Friday, August 13, 2010

Chicagoing: Ms. M 100% Mutt

This past weekend, A's family was in town from Memphis for our belated wedding reception. The last time they were in Chicago was about 10 years ago, so we wanted to show them everything Chicago has to offer. Coincidentally, Kip Fulbeck's Part Asian, 100% Hapa solo exhibition was at The Field Museum.
A and I wanted to see this exhibit for awhile and with A's parents in town, it was the perfect time to go. For those who do not know, A is Jewish and I am Korean-American and we eloped 7 months ago, which is why the wedding reception was belated.
When we first started dating, both sides of our family, mainly our parents and grandparents, were disappointed and disapproving. Over time, both sides of our family have accepted and even embraced our relationship.
So we thought it would be interesting to us and A's parents to visit the exhibit to see what our kids could possibly look like. Hapa in the Hawaiian language, pidgin, means half and refers to an individual of mixed descent. In the past the term was derogatory, but now it is embraced as a term to describe individuals whose mixed descent includes Asian or Pacific Islander.
We don't think A's parents liked the exhibit as much as we did, b/c we don't think they understood why we were so excited, especially when we were looking at pictures of 1/2 Asian and 1/2 Jewish individuals.
Though we went to visit the exhibit to see kids that were half Asian and half Caucasian or hapa haole, the exhibit raised some very interesting points. Many people of mixed descent are asked "what are you" and often times they have to pick one race as their identity over the other. Though not the same, but somewhat analogous, we are often asked about Ms. M's genetic makeup.
The main guesses of her breed has been Boxer, American Bulldog, and American Pitbull Terrier and people like to point to specific phenotypic features to support their guess. On the other hand, Ms. M could care less about her genetic makeup, she just knows that she isn't human nor a cat and maybe not a basset hound. While some people see her as a vicious pitbull, she just thinks of herself as the cuddly, lap dog Ms. M. I realized that our future children could have some racial identity issues, and Ms. M would be a great role model. Hopefully they realize that labels that people give them are not important, it just makes it easier for certain people to use their preconceived notions to judge them, just like certain people can blindly judge Ms. M and Mr. B without meeting them.
And like Ms. M, hopefully our children could care less about their race and those of others and approach every person openly unless that person gives them a reason otherwise.

24 comments:

Two Crazy Coaches said...

What a great post on all accounts! I really enjoyed learning more about you and your different backgrounds. Miss M has done a great job of just being herself and people love her! I have no doubt your kids will be treated the same way. Hopefully as time goes on, the general public will become more accepting and less likely to labe. Again, great post!

Hound Girl said...

Great post and I love the pictures!! Thank you for the insight on the diffrent backgrounds, diversity is what makes the world a fun place!

mayziegal said...

What a wonderful, thought-provoking post. I know that when people make certain judgments about Mayzie based on her looks, it bothers me. But I know SHE doesn't care. So I try to follow her lead. Love the ones who are open to it and well, while you're at it, love the ones who aren't open to it, too. Ha!

I have a feeling with you two as parents, your kids are going to be very confident and proud of who they are. And of course, having Miss M as a role model won't hurt.

Amber

P.S. The wedding pictures are beautiful!

Mack said...

What great wedding pics!
And mom said the best dog she ever had was a mutt! Moooom....

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

Such a great post! Your wedding photos really are beautiful, and the sentiment is so sweet. I don't think your kiddos will have anything to worry about with such great role models. :)

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

GOOD for you guys!

On a different but related note- bringing dogs into my home drove home for me how ridiculous being "breed-ist." Just as touting one race before another makes absolutely no sense (i.e. racism), saying that a purebreed is "better" than a mutt is ridiculous too. Our blood lines do not matter. It's our character and what we do with our experience that counts- whether we're a human... or a dog.

dw said...

Wow, what a great post to link mixed race humans with a mixed breed Miss M! With the attitude you two have, and the obvious indifference to breed Miss M has (breed? Yeah I'm a breed, or two or three, now where are the cookies??) I think you'll do just fine guiding your future kids through a sometimes difficult situation. I love the pic of Miss M and Mr. B as almost mirror images! So cute!

Laura and Hans said...

