Why It's Not OK For White Women (Or Any Woman) To Ask About My Black Boyfriend's Penis

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Why White Women Asking About Black Men's Penis Size Is Racist

Think about the last time you had drinks with sort-of friends. Maybe they were people from work that you like. Maybe they were a group you were introduced to through a real friend, and you were interested in getting to know them better. Whatever the case, picture a group of women who you know and like, but you don’t know that well yet.

Everyone looks cute. You all order overpriced cocktails. The volume in the room starts to rise and everyone is laughing a lot. Things are going really well! You’re like, Sweet! New friends! And then, after you tell a hilarious story about your boyfriend, one of the women turns to you and says, “Tell me what his penis looks like.”

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Wait, what? How are we suddenly talking about my boo’s penis

It seems kind of crazy, right? Like who would just ask someone about their partner’s penis in the middle of a normal, fun conversation? Surely no one does that — right?

Wrong. Any woman dating a black man has been asked a million times if his penis is “as big as they say” and any woman dating an Asian guy has been asked if “it’s true what they say about Asian men.” And the person doing the asking is usually — although, granted, not always — a white woman. 

And it sucks.

First of all, it’s none of your business what my boyfriend’s penis looks like. Its size has nothing to do with you or your life. (Unless you’re planning on sleeping with him, in which case there are other conversations we need to have.) 

In what situation is it considered socially acceptable to ask people about the size of their partner's junk?

Second, while the question about black men reflects what some people might consider a “good” stereotype — what guy doesn’t want to have a big penis? — and the one about Asian men is the opposite, they’re both stereotypes rooted in racism. 

The myth that black men have bigger penises originally grew from the racist reasoning that propped up white supremacy and justified slavery in the 19th century. Black men’s oversized genitals were cited as evidence that they were “savage” and “animalistic;” outside the bounds of “normal” (read: white) sexuality and civilization. That same savage archetype — also called the “mandingo” — was summoned into the 20th century whenever white mobs wanted an excuse to lynch black men. Just claim they’re raping “our” women with their massive penises. Problem solved.

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For Asian men, the stereotype is exactly opposite. The modern stereotypes about Asian men portray them as “less than” white men because they’re supposedly more effeminate. However, that’s a relatively new stereotype in the Asian/West interaction. The first immigrants from Asia to come to the United States en masse were Chinese men who originally came to mine gold during the Gold Rush and then were recruited (and conscripted) to build to the railroads. When they first arrived, they were seen as sex-crazed “others,” just as black men were. It wasn’t until they were pushed out of labor jobs, including agriculture, and into more “feminine” jobs like domestic service and laundry that the stereotype of the submissive, weak Asian man took root. And with it, of course, the stereotype about their penises.

When you ask someone who’s dating a black or Asian guy about the size of his penis, you’re following one of two virulent, racist traditions. Is that really a history you want to continue? I hope not. 

So, please. Don’t ask me about my boyfriend’s penis. You’re not going to get any information about it — but I’ll definitely get a lot of information about you. And one piece of that information is the fact that we probably won’t be friends anymore.

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This article was originally published at Bellesa. Reprinted with permission from the author.