So, She Wants To Defend Asian Fetishism

July 13, 2012
Because nothing says love like racial fetishism.

Earlier this week, a Huffington Post blogger Vivienne Chen wrote an article — So, He Likes You Because You’re Asian — which quickly made the rounds around Facebook. The basic thesis of the article is that there’s nothing particularly racist about a non-Asian man who exclusively dates Asian women. It’s not real racism, asserts Chen, but the kind of silly mundanity more deserving of our bemusement than our wrath. Further, thinks Chen, it’s us Asian women who stand to lose by calling this behaviour out as racist.

And, boy. Never has an article made me want to gnash my teeth and rip out my hair more. Writes Chen:

The problem I see is that this constant espousal of the stereotype of men who like Asian women oversimplifies complicated race, gender and sexual politics, and actually damages the dating prospects of Asian females and non-Asian males alike.

By promoting the “creepy [white] man with Asian fetish” stereotype in public discourse, we Asian women are shooting ourselves in the foot. We subtly reinforce that the predominant narrative of interracial dating between non-Asian men and Asian women is one of patriarchal, racist power structures, when we know that is not always the case. There is a world of difference between the old, ignorant fetishist and the average guy I’ve met who dates Asian women. In the areas of California where I grew up, where Asians range from 20 to 50% of the student population, a college-age male would have to make an active effort to exclude Asian females from their dating pool. And that, my friends, would be pretty racist.

But by constantly projecting this idea that men who specifically like Asian women are creepers, we risk making otherwise decent, respectable guys avoid dating Asian girls for fear of being labeled a creeper — until we have nothing but creepers left.

Now, I admit it — it’s been about 13 years since I’ve gone doggy-paddling around in the dating pool. But is this really a concern for all the single Asian ladies out there? Moreover, is this really a thought that crosses a decent gentleman’s mind while he debates asking the cute girl out?

"Man, I totally dig Jodie. But, I can't ask her out for coffee because if I do, she'll think I've internalized Orientalist and misogynistic stereotypes of Asian women as part of a long-standing fetish I have for the Eastern arts and culture, and that my interest in her is part of an elaborate ploy to engage in kinky recreations of Western colonialism of the Asian continent and its people using my recently purchased "Naughty Geisha" Halloween costume and discount foot-binding kit. Gosh, it's hard out here for a White guy."

I guess you learn something new about the male mentality every day.

Chen paints an elaborate portrait of the meager dating options for single Asian women today (one that certainly makes me relieved that this isn’t something I have to worry about). She asserts that there are two — and apparently only two — different kinds of non-Asian guys available for Asian women to date: 1) White guys who exclusively date Asian girls and who are fetishistic assholes, and 2) White guys who exclusively date Asian girls… but who are also “nice guys”. Or:

"Yeah, I only date Asian girls."

Versus:

"Yeah, I only date Asian girls. But -- I also like puppies!"

I admit, I was up until this point, completely unaware that the past few years’ Recession had also hit the dating economy so hard.

Apparently, we Asian American women have so saturated the dating market that we simply can’t afford to chase away the opportunity to date the “nice” Asiaphile, lest we while away the rest of our days as elderly — if morally superior — spinsters. These are good men, argues Chen, who just happen to be attracted to Asian women (and who just happen to have a huge collection of samurai swords, who just happen to have backpacked through Asia after college, who just happens to speak Mandarin, Japanese, and a little bit of pidgin Vietnamese, who just happens to have watched all the latest anime series, and who just happens to know where all the good bimbimbap restaurants in K-town are). We can’t blame the guy who just happens to fetishize the East, right?

... I mean, maybe he's only got Stage I Yellow Fever...?

After all, argues Chen, sexuality is all about objectification, isn’t it?

But how do we as Asian women deal with an overall decent, respectable guy who doesn’t just like Asians, but likes us because we’re Asian? Is it really a dealbreaker? This gets even more complicated. A thoughtful (Asian) female friend of mine points to a quote from Stephen Elliott of The Rumpus.net:

To be desired is to be fetishized… this idea that I want someone to desire me but not objectify me with their desires is absurd. It’s like saying I only want to date someone who is not attracted to people that look like me. Here’s the thing, you already are a fetish. You are your lover’s kink, exist within their circle of desire, starting with gender, and getting more specific from there.” (emphasis added)

“In fact,” he says, “there’s no bad reason to love a person. A person is not less enlightened if they’re only attracted to their own gender, or Asian women, or skinny people, or latex, or feet. You can objectify someone without treating them like an object.”

Elliott points out that the complexities of desire, objectification and fetishization affect all of us, regardless of race, gender or sexuality.

