This Opinion piece by Eddie Huang really speaks to me:
As a kid, you believe the things you’re told about yourself. But as I grew, I started to see things unravel. I wasn’t subordinate, I didn’t count good, I hated bowing, and outside downloading GIFs of Daisy Fuentes, I was terrible with computers. My first reaction, and the reaction of everyone at Chinese language school as well, was that I was defective and destined for life on a rack at T.J. Maxx begging to get chosen despite my imperfections. So many Asian-Americans I grew up with bought into the expectations the dominant culture placed on them and did everything they could to meet them. I recognized from a young age that I couldn’t and began to plan for life on the margins.
I realized that people on the margins aren’t afforded the privilege of being complicated, whole, human beings in America; we have to create that existence ourselves, and it is that experience that I feel fundamentally binds us. Over time, I began to find solidarity with my singularity and difference. Yet the one joke that still hurts, the sore spot that even my closest friends will press, the one stereotype that I still mistakenly believe at the most inopportune bedroom moments — and I know Joe and Steve do as well — is that women don’t want Asian men. Attractiveness is a very haphazard dish that can’t be boiled down to height or skin color, but Asian men are told that regardless of what the idyllic mirepoix is or isn’t, we just don’t have the ingredients.
In a small town in rural, indigenous Mexico, there exists a third gender known as muxe (sometimes spelled muxhe) among the Zapotec peoples. Considered neither male nor female, rather somewhere in-between like the hijras of India, muxes are (broadly speaking) biologically male but dress and act in ways typically associated with females.
Source: A Brief History Of Muxe, Mexico’s Third Gender
Tracy Clark-Flory wrote a piece reporting on “love fraud,” where scammers convince marks to fall in love and send them money. It’s a fine piece, but I was really hit by this last paragraph:
It’s easy to hear these stories and think, “What dupes.” But who isn’t looking for some form of connection and understanding online, whether it’s on Facebook or OKCupid? We broadcast so much of ourselves — sometimes unwittingly revealing our greatest hopes and fears — and romance scammers use those personal details to target a collective craving. That’s the real enabler in these cons, and its one most of us are vulnerable to: The desire for love. As one user wrote to a troubled poster who expressed still finding enjoyment in talking to her scammer despite having found out the truth about them, “Stay strong – someone will eventually come that will be honest and not wanting to play with your feelings.”
Sorry the updates have been sparse all week. I’ve spent the past five days at an intense photography seminar with the amazing Jerry Ghionis. I have a TON to say about this that will definitely go into a blog post about the entire experience early next week. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share this interesting opinion piece I came upon by eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren (via Kevin):
[I]nspiring marriages don’t happen by accident. They require highly informed and carefully reasoned choices. Commitment and hard work are factors too. But after decades of working with a few thousand well-intended and hardworking married people, I’ve become convinced that 75 percent of what culminates in a disappointing marriage — or a great marriage — has far less to do with hard work and far more to do with partner selection based on “broad-based compatibility.” It became clear to me that signs which were predictive of the huge differences between eventually disappointing and ultimately great marriages were obvious during the premarital phase of relationships.
Tracy Clark-Flory, on a new scientific study that may or may not change how you treat your significant other in common social situations:
It turns out that trying to punish a significant other when his or her eyes wander might actually backfire and encourage infidelity, according to a study published in this month’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Researchers subjected a bunch of undergrad guinea pigs to a computer game involving photos of strangers, followed by a questionnaire. When their attention to photos of attractive members of the opposite sex was “subtly limited” in the game, it “reduced relationship satisfaction and commitment and increased positive attitudes toward infidelity.” The study explains, “Being told simply not to look is probably not an effective strategy for boosting satisfaction and commitment or reducing interest in alternatives” — and it’s for the same reason that telling a kid to keep his hands off the cookie jar doesn’t reduce his interest in sweets.
Via the NYTimes (via Kimberly) comes an interesting report about racial preferences in the dating realm:
Consider “Racial Preferences in Dating,” a study of more than 400 graduate and professional students who participated in speed dating sessions at Columbia University organized by Raymond Fisman, Sheena S. Iyengar, Emir Kamenica and Itamar Simonson. The researchers conclude: “Even in a population of relatively progressive individuals who have self-selected into participation in a multi-cultural Speed Dating event, we observe strong racial preferences.”
There’s also a clear gender divide, as the researchers note: “Women of all races exhibit strong same race preferences, while men of no race exhibit a statistically significant same race preference.” You might think the gender gap is the result of different dating goals: perhaps the men are more interested in short-term flings, whereas the women are looking for a lasting relationship and are concerned about potential complications from cultural differences. But the researchers conclude otherwise after looking at the data: “Since older subjects (who are more likely to attend the Speed Dating sessions in hope of starting a serious relationship) have a weaker same race preference, this gender difference is unlikely to result from differential dating goals between men and women.”