Created By: Alrune on February 27, 2013 Last Edited By: Alrune on April 4, 2014
Nuked

White Women Are Off-Limits

White men can have sex with any race they want. White women shouldn't.

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Trope
Is This Tropable??

It's one of the Tropes In Aggregate that comes from the tendency in Hollywood to have the White Male Lead (eg the Audience Surrogate) being able to have any woman he desires, without any restriction in terms of race. Mighty Whitey is universal in his choice of pussy and his lady's skin colour can be incidental to the plot.

But White lead ladies shouldn't have sex with anybody other than a White man. If they do, the whole plot will revolve around this improbable couple and their difficulties in living their romance. And more often than not, the romance is tragic or just doesn't work out.

This trope is often the unspoken result of Like Goes with Like coupled with Entitled to Have You: White women "belong" to White men and any non-White guy dating a White woman is "stealing White men's property", it is implied. If a non-White guy ever tries to woo a White girl, while she may have a fling with him, it's unlikely that said fling will go anywhere serious, unless it's the whole point of the show, as said above.

This trope is so omnipresent nowadays that it usually comes into play before the work even gets written, creators don't even consider pairing a non-White man with a White woman. It's just too risky. And when this is considered, Executive Meddling often comes into play and this trope is enforced.

All in all though, this trope is meta, meaning it's an omnipresent Casting Trope that can be seen simply by reviewing the number of White man/Non-White woman pairings who are incidental or happy in the end compared to the Non-White man/White woman couples who get a similar treatment.

For instance Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Lucy Liu, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba or Maggie Q have been paired with more than their share of White Male Leads. Even Mo'nique, Angela Bassett and Queen Latifah have been paired with a White Male Lead when they weren't doing all-black films. Compare this to the number of times Charlize Theron, Megan Fox, Keira Knightley, Scarlett Johansson or even Julia Roberts have been paired with a non-White man in their films. Or the number of times Benicio Del Toro, Wesley Snipes, Denzel Washington, Chow Yun-fat, Cuba Gooding Jr or John Leguizamo have scored a white actress in a full-length film.

Strangely, when this trope does get averted, it's often with a But Not Too Black actor such as Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson, seldom an Asian or Latino guy, let alone an Arab guy.

Where Da White Women At? often contains elements of this trope, just like Asian Gal with White Guy, which focuses on White men with Asian women but that almost never gets gender flipped. Black Gal on White Guy Drama is the most seen Gender Flip of this trope, even though it turns up less and less in fiction lately.

Outside of Hollywood, the same dynamics may be noticed, depending on the country.

This is of course rife with Unfortunate Implications which are so obvious there's no need to go deeper here.

Sister Trope to Maligned Mixed Marriage.

As of the current YKTTW, no examples should be added, this only describes the tendency.
Community Feedback Replies: 116
  • February 27, 2013
    lexicon
    Your examples have no context. Where's the Off-Limits part?
  • February 27, 2013
    DracMonster
    This kind of sounds like a complaining trope.

    The examples dont work out to proof of the trope, unless trouble comes specifically from it being an interracial pairing. (Are Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights proof that white romances always end badly?)

    Romantic troubles and tragic love stories have always been prime drama territory, regardless of race - it was probably milked for drama in cave paintings by our ancestors.
  • February 27, 2013
    Alrune
    It's meta-trope. Means it's an implication or underlying in the media, not outright stated.

    But as I asked in the description, Is This Tropable?

    If the answer is no, then that's the end of it.
  • February 27, 2013
    Karalora
    I think this is tropeable, but I would change the name to something like Interracial Dating Double Standard.
  • February 27, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Agreed. It's absolutely tropable, but examples might be difficult since every time there's a chance of an interracial relationship this will come into play.

    Basically, they're afraid to alienate the audience by introducing a relationship they can't place themselves into (tough for the white male demographic to find a place in a relationship between a black man and a white woman).
  • February 27, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    ^^ Or more generally, Interracial Romance Double Standard.
  • February 27, 2013
    Larkmarn
  • February 27, 2013
    acrobox
    I like the title as is. it gets to the core underlying philosophy and Unfortunate Implications that the description chooses not to spell out explicitly. no need to PC the whole thing
  • February 27, 2013
    captainpat
    So, interracial relationships that don't end well? Not sure about that. Also these example need way more context.
  • February 27, 2013
    KingZeal
    No, more specifically, it's interracial relationships that are the entire focus of the plot, rather than incidental or supplemental. In Hollywood, white guy ends up with asian girl or has sex with asian girl? No problem. Asian guy ends up with white girl or has sex with white girl? You need an entire plot to justify it.
  • February 27, 2013
    elwoz
    ^^ I think that generalizing to any sort of, er, interracial romance double standard, will work to reduce the odds of this becoming a natter magnet.

    At the same time, we ought to define objective limits for what counts, or it'll wind up listing every interracial romance for which some third character says "you should dump them". Here's an example that feels right on the edge to me: Niki Sanders (white woman) and D.L. Hawkins (black man) in Heroes (Note: I only watched season one.) As the show begins, they're married and have a child, but he's in jail. A couple of people tell her she should divorce him because he's in jail and/or because he'll still be a thief when he gets out. I do not recall his race ever even being mentioned -- but it could be argued that racial prejudice underlies the advice. (And it says something about American ingrained racism that it stood out to me that his race was never brought up, but that's over in Audience Reaction land.) Thoughts?
  • February 27, 2013
    Larkmarn
    So yeah, like I said earlier, examples are going to be tough.