I agree that there’s a certain amount of objectification that comes with sexual desire. Peruse any local “Love Boutique”, and you’ll find ample examples of male and female (and trans) bodies being reduced to mere objects of sexual pleasure. In particular, you’ll find sexist and racial stereotypes given lewd form — fist-sized Black dildos juxtaposed next to decapitated rubber latex female torsos juxtaposed next to DVDs scrawled with images of barely legal Asian schoolgirls screaming “Fucky, sucky, long time” in jagged ChinkyYellowface font.

That doesn’t make it okay.

In fact, there are reams of writing from women, LGBT, and ethnic studies majors who have argued about the damning consequences of pornographic objectification of the human form, be it through the lens of race or gender. Objectification is a fact of human sexuality, but that doesn’t automatically give it a pass as politically acceptable.

And for the many people who lauded Chen’s article because (apparently) you can use it to rationalize anyone’s sexual fetishes, including (apparently) heterosexuality; I think there’s a big difference between having a particular sexual preference (re: hetero- vs homo-sexuality) hard-wired into your brain v.s. having a fetish for a woman of a particular race. Specifically, there’s a difference when viewed in light of the many damaging hypersexualized stereotypes that affect Asian/Asian American women in particular.

Unless someone's going to show me the scientific data that men are born with an Asian schoolgirl fetish.
Dehumanization is still dehumanization, whether for the purposes of sex or otherwise. It doesn’t matter why you’re objectifying me; if you’re objectifying me because of my race, you are still viewing me as less than human.
And, I'm nobody's Asian fembot.

I don’t know how more plainly I can put this: the simple act of objectifying a person based on their race is, in and of itself, racist. Chen jokes:

[M]ore often than not, I find the advances of fetishists to be less infuriating and more amusing — because they are just so darn bad at seduction. Their attempts to woo me with their poorly pronounced “ni haos” and “konichiwas” are on par with little old ladies who exclaim “but you speak English so well!” to classmates who innocently ask me to translate a “Chinese” tattoo. Ignorant? Yes, but hardly worth griping over.

But, whether you want to subjugate Asian women for your latest bedroom kink, or whether you merely want to ask us to translate your Chinese tattoo, you are still seeing Asian women as mere representatives of a racial whole. Manifestations of racism, no matter how mundane they might appear to be, are still based on racism. It’s still a person who isn’t seeing past my race. It’ still someone treating me differently based solely on the colour of my skin. And, that’s racist.

Yet, Chen argues, we Asian women should be more tolerant and forgiving of the Asiaphile because we are guilty of limiting our own dating choices; thus, to condemn the Asiaphile would be hypocritical.

We Asian girls who complain about Yellow Fever know for a fact that not every guy who dates Asian girls is a creeper — as many of us tend to exclusively date non-Asian men ourselves. [Marie Claire's Ji Hyun Lee] admits this in passing, but waves it away with the age-old excuse: “Asian guys rarely hit on me, perhaps because many aren’t raised to be assertive with women.” Bullshit. Let’s be honest: We have grown up in a Western culture, with Western standards of beauty and Western ideals of romance — which is why we value “assertiveness” at the bar in the first place. We prefer Western men because we grew up in a culture that prefers Western men.

Chen is right — it would be hypocritical to condemn Asiaphiles while exclusively dating White men. Which doesn’t mean that Asiaphiles aren’t racist; it means maybe we should interrogate how racist it is when Asian women exclusively  date White men, or  exclusively date Asian men, or any other permutation of limiting one’s mating choices based on racial qualifiers.

Let me put it bluntly: a girl (Asian or otherwise) who only dates guys (White or otherwise) of a particular race because of their membership in that race is racist. And if you want proof, look no further than the casual racism of Chen’s article, which laughs about (rather than challenges) Asian notions of “light makes right”.

Those of us who come from more traditional Asian families know our parents would faint if we brought home an African American boyfriend; I’ve seen my friend’s mother scream at her for having a Berkeley-educated Brazilian beau. Asian cultures can be remarkably xenophobic, and white people are sometimes given a “light-skinned pass.” Long before the White Man set foot in China, having light skin was a sign of wealth and status, as it meant you didn’t spend long hours toiling in the sun. Remember, Asian cultures are the ones that mass market skin-lightening creams, where people often get eyelid surgery to make their eyes bigger, i.e. less Asian.

In short, it’s perfectly acceptable to be an Asian girl who fetishizes White guys, because Asian people are just oh-so-awesomely racist like that! Or, as Chen pithily puts it:

My friends and I often joke about this study: White guy says, “I love Asian women, you’re so exotic and feminine!” Asian girl says, “Well, at least you’re not black.”

