I've been delighted to see the words "bar" and "ban" showing up with increasing frequency in immigration-related articles. Call me naïve, but I believe that the more reasonable folks out there who know about the injustices of the system, the more allies we'll have in the fight to change the system. I have to think that also beginning to highlight how American spouses and kids are effectively deported along with their partners and parents could change more than a few minds -- especially since the myth persists that marriage solves everything. This link above goes to a sympathetic but info-"lite" article about American exiles, but it's still heartening to be able to link anything at all. Perhaps someday one of the big papers will do a series or spread about exile, but in the meantime it's nice to be slightly less invisible.
But sometimes being visible isn't the same as being seen... beheld, appreciated, contemplated... Sometime it means becoming a spectacle -- and not for doing anything "spectacular" -- as this article's comments section reminded me forcefully. Right out of the gate, the comments were just dripping with racism and misogyny. It shouldn't be surprising; the prejudice of white men tends to take a terrifyingly quick and violent turn toward perverse combinations of race-and-sex (even among people who are supposed to be on your side -- see #6 and 7). In this case:
We are desperate women, dating "anything," "dating down," "dating losers"... so much so that we'd "fall in love with a ham sandwich."
We are "garbage," "disgusting," and "on the fringes of society. Much like the women who marry prisoners... Multiple abortions, multiple divorces, multiple children by multiple men."
We are "narcissistic" (for throwing away our dreams and moving abroad? Or did that commenter just need an undesirable "female" attribute to smear on us?).
Our husbands are poor: "can I ask you women the size of your husbands bank accounts? Could it be 4 figures at best, or perhaps zero!" (I guess "for richer or for poorer" is just "a thing people say?")
Our parents should apparently be terribly ashamed of us. (It seems I made the mistake of assuming that it was my marriage, since my parents are both already in their own... silly me!)
We have "no self respect." (Thanks, White Men, for telling women how to respect themselves... where would we be without you?!)
What does this say about us? What does this say about our partners? The truth should be: nothing. I want to think that it says so much more about the white men who write these things. It should say "I'm jealous." "I feel threatened." "Being a white male is my only 'desirable' attribute; without it, I'm just a mass of fear and mortal flesh."
But I don't think that's what those phrases say. It would take too much self-awareness. No, they say "I am the the pinnacle and the standard. I am owed everything, and if you challenge that, I will take what's 'mine.'" At "best," it's thinly veiled fascinations with or flippant references to "Latin lovers" or "jungle fever;" at worst, it's the forceful exercise of psychic rape.
I can feel myself feebly gagging on the dozens of little white pricks being imagined down my throat. These men pry their way into my most intimate moments with only their minds; not even bedroom doors may be closed to them. I'm not invisible anymore; I feel their eyes all over my body. But, they're not attracted to me; they're attracted to themselves.
What they find so erotic is their own power; what disgusts them is not being worshiped. They don't distinguish between the power of love and the power of fear.