“Asian women suck.” The person who said this to me was referring to Asian women dating white men.
As an Asian woman, perhaps it’s my feminist responsibility to defend my kind from any accusations that we suck. Instead, I confess that there are times when I really want to throw “unconditional sisterhood” out the window, and sympathize with those who hold this sentiment. Sometimes, I think some Asian women with white men do suck.
I am an Asian woman with a white boyfriend.
Just reading that sentence without knowing anything about my circumstances, how I got into this relationship, what I feel, what my boyfriend feels… how many of you will think one of the following?
- Yellow fever
- White fever
- Asian fetish
- White worship
- Emasculating Asian men
- White hegemony
- Self-hating Asian
And how many of you are genuinely inclined toward these lines of thought:
- Love conquers all
- Both partners are colorblind
- Equal relationship
- Respect for both races/cultures
- Your personal preference
- Mixing up bloodlines is good for humanity
And how many of you genuinely:
- Don’t care
- Have no opinion
Just think about that for a while — without being politically correct, what is your gut reaction to Asian women with white men?
When I started feeling attracted to the man who is now my boyfriend, I hesitated for a long time before acting on my feelings. He was a wonderful man who respected me and made me laugh, but I had reservations about joining the interracial relationship cliché. Another white guy with an Asian girl, I thought. No! I asked myself a lot of questions, had crazy schizophrenic-type dialogues with myself in my head:
Why was I initially attracted to him?
Has media bias against Asian men gotten to me?
But I grew up in an Asian country watching local shows and Korean dramas!
Am I emasculating Asian men by being with a white guy?
But he doesn’t have the Hollywood white-man-oh-so-masculine look, and he’s shorter and smaller than me and most Asian guys I know!
I’ve always been attracted to Asian guys! So why this guy?
I’ve never been in a relationship with a white guy before, so surely this isn’t about a racial preference or white superiority or all that post-colonial discourse.
Maybe I just like this guy because I met him at the Shanghai Barbie Store.
After this emotional tug-of-war, I gave the relationship a chance, and I am grateful I did.
But my entry into the white male/Asian female club does not mean I’ve gone on an “it’s always about love” kick and that I blindly celebrate all the relationships that, on the surface, look like mine.
There are the WM/AF relationships which I firmly believe are equal partnerships between two egalitarian, colorblind individuals who respect each other’s cultures and beliefs.
However, as someone recently reminded me, there are those kinds of WM/AF relationships that give the rest of us a bad name — the ones that are formed on the perhaps covert and destructive valuing of the white man’s race and culture over the Asian woman’s, where the white man has little regard for his partner’s culture, or sees her as a trophy. Some pairings are just blatantly unequal, and as that someone commented, “Only an AF who is really un-self-aware and/or self-loathing would date or marry such a man.”
“I’m not against white guys and Asian girls,” said a Chinese male friend. “It’s only when the Asian girl looks down upon her own race and chooses a white guy because she thinks he is superior in terms of looks, culture, money, and if their children continue to think that white is better… then I get frustrated.”
But how about relationships between white men and Asian women when there is no obvious white worshipping/Asian fetishizing/gold-digging going on? In those cases, surely the Asian woman doesn’t suck. However, internalized racism can be subtle, with prejudices not seeming like prejudices at all. Asian women only suck when they don’t think twice about saying things like:
- I have a cultural/aesthetic preference for white guys.
- Asian men have small penises, trust me, I’m Asian.
- White guys are much more physically attractive compared to Asian guys.
- Asian men are nerds and geeks and quiet losers.
- Asian men aren’t romantic.
- White guys are hot and sexy, while Asian guys are just loyal friends.
- I will never date an Asian guy, I only date white guys.
- I can’t date Asian men because they’re like my brothers.
- Caucasian features are more attractive compared to the round face, olive skin, small squinty eyes Asian guys have.
- Etc. along the same lines.
I’ve heard enough Asian women say these things as if they were absolute truths, without questioning how they came to their racial preferences, and not realizing how much these seemingly flippant remarks harm Asian men, create a rift between Asian men and women, and breed negativity towards Asian women who don’t hold these views.
Sometimes I wonder how an Asian woman can say she prefers white men because they are more aesthetically pleasing, when one day she might have a son who looks more like her side of the family than his father’s. This is why I feel bad for the very angry Asian-looking hapa son who hates his white dad and Asian mom – if his mother did think all the bullet points above, it’s no wonder her Asian-looking son is so resentful for being brought into a world where even his own mother could dismiss men with his features.
I keep a blog where I’ve occasionally touched upon my type of interracial relationship, particularly in two posts, The Asian Girlfriend Complex, and Ending Bias against White Male and Asian Female Couples?. I wrote these posts because I am very much aware of the negative associations (of Group A) that are often attached to my type of pairing. Compared to many Asian women I know, I’m perhaps a little too self-aware (or oversensitive) of what my relationship represents.
Most of the criticism I get on my blog understandably comes from Asian men who react to what they perceive is my “pro-white” message, simply because I am an Asian woman writing about dating a white guy. I welcome commenters who wish to discuss the issue civilly, but personal attacks are where I draw the line, and such comments deleted. However, I recently began an email conversation with one such “angry Asian man” who attacked me on my blog. Instead of simply dismissing him like I did the others, I decided I wanted to hear more in-depth from one of them.
Over the course of a week and 25 emails and perhaps 20,000 words exchanged between us, he’s no longer an angry Asian male caricature to me; he is a very real man with a name, an age, a place and identity. I think I’ve become a real person to him too instead of just another sucky Asian girl with a white boyfriend. Perhaps it surprised him that I actually agree with most of his points — that some pairings cannot be entirely race-blind if Asian females are marrying out at a higher rate than any other minority in the States; that people who state that it’s okay to hold a racial preference in dating are often unaware of the racist structure their preference is based on; that white media has done a great disservice to Asian men; that there are more tools to articulate white masculinity than there are to articulate Asian masculinity; that some of the most disparaging remarks about Asian men come from Asian women themselves, and are often based on nothing but bad stereotypes; that the world being what it is, me simply walking down the street with my Caucasian boyfriend can send a negative message about Asian men.
I don’t deny any of this, and I don’t deny that some Asian women — whether they are aware of it or not, whether it’s entirely their fault or not — can sometimes suck in regards of how they talk about Asian men. All I could tell my new Asian male email buddy was to have more confidence and optimism about finding love, and that I, at least, am one Asian female who is not with my boyfriend because he has a white behind, nor do I have any desire to emasculate Asian men by perpetuating negative stereotypes about them. I’ve always thought Asian men were attractive. That opinion hasn’t changed.
Would anyone say that all Asian women should refuse to date white men or break up with their current white boyfriends in order to make the world a better place? That’s ridiculous, and I think most Asian men would agree. In the end, everyone has the intrinsic right to date who they want — we should just be aware of what our relationships symbolize in a public sphere, and pursue romantic happiness without degrading the men from our own racial/cultural communities.
Thoughts about whether Asian women suck when it comes to interracial dating?