It seems to me that some of the most beautiful people (aesthetically speaking) I've seen are of mixed races/backgrounds. I once waited on a family who consisted of a Nordic father and Ethiopian mother. Their daughters are beyond stunning and one is now a very successful model. As a mother of 3 I only want my kids to be happy with whatever choices they make in their lives.

honey_baby said...

I guess people get hung up on identifying/labels because we have an innate need to organize the world through language. (It doesn't make it right!) I'm glad to see you're keeping an open mind and heart, despite what others may think. The MSI exhibit looks really cool --I'll have to check it out!

ps. Ms. M is soooo cute!

little princess Luna~ said...

love this post~!! mum almost bought that book~!! there is a book about that right?? or am i a confused chi??
i think ms. m is beautimous and love that she is a muttymuttmutt (like me)~!!

xo,
luna

ps. the wedding pics are super fun~!! mum loves them~!!

brooke said...

are you from Hawaii!?!
Ive had to teach Jason the words Hapa and haole. This looks like a great exhibit!

I love that picture of Ms M and Mr B.. they are two peas in a pod!

Gofer said...

HERE HERE agreed. As a "mom" of 2 pitties I have always felt that those who say all Pit Bulls are mean baby killers and those who want BSL are no different then racists or bigots. You cant make a blanket judgment based on a few members of that group.

houndstooth said...

What a great post and cool exhibit! I hadn't heard about that one. I have a lot of biracial children in class and they're beautiful.

A lot of dogs' genetic makeup will surprise you. Features that they have that appear to come from a specific breed are often deceiving. Now that they have canine DNA tests, I see a lot of people trying them for fun. I remember seeing Kyra Sedgewick on Letterman not long ago talking about their family dog. They always assumed she was part Pit based on her looks and were proud of that fact, but the DNA test showed that she didn't have a trace of any Bullie breed in her! lol She said they still loved and adored the dog, though!

Wyatt said...

Thanks for sharing that! Great Exhibit, Great Post and Pictures.

Wyatt and Stanzie

road-dog-tales said...

All of us except Gracie and Aspen are mixed-up, um, that's mixed breeds, too. We think it's a good thing. We love the "two heads are better than one" pic.
Mom loved the wedding photos! And she wishes she was more exotic.
The Road Dogs

Mary-Margaret O'Brien said...

Love your philosophy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Two Little Cavaliers said...

Very interesting topic you brought up. I think as long as you embrace each other your children will be able to see themselves as what they are children who are loved unconditionally.

Thanks for joining the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop. Hope you have an awesome weekend.

Felissa, Davinia, and Indiana
www.twolittlecavaliers.blogspot.com

Life with 5 dogs said...

Diversity is Wonderful and makes the world go round! I think you have the greatest post. Thanks for sharing, and have a wonderful weekend.

Miley said...

You are a very cute Pit-Bull,. :)

I'm from the Blog Hop.
It's very nice to meet you, I hope we can be grreat furends.

Cuddles and licks,
Love Miley xxx
http://curiouscavortingcavoodle-miley.blogspot.com/

Kari in WeHo said...

What a great exhibit. I am looking to see if it will come to LA.

Don't forget, we moved to http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

Mary said...

I loved seeing the pictures of you guys! Two beautiful people who will no doubt have beautiful children, inside and out. I'm sorry that your parents weren't more accepting of your relationship when you first started dating. I'm always surprised that people are still unnerved by interracial relationships, but I can understand that it's a difficult thing to accept, especially for older generations.

People always ask us what Levi is and offer opinions, or argue that he's not an APBT mix, he's a boxer, or whatever. I guess the reason why I like to put the pit bull "label" on him is because he's such a good boy and I want people to see a good example of his breed. Ms. M is certainly doing her part!

ForPetsSake said...

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing this ;)

Annie & Paul's Mom said...

I know the feeling. While I'm white with a very big mix of European cultures, my husband is a Navajo Indian. We eloped after 13 months of dating, and when we told our parents and grand parents, we got all sorts of silences. My family is after me to convert him to catholicism. His grandparents (who don't speak english, and J has forgotten most of his Dine) were heartbroken that he married a "belagana" (white person).
Have you ever looked at anything from Loving Day.org? It's all about celebrating the Supreme court decision in 1967 that allows couples of different races to get married. They also have a big connection into the community with regards to kids who have multi racial backgrounds.

Annie & Paul's Mom said...
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