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If you are a POC married to a white person

caribbeanbridetobe

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
367
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?
I'm a black woman married to a European Spaniard. I have witnessed white privilege on his end. Do I benefit from it absolutely not? Colonized mind? Not sure what you mean by that. Sellf examine yes all the time.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,483
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.
I'm sorry those horrible things happened to you. For what it's worth, based on what my brother has experienced the past two years in Australia, racism against Asians is worse than America. I would not say that Australia is "pretty good as far as equality goes." I have never experienced white strangers coming up to me and spitting at me for no damn reason, and I've used public transit way more than my brother has, and I'm 12 years older than him, so I belong to a less "progressive" generation.

As far as being a PoC, I feel like I have more privilege because I'm Chinese and multilingual, not because I'm with a white partner. There are certain social strata of Chinese for whom marriage to a white person is a step up, and certain social strata (think Ivy educated, Crazy Rich Asian types) of Chinese for whom marrying a white person is considered marrying down. Therefore, I have never thought of white people as anything special. It just so happened that the person I fell in love with, and who I know will treat me as an equal, was white. I've always had more crushes on Asian persons than on white persons even as a teenager. However, I am somewhat of a born rebel, as I reject the patriarchy and lack of innovation (overemphasis on social hierarchy stifles innovation) with Confucian culture, and perhaps not having to deal with another set of Chinese parents who expect me to respect and obey simply based on their "elder" status, was a plus for me when dating non-Chinese guys. I would also be wary of Japanese men who grew up in Japan, even worse than expectations of Chinese parents when it comes to equality for women.

There's nothing special about a skin color as what matters most is the person's way of thinking and responding to the world. I always like to tell people that I consider myself a citizen of the world, because I pick and choose which cultural norms I accept, and which cultural norms I just toss out my window.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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May 11, 2012
Messages
9,580
@voce - I think it depends on where you go in Australia, but yes we had the White Australia Policy here, and for lots of years people like Pauline Hanson perpetrated and highlighted how many white Australians felt about Asian people (there was this fear Asians would somehow overrun Australia) and then 9/11 happened and the Bali Bombings and suddenly much of that hatred shifted more towards Muslims in Australia (as it did in many other countries).

If I had to call it I'd say my Aboriginal relatives, women first, then men, then my Chinese relatives, women first, then men, experience the most racism on a day to day basis. When I've been to the US no one even notices that I am half Asian, because I have snow white skin so I look like a white person with almond eyes and dark hair so from that POV it's really interesting, if I had a darker skin tone I'm sure that would be different in the US.

Our Indigenous Aboriginal population here is small so white people notice and identify Asian people, and probably make judgements about them as much as they do with black or brown skin toned people.

And there have been recent periods where women wearing hijabs here have been spat on, sworn at and verbally and physically assaulted while out in public places in capital cities.

Sadly both of our countries and Britain and many parts of Europe all exist with various degrees of racism.
 
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voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
Messages
3,483
The themes of this thread make me think of the show Indian Summers. Has anyone else watched it?
 

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
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May 17, 2014
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3,640
Not married to a white person but this thread reminds me of several incidents I have had when out with my son who looks mixed despite being 100% asian.

We were at the beach in a very well to do posh suburb of Sydney.

My son played on the beach for a while and then we went to the cafe to have lunch. This posh looking couple approached us and told us they'd been watching us play on the beach and complimented my son on his looks.

Then came the kicker: Are you his nanny my dear?

Me: Nope. I'm his mother.

Them: Oh we thought you were his nanny.

Uncomfortable silence, they retreated.

I have filed this away as me being mega awesome and they wanted to poach me for a nannying job!

***

We were going to the museum and passed by one of the expensive private schools in the city. I was scrounging around in my bag for snacks or something.

Posh white lady walks past and says to my son: Aren't you a beautiful little boy. Beautiful little boys like you should go to this school right here (points to the private school). It would be perfect for a little boy like you.

I think she bid him a good day or something like that as well.

Me: WTH just happened???

