Note: for a definition of cisgender please see our definitions page. Also, when I say “het” I am referring to people who are both heterosexual (sexually attracted to people of another gender) and heteroromantic (romantically attracted to people of another gender).
Hello friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything (curse you, mental health!), but I’m back now, and ready to be inflammatory once more! Today I thought I’d write a bit about why I don’t date (or have sex with) cishet white men anymore.
- First and foremost, I’ve been sexually and emotionally abused. By men. My abusive ex-boyfriend doesn’t even go to this school anymore, yet I still manage to think I’ve seen him whenever a white boy walks around a corner, down the hall, into an elevator. I see traits that remind me of him, and I have this moment of frozen fear until I realize that no, it’s just a sports bro. And that sucks, but that’s definitely part of why I can’t really get intimate with men anymore. It’s a visual thing, you know? Maybe someday I’ll be past that, but I’m not there yet.
- I’m aromantic. This means that I do not experience romantic attraction, at least not the way most people do. The last two boyfriends I had each told me they loved me within the first two weeks of the relationship, and one of them had our entire lives together planned. I’m kind of super not into that? The very idea of someone giving me flowers, jewelry, or even a kiss as a romantic gesture makes my insides curl up and my nose crinkle. It’s gross, and I don’t like it. Now, if there were a heterosexual white man who happened to be aromantic as well, that’s a whole different story. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the platonic dating (and kissing, and other things), but the minute it becomes romantic, as dating usually does with cishet white men, I turn tail and run.
- Cishet white men don’t generally spend oodles of time figuring out their gender or orientation. Michael Kimmel, who came to our campus last school year, says, “When I look in the mirror, I see a human being. I’m universally generalizable. As a middle-class white man, I have no class, no race, and no gender. I’m the generic person!” They don’t generally identify as cisgender, and often don’t even know that there’s a difference between sexual and romantic orientations. (Kudos to Bartholomew Pumpernickel for going against this norm in this post.) Why is this important in my decision not to date cishet white men? Well, for starters, it means we aren’t from the same subculture. I have been involved in queer culture since I was in middle school, and I would find it difficult to be involved with someone who didn’t have at least somewhat similar experiences. I can’t really see myself spending a great deal of time with someone who responds to my asking what his pronouns are with confusion. Frankly, dating someone who’s not queer in the slightest just isn’t a possibility for me. The privilege gap is too wide, and I just don’t have the energy to build that bridge.
Now, I shall sit back and wait for someone to comment, “Not all men.”