Junot Diaz

525 Words3 Pages
Upon a first reading of Junot Díaz’s, “How to Date A Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie,” from his larger collection, Drown, Díaz’s vignette is blatantly and extremely misogynistic. Díaz’s narrator, Yunior, is compartmentalizing and categorizing women’s sexual habits and behaviors based on their racial identity and socioeconomic backgrounds. The ways in which he describes these behaviors is systematic, routine, and rehearsed, as Yunior’s narration takes on the form and style of an instructional manual or guide, with its “How to” title. To Yunior, every girl’s race determines her sexual behavior, and this generalization is essentially unvarying. Their race also establishes his treatment of these girls, ranging from where he takes…show more content…
He relies on these assumed racial and socioeconomic implications, however, he desperately attempts to disguise any assumptions that could be made of him in regards to his own racial identity and social class. He “[clears] the government cheese from the refrigerator”(143), “[hides] the pictures of [himself] with an Afro”(143), and instructs the reader to “run a hand through your hair like the whiteboys do”(145). The significance of Yunior’s internalized racism is felt even further when he is supplying a humorous anecdote involving a neighborhood resident who collects tear gas canisters that eventually exploded. This reminds him to mention, “don’t tell her that your moms knew right away what it was, that she recognized its smell from the year the United States invaded your island”(146), and his dislike for his own racial appearance becomes furthermore apparent when he instructs the reader to “tell her that you love her hair, that you love her skin, her lips, because, in truth, you love them more than you love your own”(147). These glances at Yunior’s thoughts present a pervading sense of disdain that Yunior has towards himself. It is evident that Yunior’s own internalized racial struggle becomes the center of the story, however, it is difficult to excuse the misogynistic claims he makes of the women who he
Open Document