposition. Men aren’t monoliths. Assholes come in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders.
Brina’s email got me to thinking about how easy it is for people to classify entire groups based on an individual. This happens every day, with every societal construct. Election season is in full swing and everybody everywhere is hearing all these monolithic myths. You know a few:
“All men are dogs.”
“Black women are ugly, fat, independent gold-digging welfare moms.”
“A white man wouldn’t treat me like this.”
“Asian women are docile.”
“All she needs is some dick to make her feel better.”
“Black men ain’t shit.”
“Asian men are effeminate.”
“She’s a mean lesbian man-hating stuck-up bitch [because she won’t go out with me].”
I could go on, but you get the idea. And I’m sure I’ll be revisiting this topic in later posts. Feel free to share any monolith myths you’ve heard or have knowledge of.