    Basically, the trope is about writers being afraid to take the "risk" of pairing a black man with a white woman, which is such an omnipresent thing that it usually comes into play before the work even gets written, creators don't even consider pairing the black man with the white woman.
  • February 27, 2013
    KingZeal
    Two more borderline examples are The Forty Four Hundred and Hancock, each of which has a black male with a white female. Their race is hardly an issue for the course of the story proper, but their backstories reveal that there were severe problems when they were together in the pre-Civil Rights Movement era. (Time Travel and Immortality are involved.)
  • February 27, 2013
    Alrune
    Another examples also comes to mind from {{24}}: a White girl was dating an Arab guy who was suspected to be a terrorist. Their relationship goes sour soon after that and it is revealed that she's a Bitch In Sheeps Clothing. That's the only depiction of Arab guy/White woman to date in a mainstream movie.

    Plus, there's no examples to date of an East Indian man with a White woman or an Asian guy with a White woman... unless the whole movie is about justifying it. It's not just Black men, it'a ANY non-White man. Latino men seem to be also concerned by this because I don't remember the last time a Mexican/South American went with a White girl without horrible consequences (eg Weeds).
  • February 27, 2013
    JoeG
    The James Bond example doesn't count. These films rarely show any man other than Bond having sex.
  • February 27, 2013
    lexicon
    This is not tropeable without the examples having context. The movie being mostly about romance or having a Token Romance has nothing to do with the relationship being off-limits. This looks like a more specific version of Like Goes With Like.
  • February 28, 2013
    Alrune
    Honestly, when was the last time a White woman was having an incidental or successful relationship with a non-White man in a mainstream movie? or any Hollywood movie for that matter?

    When was a last time you saw an Asian, Arab or brown-skinned guy pursue a relationship with a White woman in any mainstream movie?

    As I said, this example is meta, it's not outright stated. The aforementioned article by Crack.com further attests to this and explains the REAL reasons why that is. (TL/DR version: Whitey can't relate to a non-White character and Whitey doesn't want to see his women desire another type of man).

    Now, maybe this can only function as a Useful Notes article. That's why I'm asking if it's tropable at all since it's an unspoken casting trope and an unspoken convention. But it's clearly there.
  • February 28, 2013
    Arivne
    This is related to the YMMV item Minority Show Ghetto.
  • February 28, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^^^^Specifically in Live And Let Die a white woman is in a non-sexual relationship with the black Big Bad, who is saving her virginity because it grants her the power to see the future, And Thats Terrible. Whereas Bond has a one-night stand with a black woman, and that's just fine.
  • February 28, 2013
    Alrune
    Another example: The Pelican Brief. In the book, the two protagonists fall in love. In the movie, Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts share a hug... and nothing more. Why? Because... this trope.
  • February 28, 2013
    Waterlily
    "(Are Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights proof that white romances always end badly?)'

    I thought Heathcliff was a Gypsy (or at least strongly implied to be one).

    I agree that this does happen but it might be hard to make a trope out of it.
  • March 1, 2013
    StevenT
    Double Standards - Interacial Relationships?
  • March 1, 2013
    KingZeal
    ^ I believe we have a winner.
  • March 1, 2013
    Alrune
    ^^Yeah that would be quite interesting.
  • March 1, 2013
    bulmabriefs144
    Btw, this is not Truth In Television. By in large, white women actually are getting sex with black men far more than white men are going after black women (it's a confidence thing, a white man today is seen as a Non Action Guy in comparison to black men, while black women are seen as "bossy" at least in comparison to white women). So, white men generally pursue white (and Asian) women, while white women generally pursue black men.

    But yea, this still is a trope, because it's taboo to depict this.
  • March 1, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I think we've reached a fair consensus that this is a trope.

    But how exactly do we show something's an example? To be an example, it has to show that there's an issue with the non-white guy pursuing the white girl. The Pelican Brief example is nice and clearcut, but most examples are much more ambiguous because there's nothing to compare them to. How do we prove that it's this trope and not just that he's a Hopeless Love Interest? I honestly can't think of many more clear-cut examples other than Race Lift examples from adaptations.

    Of course, the description would need to mention that this is such an omnipresent trope that it basically prevents these relationships well before they even reach the script-stage.

  • March 1, 2013
    KingZeal
    ^^ Yeah, I'm going to invoke Citation Needed on that stuff. We can't build on those types of ideologies without confirming they exist.

    ^ It may be a trivia or a behind-the-scenes thing more than a story trope. Kind of like Final Girl or Vasquez Always Dies, where it's almost never pointed out in the story proper, but executives won't green-light the story unless those cliches are in place.
  • March 1, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the Lifetime Movie Of The Week Not Without my Daughter a white woman's Iranian husband takes them to Iran where he plans to stay; the remainder of the film is the woman trying to rescue her daughter from the clutches of the evil evil man. Whereas if she'd just settled down with a normal white man she wouldn't have had any problems.
  • March 1, 2013
    Alrune
    We need some more advices if this is tropable or not as it is, or if that should only be a Trivia thing. I'd say we let more tropers tell what they think of it and ten try to reach an acceptable version of this trope, if it indeed has its place on the wiki.
  • March 1, 2013
    elwoz
    ^^^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interracial_marriage_in_the_United_States#Census_Bureau_statistics has a nice little table which on its face says that, in the USA, white women marry black men somewhat more often than black women marry white men. However, a sociologist could probably write an entire book taking apart the historical contingencies and statistical assumptions behind that table; I would not presume to think there was any proven asymmetry. (To just mention the most obvious gap, that only counts formally registered marriages, not long-term might-as-well-be-married-but-haven't-bothered-to-do-the-paperwork cohabitations which are becoming more and more common especially in the younger, less racist demographic.)

