Mum Hates My Boyfriend

January 1st, 1999

“I have dated my boyfriend for 10 months but my mother doesn’t like my boyfriend, cos’ he is not a local. I’m a chinese malaysian and my boyfriend is filipino. My mom, doesn’t like filipino cos’ my dad also a filipino and he has cheated my mom. My mom, doesn’t want me to follow her footstep by choosing the race with my dad.

But I Love my boyfriend very much and also he have a good and high education. I tried so many times, explained this to my mom, that he’s different from our dad, but my mom just can’t accept it.

What shall I do?”

Valerie Tan

Jo’s Advice

What you got here is a good hearty dose of racism.

Your Mum got hurt by your Dad in a way we may never understand. At least, we pray we never feel the pain of a love betrayed. Anyway, she associates that pain with his race. Not a wise or clever thing to do, not even a rational thing to do, but that’s the upshot of it.

She’s projecting her personal pain on to an entire race of innocent people. (Well, most of them are innocent. Some are probably guilty of something – murder, cheating on their wives, stealing a packet of bubble gum, owning Shania Twain CD’s…)

You’ve got to realise that you can’t do anything about her prejudices. She’s made up her mind, and nothing you say about your boyfriend or any other Filipino is going to change her opinion.

So, even though it’s very difficult to do and it may cause you a great deal of pain, if you love your boyfriend as you say you do (and I’ve no reason to doubt you) then you have no choice but to go against your Mum’s wishes and keep seeing him.

But don’t do it in secret, that will only confirm your Mum’s beliefs that all Filipino’s are lying, sneaky people. Make sure your Mum knows you are seeing him. Have him hang around, keep him in her face – there may come a time when she gets so used to having him around she’ll forget what race he is and start appreciating him for the person he is. Especially if he is a really helpful, charming person with a bright future and the potential to earn lots of money.

Get him to wash the dishes once in a while, bring over some take away, even cook dinner.

Oh, and it helps if he can compliment her on something, as long as it’s believable – there’s nothing worse than a smarmy cheesy boyfriend laying on fake compliments everywhere he goes.

And when it all gets too much for you and you think you can’t go on, gain strength from the knowledge that you are waging your own battle against the evils of racism, and that your efforts may change an entire generation of prejudices, and are one small step to making this world a better place.

Either that, or just run off with your boyfriend for an afternoon and pash on. That usually makes me feel better.

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Mum Hates My Boyfriend