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If you are a POC married to a white person

nala

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Do you ever feel like you witness white privilege? Do you benefit as well? Do you feel like others judge you for having a colonized mind? Do you ever self examine?
 

nala

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I’ll get the ball rolling. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
 

voce

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Yes. No. No. Yes.
 

telephone89

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I'm not, but I asked my husband.
Do you ever feel like you witness white privilege? Yes, absolutely.

Do you benefit as well? Yes. He says that people let him "pass through" when he's with me, when others get stopped. I assumed this was an airport thing, but he said even in "fancy" restaurants/bars/clubs. He prefers to book things under my name (airbnb, flights) because he thinks its less likely to get flagged*.

Do you feel like others judge you for having a colonized mind? Neither of us understood this one.

Do you ever self examine? Constantly.

*I should add he has a very strong ethnic name, and I have a very plain white girl name if that wasnt clear.
 

nala

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I'm not, but I asked my husband.
Do you ever feel like you witness white privilege? Yes, absolutely.

Do you benefit as well? Yes. He says that people let him "pass through" when he's with me, when others get stopped. I assumed this was an airport thing, but he said even in "fancy" restaurants/bars/clubs. He prefers to book things under my name (airbnb, flights) because he thinks its less likely to get flagged.

Do you feel like others judge you for having a colonized mind? Neither of us understood this one.

Do you ever self examine? Constantly.
To clarify what you didn’t understand. Does your own race judge you and infer that you married a white person because you hold a colonized point of view, that is, you view the white person as the ideal person and thus, feel validated because your own culture rejected you? Think: things fall apart
 
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telephone89

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To clarify what you didn’t understand. Does your own race judge you and infer that you married a shire person because you through a colonized point of view, you view the white person as the ideal person?
He says: No, most of our friends are in various sorts of interracial relationships. I'm quite sure mom wished Id married someone of similar background, but AFAIK no one has viewed it from a colonized POV.

Interesting question though. I hope more people elaborate.
 

TheGarnetGirl

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lol I thought POC stood for "piece of crap" and I was like
damn nala, suppose she's lost her mind!

& before anyone feeling righteous enough jumps up to say that me not recognizing that acronym is a "micro-aggression" just know I never hear that where I live so I didn't easily
recognize it, usually its said using the word "minority".
I live in a place where I'm the minority actually, which was an interesting way
to grow up.

Also this thread is thought provoking and I'm interested
in reading the responses.
 

nala

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lol I thought POC stood for "piece of crap" and I was like
damn nala, suppose she's lost her mind!

& before anyone feeling righteous enough jumps up to say that me not recognizing that acronym is a "micro-aggression" just know I never hear that where I live so I didn't easily
recognize it, usually its said using the word "minority".
I live in a place where I'm the minority actually, which was an interesting way
to grow up.

Also this thread is thought provoking and I'm interested
in reading the responses.
Sorry. I posted after a few glasses of wine. Otherwise, I would totally have spelled out the acronym. My bad. But damn!
 

ForteKitty

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Yes. Yes. Sometimes. Always. (@nala, you met him in Carlsbad, right? He showed up briefly with the kid)

I feel like he gets away with things all the time, like you wouldn't believe! It's always "sure, bro, whatever you want" (he's not a "bro dude" so I dunno why they bro him all the time) "here, take it, on the house" He does get mistaken for military often even though he isn't. We've been offered military discount and had to turn it down more times than I can count. (I'm from military family, taking advantage of that when we aren't military is wrong, imo)

Since he gets away with a ton, I obviously benefit. I can't recall one time when our TSA check took more than a few seconds when we travel together. When I fly by myself, there's a lot more squinting and hmms. What @telephone89 's husband said regarding fancy restaurants, I've noticed as well. It's just easier to put things under my husband's name. My name is spelled different and I never changed my last name, so it's obvious.

Some strangers have made comments, like "what, Asian guys aren't good enough for you?"... but that was a while ago and I haven't heard much of it lately.

I am always aware and conscious of my second-degree privilege. I'm also aware that as an Asian female, we are often seen as meek and submissive, therefore not a threat. Which in itself is a privilege because I've gotten out of situations with law enforcement that would have easily resulted in tickets or arrests if I was black.
 