    But I think we maybe ought to stay away from the question of Truth In Television on this one, precisely because one could write a sociology tome about it. For our purposes I think it's enough to note that interracial relationships in general are still rarer in fiction than they are in Real Life, and then we go on to talk about the double standard where Mighty Whitey gets whatever woman he wants but the (already rarer) nonwhite male lead doesn't.

    ^^^^ Agreed that this is a problem. Perhaps we can address it by explicitly discussing this as a trope in aggregate and deemphasizing specific examples.
  • March 1, 2013
    Alrune
    ^This is quite a reasonable take on the issue at hand.
  • March 2, 2013
    Alrune
    I believe the whole Tropes In Aggregate thing is indeed a goo way of describing this trope.

    This trope is never outright stated in movies or in series (except in Jungle Fever where that's the whole point of the movie). Sometimes it's blatant (such as The Pelican Brief), sometimes it's invoked (Waiting To Exhale where Bernardine laments how her husband leaving her for a White woman only makes matters worse).

    In early seasons of ER, Eriq Lasalle's character had a brief relationship with a British white woman and invoked this trope as for why they couldn't be together, among other things linked to his position and his family.

    The only time (to my knowledge) where it was stated outright was in Kanye West's Gold Digger song where he states that if the Black gold digger in question, her guy will leave her for a white girl. And Thats Terrible.

    Chris Rcok also alluded to this issue in his show Kill The Messenger where he talks about interracial relationships of Black man/White woman from Black women's perspective, saying that Black women aren't attracted to Whitey the same way Black men are attracter to White ladies. (ie Black women would settle for a REALLY, REALLY hot White men, while Black men would fuck any White woman.)
  • March 2, 2013
    arromdee
    This has the same problem that many of the Tropes In Aggregate have. By definition, for Tropes In Aggregate nobody can prove that a particular example isn't an example of the trope. The result is that the page for one of those tropes get cluttered up with a bunch of examples that are questionable, but which nobody can take out because there's no way to say that any particular example isn't an example.

    This seems to be especially bad with any trope dealing with stereotypes, since it's easy to get emotional about them, which leads to posting more questionable examples.
  • March 4, 2013
    Alrune
    bump
  • March 4, 2013
    KingZeal
    ^^ The best way to fix that is to establish "rules" for the trope that covers may 80% of what the trope is. That way, most of the valid examples get included, with only a few "borderline" cases left for discussion pages.

  • March 5, 2013
    Alrune
    Reworking the examples:

    Film

    • The Lover: Being a period piece about French Indochina, the fact that the heroine's lover wasn't White but Asian made things even worse for her since her relationship, once exposed, was met with unanimous disapproval. The romance doesn't work out because... this trope.
    • Jungle Fever: The movie is basically about this trope. A married Black guy (Wesley Snipes) is attracted to a White woman (Annabella Sciorra) to horrible consequences since he was already married and his paramour being White only makes things worse, for both parties.
    • Save The Last Dance: Sara (Julia Stiles) is confronted by Derek's (Sean Patrick Thomas) ex-girlfriend because she's a white girl. They have to end their relationship.
    • Anna And The King: Jodie Foster has plenty of Ship Tease with Chow Yun Fat, especially several dances together, but they never go anywhere romantic because... this trope again, lampshades in-show that Asians and Westerners have a completely different - read: incompatible - view on love.
    • Freeway: This trope seems averted but only in appearance. Vanessa, a white girl has an incidental relationship with Chopper, a black guy. However, their relationship ends brutally with Chopper's death.
    • The Pelican Brief: The Film Of The Book where the male lead is Denzel Washington and the female leas is Julia Roberts. In the book, they get together. In the movie, they don't, despite many occasions to do so, because of this trope.
    • Waiting To Exhale: Invoked. Bernardine's rage at her husband is amplified by the fact that The Mistress is a white woman.
    • Live And Let Die: A white woman is in a non-sexual relationship with the black Big Bad, who is saving her virginity because it grants her the power to see the future, And Thats Terrible. Whereas Bond has a one-night stand with a black woman, and that's just fine.

    Live Action TV

    • Ally Mc Beal: Averted. When Ally tries to date one of her Black clients, her relationship doesn't work out not because of race but because of her own insecurities, as usual.
    • ER: In early seasons, Eriq Lasalle's character had a brief relationship with a British white woman and invoked this trope as for why they couldn't be together.
    • In the Lifetime Movie Of The Week Not Without my Daughter a white woman's Iranian husband takes them to Iran where he plans to stay; the remainder of the film is the woman trying to rescue her daughter from the clutches of the evil evil man. Whereas if she'd just settled down with a normal white man she wouldn't have had any problems.

    Music

    • Stated outright in Kanye West's Gold Digger song where he states that if the Black gold digger in question doesn't clean up her act, her guy will leave her for a white girl. And Thats Terrible.

