Diversity Is Strength! It`s Also…Ethnic Come-ons


[Previously by Athena
Kerry
:


Brainwashing In Academe: The Resident Assistant`s Tale
]

In an online conversation
yesterday, my fellow coed Jenni vented to me about the
declining club scene in Dallas, where she is currently
attending school.

Deep Ellum, the entertainment
district that was once known for its great restaurants,
quirky boutiques, and impressive music scene, is
collapsing. Two of Dallas` oldest and best venues have
declared bankruptcy in the past six months.

If you ask the city, they`ll blame
anything from

9/11
to changing tastes. But the old regulars will
tell you exactly what went wrong.

“It`s

not safe anymore,
Jenni told me, “now that
the city let them open the

black clubs.
Instead of local bands, everything is

gangsta rap.

“Besides,” she added,
laughing, “we got tired of all the black guys
commenting on our butts.”

In the PC-saturated world of
university life, it`s amazing how frank girls can still
be.

Several weeks ago, as I—well, ok,
as my boyfriend—struggled to haul boxes out of my old
apartment and into my new one, a young Mexican man
called to me from outside the courtyard gate. He could
hardly speak English. It was only through a series of
grunts and gesticulations that he asked for the time.
But, to my amazement, despite the apparently steep
language barrier, he still managed a come-on, saying:
“You must have a pretty mama,”
as I walked away.

It was only when I had to explain
to my perplexed beau that this is a common way Mexican
men hit on girls my age (I`m 21) that I realized how
ethnically identifiable come-ons can be. Intrigued, I
decided to ask around and see what my other girlfriends
had to say.

As it turns out, not only are there
different tastes and tactics associated with different
ethnic groups, but they are well known. My informal
interviews identified the following trends, each of
which were, interestingly and perhaps surprisingly,
universally confirmed among my friends:


  • Black guys like big butts
    :

    By far the most
    common observation, this reality was reiterated
    time and time again by numerous and instant
    responses I received. Kari, a beautiful blonde
    friend-of-a-friend, told me that all of her
    boyfriends until recently were black, because
    of my ass
    .”
    (Apparently the saying “once
    you go black you don`t go back”
    doesn`t apply to
    her!) Maybe this isn`t a surprise. You need look
    only as far as pop music like the chart-topper

    “My Humps”
    (by the Black Eyed Peas) or the
    80s classic

    “I Like Big Butts”
    (by the one-hit wonder
    Sir Mix-a-Lot) to get a grope…err, grip…on the
    action.

And speaking of gropes,


  • Asians (i.e. what used
    to be called Orientals) squeeze for freshness
    .

    Unlike grocery store produce, women that I know
    don`t respond positively to pinches, pokes or even
    pats while stuck in a crowded elevator. But as of
    yet, Asi an
    men haven`t

    caught on.

This isn`t just a vicious rumor
started by intolerant college girls—the Japan Times
has been
reporting on how this problem has stirred some city
train lines to introduce women-only cars. But that sort
of segregation on my campus would inspire

GLBTQA protesters
to demonstrate outrage at forcing
anyone to declare a particular gender.

Meanwhile, we co-eds just watch our
backsides during the weekly
Asian Student Alliance
meetings at the student
union.

Esther Pan of Newsweek announced

some time ago
that Asian boyfriends are the
fashion accessory of the moment
. Pan described the
emerging “Asian machismo” that is

apparently
turning the nerdy, wimpy or androgynous

Asian stereotype
into a trendy, studly
short-dark-and-handsome stereotype.

Trendy fashion accessory? That
makes it sounds like any day now we`ll be carrying them
around in tiny

Paris Hilton style
Chihuahua cases studded with pink
diamonds.  Frankly, I haven`t seen much of either side.
The “Asian machismo” emergence on our campus
manifests itself as a gathering reputation for
materialistic obsessions,

hip-hop music
, snazzy new technology and pumped-up
cars.

Machismo may be diversifying into
Asians, but that doesn`t mean it`s abandoned its
origins. I noticed in my conversations that while
discussions of blacks` preference for “junk in the
trunk”
and Asian`s failure to keep their hands to
themselves, were met with amusement and rolling eyes,
the

behavior of Mexican men
was discussed with

deadly seriousness.




  • Mexican men
    are
    widely despised

    among young (white) women for
    whistling out car windows, yelling crude and
    offensive remarks, or simply leering obnoxiously at
    anything that walks past with a hint of estrogen.

Now, understand me. I`m not saying
my Mexican college classmates behave this way. If they
did, they would certainly be

hung, drawn and quartered
by the

campus anti-harassment powers-that-be.
Apparently, college
acts as a kind of filter.

 But it`s in the time spent outside
the classroom—walking through the nearby

parks
, down

sidewalks
, past

train platforms
or

construction crews
, across streets, down grocery
store aisles—basically anywhere

groups of Mexican males
, young or old, may be
assembled—that my girlfriends are exposed to these
outbursts. It`s not unusual to hear foul language,
suggestive references to food, motherhood or specific
body parts. Ultimately, it`s loathsome and humiliating.

Once, while ascending as

mall escalato
r, I found myself behind a Mexican
family consisting of what appeared to be a mother,
father, and two very cute twin girls. Halfway up, the
father leaned over the banister and made a vulgar
gesture toward a display on a lower floor. Turning to
the mother of his children he said with a grin, “That
mannequin has nice tits.”

She didn`t respond. She seemed to
be

used to it.

Is this what President Bush means
when he says Family
Values
don`t stop at the Rio Grande?”

Of course, very few young males of
any ethnicity were immune from my friends` criticism.

Italians
were identified by a

swagger
and the pickup line, “How YOU doin`?”
Frat guys apparently only hit on the

drunken girls.

Hate to say it—but friend after
friend pined for an intelligent, masculine romantic—a
(slightly more sensitive)

John Wayne.

And where have all the

cowboys
gone—Brokeback
Mountain
?


Athena Kerry (email
her
)
recently graduated from a Catholic university somewhere in
America.