Lessons from the Alpha Male:
“How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” by Junot Diaz
Every red-blooded American male reaches a zenith in his life when he has finally joined the company of men, and been deemed worthy to receive a lifetime of collected wisdom and tutelage from his elder “packmates”. This knowledge comes in both lewd and often brutally honest sentiments that can induce feelings of excitement and unabashed shame, but regardless of the emotions evoked, it is a necessary rite of passage signifying a young man’s entrance into the world of his peers. This transformation and the hesitance involved is masterfully scripted in Junot Diaz’s “How to Date a ...view middle of the document...
Collectively, these literary images go to describe a young ethnic man, probably of Latin descent, who lives with his mother in a poverty stricken area. The careful recitation of instruction given to the younger man seems to demonstrate an intricate knowledge the narrators has accrued from both predecessors and experience. Singularly, this part of the story is very powerful in that it shows a young man having to hide who he is and where he comes from in an effort to seem appealing to women, and speaks volumes about the deception that both genders go through all in name of the chase.
Diaz progresses into detailing the necessary steps the young man must follow to get an actual date with a woman dependent upon her race and background. The young man is led to believe that for each type of girl he must present himself differently to not offend her or her parent’s fragile sensibilities and receives instructions on how to properly illicit a date “The directions were in your best handwriting, so her parents won't think you're an idiot” (256). Clearly, careful psychological manipulations of a girl’s parents are a vital component in achieving dating success. To this point, the young man has only received instruction and it is here that the reader receives some insight into which type of woman the young man is wanting to date “The white ones are the ones you want the most, aren't they…”(256). We also discover that the young man is Dominican “You'll wonder how she feels about Dominicans. Don't ask” (256). Regardless of the young man’s desires, the narrator seems determined to impart his wisdom of dating girls of different ethnicities:
If the girl's from around the way, take her to El Cibao for dinner. Order everything in your busted-up Spanish. Let her correct you if she's Latina and amaze her if she's black. If she's not from around the way, Wendy's will do (256).
This may be indicative of the narrator’s experience with white women not choosing to socialize with men of his ilk and struggling to make the young man realize that he needs to keep his options open.
Finally, the young man is coached on the intricacies of being intimate with women of various ethnicities. The details are far from sensitive, but presented with the cavalier...