    Others:

    • Chris Rock alluded to this issue in his show Kill The Messenger where he talks about interracial relationships of Black man/White woman from Black women's perspective, saying that Black women aren't attracted to Whitey the same way Black men are attracter to White ladies. (ie Black women would settle for a REALLY, REALLY hot White men, while Black men would fuck any White woman.)
  • March 5, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^Not Without My Daughter is actually a film, it just follows the Lifetime Movie Of The Week formula. Sorry, my bad, should have explained for those who aren't familiar with the work.
  • Alrune has a point abou the Chris Rock riff: where I live, it's really not uncommon to see a black man and a white woman together (and much like Chris's point, said white women tend to be white/trailer trash women).

    In all honesty, the only time I have ever, ever seen a case of the opposite was an episode of Trading Spouses, where we saw a white man was actually married to a really attractive black woman.
  • March 5, 2013
    lexicon
    This description should mention how this relates to Like Goes With Like. Are there often successful relationships between white men and non-white women?
  • March 6, 2013
    Alrune
    ^I was expecting this question. So let's review interactions of white men with non-White females:

    Film

    • Bodyguard: Nobody ever brings up Kevin Costner being White when he gets together with Whithney Houston.
    • In Barbershop, Isaac a successful Pass Fail white boy, is in a loving relationship with a black girl. No one cares except the local Black Panther activist. No Black guy dates a White girl in the film. However, in its Gender Flip called Beauty Shop, Lynn, a white girl, is courted by a Black guy (Bryce Wilson), to the unanimous disapproval of her co-workers, to the point that Mena Suvari calls her a "wannabe black girl". And when everyone settles with James and Lynn's relationship, Alfre Woodard says that Lynn is now a black girl indeed.
    • In Swordfish, John Travolta sleeps openly with Halle Berry, nobody gives a shit and it's clearly shown on screen that they're in a relationship. Whereas, in Pulp Fiction, Ving Rhames and Uma Thurman are a couple but are never shown together on-screen.
    • In the countless movies Will Smith starred in, he never once had a White actress as his love-interest. Case in point, in Hitch, Cameron Diaz was supposed to be the female lead but... this trope jumped in and Eva Mendes, a Latina, was casted in her stead.
    • Crying Freeman is a mild aversion. Julie Condra is obviously white and she does end up being with Mark Dacascos, a Pacific Islander. In the manga, both of them are Asian.

    Live Action TV

    • In Oz, Kareem, the leader of the Muslims, has a bad case of Where Da White Women At. But since White Women Are Off Limits, his confederates and the prison staff disapprove of this penchant.
    • Star Trek also featured romance between a white guy and a black girl early in its history. Never was there a black guy involved with a white girl. Or an Asian guy or a Latino guy for that matter.
  • March 6, 2013
    Alrune
    • We can also apply the Will Smith case to Denzel Washington or Sidney Poitiers. Halle Berry or Queen Latifah don't have a problem with dating White guys in their movies on the other hand.

    • Likewise, Benicio del Toro or John Leguizamo never were given a role in romantic comedies, nor did they ever had a white lady as their mate in any movie they starred in. However, Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek almost always hook up with a white dude in their movies. Antonio Banderas is an exception but since he's Spanish and not from South-America, it's questionable whether or not he counts as a "Latino".

    • In Weeds, Nancy, a white woman, marries a Mexican man. The relationship soon goes sour and her man gets... emasculated by the main female antagonist, Pilar, a Mexican woman. Not to mention, there plenty of Ship Tease between her and her early partner-in-crime Conrad, a black guy, but since she's the main character, it doesn't go anywhere romantic.

  • March 12, 2013
    Alrune
    I edited the description and made the examples clearer. If anyone wants to add, object to, remove or enhance an example or the description itself, please do.
  • March 13, 2013
    lexicon
    Please mention in the description how this relates to Like Goes With Like.

    Sorry. I found where you mention it but it's not very specific.

    Together Where Da White Women At and Black Gal On White Guy Drama would indicate that any black and white pairing will go bad regardless of it's a white woman or white man.
  • March 13, 2013
    peccantis
    If the trope is about how only white males are allowed frequent sexual activity with any type of humanoid, while no non-whites or non-males are, the name should sure as heck not be "sleeping with a white woman gets you in trouble".

    But yeah, I'd say this is very tropeable.

    A very nice catch but methinks it's more about insistence on a white woman's purity, both passively and actively (in the sense that a white woman is both an innocent lamb who must be corrupted for her to even realise hat sex is a thing, and that even after that realisation, her place and indeed true nature is to allow, rather than initiate sexuality to happen to her, let alone be active herself), probably stemming from Proper Lady if not the other way around, at least partially.

    And then, grown in sweet home where ("properly bred") women are pure as driven snow, we step abroad a ship and sail to a land where scantily clad women walk around hunting birds and snakes like nobody's business, or opulently clothed and made-up women "entertain" all-male groups within closed quarters for high fee, verily without any type of apron, and bam, we have two nifty lil' stereotypes: brown and black women are shameless, perhaps sexually ravenous, jungle wives, and Asian women are conniving whores. Some centuries later we still have Asian Hooker Stereotype and, eh, do we have any trope for the other one?

    While the white male still gets to go around as a celerated champion the more women, of any species and race, he lays.