PintoBean

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When the detectives came to tell me my husband had passed away, they weren't sure what I was to him. They stared, perplexed, and asked if I was err... did I know him? And uh... what was my relation to him? Or something like that. When I said wife, they sure looked more perplexed with an added layer of unexpected surprise.

In college, I had a blonde haired blue eyed frat boy boyfriend that resembled a floppy haired Nick Carter. When I told my "friends", the guys who lived downstairs, who I was dating, one blurted out, "how did you do THAT? I mean, normally they dont date girls like you."

So ... just a taste of my life...
 

stracci2000

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Here's another facet to this discussion.
DH's parents are an interracial couple.
His Dad is a white guy from Michigan and his Mom is Native American.
I think she hugely benefited from marrying him, because where I live (New Mexico), Natives get stereotyped all the time.
I think it made her life much easier.
 

YadaYadaYada

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Sorry this is a bit of a tangent but I dated this guy once who was Puerto Rican. He told me that having me on his arm would get him farther in life and raise his status because I was white, I was a trophy to him. True story. Apparently he really believed this because after I dumped his butt he went on to marry someone white.

My husband is also Puerto Rican/Italian and I don't think that fazes anyone when we go out, if anything the fact he is a foot taller than me probably makes them stare more than anything.
 

missy

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Another tangent if I may.

One of my closest friends is a Muslim Indian and her family disowned her when she married B who is an Iranian Jew. They’re happily married 4 plus decades later. Her family still has nothing to do with her. :(
 

fluffboll

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Some people seem surprised/confused when they hear my last name or come to visit. I am a mixed race (African and European) woman who married a white man with a surname that is easily recognisable as aristocratic. Apparently my husband and our home are too grand for the likes of me...:rolleyes: One of our neighbours once complained that my husband polluted the bloodline by having kids with me :angryfire:. I believe that my husband's privilege stems from his social class rather than his ethnicity. Do I benefit from his privilege? Probably. I don't know if people judge me, but if they do, I couldn't care less. I'm not entirely sure what the question about self examination means.
 

737lizakg

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Yes. Yes. No. Yes but not about my mixed race partnership.

I am asian and was raised 'white', as I was adopted. Grew up in a white milieu, a very privileged one at that. I was subjected to blatant racism from the age of 6, but didn't notice the subtleties, or realise how it affected my everyday, until I dated a black man. We were stopped or examined nearly every time we crossed the border for our daily commute. It made me more aware of how I was treated when alone, vs how white people are treated.

I have a 'white' name that benefits me with written correspondence. Face to face, I am not spared.

Having grown up in a different 'culture' than what my ethnicity would suggest, I cannot really comment on the colonial aspect. In any case I haven't had any comments hinting at it. If the question is do I on a subconscious level see caucasians as more desireable and is that a result of colonialism? No, I never saw myself as asian, or different from any race, until the world told me I was. This is due to where and how I was raised. The debate of whether my parents were right in their method is up for debate.

My partner now is a tall white brit. I am acutely aware that I benefit from being with him and his privilege. He doesn't aknowlege it as much as he should, but he is trying to better understand and appreciate it.

A recent anecdotal story: My partner comes from a rather unsavoury town in the midlands, and I once made the mistake of taking the train solo on a Friday night. I had initially wanted to leave during the daytime as I was nervous. But he actually laughed and said I would be fine, saying 'I've ridden the train loads of times at all hours and am always fine'. Like i said, he is learning. Man, is he a slow learner.

Had he been with me, I would have perhaps been better protected from the aggressive racism and sexism that I endured. Luckily a stranger read the situation and expertly diffused the atmosphere but I doubt anyone other that a burly white male would have been able to do what he did. I am forever grateful to him.
 

elizat

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I'm a white woman. I dated a man from Kenya originally, that came to the US in his late teens. He was a CPA and working on a graduate degree when we dated. In a moment of drunkness, he told me part of the reason he pursued me was because I was white and that appealed to him, as a symbol. That didn't sit well with me. I'll probably be judged harshly here for saying that.