***

Honestly people a baffling sometimes! Why on earth would you say such things to a stranger!!!!!!
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
34,882
Not married to a white person but this thread reminds me of several incidents I have had when out with my son who looks mixed despite being 100% asian.

We were at the beach in a very well to do posh suburb of Sydney.

My son played on the beach for a while and then we went to the cafe to have lunch. This posh looking couple approached us and told us they'd been watching us play on the beach and complimented my son on his looks.

Then came the kicker: Are you his nanny my dear?

Me: Nope. I'm his mother.

Them: Oh we thought you were his nanny.

Uncomfortable silence, they retreated.

I have filed this away as me being mega awesome and they wanted to poach me for a nannying job!

***

We were going to the museum and passed by one of the expensive private schools in the city. I was scrounging around in my bag for snacks or something.

Posh white lady walks past and says to my son: Aren't you a beautiful little boy. Beautiful little boys like you should go to this school right here (points to the private school). It would be perfect for a little boy like you.

I think she bid him a good day or something like that as well.

Me: WTH just happened???

***

Honestly people a baffling sometimes! Why on earth would you say such things to a stranger!!!!!!
Yes. I file this under “the masses are asses”. IOW clueless. Sorry you have to deal with nonsense like this but you have a good attitude about it. We have a long way to go in this world. No question about that.
 

Trekkie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
1,303
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

My late mother was coloured South African, my father is white British. I grew up in South Africa during apartheid when people like me were not meant to exist.

People often thought my mother was the nanny. My mother always looked ready for a photoshoot - hair done, co-ordinated outfits, good jewellery, expensive sports car. She looked exactly like what she was: a rich man’s mistress. Yet people thought she was the nanny. I can’t imagine why.

Growing up I hated going anywhere with my dad. My dad was nearly 50 when I was born and, at first glance, we look nothing alike. The stares were f*cking awful. It grew worse as I got older. People would point at us and joke, “do you think that guy has money?”

I went shopping with my dad when my eldest was a few weeks old. The saleswoman at the jewellery store cooed over my baby, turned to my father and said, “he looks just like you!” My father said, “of course he does, he’s my grandson!” The saleswoman assumed he was my father-in-law.

I’m married to a white guy. He’s tall and lean and blond and blue eyed and Afrikaans. I’m short and round and brown and English and we get along beautifully. Our politics overlap. I call out his racism and he calls out mine - being brown doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments. Like some of the other husbands up thread, mine also has moments of being so Privileged White Male I could just scream. I often wonder if we’re even living in the same country.

I no longer speak to a former classmate who quoted the Chris Rock skit about black women only being with white men because we have bad credit. My husband was shocked the first time someone asked him if it was true what they say about coloured girls in bed.

We’re moving to the UK when borders eventually reopen. I had some photos taken to renew my British passport. I requested British passport photos (we’re still in South Africa, SA photos are different). The guy behind the counter turned to my husband standing behind me minding his own business and messing with his phone, and asked, “Are you British?” Because it couldn’t possibly be me who needs the photos. They still messed up my photos and used the wrong background, and we had to wait while they redid it, because again, what do you mean the coloured girl in the photo needs the photos according to British passport photo standards?

Acquaintances and colleagues who’ve heard we’re leaving assume we’re getting in on my husband’s passport or ancestry visa. The confusion when I explain “no, I’m the one with the foreign passport” is no longer amusing. I’ve stopped correcting people.

Not looking forward to that aspect of moving back to the UK. Me, brown. Him, white. Which one do you think Bobby Brexit will think is the foreigner?
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,716
HI:

@Trekkie I am happy to hear of your move! I was wondering what happened with your decision to relocate. Did your DH secure a position? I think you said Canada was out of the running for you, right?

OP sorry for the thread hijack.

cheers--Sharon
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
9,274
I'm sorry those horrible things happened to you. For what it's worth, based on what my brother has experienced the past two years in Australia, racism against Asians is worse than America. I would not say that Australia is "pretty good as far as equality goes." I have never experienced white strangers coming up to me and spitting at me for no damn reason, and I've used public transit way more than my brother has, and I'm 12 years older than him, so I belong to a less "progressive" generation.