    As far as I can tell, if there's any trope attached to black male sexuality, it's the part of a threat towards the white male's position. Asian men, I don't know.
  • March 14, 2013
    Alrune
    So... Does anyone thinks we can launch this or is there more precision to be brought to the table?
  • March 14, 2013
    arromdee
    I think it still has the Tropes In Aggregate problem I described above. If you launch this, every work which has a white man with a non-white woman will be added as an example. Since the trope exists in aggregate, the troper won't need to quote anything specific to the individual work (other than it having a white man with a non-white woman) to justify it being an example.

    This has happened over and over again with other such tropes.
  • March 14, 2013
    MissKitten
    Don't launch this yet. It has zero hats, so obviously people don't think its ready to launch. That and someone thinks this needs a better name.
  • March 14, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Yeah, more discussion is useful.
  • March 14, 2013
    lexicon
    I still don't understand. Wouldn't Black Gal On White Guy Drama indicate that white men are off-limits too?
  • March 14, 2013
    acrobox
    Well most stories are told from the perspective of white men. Black Gal On White Guy Drama is more an exception than a rule.
  • March 17, 2013
    Alrune
    So how about a "no examples" version with only a few references in the description,saying that this only describes a casting practice that implies the trope, linking it to Entitled To Have You and Like Goes With Like, those last two tropes applying only to White women, but not to White men?
  • March 18, 2013
    Alrune
    Bump.
  • March 18, 2013
    lexicon
    The only way I know of the white man being able to have sex with any woman he desires, without any restriction in terms of race, that doesn't apply to white women, is a man that travels and has sex with exotic women. Ricky Nelson in the song Travelin' Man and James Bond would apply.
  • March 18, 2013
    Seanette
    Will Smith actually does have a white love interest in Hancock, played by Charlize Theron. However, their history together has included violence against him that was presumably motivated by the black man/white woman aspect.
  • March 19, 2013
    elwoz
    I also support having this be a no- or nearly-no examples page. I think arromdee's right to worry about the examples turning into a giant dumping ground, and I think we should also worry about them turning into a Natter Magnet.

    If we could find some way to restrict the examples to profoundly illustrative cases and related tropes, though, they might add value. Like this:

  • March 19, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Will Smith actually does have a white love interest in Hancock, played by Charlize Theron. However, their history together has included violence against him that was presumably motivated by the black man/white woman aspect.

    Not to mention that he doesn't get the girl, either.
  • March 19, 2013
    helterskelter
    Are we sure this is an actual separate trope, and not a byproduct of three different prejudices?

    • Interracial prejudices in general. There are few interracial romances on screen to begin with. Combine this with:
    • There are few non-white protagonists (or characters) in popular fiction, you are unlikely to see any romance, and still less likely to see him hook up with a white woman because of #1.
    • Rarity, due to the first two, leads any abnormalities in their relationship to stand out--for instance, what could be seen in UST ending in death for any other relationship comes across as extra unsavory in Anna And The King. It is not uncommon for there to be abnormalities in a fictional relationship, yet by the nature of this trope it stands out regardless of what kind of relationship it is.

    I'm not saying this isn't a prejudice, but is this a separate prejudice all on its own, or simply a greater minority because of racism in media?

    Also, black and white are not capitalized.
  • March 25, 2013
    Alrune
    Also, we can include in examples how all recent "love stories" (eg Twilight, 50ShadesOfGrey, Obsidian etc...) often have an ethnic third-wheel. All of the white heroines lust after some paranormal creature who still is a White Male Lead. One more time, White Women Are Off Limits.

    So what do we do now? Do we put this in Tropes In Aggreggate and define precisely what examples should include or do we go for a no-examples version?
  • March 25, 2013
    arromdee
    The first-ever interracial kiss on live TV (Star Trek The Original Series, Kirk/Uhura) was between a white male protagonist and a black female supporting cast member.

    That's not actually true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato%27s_Stepchildren#Production_and_reception
  • March 25, 2013
    wanderlustwarrior
    Consider what we have in Entitled To Have You.
  • April 5, 2013
    Alrune
    Here we are now. What do we do. I propose to have this in Tropes In Aggregate as a Sister Trope to Entitled To Have You and Like Goes With Like. But also a meta-trope about how White audiences don't want to see a White woman with a non-White guy.
  • April 5, 2013
    RossN
    I don't think that the central basis of the trope - that white male can unproblematically have a relationship with non white women - has been convincingly made. To begin with we have a whole trope (Black Gal On White Guy Drama) about white male/black female relations being treated as problematic, taboo or at least something that needs to be addressed.

    I'd certainly agree there is a double standard at play and that more often white male/non-white female is treated as incidental but the trope description goes too far in stressing white male/non-white female as unproblematic.
  • April 5, 2013
    Alrune
    Well it is unproblematic most times, except with Black girls due to the whole White Mans Burden thing and the slavery history.

    Any other definition doesn't meen any problem of note.
  • April 5, 2013
    RossN
    But if the white male/black female relationship is commonly seen as problematic then why is it not addressed by the trope description, especially given so much of the trope is focused on white female/black male relationships?
  • April 5, 2013
    helterskelter
    As I said above, I don't think this is actually an individual trope. I think that this is a result of three different things being mistaken as its own individual problem.
  • April 5, 2013
    McKathlin
    White Women Are Off Limits comes from a similar implication to that of Missing White Woman Syndrome: white women are pure and delicate and "ours", so we (read: white males) need to protect them. We're not comfortable with other people touching what belongs to us.
  • April 5, 2013
    Alrune
    ^That's pretty much it. Then I may change this to include the whole white guy/black girl thing but there are still much more chances for such a relationship to be incidental than the other way around.