He cheated on me with a black woman after being together over a year. When I found out, from her, by a phone call, she told me I deserved it for taking a "good successful black man" from a black woman, by even dating him.

I think the whole situation was uncomfortable, to say the least.
 

yssie

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Sun was going down. We parked at the grocery store. My (white, male) other half saw another vehicle's headlights on and started walking toward that car.
I waited for him to... Well, I wasn't sure what he was trying to do, grab the plate so the store could broadcast it?

The driver-side window's open.
He starts reaching inside.
I freak. I start scream-whispering every instruction and obsenity I can think of trying to make him get the heck away from someone else's car without alerting the whole parking lot to what he's doing.
I remember that he paused in surprise, then glared at me, and proceeded to ignore me and actually stick his hand through the window.
At that point I ran to him and dragged him away.

I was beyond furious - what on earth did he think he was doing!? Anyone would have thought he was trying to steal that car!!!
His response was that he was going to get in and turn their lights off. Y'know, as one does. As people have been doing for others in their communities for decades. What was I making such a fuss over? Who would think anyone in our little town would be trying to steal a car?
I asked what he'd have done had the owners come out.
He said he'd have explained, and they'd obviously have been grateful.
I asked what he'd have done had the owners called the cops.
He said again that he'd have explained, and there wouldn't have been any problem.
I asked what he'd have done had the owners had a gun or two.
He told me I was being ridiculous and paranoid. No-one's going to shoot someone for turning their lights off.

I don't know what sort of privilege that is, but whatever it is, I sure as heck don't have it.
The fact that my own partner couldn't understand why his actions would unnerve and scare me - well, that scared me more, to be honest.
I'm getting angry now just thinking about it.

This is the same man that doesn't understand why I don't like to stop at rest stops late at night to take a nap, and who thinks I'm overreacting when I worry about taking the metro/subway by myself at night. But he never encourages me to do those things - me being uncomfortable is enough reason not to, even if the "why" eludes him.
 
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TheGarnetGirl

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Sun was going down. We parked at the grocery store. My (white, male) other half saw another vehicle's headlights on and started walking toward that car.
I waited for him to... Well, I wasn't sure what he was trying to do, grab the plate so the store could broadcast it?

The driver-side window's open.
He starts reaching inside.
I freaked. I start scream-whispering every instruction and obsenity I can think of trying to make him get the heck away from someone else's car without alerting the whole parking lot to what he's doing.
I remember that he paused in surprise, then glared at me, and proceeded to ignore me and actually stick his hand through the window.
At that point I ran to him and dragged him away.

I was beyond furious - and scared - what on earth did he think he was doing!? Anyone would have thought he was trying to steal that car!!!
His response was that he was going to get in and turn their lights off. Y'know, as one does. As people have been doing for others in their communities for decades. What was I making such a fuss over? Who would think anyone in our little town would be trying to steal a car?
I asked what he'd have done had the owners come out.
He said he'd have explained, and they'd obviously have been grateful.
I asked what he'd have done had the owners called the cops.
He said again that he'd have explained, and there wouldn't have been any problem.
I asked what he'd have done had the owners had a gun or two.
He told me I was being ridiculous and paranoid.

I don't know what sort of privilege that is, but whatever it is, I sure as heck don't have it. I know that had I seen a stranger get out of MY vehicle - I would NOT have been grateful that he'd turned my lights off for me. I'd have been completely unnerved.
The fact that my own partner couldn't understand why this would scare me - well, that scared me more, to be honest.
I'm getting angry now just thinking about that debacle.

This is the same man that doesn't understand why I don't like to stop at rest stops late at night to take a nap, and who thinks I'm overreacting when I worry about taking the metro/subway by myself at night. But he never encourages me to do those things - me being uncomfortable is enough reason not to, even if the "why" eludes him.
I'm caucasian and I honestly would never dream of doing any of the above either although I may have a different perspective because I grew up in an elementary where I was one of 2 white children in all 6 grades and was teased and picked on for it. Kinder is where I learned to stick up for myself actually.
Its a weird situation.

My partner is also caucasian and he does dumb stuff like yours as well and was raised in a predominantly white city. He easily gets road rage here and I get so mad at him over it because theres been instances where people have been shot at while driving in my state over that. Theres definitely some form of priveldge in a sense depending on where you live.

