Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The work created by Junot Diaz in “How to Date a Brown Girl, Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie” paints a picture as a literal walkthrough piece on how to court and effectively engage in sexual promiscuity with a young woman based solely off of her race. The direction of this short story is largely directed at young adult readers. This is evident in the context and language that often relates the given audience in a contrasting relationship with adults. Diaz creates an explicitly subject and stereotypical piece, highlighting several female stereotypes. These pigeonholes find their basis in the ethnicity and social class of the female target of Diaz. In addition to this, Diaz highlights the common male stereotype in hiding one’s true self-identity in order to satiate his desire for physical intimacy.
Stereotypes “consist primarily of the traits attributed to social groups… stereotypes of social groups are often negative, overgeneralized, and incorrect” (Stephan & Banks, 1999). In the case of courting, they often play a major role in influencing how a man decides to treat a woman in relation to the prejudiced ideas regarding them. The author provides a subjective picture of the matter by offering up his notions concerning the female actions and perspectives. This is provided in terms of how women characteristically react to his actions and how they respond in a host of situations he pushes them into. Diaz then provides a source of main routes for him, or any man really, to achieve their end goal with their date. The dichotomous traits impart both unconstructive and positive influences on the piece in terms of theory credibility and overall ideas. Diaz constructs the argument that there must be the precedent of false identity when dealing with an atypical white, American female. Stemming from this stereotype is the notion that white girls always bridge from well-off family backgrounds. Therefore, Diaz makes the presumption that a white girl is almost always dropped off by either parent at his doorstep. Continuing with white women, Diaz highlights the presumption that they are ignorant. He demonstrates this assumption by his overall assertion in that they typically give into sexual relations easily on the first date. In his eyes, they are easy pawns to target as they give off a reckless notion.
Even in the third paragraph of the piece, Diaz goes on to say, “If she’s a white girl you know you’ll at least get a hand job.” In this sense, he believes that other races of women are not as sexually loose as white girls. He mentions their willingness to even take long, leisurely baths in their dates apartments without the notion of being discovered every coming to mind. However, according to a study published by “Demography” in October of 2016, we find that if we looked at social class and sexual promiscuity, it was found that the lower an individual’s socioeconomic status the more likely they were to engage in sexual activity at a younger age and more frequently (Kusinoski, Barber, et. al.). This would contradict Diaz in the sense that according to his theory, all white women are wealthy and sexually more promiscuous than other races.
The story begins to take shape into a manual that elicits instructions on noting the behavioral patterns of women depending on their social class or ethnicity in a typical dating scenario. However, the advice given by Diaz is completely unyielding in the sense that the true context of dating concerns getting to know an individual rather than achieving physical intimacy with the opposite gender. Diaz holds the stereotypical ideal in his morals that physical attraction resulting in sexual intimacy, rather than emotional intimacy on a deeper level, acts as the end goal of dating. The author presumes the reader to be male, and dissects interactions by instructing his audience to lay the groundwork of deceit in order to achieve his purely physical goal. This deceit underlies everything from shrouding one’s social class, personal history, and even the depth of true race or ethnicity. In doing so, Diaz highlights the manipulation of a certain situation with the end goal of achieving the physical domain of intimacy in spite of his partner’s possible hope for emotional intimacy and overall maturity. In the effort of controlling the perceptions of others, Diaz demonstrates how a person’s overall expectations of others is relatively determined by their subjective generalizations in terms of race or class.
The main task Diaz proposes on his presumably male readers is the effort to hide true social class in order to appeal to the stereotypes of women and the necessity for acceptable socioeconomic class. This prefaces itself at the beginning and the end of the piece, and also presents itself as a typical stereotype that males hold during dating practices. Common thought amongst society is that women are typically more concerned with a male’s social class when engaging in dating practices. Diaz demonstrates the supposed male need to hide social distinction by putting away the “government cheese”. “Clear the government cheese from the refrigerator. If the girl’s from the Terrace stack the boxes behind the milk. If she’s from the Park or Society Hill hide the cheese in the cabinet above the oven, way up where she’ll never see.” In mentioning this, Diaz is explaining that the race and social class of the woman determines the lengths to which one should hide their true self. As aforementioned, this lends itself back into the female stereotype that women care more for class and appearance than the true heart of a man. Men, following this thorough formula in order to achieve sexual gratification, appeal to this general stereotype. Diaz promises his audience that adhering to his instruction leads to an increased chance of sexual promiscuity due to the carefully constructed subjective impression he puts on for his female targets.
In essence, by following Diaz’s example, men are doing themselves an inherent disservice. Rather than pursuing the true identity of a woman, they are merely attempting to court and woo the stereotype of who she really is. Although the piece is subjective, it highlights how someone can be reduced to the most superficial labels, like social class and race. For the reader, the question surfaces as to how accurate these reductions actually might be. The story Diaz proposes is based off of his own beliefs concerning women in America. He issues a warning to his audience that his advice might not always lead to fruition and therefore should not be followed blindly. This piece serves as a distinct reminder to women that men hold several negative stereotypes and use these ideas as a means to hide their own identity in order to achieve their end goal of physical intimacy. Although this may not be a reflection that holds true for all men, as we have stated it is not true that all women are easy, it negatively reflects on the goals of men and their true intentions toward women.