As far as being a PoC, I feel like I have more privilege because I'm Chinese and multilingual, not because I'm with a white partner. There are certain social strata of Chinese for whom marriage to a white person is a step up, and certain social strata (think Ivy educated, Crazy Rich Asian types) of Chinese for whom marrying a white person is considered marrying down. Therefore, I have never thought of white people as anything special. It just so happened that the person I fell in love with, and who I know will treat me as an equal, was white. I've always had more crushes on Asian persons than on white persons even as a teenager. However, I am somewhat of a born rebel, as I reject the patriarchy and lack of innovation (overemphasis on social hierarchy stifles innovation) with Confucian culture, and perhaps not having to deal with another set of Chinese parents who expect me to respect and obey simply based on their "elder" status, was a plus for me when dating non-Chinese guys. I would also be wary of Japanese men who grew up in Japan, even worse than expectations of Chinese parents when it comes to equality for women.

There's nothing special about a skin color as what matters most is the person's way of thinking and responding to the world. I always like to tell people that I consider myself a citizen of the world, because I pick and choose which cultural norms I accept, and which cultural norms I just toss out my window.
I could have written this post, except I am Vietnamese and look, to some people, Chinese.

The bit in bold is certainly true for some Vietnamese, and for my father to a certain extent, not being we were filthy rich but because of our ancestral heritage. However, I think he's more chill now and more accepting. My family has married into various races and religions for that matter.

I married a Caucasian American and he's a few years older than I am. But he looks easily 10-15 years older (he looks older than his age and I look younger than my age and i'd say that I am quite a bit better looking than he is, lol). When we first got together/ first married in Hong Kong, strangers would assume that I married him for money even though I was an expat and on a full expat salary in Hong Kong and earning more than he was. Now that we're both older, we don't notice as much or more accurately, we just don't care.

As far as white privileges are concerned, I've not really experienced it. But in HK, I remember there were anecdotes of whites jumping queues at restaurants etc, ahead of the locals. I don't know if that was the case.

As for myself growing up in the UK, I'd say I got offered the same opportunities as everyone else, at school and at work. I didn't feel discriminated against at all. I dated mostly Caucasians because that is simply my taste, not because I felt the need to be with a white person for the sake of white privileges.

In Singapore, however, at work I was often referred to by my local colleagues as [insert my name], invariably accompanied by "the Vietnamese woman", the latter IMO superfluous and unnecessary and somewhat discriminating. Outside of work, I've never felt that I am treated any differently than the locals. I do love living here and intend to stay here. The government here makes a big deal about SG being multi-cultural but sometimes I think when you over-stress something, it has the opposite effect. What does it matter if you're Chinese, Vietnamese, Indians or Caucasians (interestingly, white people tend to be grouped as "Caucasians" whereas Asians tend to be referred to by our individual origins).
 
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Trekkie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
1,303
HI:

@Trekkie I am happy to hear of your move! I was wondering what happened with your decision to relocate. Did your DH secure a position? I think you said Canada was out of the running for you, right?

OP sorry for the thread hijack.

cheers--Sharon
Hiii, thank you so much for remembering and checking in with me! No, he doesn't have anything lined up yet, and with Brexit and Covid, it will probably be a while before he finds a good fit. But we simply can't live here anymore, so we're making the leap now while the kids (2&5) are at a good age to integrate and adapt. Fortunately we have savings and family in the UK so we should be ok for a while. We did quite a bit of research on moving to Canada. I think we would've loved it (despite the weather!), and it's actually one of the more affordable countries to move to, but the job market isn't great in DH's field :(sad
 

SparklieBug

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
95
But in HK, I remember there were anecdotes of whites jumping queues at restaurants etc, ahead of the locals. I don't know if that was the case.
Interesting! About 15 years ago, my DH had family acquaintances that were living/working in HK and when they moved back to Canada, we visited them once. They were probably still in culture shock being back in Canada. I recall both my DH and I being incredulous when they complained about "reverse discrimination", and how they had been made to wait in line while other non-white (aka Asian) people went ahead of them.

