The past Wednesday, the group “Improvement of Women and Gender Equality” or I.W.A.G.E started a discussion about racial biases and the dividing line of preferences. Good and bad intentions were the primary focus at hand. Suddenly, a question rose from the crowd, “What is the difference between a fetish, a preference, and putting one down?” which developed into “If I say I like Caucasian guys over Asian guys, is that a fetish or a preference?”. The common answer for the latter was preference. However, the question of “What if I said I like African American guys over Caucasian men because of physical attributes?” means that preference is actually that of a blaring fetish. So, when does one draw the line of preference and fetish? The answer: Intention is the key. Intention meaning the motive that people have behind the action of their discrimination of an ethnicity. People choosing a particular ethnic background for particular features they find attractive or because it’s “exotic” to them is bad reasoning and hence, fetishizing. This makes racial tensions present and provides close mindedness for those that believe in that fashion.
The leader of I.W.A.G.E believes that society has placed heavy, racial barriers on people of color that mainly stems from media. If you are black, you are automatically placed in a wild natured category. If you are white, you are preferred; if you are Mexican you are illegal, and so on and so forth. The problem with this mindset is that it hinders progression of humanity. It keeps a social divide strong, undermining major issues of racial intent. The need for understanding one another is essential, especially when it involves internal issues of heritages.