One evening while browsing the wildly popular gay dating app Grindr, Sinakhone Keodara came across a user profile with just one short descriptor: “Not interested in Asians.”
That same day, he received a call from a friend on the other side of the country, who, like Keodara, is Asian American. The two men began talking about the exclusionary language they had recently seen on the app.
Keodara, who immigrated to the U.S. from Laos in 1986 and now lives in Los Angeles, decided he wanted to take action. So he took to social media last week and announced plans to bring a class-action lawsuit against Grindr for what he described as racial discrimination.
“Please spread my call for co-plaintiffs to all your gay Asian men in your life that has been offended, humiliated, degraded and dehumanized by Grindr allowing gay white men to write in their profiles ‘No Asians,’ ‘Not interested in Asians,’ or ‘I don’t find Asians attractive,’” Keodora wrote in a tweet. “I’m suing Grindr for being a breeding ground that perpetuates racism against gay Asian [men].”
Keodara told NBC News “Grindr bears some responsibility” from an “ethical standpoint.” He said the social media company, which boasts more than three million daily users, “allows blatant sexual racism by not monitoring or censoring anti-Asian and anti-black profiles.”
It’s pretty much orthodoxy now that your sexual orientation is something that you are born with (I haven’t heard anyone recently, with the possible exception of religious fundamentalists, argue that one chooses to be homosexual, for example). But if the matter of what gender/s you are attracted to is determined by what’s in your genes, isn’t therefore the matter of other characteristics you are attracted to also predetermined by biology?
Surely, no one is arguing that it’s merely our fickle preference whether some of us like curvy blondes and others like tall guys with six-packs? The logical extension of such an argument would be the view that everyone is really naturally attracted to everyone else (though attraction implies selectivity, otherwise it’s meaningless) – or should be attracted to everyone else. This sounds like some sort of a sexual socialism, where despite all our many differences inside and outside, we’re all essentially the same, equal and interchangeable, like widgets, and therefore we have a de facto right to everyone else’s attention.
This is clearly absurd, not just when considering ethnicity but any other characteristic. Is it discrimination (in a legal, not descriptive sense) to be attracted to brunettes rather than blondes? Or tall men rather than short ones?
Should 50-year old men be able to sue Tinder for enabling age discrimination by allowing 18-year old women to write “no old guys” on their profiles? Should obese women (or men) have an actionable legal case because slim and athletic people generally prefer similar? Should I be able to sue because I feel discriminated against when a model doesn’t find me attractive? After all, we need to stamp out this ugly lookism and the “hot female privilege”. Lingerie models for all, not just the rich and richly endowed!
I don’t expect Keodara’s suit will get anywhere, though sadly the way he’s conceptualising the world seems to be increasingly popular, thanks to the spread of cultural Marxism and identity politics (we seem to have rather quickly moved from “bake my gay wedding cake, you bigot” to “suck my cock, you bigot”). But even if it did, all that would happen would be the new obligation being imposed on dating apps to ban the expressions of racial preference.
It would not actually change the number of people who are suddenly now attracted to Keodara and other minority users. People who now write “sorry, not interested in Asians” on their profiles would in the future simply ignore Keodara without giving him any reason or giving a spurious one.
The reality of life is that not everyone will be attracted to you. Some will be more blessed than others in that regard, but there is no way to equitably redistribute attraction without radically re-engineering human beings.
Adults accept that and work with what they’ve got. Children throw tantrums that things aren’t the way they would like them to be. Be an adult.
Arthur Chrenkoff blogs at The Daily Chrenk, where this piece also appears.
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