04.12.12

Can we stop with the strange self-hate, please?

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:34 pm by kyrias

Yet another “why Asian women date white men” essay that is apologetic, carries tones of own-race-distaste (let’s not call it hatred), and doesn’t say anything new at all.

One wonders why people even bother. On the other hand, it’s such an easy grab for attention that I should probably write my own dissertation on why I think Asian women date white men.

It would have been easy to laugh off except for a couple of lines that just leaped out at me, slapped me silly, and started a slow fire in my gut. If the rest of the essay had been a treatise in interracial dating psychology, or even just evolutionary psychology, or even just a nice list of statistics, I would have probably shrugged it off . As it is, it’s infuriating without being helpful.

The appeal of Asian women for Western men largely lies in the fantasy-indulging experience that engenders a feeling of dominance and masculinity which is lacking, or perhaps even threatened, in their own culture. Just look at the funny Charisma Man comic below (click to enlarge). Because Asian women come from a history where they traditionally serve men, the stereotype of the docile and submissive Asian woman feeds this dehumanizing fantasy. The sex industry catering to Westerners is constructed around selling not only the flesh, but what Sheridan Prasso calls the “Asian Mystique…the fantasy of the exotic, indulging, decadent, sensual Oriental who will indulge you and delight you with the decadence and servility that no women in your own culture could.” This fetishization of Asian women causes many women to wonder whether a Western suitor is interested in her as a person, or in the expectations surrounding the Asian Mystique.

A common conception, eh? It is correct? Incorrect? She doesn’t quite say.

But let’s start with “because Asian women come from a history where they traditionally serve men, the stereotype of the docile and submissive Asian woman…”.

Excuse me, but I seem to remember that women in the West weren’t exactly exempt from such practices as being submissive to their husbands and they also had to do all of the homemaking, childrearing, and other “serving type” stuff around the house if there were no servants.

I find the implied suggestion that Western women had it better to be disingenuous at best. If I remember correctly, a husband was allowed by law to beat his wife in some places in the West and even in the United States, for ages the government was loath to enter into a man’s home and tell him he was doing it wrong.

This wasn’t her word, but really? Servility of the Oriental? Servility? I mean, docile, submissive, exotic — those are bad enough — but servility?

It’s true that independence and power is valued more highly in Western women, whereas Eastern values traditionally emphasize community and social harmony, and are unfortunately more patriarchal. This may influence the behavioral traits of some Asian women. However, men sometimes take this to feel “remasculated” in their interactions and perceptions of Asian women because they can experience feelings of dominance, power, and wealth (real or imagined) — especially in Asia, where some women cater to these fantasies for personal gain, or associate with Western men as a status symbol. There’s fantasy built into the idea of dating a Westerner, too, which makes them appealing to Asian women; the stigma goes both ways. On the other hand, there’s also a common notion among more affluent Asian women that the only men who hang around chasing women in Asia are just “creepy losers” that can’t find a girl back home.

Does Lee Shien (I’m doing her name correctly, alright?) mean to say that Asia has traditionally been more patriarchal? If so, what does that even mean?

Patriarchal simply means that 1. men have most of the powah and 2. inheritance and other crap passes through the male line. It simply is — you cannot be more or less patriarchal.

You can, however, be more or less oppressive.

And I have to say, if someone wants to tell me that Asia has traditionally, historically, been more oppressive towards females — I might have to laugh. I’d get angry, but I might have to laugh a lot first. Mostly because that is a sweeping statement that is just bad in terms of how generalized it is.

For the sake of argument, let’s use China.

Around the Han dynasty (202 BC – 220AD), women were allowed education, jobs, and property. Han Wudi in 141 BC apparently allowed female officials. There were numerous women who held property as lords and given noble titles. Women were allowed to divorce, widows were allowed to remarry, and women were allowed to be queens regnant.

Then there was the Tang dynasty, where we had the first female empress, there were female officials, and women were still allowed to hold jobs, own property, etc etc etc.

Can someone conversant with the Middle Ages in Europe please do a side by side comparison? And I’m being generous here, since I could just compare the Han dynasty to the Dark Ages in Europe.

She states that “the stigma goes both ways”. What stigma? Is there one stigma that goes both ways, or does she mean to say that both the Asian woman and the white guy both get seen as complete losers for dating each other?

I know, it sounds terrible, doesn’t it? While we all know that the “Creepy White Dude” does exist, these notions feed dehumanizing stereotypes that prevent mutual respect, and taint those interracial relationships founded on mutual love and respect due to judgment passed by others. The fact is, each person is attracted to certain characteristics in a prospective mate, whether they are physical, cultural, or behavioral. Who’s to say the attraction is based only on fantasy? A bit of fantasy can be beneficial in relationships. It’s unfair to pass judgment on a person for race and culture-related characteristics they find desirable based on the color of their skin.