Or maybe its just optimism, ignorance, and confidence?
 

yssie

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Some combination of small-town, white, male that's going to get him killed if he doesn't start seeing the world for what it is.
Mine also gets road rage over (to me, a regular commuter in the DC metro area) the dumbest things, and he'll show it, and I also get angry with him for exactly the same reason - he just truly doesn't believe he'll come to harm.
Ugh, I'm seriously angry right now!
 

YadaYadaYada

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We have lived in our neighborhood for 17 years and just a couple of weeks ago we noticed that our neighbor's car door was open. Tried to ring the bell, no answer so we kept walking. Never in a million years would we touch that door, sad but that's how it is now.
 

ForteKitty

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Sun was going down. We parked at the grocery store. My (white, male) other half saw another vehicle's headlights on and started walking toward that car.
I waited for him to... Well, I wasn't sure what he was trying to do, grab the plate so the store could broadcast it?

The driver-side window's open.
He starts reaching inside.
I freak. I start scream-whispering every instruction and obsenity I can think of trying to make him get the heck away from someone else's car without alerting the whole parking lot to what he's doing.
I remember that he paused in surprise, then glared at me, and proceeded to ignore me and actually stick his hand through the window.
At that point I ran to him and dragged him away.

I was beyond furious - what on earth did he think he was doing!? Anyone would have thought he was trying to steal that car!!!
His response was that he was going to get in and turn their lights off. Y'know, as one does. As people have been doing for others in their communities for decades. What was I making such a fuss over? Who would think anyone in our little town would be trying to steal a car?
I asked what he'd have done had the owners come out.
He said he'd have explained, and they'd obviously have been grateful.
I asked what he'd have done had the owners called the cops.
He said again that he'd have explained, and there wouldn't have been any problem.
I asked what he'd have done had the owners had a gun or two.
He told me I was being ridiculous and paranoid. No-one's going to shoot someone for turning their lights off.

I don't know what sort of privilege that is, but whatever it is, I sure as heck don't have it.
The fact that my own partner couldn't understand why his actions would unnerve and scare me - well, that scared me more, to be honest.
I'm getting angry now just thinking about it.

This is the same man that doesn't understand why I don't like to stop at rest stops late at night to take a nap, and who thinks I'm overreacting when I worry about taking the metro/subway by myself at night. But he never encourages me to do those things - me being uncomfortable is enough reason not to, even if the "why" eludes him.
:-o:wall:

It just doesn't occur to them. I think being a white male is a big part of that equation. I frequently have to explain to my husband why we shouldn't do certain things. "because we'll get shot" "what? you're crazy. nothing ever happened to me!"
 

SparklieBug

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Not to distract from the topic of this thread, yet... the male thing. So many men have zero idea of what a typical female experiences. A couple years ago, there was an email that I received, a list of things that women have to be aware of. I had experienced nearly all of the things on the list but simply hadn't put them altogether at once. Things like changing sides of the street to avoid a group of men, or averting my eyes when I passed a group of men, or not being alone with a specific male (the father of a friend of mine), or staying silent for worry about being verbally attacked for my point of view, or being very aware of where I park even in daylight, and so on. The list was much longer but those are the ones I easily recall. Once I saw all the things listed together, I was literally shocked. I didn't think that I felt threatened but looking at the list and all the things that I had just "naturally" done sure opened my eyes.

My DH had no idea that women choose to be watchful/on guard pretty much all the time. Or maybe we don't have to be, but I sure am... And I haven't been abused, attacked or assaulted.

All this to say that perhaps the Caucasian/white husbands/partners are oblivious because they simply don't have to be aware of potentially dangerous situations. Because white male privilege?
 

SparklieBug

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I am Eurasian. My mother was Chinese (born in Canada), and my father was of British descent. They eloped because both families were firmly against the marriage, yet they were contentedly married for almost 60 years and had four children, including me.

As a kid I recall getting all sorts of overt stares from both ethnic groups, Chinese and Caucasian, when we'd go anywhere as a family. Even when they were grey-haired and elderly, they would still get The Stare from strangers.

