It’s Valentine’s Day– or as we like to call it, “Discount Candy Eve”.
Today, we’ll be looking at how racism affects people in the search for love. While love and attraction have long been the subject of much thought and analysis, the advent of online dating has opened up the possibility of actually studying people’s behavior as they search for a date (be it driven by love, lust, or something in between). All those clicks, page ratings, messages, and dating surveys amount to a rich data set on love and attraction.
First off, we have this video from the Daily Show, where Jessica Williams and Ronny Chieng embark on an investigation into “sexual racism”. You may be thinking that everyone has physical preferences in who they find attractive, and that is true– but writing off entire groups of people as not attractive based on race is pretty much the textbook definition of racism. In this article for The Frisky, Megan Reynolds discusses the video (and her own experiences) further.
The above video and article were inspired by an analysis of race and dating presented by the OK Cupid data blog. Using data from approximately 25 million user accounts, OK Cupid shows that racism penalizes people of color (particularly Black women) in their search for love. Because OK Cupid also acquired an independent dating website during the years this study covers, they can even provide a direct comparison with independent data to back their results up– in short, it’s not just OK Cupid users, it’s everybody.
On a lighter note, we end today by highlighting the hilarious work of writer and performer Samantha Irby. Irby is the author of several books, including essay collections Meaty and We Are Never Meeting In Real Life, as well as the blog bitches gotta eat. Get to know Irby better through her interview with Bitch Media, and her 2015 Valentine’s Day post.