"The philosopher Lewis Gordon provides an analysis of the structural power enacted through race and gender that links the dialogue between them. Gordon points out that from a white point of view, the assumed race of the human race is white. To be non-white is to be racialized in an anti-black world. To be raceless is to be 'pushed up toward whiteness. Gordon also notes that for centuries the Western tradition has configured the gender of the human race as male. So although power may be defined as genderless and raceless, the default values for power are male and white.
Gordon contends that a hierarchy of sexual desirability naturally follows from this view of gender and race. Given the traditional Western view of power as white and male, white women can be constructed as black by their gender. This might help to explain why pairings of white women with black men are more common than pairings of black women with white men, a phenomenon that flies in the face of early exchange theories. White women and black men are not so distant from each other in social location."
Thursday, July 10, 2008
American default modes: white men
From page 72 in psychologist Maria Root's book, Love's Revolution: Interracial Marriage. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001: