In the year I’ve spent blogging about Asian/white relationships, one question was asked more than others. Sometimes this question was put forth by people wanting a thoughtful answer; other times, it was aggressively thrown at me as a way of suggesting my relationship is far from genuine.
The question took different forms, but the gist of it was: “White male/Asian female couples outnumber Asian male/white female couples. Doesn’t this disparity prove that white male/Asian female relationships are based on something other than real affection and mutual respect?”
Well, here is the Shanghai Shiok! answer, based purely on personal opinion after years of trolling the Internet and talking to Asian/white couples of various age groups in different countries:
In short, I will never deny that WM/AF couples greatly outnumber AM/WF couples.
However, I really believe there isn’t a great disparity between the number of genuinely loving and respectful relationships between both types of pairings.
The great disparity lies in the types of pairings that get people riled up on the Internet. The problem, to me, is that shallow, superficial relationships between white men and Asian women vastly outnumber the same sort of suspicious pairings between Asian men and white women. And sadly, these types of WM/AF pairings are the most visible ones, because they often create spectacles of themselves — they are the Asian women posting YouTube videos bashing Asian men, the white men on forums making disrespectful comments about their latest Asian fling, the old drunk gentleman with his barely-dressed escort. They are the ones who “self-hate” and “exoticize,” publicly declare they can only date white guys, boast about their Asian conquests, and look down on other types of interracial pairings as inferior. They are the Douchebags, the Jerks, and the Ambitious who think dating a white man or Asian woman “betters” them, financially or socially. Sometimes one partner has good intentions but is simply Naive, and doesn’t realize that the other partner is in the relationship for dubious reasons. And even when these relationships fail — as relationships tend to do when you get together for superficial reasons — those are the types of WM/AF pairings we remember, because they were so offensive and in-your-face to forget.
I sincerely think that because the barriers to entry for Asian male/white female relationships are higher, the vast majority of AM/WF couples who do get together and eventually marry do so carefully, with real commitment and good intentions on both sides.
The genuine WM/AF couples live differently from their more visible counterparts. They live quietly. They keep their heads low and don’t make spectacles of themselves. Despite what the cynics think, skin color didn’t bring them together and doesn’t keep them together. Most weren’t looking for someone of a different race; the decision to commit to each other was a difficult one, because of the personal challenges they knew they (and their children) would face due to their different backgrounds. There is mutual respect for where and what the other comes from. There is usually not a huge disparity in age, income, or more importantly, level of educational attainment (intellectual equals). The white male is humble and has Asian male friends whom he’s close to and sees as equals; the Asian female appreciates her own culture and ensures her children are exposed to it. These couples cannot maintain friendships with the shallow WM/AF couples who only resemble them on the surface; they have little patience for that sort of shit, and they’re too busy trying to make a living, raise their children, pay their taxes, deal with crazy Auntie Chan or Grandpa Smith, and simply live their lives to let the stereotypes others create get the better of them.
And I think it’s time I do the same, and leave this topic for good.
Take care, everyone. I’ll be back soon with another cross-cultural topic, but without the focus on dating and relationships.