    Any other changes to be made?
  • April 5, 2013
    helterskelter
    ^^ No, that's your supposition. Missing White Woman Syndrome can actually be number-crunched. In this case, can you prove that this is a trope separate from racism against leading men who aren't white and racism against interracial couples? I believe that it's easy to presume that this is a separate trope because of this, when the fact of the matter is that there aren't enough non-white leading men to have white love interests to begin with, and when there are, the taboo against interracial couples (which leads to there being very few white men/non-white women relationships too) prevents it then.
  • April 6, 2013
    TheHandle
    Played with in Doctor Who, where Mickey (black) is (white) Rose's boyfriend, but it doesn't work out too well. However, it doesn't seem to be at all because he's black; typically for a Companiion's Muggle Husband, is Overshadowed By Awesome with the doctor around. Played straight in that the romance that does work out later on is with a black lady.
  • April 6, 2013
    lexicon
    If by the whole white guy/black girl thing you mean Black Gal On White Guy Drama it's not incidental. It's drama in how the relationship is subjected to criticism. It's not a mundane thing. There would probably also be drama in a story if he's white and she's something else unless of course she's Asain.
  • April 12, 2013
    Larkmarn
    So I'm not positive how exactly to include this, because it's definitely pertinent:

    In Romeo Must Die, Jet Li and Aaliyah's characters never so much as kiss. Deleted scenes had them kiss but it supposedly didn't go over well with pre-screening audiences. This is in spite of the movie being named for arguably the most famous love story of all time. Now, Aaliyah isn't white so it's not strictly this trope, but it's clear that the taboo of interracial couples is at play here.
  • April 17, 2013
    Alrune
    ^No thi doesn't work. The trope is specifically about White women, not interractial relationships in general.

    I've made some modifications. Is it clearer that way?
  • April 18, 2013
    originalhobbit
    • In How I Met Your Mother, Both Barney and Ted are seen dating a variety of non-white women (Although, to be fair, they're mostly white.). Yet, Robin has one on screen mixed-race relationship, and in the end she ends up with a white guy.
  • April 18, 2013
    helterskelter
    I do think this needs to be addressed:

    Are we sure this is an actual separate trope, and not a byproduct of three different prejudices?

    • Interracial prejudices in general. There are few interracial romances on screen to begin with. Combine this with:
    • There are few non-white protagonists (or characters) in popular fiction, you are unlikely to see any romance, and still less likely to see him hook up with a white woman because of #1.
    • Rarity, due to the first two, leads any abnormalities in their relationship to stand out--for instance, what could be seen in UST ending in death for any other relationship comes across as extra unsavory in Anna And The King. It is not uncommon for there to be abnormalities in a fictional relationship, yet by the nature of this trope it stands out regardless of what kind of relationship it is.

    I'm not saying this isn't a prejudice, but is this a separate prejudice all on its own, or simply a greater minority because of racism in media?

    Also, black and white are not capitalized.
  • April 19, 2013
    Alrune
    ^ If the rarity of non-White protagonists in Hollywood may be linked to this trope, this trope also exists because writers and execs today stick to a bunch of formulas, not only in movies but also in Video Games now and for the same reason: interracial relationships are "unappealing" if it's a white woman/non-white man one because the target demographics is apparently racist White morons who can't relate to a non-White person. Hence, the whole obligatory White Male Lead thing, despite past works showing that Samuel L Jackson, Denzel Washington or Will Smith make for very relatable leads as long as the show isn't about race. None of them can score a White girl though. And I'm not even mentionning Latinos or Asians.
  • April 19, 2013
    Leaper
    With this name, being mistaken for a straight out racism trope (i.e. why some African-American men were lynched in the South back in the Bad Old Days) is inevitable, IMO.
  • April 19, 2013
    Larkmarn
    That How I Met Your Mother example definitely doesn't count. She's had... four serious relationships on the show. That one of them wasn't white is pretty good in of itself. And she ends up with a white guy because he's a main character.

    Also, she's dated a Hispanic guy and a black guy as well. So... yeah.
  • April 19, 2013
    helterskelter
    ^^^ That isn't what I was asking, though. I was specifically asking for someone to demonstrate how this trope is distinct from the fact that interracial couples are very rare and still experience prejudice in general, combined with the fact there are so few non-white male leads that it drastically decreases the amount of potentially visible white woman/non-white man relationships.

    You are presuming that this is a trope inherent to itself, but I'm not so sure. I'm saying that there's a lot of racism against interracial couples to begin with. There's almost no representation for leading characters that are non-white (or female), and leading characters tend to be the only ones with overt romances in almost any media.
  • April 19, 2013
    KingZeal
    But even when they are, Hollywood goes out of its way to make sure to portray the relationship as "not normal". Denzel Washington in the Pelican Brief, Will Smith in...anything, really. (Bad Boys, Hancock, Hitch) and several others. This trope exists even when the leading man is unquestionably Black, and you can't get more leading man than those two.
  • April 20, 2013
    helterskelter
    But I'm saying that white man/non-white woman is also notably portrayed as "not normal". It's just there are more of them, and therefore more exceptions, because there are more white leading men. I'm saying that I don't think the ratios are any different from normal-abnormal, just that there are less relationships like this.
  • April 21, 2013
    lexicon
    I agree. A white man with a non-white woman is also portrayed as not normal. Has Halle Berry ever had a halfway successful relationship with a white man any more then Will Smith with a white woman?
  • April 21, 2013
    Alrune
    Yes, plenty. Swordfish, Executive Decision, Monster's Ball, Things We Lost In The Fire... I believe even in Cloud Atlas she successfully dates a white guy.

