Wednesday, November 14, 2007

To emphasize my previous laments,

including I'm a normal person., I should share this with everyone!, Agree to Disagree? and Jigaboos & Wannabees, I offer you the following:

Racist Parents Kidnap Daughter and Try to Force Abortion, by Rachel S. at Alas, a blog, via Racialicious and Rachel's Tavern. Emphases mine.

A few days ago I read a story from Rueters (sic) about a couple from Maine, who kidnapped their 19 year old daughter. They forced her into a car, and tried taking her to New York so they could force her to have an abortion. The daughter escaped and called police while she hid in a store in New Hampshire. The parents have been arrested and held on $100,000 bail. After reading the first couple paragraphs of the story, my immediate reaction was, “I wonder if the potential father is black.” However, the initial article reveals very little about the motive. After my initial read, the only motive I could glean was that the parents were mad that the boyfriend was in jail. But, this story didn’t add up to me. So yesterday, one of my students mentioned the story and said that–the kidnapped woman’s boyfriend is a black man, and the daughter told police that racism was a motive in the kidnapping.

Based on my research on interracial relationships, this story actually fits fairly well into the narratives I have seen in many white families where relatives strongly object to interracial relationships. The only thing that surprises me about the story is that the parents attempted to kidnap this woman; the cases I know of personally generally involve less direct coercion. I know of 2 cases (one in my research and one in another sociological study) where parents of a white person in an interracial relationship suggested, encouraged, and promoted abortion to prevent the birth of a biracial child (I am hesitantly using the term biracial because most of the white relatives would say the child is black.). I also know of other cases where people encouraged white mother’s to place a child for adoption because the child’s father was black, and I know of many situations where white families offered bribes and/or withdrew emotional and/or financial support as a way to discourage an interracial relationship or a pregnancy that resulted from such a relationship. In these cases, white relatives feel they are protecting the family’s reputation, and/or they feel that the relative in the interracial relationship is too naive (especially women) to know what she/he is getting into. White relatives who feel this way believe that birth of a biracial child is a permanent marker of an interracial relationship that will hurt their relative’s social standing (white privilege), and to some extent, I’m sure they are right about this. The irony of this is that many white relatives of interracial couples would be the first to say that race doesn’t matter or that whites do not have unearned privileges, but suddenly when it hits close to home, they change their tune . . .

Readers, I'm not saying that you are like the people mentioned in the article. I'm saying that people like that exist and they are plentiful. Therefore, I'm still alone. :(

[Insert tiny violin here.]

For a conflicting twist, the picture above comes from this article:

Not tonight, dear . . . in fact, not ever, by Dr. Pam Spurr at Times Online, via Feministing. Emphases mine.

Having researched my new book, as well as talked to thousands of men and women over the years, I now firmly believe that too many women see the sexual side of their lives as something to be claimed completely and utterly as their own. That’s fine for single women flexing their sexual muscles.

But once they settle into a relationship, many will continue to do so. This doesn’t make sense to me at all – and unfortunately I’m privy to the heartbreak and distress that goes along with this view . . .

At the risk of being called old-fashioned (though I don’t think that old-fashioned should always have negative connotations) and antifeminist, I’d go so far as to say that for both partners sex could be considered a duty, if it is something that one partner knows would make the other happy. Does he really want to go up on the roof to repair a leak on a Sunday afternoon? Does she really want to take out the rubbish in the pouring rain? No, but partners in relationships do such things because they know that it makes the other happy. Sex should be seen in the same light . . .

I can't even enjoy the rarely featured interracial couple in peace; I have worry about my vaginal duties to my nonexistent husband, too.


cubicalgirl said...

That is some really effed up stuff. And while I don't have to worry about pregnancy, I did have the stereotypical white father who disapproved when I started dating a black man. I was lucky in that I was an adult and living on my own so there was no way that he could threaten me over the relationship (he couldn't throw me out of a house I didn't live in). And even so, I doubt I would have buckled anyway. I'm happy to say that in the four years I've been with my boyfriend my dad has come around, we patched things up, and he gets along with my boyfriend now. A white friend of mine had her mother actually tell her that she (the mother) would never be able to accept her biracial grandkids and today those grandkids are the most important thing in her life. People can change, Bianca.

There are still those in my family that would pitch a racist fit over my relationship (for this and other reasons I do not have contact with them) but who cares? In the end I can only live my life to please myself, which is what everyone should do.

Bianca Reagan said...

In the end I can only live my life to please myself, which is what everyone should do.

Good idea, cubical. :)