Fetishizing People of Color: The Downside of Positive Stereotypes » Sociological Images
Last semester I drove a classmate of mine to pick up his car at an auto repair shop. He started asking me questions about the phenomenon of white women traveling to Jamaica to have erotic encounters with black men. I found this conversation rather odd since he was a married man of South Asian ancestry. I had to explain to him that the men who do this are seen as whores by the rest of the country and are viewed with even less esteem that female prostitutes. He kept going on and on about this issue even though I tried to change the subject. I was very happy to drop him off and stayed away from him for the rest of semester. Fetishism is any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.In this case it seems he was associating my heritage with own erotic fantasies instead of seeing me as a colleague, as an individual. I should have gotten snarky and asked him if any of his thugee ancestors had raped the poor, innocent white female colonists in India, but I didn’t. Sometime it just gets too tiring and all I want to do after talking to him was to take a long, hot bath. Yuck.