    Identical: Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez who are both full-blown latinas and who almost always date White guys in their movies.

    No non-White actor has ever had such a record with a White actress.
  • April 27, 2013
    Alrune
    Bump. I think this trope is almost ready to go but if there's anything people want to add or any objection, I'd like to hear it.
  • April 27, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • In Thirteen Tracy & Evie's Teen Rebellion comes in part by making out with a couple of black guys. I don't think they even have names.
    • In the new Doctor Who series 1 & 2 white Rose has black boyfriend Mickey back home, and it's not presented as "not normal." True, they don't work out, and Mickey ends up married to Martha Jones (also black); but during the time Mickey & Rose are together absolutely no one makes any mention of their races.
  • April 27, 2013
    lexicon
    If it's true about the actors being paired up with Will Smith's race in mind but not caring about the race of Halle Berry, Salma Hayek, or Jennifer Lopez, then I like what you said earlier about a "no examples" version. Listing actors and actresses would get the point across when listing examples would just be a list of every interracial relationship with no indication of the difference between Where Da White Women At and Black Gal On White Guy Drama.
  • April 28, 2013
    Alrune
    That's what I wanted in the first place for pretty much the same reasons and because the whole trope is as meta as Most Writers Are Male.

  • May 2, 2013
    Alrune
    So does everybody agrees on a no-example version?
  • May 2, 2013
    KingZeal
    Yup
  • May 5, 2013
    Alrune
    Here's the "no examples version". What do you think? Is it clear enough? Does it need another caption to describe why no examples should be added?
  • May 5, 2013
    lexicon
    I read it and I think more actors and actresses should be listed in terms of their pairing with those of other races. Also I don't see how Black Gal On White Guy Drama is a partial gender flip. It's a complete gender flip being white guys or black girls are off limits. Maybe it's more for younger characters and minor actors so that's why Halle Berry's movies haven't used it.
  • May 15, 2013
    Alrune
    Done. Is it clearer that way?
  • May 16, 2013
    Alrune
    Bump. Okay for launch or do we wait again?
  • May 16, 2013
    lexicon
    "Black Gal On White Guy Drama is the most seen Gender Flip and adds to the prevalence of the trope." How dose gender flipping something add to the prevalence of what was flipped? It would be easier to sort this out down here and then add it to the description.
  • May 16, 2013
    KingZeal
    Black women and white men are commonly paired together and treated like it's nothing special. It's almost impossible to do that with a white woman and a black man without Hollywood attempting to justify it.
  • May 16, 2013
    lexicon
    Black women and white men being paired together like it's nothing special as in Black Gal On White Guy Complete Lack Of Drama? What about when there is drama? I'm still thinking that the drama is for younger characters and minor actors, not for major movies stars like Halle Berry. That's just my guess of course.
  • May 17, 2013
    1810072342
    The title of this makes it sound like the white women are the ones that shouldn't be dated, not the ones not doing the dating. But then if that would just be messed up a ready launch then ignore me if you like.
  • May 17, 2013
    KingZeal
    ^^ That subversions and aversion exist doesn't change the problem, or mean that it doesn't persist, though.

    To give a personal anecdote, when I wrote adult literature, I found it a lot easier for male audiences to identify with a black woman/white man couple than the inverse. In the inverse, it was always women who were my most dedicated audience.
  • May 17, 2013
    Alrune
    ^^ That's pretty much the intent. White women shouldn't be dated by non-White men.

    ^^^ I see what you mean. Indeed, Black Gal On White Guy Drama implies the relationship is dramatic or tragic. Since we're referencing how White guy/non-White girl is treated as incidental, I'll just point it out as a Gender Flip without anything more, since it implies that either White men or Black women are off-limits for each other.
  • May 21, 2013
    Alrune
    Bump. Is it okay now? Ready to launch?
  • October 8, 2013
    onyx902
    Controversial as this is, I think it certainly isn't going to get any ready-er for launch; hatted.
  • October 8, 2013
    Cider
    In WWE, Trish Stratus, a woman who looks white to me, dated Carlito Colon, who did not look very white to me. In TNA, So Cal Val dated Black Machismo. Okay, an expy of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth but Jay Lethal is still black. Then there was Torrie Wilson (white woman) and Tajiri (Non white Japanese man). And most famous, probable Eddie Guerrero (Non white Chicano) and Chyna (White Anglo).

    Okay, I know more examples of white guy non white girl (Jamie Noble and Nidia, The Bashams and Shaniqua, John Morrison and Melina, Daniel Bryan and Gail Kim, Zack Ryder and Rosa Mendes, Edge and Vickie Guerrero, Santino Marella and Tamina Snuka, Alicia Fox and every guy they have ever put her with, AJ Lee and all her partners except Primo-Big E Langston does not count) but it does go the other way too.

