A stereotype is an “over-generalized belief about a particular category of people” that creates an “expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group.”
Some stereotypes are based in fact while others are pure fiction.
But they’re all harmful because people act on the stereotype instead of interacting with the individual.
A 20-year-old woman is dealing with her 22-year-old boyfriend stereotyping her. Unsure of how to proceed, she looked to the Relationship Advice subReddit for guidance.
Redditor ThrowRa-78453 posted:
“My boyfriend assumed I was into rough sex because of my race and now I feel unsure about us.”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My boyfriend and I were going to have sex with each other (it was supposed to be my first time but not his). Things started off normal, kissing.”
“Then he started pushing me on the bed and holding me down, no foreplay or anything.”
“I was obviously shocked and scared because I didn’t expect that.”
“I was screaming stop and no and he stopped. He looked confused and asked what was wrong. I told him like wtf, I thought we were gonna go slow.”
“He was still giving me confused looks and at that point, I was annoyed. I reminded him I was a virgin so I would prefer to take things slow.”
“He said he knows that but he thought I’d like it rough. He also told me he’s never been with a Black girl before and he thought Black girls like rough sex.”
“I was mad and I said no, I’m not ok with rough sex and I was mad he used a stereotype on me. I didn’t want to have sex anymore and I asked if he could just leave me alone so he left.”
“I’m just so confused like how is this even real. I’ve never even heard of that as a stereotype.”
“I don’t know if it’s a porn thing or not (I don’t watch porn, just not into it) but even if that’s a thing, I’m mad he just assumed things about me.”
“He knows I’m a virgin but he still was rough with me. I’m unsure now because I don’t know what other stereotypes he has about me because I’m Black.”
Plenty of Redditors offered advice, but the most popular response was addressing consent and the OP’s response to a frightening situation.
“I just want to say I’m proud of you. When I lost my virginity at 17, I wasn’t as confident and assured as you are now.”
“You knew how to communicate and you knew how to shut things down. That is a hard f’king skill and I am proud of you for exercising it.” ~ PeppermintBeeswax
“Same! Losing my virginity I literally cried right afterwards and felt so horrible but felt like I had to go with it because I didn’t have self esteem.”
“The way you handled it is incredible!”
“Also f’k that guy u deserve way better, I allowed myself to be the Asian fetish for too many White guys before recognizing it.” ~ eggfroufrou2
“It can take so many years and multiple relationships for people to learn how to stand up to their partners and communicate without hesitation.” ~ FeatherWorld
“I agree!! I came a long way and comparing how I stood in my first relationship with how I stand in my current one, I guess I could say that I had no confidence at all.”
“It really showed in my (sexual) relationships, I did many things against my will. Things which I wish I had stood up for myself more and things I could’ve avoided if I just spoke out.”
“Now I just consider it as a part of my life journey, because obviously I can’t change my past and also over time I developed boundaries, learnt how to stand up for myself and got better in communicating.”
“I’m still not where I want to be but I learnt from my mistakes and every day I get more and more confident in my relationships and also in general.” ~ kuelapiss
Consent is key, folks.
“If you can’t stand up to your partner, break up with them right now.”
“Obviously your partner isn’t breeding a safe environment for you to speak up. So you shouldn’t stay around that.” ~ Omxn
The OP came back to add a few updates.
“He’s blowing up my phone asking me if we can talk about things and saying sorry. I feel bad for not responding but I keep thinking what else he thinks about me.”
“I feel empty inside because he turned into another person when he got rough. He went from sweet to cold and scary.”
“I think once I’m calm, I will talk to him.”
“All of these messages have been overwhelming. I’m going to call him now and hear what he has to say.”
“I will update after. Thanks for the advice, this has been very helpful.”
Ultimately, things did not go well.
“Okay last update because I can’t make a new post and this is getting really cluttered with replies.”
“So we talked for a while. I’m done with him. I read the comments and I decided to hear him out, I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t mean to hurt me.”
“He told me he thought Black girls like it rough because his friend’s girlfriend likes that (she’s Black) and the porn he watches. I tried explaining how that’s racist to think that and [about] consent.
“He said he was sorry for rushing into it but he was raised in a racist community so ‘give him a break’.”
“I tried explaining that’s not an excuse to act out his fetishes on me especially without asking. He got mad at me and I was too.”
“We argued and then I broke up with him. I am really upset right now, I thought he loved me but I guess not.”
“All I wanted was to share a special moment with him and he ruined it. I told my friend and she said to give him another chance but I disagree.”
“What he did was too weird and creepy for me to forgive him. Anyways thanks for all the advice, I should have just broke up with him immediately, but oh well, too late now.”
As many Redditors stated, if you don’t feel safe or comfortable with your partner, you need to seriously consider whether you should be together. The OP decided her safety and peace of mind were too important to stay with someone who shattered her trust.