I‘M SURE you’ve all seen it: the offensive “Native” stereotype of the guy who has this long, thick, wild-flowing hair and intense, passionate eyes. Often he’s a lean, muscular type—again, passionate and earthy, mysterious, and sexually irresistible to women.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about that I found this week on Amazon.
This is a book about a time-traveling white female doctor who meets a hot and seductive Sioux warrior from the 1800s. The woman is mesmerized and basically surrenders to this sizzling chunk of Onkwehonwe.
I haven’t read the book, but I’m guessing the plot has something to do with going back in time to acquaint the Sioux of the 19th Century with basic Photoshop concepts, like Layering and Magic Wand. (Yes, that really is a Photoshop term.) Then, in her later novels, I’m guessing Pamela Ackerson will get into more advanced techniques like Masking, Polygon Lasso, Curves, Color Balance, and Lighting Effects.
Back to these stereotypes of the passionate, earthy and sexually irresistible native man.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. And, yes, I do realize this stereotype describes me perfectly. I may look just like the picture, except my hair is short now. And, sure, I have these same magical qualities. Try to put that aside for a minute. I appreciate that it’s difficult. Let’s focus on the fact that it’s an offensive stereotype and people really ought to know better.
As it happens, there are many nerdy and unromantic First Nations men out there. You know, stamp-collecting Nish who can quote Doctor Who and tell you what floor of the Enterprise Kirk’s quarters are on and who have no idea how to perfectly fulfill a woman’s most deep and innermost fantasies. The stereotype does them a great injustice, and it should stop.
I recognize and accept that I’m not one of them and, in fact, I’m the exact opposite. Try not to get hung up on that fact, however, because it doesn’t excuse anybody from being more aware of just how inaccurate, in 99% of the cases, these lascivious stereotypes about us aboriginal men are.
The really depressing thing, to me at least, is that many aboriginal people who should know better embrace these crazy stereotypes themselves.
You see, even though they recognize that I am a total hot hunk of a Kanien’kehá:ka guy, just like the stereotype, they don’t fully appreciate the fact that it’s a co-incidence. Although the stereotype in my case is dead-on, it isn’t always so with other native men. I know it’s confusing, but I can’t help it. That’s just how the Creator made me.
Yes, those are my pectorals in that picture. And, yes, I burn with the very same carnal intensity, as everyone can obviously see with their own unaided eyes. Please keep in mind however that this is not because I am an aboriginal man. It has more to do with diet and other intangible, mysterious things that are too complex for any stereotype to capture. Think of it as a kind of magic that you just have to accept with deep reverence.
So next time you see a dreamy Nish with a hard body, long black hair, and a seductive gaze—whether it’s in a Hollywood movie or on the cover of a romance novel—don’t just say to yourself, “Wow, that looks just like Wayne.” Instead, say to yourself, “Wow, that’s an offensive stereotype…and it looks just like Wayne.”