    Then again, there was a scene in which Trish Stratus tried to seduce Shelton Benjamin only for Vincent Kennedy McMahon to barge in and break it up on the reasoning that it would bring about the collapse of society because Shelton was African American but that is pretty much the only time in my entire wrestling watching experience I ever saw something like that and Vince was saying that so he could have Trish to himself.
  • October 9, 2013
    DAN004
    So would we really add examples or not?
  • October 9, 2013
    onyx902
    Well, since this is way too old already it's Up For Grabs, and unless my counting skills have failed me I'm seeing five hats. Just Launch It Already.
  • October 9, 2013
    Cider
    I have already provided five media examples of white women with non-white men where no protest over race was made. I say it should not be launched because I am unconvinced. It may very well be a Hollywood thing but they have no monopoly on media. This hardly seems like a trope, it seems like pointing out that white owned studio system in the southern United States of America does not have a lot of roles for men of colour, which is kind of to be expected.

    Women are less "intimidating" and have "sex appeal" so it makes sense "exotic" looking ones would be paired up with white guys. While the scary darkies or whathaveyou would be kept away from white women. WWE, which is a Northern USA company and TNA, which while southern and white owned is in the middle of black majority Atlanta Georgia, are two companies who do not display this trope. MTV(back when it showed music) had tons of videos where a black or brown rapper would be fondled by masses of white women and Tom Dubois has a white wife in the Boondocks cartoon and comic strips.
  • October 9, 2013
    undefined
    ^It might be a Discredited Trope but it'd still be a trope.
  • October 9, 2013
    Lakija
    ^^Just because it's been subverted or averted doesn't mean it's not tropeworthy. Besides the examples you've provided aren't convincing as to why this shouldn't be a trope. In particular, Black or Latino Rappers' whole game is that they gets the ladies, no matter what color they are. There are rap and hip hop songs about that fact... white women touching all over rappers doesn't really count. Now if the video were a narrative video, I can see that, because those are about usually one relationship. And those might exist to aid you in your claim.

    And Tom Dubois is basically a complicated bastion of tropes, and his relationship explores this one. In the show, it's shown how insecure his relationship is with his wife, and her race is brought up in conjunction with plot points, especially those involving uncle Ruckus. Nothing in that show is insignificant. The whole show is a reflection of our society in some way or other.

    Another reason this trope exists was probably stated above, but Black women probably are not fans of this particular relationship archetype. Example:
    • In the novel Passin', the protagonist passes as a white woman and dates a wealthy black man. Things go well until he finds out she's black, at which point he dumps her like a bad habit after she gives birth. Not because she abused his trust, but because he had relations with a black woman.

    I'm not even sure how to respond to the wrestling examples. It's kind of like a reality show but with fighting, so I'm not sure how those fit in with creative works like movies.

  • October 10, 2013
    StrixObscuro
    • Subverted by MBC, a Korean broadcasting channel, when they made an infamous "study" warning Korean women not to date foreigners.
  • October 10, 2013
    Cider
    Normally yes, a simple subversion or aversion does not disqualify something from being trope worthy, however.

    "This trope is so omnipresent nowadays that it usually comes into play before the work even gets written, creators don't even consider pairing a non-White man with a White woman. It's just too risky. And when this is considered, Executive Meddling often comes into play and this trope is enforced."

    Those who place themselves on a high pedestal suffer a harder fall. So, maybe Boondocks is not the best example, maybe not even MTV but those were only half the post. There were still plenty of examples that bring the trope's omnipresence into question.
  • October 10, 2013
    Lakija
    Well, it's not in every single work of course. But it's certainly prevalent enough that it's generated more than one hundred replies concerning it, no?

    Maybe the reason wrestling has so many examples is because it is unafraid of such controversies (wrestling thrives off controversy, right?). That's what makes things different in films and television. They lose money because of controversy, or get cancelled. We're talking millions of dollars here.

    I daresay it's much less attractive to take chances when a quarter of a billion dollars is on the line, and your movie has to make it back.

    That's my opinion on the matter. I'm not saying the description is perfect. But the trope is still kinda prevalent out there.

  • October 18, 2013
    Cider
    Well, I have no plans to argue further. If other people want it launched I am fine with it, I just wanted to express my doubts...did this not have four or five hats? If someone agreed with me that is fine but it would be nice to see some discussion as to why the hats were removed.(or was I just imagining things)
  • January 29, 2014
    LC
    It already has 5 hats.
  • January 29, 2014
    Larkmarn
  • April 4, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Is this up for grabs? I think this is definitely tropeworthy as a trope in aggregate, with only exceptional/cited examples going on the page (like The Pelican Brief, where the book has the leads have sex, but the movie only has them hug, or Cameron Diaz not being cast in Hitch because she was too white).
  • April 4, 2014
    acrobox
  • Well, to counter Cider's point, I do know of one professional wrestling example.

    The Fabulous Moolah was attacked by fans for associating with Elephant boy (as in managing him the way wrestlers have been since forever). Even that example is suspect though because it was reported had mistaken Elephant boy for a black man (implying a Chicano would have been fine for a white woman, so long as he wasn't a "nigger") and that it happened in the 1950s (we don't have evidence that this proposed trope was inaction nor a time frame for when professional wrestling shook it off if it ever was)

    It seems examples have been found in other media though. Why are none of them being added? The first(and pretty much only) rule of adding something to TV Tropes is that you have to convince the rest of us it exists (unless you are adding it to Your Mileage May Vary or Just For Fun). Hard to be too convincing without examples.
  • April 4, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In the film The Great White Hope champion boxer Jack Jefferson (black) gets arrested, tried, and convicted for having sex with a white woman. (Technically the charge is "transportation across state lines for an immoral purpose.") He gets out of it by fleeing to Europe.
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