I couldn't even look at my DH when they were talking like this. I just wanted to chuckle at their shock/anger of being on the receiving end. Clearly, it hadn't changed their inborn white privilege at all. :???: :confused:
 

Rubymal

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
301
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?
This so much! I used to go running everyday in my neighborhood when I lived in the nice suburbs in Florida. I stopped doing it regularly in the dirty city that we lived in for a couple years.

When I told me husband, he said. "Who cares what it looks like outside? Just run". I had to explain to him that having sleazy old, dirty men whistle and holler at me while I run by is not something I enjoy and that it is enough to make me stop doing it. And of course he said, "just ignore them." Right, ignore them until the day they get smart and try to come at me physically. (Which has also happened, I've been followed home by old men when I was in high school on more than a couple occasions. )

The few times I did go out running, I had my 50lb military breed dog with me. I wouldn't even imagine going outside alone without her in the neighborhood.

My husband just doesn't get it.
 
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canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,716
Hiii, thank you so much for remembering and checking in with me! No, he doesn't have anything lined up yet, and with Brexit and Covid, it will probably be a while before he finds a good fit. But we simply can't live here anymore, so we're making the leap now while the kids (2&5) are at a good age to integrate and adapt. Fortunately we have savings and family in the UK so we should be ok for a while. We did quite a bit of research on moving to Canada. I think we would've loved it (despite the weather!), and it's actually one of the more affordable countries to move to, but the job market isn't great in DH's field :(sad
Too bad about the lack of opportunities in your DH field--any University would be lucky to have him. Oh and we hate the weather too. :bigsmile:

cheers--Sharon
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
9,274
This so much! I used to go running everyday in my neighborhood when I lived in the nice suburbs in Florida. I stopped doing it regularly in the dirty city that we lived in for a couple years.

When I told me husband, he said. "Who cares what it looks like outside? Just run". I had to explain to him that having sleazy old, dirty men whistle and holler at me while I run by is not something I enjoy and that it is enough to make me stop doing it. And of course he said, "just ignore them." Right, ignore them until the day they get smart and try to come at me physically. (Which has also happened, I've been followed home by old men when I was in high school on more than a couple occasions. )

The few times I did go out running, I had my 50lb military breed dog with me. I wouldn't even imagine going outside alone without her in the neighborhood.

My husband just doesn't get it.
To add onto this, I've had men try to grope me while I lived in London. They tried and I hit them back while screaming abuses at them, which scared them off. These incidents were in broad daylight, once on the tube and another time at a bus stop. Imagine if they'd happened late at night, in deserted places? But of course, I would never put myself in such situations whereby I am all alone, late at night.

It also happened to me when I lived in Singapore, both times by white men. I dunno why. Maybe they thought that local (or local-looking) females were less likely to retaliate. Boy, were they wrong!!:roll: I've chatted to my girlfriends about it and the Asian ones have had similar experiences whereas no such thing has ever happened to my white girlfriends here.

This is not to say that some local men (usually men) don't molest or try to molest other people. Thankfully, these incidents are very rare.
 
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jordyonbass

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,825
Yes, sometimes, sometimes, yes.

I'm in this weird position where my ethnicity is such a mix that a lot of people don't think of me as white. Yet, I've got a very white name. I kind of walk that weird border in between.

When I had just turned 22 years old I took over the licensee position of a pub - the youngest in NSW at the time. I struggled to get customers in at first as the locals weren't happy that someone with dark hair and features was running a pub (fellow Aussies, think of the W word for Greeks and Italians but not used in the friendly way most people use it nowadays). I worked myself to the bone to get the clientele back in the door but not everyone returned while I ran the venue. That was their loss, they missed the beer prices being cheaper than they had been for two years as well as the best quality in over ten years.

My bosses also asked about my ethnicity after they hired me as they expected someone that looked very different to what I do when they saw the name on my CV. It wasn't malicious at all, I had a laugh about it with them. But it's an indicator of assumptions people make when they are presented with another person without all the facts.
 
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