By now, I’m sure that the article “Why I’ll Probably Never Date a Latino” has already made its rounds. I wasn’t going to read it, not only because the title screams “I worship White dick,” but also because Vivala hijacked a tag I co-created (#BrownAndUnbothered), twisted its meaning, and ignored my requests for its revision. But after seeing the article circulating and how upset people were, I gave in.
Well, at least the title wasn’t just clickbait, amirite? I mean, YIKES! Initially, I was only going to share it on Xicanisma and let my followers vent out their thoughts, BUT I had to address it further. And really, the whole thing is just so messy, like . . . where do I even begin?
Before jumping in, I’ll first address how the term “Latino” is used in the article. “Latinx” lumps so many people from different localities together that it’s imperative to be clear about who someone is referring to when they use the term. People tend to forget that “Latinx” is NOT a race. You can be any race and still fall under the “Latinx” umbrella. This of course means that some “Latinx” identifiers hold more privileges than others because of their race and/or their physical appearance. That said, it’s important to note that the author of the article is a White woman who identifies as “Latina.” When she states that she’ll probably never date “Latinos” and has only dated White men, she’s implying that “Latino” and White are mutually exclusive, when they’re really not. Due to power dynamics, I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that when using the term “Latino,” she’s implicitly referring to Brown men.
First and foremost, I don’t have a problem with ANYONE dating outside of their race or ethnicity. People are not required to only date within their community or to explain their dating habits. But solely dating White men because you equate machismo, misogyny, and sexism to Brown men is not only racist as fuck, but quite frankly, ironically ridiculous. White men have never treated White women any better than Brown men have. They didn’t willingly give White women the right to vote, the right to work, or the right to an education. Shit, they still haven’t given them equal pay. But it’s not just about White men denying White women basic rights, it’s about White men denying ALL people basic rights. Danielle, did you forget who holds power? Did you forget who has consistently created sexist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, and racist laws throughout history? To quote Chicana writer Emma Perez,
“Many Euromericans, particularly White feminists, insist that the men of our culture created machismo and they conveniently forget that men of their race make the rules.”
Let me be clear, this is not an attempt to give Brown men a pass for their shit. The machismo that plagues our community is toxic, and oftentimes deadly. As a Chicana, I live in a constant state of anger and frustration because of the harm that patriarchy does to my Brown body. So trust me, I’m the first to call out my fellow Brown men when they parade their sexism around, especially while veiling it as “activism.” I can go on and on about machismo, but I’m not here to write that article. I’m here to talk about how sexism/misogyny isn’t a problem exclusive to Brown men.
The reason non-White men are perceived as more misogynistic isn’t because White men behave better, it’s because of this thing called White Privilege. It’s the reason Donald Trump can label Mexican men rapists when White men rampantly commit rape and sexual assault. The article reminds of me of Hollaback’s anti-street harassment video, in which a woman walks around the streets of New York secretly recording everyone that catcalls her. A few days after its release, it was revealed that the editors purposely cut out all the White men, showing only Black and Brown men as aggressors. But criticizing Brown men for their machismo while conveniently ignoring White men’s role in perpetuating misogyny/sexism isn’t a new practice. It stems back to White colonialism, when Europeans were called “explorers” and indigenous men “savages.”
I hope Danielle Gonzales takes the time to reflect on why stating that “not all Latino men are machistas” didn’t stop her article from bolstering harmful stereotypes and damaging our community. Likewise, adding “this article does not reflect our views” doesn’t exonerate Vivala for irresponsibly circulating it online. And to all the Brown women who share these toxic sentiments: I hope you can squash your internalized racism and realize who constructed your oppression. They don’t call it White capitalist patriarchy for nothing.