A Columbia University student recently penned a piece in the school’s weekly series describing how discrimination finds its way in the online dating community and asks the question: is “preference” really “political?”
The author, Chanatip Tatiyakaroonwong of the Columbia Spectator, is gay. He writes about his negative experiences with online dating and how stereotypes have even infiltrated one’s attempts to find true love.
Other than the obvious such as people blatantly putting on their profile “no whites”, “Latinos only”, or even “no bottoms.”
“Our desires are in fact constituted by sociopolitical structures. Therefore, we may unconsciously incorporate dominant political ideologies such as racism and misogyny into our desires while relegating them to the realm of the personal,” Tatiyakaroonwong explained. “For instance, we ‘prefer’ white guys because they are ideologically constructed as more attractive, while Asians and other non-white groups are made undesirable.”
Online bias is not unique to gay users since there are popular racially inspired dating websites such as WherewhitepeopleMeet.com, Blackpeoplemeet.com, Thaicupid.com and more.
Online dating is often used as a pick-a-perfect-mate so you list everything you want, including looks, and usually racial preference, to select the best possibility.
Is preference political? Or is it okay to be picky?