Oh god. I am not going to pass judgement on anyone who is attracted to say, redheads as opposed to blondes. However, anyone who claims that an entire culture behaves a certain way and then proceeds to choose their significant other based on said stereotype — really, tell me why exactly I cannot pass judgment on them?

Besides, the modern Asian female doesn’t necessarily know how to cook, or how to keep house, and certainly doesn’t know the ten thousand and one ways of fellatio learned at the knee of the premiere geisha in her home precinct.

As I mentioned before, a stigma exists toward Asian women who date Western men, which also casts interracial dating in a poor light. They are condemned as being social climbers, materialistic, and superficial. However, that, too, is a stereotype, and some of the reasons Asian women prefer to date Western men extend beyond perceived social status or physical attraction. Sexism has, in fact, been an integral part of Asian society since its origin, and is still prevalent in Asian societies. Asian women may prefer pairing with Western men because they feel like they are treated more as an equal, and enjoy greater independence in a relationship. Moreso in Asian cultures, men feel threatened when a woman’s abilities, talent, and social status exceeds their own. I’m sure there are plenty of Asian and Asian-American men who do not adhere to patriarchal beliefs, but there’s no denying the inherent values embedded within certain cultures that may shape a woman’s preferences.

Here’s the crowning gem of what made me angry enough to spit nails: “Sexism has, in fact, been an integral part of Asian society since its origin…”

Yes! Utterly unlike Western society!

You know, I am not saying Asia as it stands today is amazing. I would be the last person to say that China is in any way shape or form completely ready to join 2012.

But really?

Are we just going to toss over 4000+ years of civilization, during which a good portion of it women were not significantly more downtrodden than their Western counterparts, and probably a decent portion of it where they actually had more rights than their Western counterparts, and just say as a blanket statement: oh hey, us in the east, we’ve just been failing hardcore for the past four or so millenia and everyone should just hate on us, including ourselves.

Oh, and let’s forget that for a chunk of Chinese history women were actually expected to be worthy of their husbands in so far as intellect, artistry, and other such things. To broadly state that Asia has historically had issues with men hating on women who actually had half a brain cell is just factually incorrect.

Also — clearly men here in the US have no problems, none whatsoever, when women start getting uppity. Did Lee Shien even pay attention to how much crap Hillary Clinton get/got/will get? Sarah Palin? (Well, she kinda deserves it) Elizabeth Warren?

I mean, dude, I’m all for beating Asia with a stick for their misogyny and sexism and general backward idiocy, but to say that this is something inherent in the culture and that it’s something that’s been going on for millenia is just willfully ignorant.

Argh.

Seriously. I’m going to have to write a treatise on why Asian women date white men.



4 Comments »

  1.    Thene said,

    April 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Off the top of my head I can name six Asian nations in which a woman has been democratically elected leader (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Pakistan and Burma). Given that, it would be nice to know what definition of patriarchy she’s actually using?

    I especially liked the ‘men feel threatened when a woman’s abilities, talent, and social status exceeds their own’ bit…you have to have a pretty rosy view of Western culture if you think this doesn’t happen here.

  2.    Nora said,

    April 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I think the is failing to recognize the difference between when modern women’s lib hit the west and when it hit asia and the actual differences in how each culture perceives the role of women. Also, the west makes a hell of a lot more noise about “everyone is equal”, even when it isn’t true.

    In reference to the Han and Tang Dynasties, be fair–at the very least compare time period with time period, or most liberal age with most liberal age. Also keep in mind that while China was at least nominally unified at that point in history, Europe most distinctly was not.

  3.    Cassondra Titler said,

    April 20, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Asian ladies also desire to be with white males due to the results of their children. Offspring from Caucasian males and Asian women is a good mix and are most of the time beautiful and will grow up to be beautiful. Asian women are well-liked for that strong ties they have with their children and being with white men will give them the assurance that their children will look great along with a bright future.

  4.    kyrias said,

    January 27, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    *blink*
    Really now?
    Haven’t we just discussed the concept of sweeping generalizations?
    …I’m not even sure how to unpack this comment. The implications — zound!
    So non-Asian women are perceived as not having strong ties with their children? Asian women are valued for their qualities as good mothers and breeders? Having a Caucasian sperm donor is an automatic guarantee of a bright future? And are we discussing physical characteristic eugenics?

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