There were probably times when Mom benefited from Dad's white privilege, yet I don't recall her speaking about it. I suppose that wasn't something that adults talked to their kids about in that era? There was definitely prejudice abounding, though. I recall instances of snide remarks, snarky behaviour, etc., toward my mom. Not to my dad, though, that I was aware of. And I definitely recall racial prejudice toward me, even as a five-year-old, from white adults who should have known better. Plus countless unintended slights from people who were so unaware of their white privilege—they had no idea that their language was hurtful and or offensive. Just wild, when I think back on it.

My niece's fiancé is from an African country. He has benefited from her "whiteness" (blonde hair, blue eyes), yet when they lived in a couple different African countries, she benefited from his ethnicity. They have absolutely experienced prejudice due to their interracial relationship. Interestingly, they had zero problems with it in Cape Town, but in Canada there was plenty of The Stare, snide comments, etc. It's so disheartening...
 

nala

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I am really enjoying your responses and haven’t personally replied to each bc I myself know it is a very sensitive subject that some are more comfy exploring than others. But I’m reading and relating to so many posts. I realize that i didn’t elaborate on my yes replies but I could spend hours writing on the subject and offering anecdotes.
I find myself self-examining a lot when I lose touch and feel like I am too assimilated. As a dark-skinned Latina, colorism is another form of racism in my community and my own family abused me verbally because of my skin tone. If I had bought into it, I would have zero self-esteem. Luckily, I was strong enough to love learning and to gain my self esteem through good grades and confidence naturally followed. I started fighting racism since I realized that my older siblings would use the color of my skin to put me down. And I could not understand what was wrong with being black, and i use term black tho my family was not kind enough to use that term. So I learned to have a thick skin and not give racists the power to offend me. And maybe this thick skin has made me overlook racist slights bc To this day, I don’t internalize any of them and tbh, i may not even acknowledge them. I also learned to be color blind—which according to society now and my DD—is not the goal of combating racism. But it worked for me so much so that when I married my white husband, that and my thick skin, i quickly adapted to his white privilege. Turns out I have a lot of examining to do and I don’t get a free pass when it comes to combating racism just because I’m A person of color. I think I’ve gotten too complacent bc I teach multicultural novels and lessons against racism—but it’s time I go beyond my comfort zone when it comes to fighting racism.
 

OboeGal

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In response to the white male privilege issue, I'm in kind of a reverse situation. My DH and I are the same essential ethnicity - Caucasian - but I've lived my entire life in Ohio and he is from the Netherlands. (He has been a US citizen for many years now, and has lived here for over 15 years.) He is always freaking out at things I'm inclined to do - such as respond to some local person's angry rant on Facebook or let a neighbor know that I'm pissed that they're having a big party during lockdown in a pandemic - because he is convinced that they will come after us with a gun. (He sees the growing anger here and it scares him, and the guns everywhere really scare him.) The first few times it happened I looked at him like he had two heads, but I've come to respect his fear. It was years, though, before he could get it to stick in my head that we needed to have the front and back doors locked at all times even when we're home - we never did in this same village when I was growing up. Is this some white American privilege on my part? Or am I just ridiculously naive?

Come to think of it - although these experiences don't really fit into nala's questions, we've each experienced cultural issues for being together. I honestly didn't expect that. On my very first trip to the Netherlands with him, most of his friends and neighbors made a point of telling me right away that they didn't like Americans or America. Some were clearly unhappy that he was marrying an American and moving here - and frankly, they never really got over it. (Not his family, though; they have always been absolutely lovely to me. Couldn't have asked for nicer in-laws.) On the other hand, he has experienced subtle but definite anti-immigration discrimination here, especially in job/career matters and at the airport, even after having been a citizen for many years now. I've never noticed my presence there making things any easier on him, to be honest. ETA: Makes me wonder if, in America at least, the "privilege benefits" are conferred more from white male to partner of color, and less from white female to partner of color. Huh.......
 

Arcadian

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@nala, thats like asking does a bear poops in the woods...:lol: Though on my moms side its a mixed heritage, you know what I am when you look at me. I've dealt with racism and sexism pretty much every day of my life. The voice on the phone is not what you expect when you see me, so I've heard.:roll2:

When we were small, my mother and father said "you might live in the projects but you better never sound like it" well OK then! And so it goes.

As a kid I got into more fights because of "you act white" than for any other reason. I would tell folks listen, I'm more scared of my mother than I am of you. fight is on.

I won't even get into the whole dating thing.....:oops2:

I've had my share of searches to my car and person. Not because I was speeding. Not because I was doing anything illegal. The reality is if I had not allowed those searches Id have a record for resisting arrest. And I have to say sarcastically that I'm thankful the officers didn't plant shit in my car or on me...


He on the other hand was born in a blue blood family (both sides) which can come with its own brand of crazy. Growing up, and his mother left the family compound with him (she was quite the hippie). So they lived poor for a while, and they lived in Brooklyn where he had lots of multicultural exposure. He told me the whole story about him putting afro-sheen in his hair at the age of 7 because he thought his hair would be more like his friends....:lol:. but still....they literally had silver spoons when they were born.

By the time we started dating his mom had passed on. When I found out who his father was I nearly backed out of meeting the man. I was told his father liked me right away, which made me very relieved.

He sometimes forgets his privilege, and its not on purpose. He just doesn't always think about it.

Comically at an event he really pushed me into going, he wanted me to meet someone who he was very friendly with and whom he felt would be good for my business... which I was open to. The first thing out the guys mouth, "Oh wow your wife is black."

:oops2:

My husband was like "Damn man, I didn't know that, thanks for pointing that out to me, how about that shit honey, you're BLACK!!"

The guy apologized, but seriously, that was...a weird thing to say. (and he did end up being very good for business though I didn't really warm up to him much)

But on the flip side he did lose friends some of which were black, some of which were not, because we were a couple. Its when he lost some high level business contracts where I got really bothered. When I found that out I would not go to business functions for YEARS with him. That opened his eyes more than anything else.

We don't often shop together but...yeah depending on the store I get... over helped. Once some stores got used to me coming in and knowing my particular tastes, I didn't get that much help, get what I'm sayin? He's gotten angry when he sees how I am treated because its very open and obvious! Early on more than once he has said something about it. Now he will just walk. I know when its happening. A few times I'd be ornery enough to tell the people watching me that they were watching the wrong somebody.

After a particularly weird moment in a boutique where I went with good friends of mine, we were looking at separate things but I had a few people "watching" what I do..., one of my girls got in front of me put her arms out and said loudly, "No autographs, No pictures. Please disperse, she needs her space". :lol: :cool2: The other one was busy talking someone was the manager and pointing at the people who was deciding to watch me to see what I steal, and she was not being very nice. I partially felt embarrassed, and partially wanted to just laugh my ass off.

They are both women of privilege even beyond just a white thing and they know this. They will use that to their advantage to help others and they truly have hearts of gold. They are...eclectic. each of them have diverse group of friends separately...and through me they have become very good friends as well.

He's knows he'll deal with this as long as he's with me. I'm glad he takes the journey with me though its not an easy one.
 

arkieb1

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Yes to all of your questions;

I'm Eurasian as well. My mother also has Aboriginal (Black indigenous Australian) family members. Growing up as I kid I was told and teased I was too white to be black, to Chinese to be white, to white to be Chinese.

I've been told that most of my life ie I don't fit in anywhere, I have snow white skin, dark hair, slightly Asian eyes, - I have jet black relatives and full Chinese and full white relatives.

I've been spat on in Sydney, sexually harassed more times than I can count when I was a teen and in my 20s and 30s, sexually attacked, almost raped twice, sexually harassed by a University lecturer when I was at University.

I married a white half English half German guy and moved to a smallish redneck Australian country town and was told repeatedly he must have bought me, and that I was his bought wife because I look partially Asian. At the time being young, pretty and partially Asian married to a white guy in a position of power came with it's own set of assumptions. He is 10 years older that I am, that also comes with a set of assumptions by most people.....

I think I live in a pretty good country as far as equality goes, so if that's been my life so far I'd hate to be a POC in the US, because I know they have it many times worse than I have experienced.
 
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