Hilarious.

'Cuz what self-respecting Asian girl would demean herself with a guy who looks like this, right? I mean, he's just so... Black.

(Aside: Shemar Moore is insanely, inhumanely good-looking. I mean it, he is just impossibly handsome. It’s not fair to us mere mortals.)

Guess what, Ms. Chen? We all grew up in a Westernized Asian American culture that idealized Eurocentric ideals of beauty. We also all grew up with brains that are perfectly capable of challenging social programming to break out of racist stereotypes of beauty, sexuality and dating. Many Asian cultures suffer historically from deeply ingrained colourstruck programming that would discard or ostracize African American or Latino dating choices, while prizing White or Asian mates.  But we’re also supposed to be an enlightened generation of people who can move past their pre-programming and accept people for who they are rather than the colour of their skin.

Which leaves me with the crux of why Chen’s article so offended me.

Let me be clear: I am, in no way, arguing against interracial relationships. I am not denigrating Asian American women who have dated, and/or who are currently dating, non-Asian men. I make a very big distinction between Asian American women who date non-Asian men, and Asian American women who exclusively date non-Asian (or Asian) men. In short, I have a problem with the deliberate act of excluding one’s dating choices based on race.

I’ve been blogging as an Asian American female and feminist for nearly a decade. Back in the day, the issue of Asian female outmarriage was a seething undercurrent of the Asian American blogosphere (not that it doesn’t remain a hot-button issue these days, but nothing like 8-10 years ago). During this time, Asian women at-large were being typecast from within the community as being racist sellouts based primarily on the phenomenon of Asian American outmarriage. We were treated, as a whole, as folks who had internalized anti-Asian stereotypes of Asian masculinity, and this served as a real obstacle for female political participation in the online Asian American community. Gigabytes of digital type were dedicated to arguing that (all) Asian American women suffer internalized self-hate leading them to date White men, and this was why Asian American men should be suspicious of any Asian American woman’s involvement in APA political activism and community organizing. Unlike Asian American men, politically engaged Asian American women had to defend our “down-ness” with the Asian American cause in reference to the race of our significant others.

You'd be pissed too if the state of your love life was more important to some members of the Asian American community than what you had to say.

Because I am an Asian American woman in a stable relationship with an African-American man, I’ve been the target of the worst sexism that the Asian American community has to offer. I’ve been called a sellout, a hypocrite, and worse because the man I fell in love with is Black. I am part of the Asian female outmarriage statistic, and yet I still have the nerve to be involved in uplifting the Asian American community.

Here’s the difference, and it’s a critical one. I never exclusively limited my dating choices based on race. In the very brief period between when I was both post-pubescent and single (and I do mean brief — we’re talking 3, maybe 4, years?), I was attracted to men of all shapes and sizes, and all colours and creeds. As far as I’m concerned, limiting oneself to dating only a certain physical type — racial or otherwise — is as superficial as it is racist, and is almost a guarantee to miss out on the potential love of your life.

In short, Asian women who conscientiously choose to exclusively date White men are just as racist as the Asiaphiles they defend. And, as someone who has spent years defending non-racist Asian women and our right to be in meaningful interracial relationships (and to do so without having our Asian-ness questioned), I’m galled and disappointed by this blatant example of an Asian woman getting it so very racist and so very wrong. Asian American women shouldn’t have our political activism questioned based on who we date; but nor should we so brazenly embrace racism, and being racially subjugated, in our own lives.

And what pisses me off the most, Ms. Chen? In the eyes of the small subset of the Asian American male population who would rather marginalize all Asian American female voices than to listen to us — there’s no difference between you and me.

In the end, Chen’s article isn’t about arguing that Asiaphilia isn’t racist. It’s about Chen suggesting that Asiaphilia is an acceptable form of racism because it’s more convenient for her personal life to do so. Chen isn’t interested in combatting racism; she’s interested in protecting her dating options. She wants to preserve her right to be racially objectified and to call it love. She wants to leverage her race to her own romantic advantage, and be desired with a clear conscience.

Which, in the end, is nothing more than defending your right to be in this relationship:

"My boyfriend only dates Asian girls. But it's not racist because I'm his SPECIAL Asian girl."

If that’s what floats Ms. Chen’s boat, than so be it. But, please don’t make all of us Asian American women look like racist asshats while you’re rationalizing the sociopolitical consequences of your own poor love-life choices. Neither does every person in an interracial relationship have a racial fetish, nor is every Asian American woman who dates interracially tolerant of Asiaphilia. So, please stop making it seem like the case.

In closing, let me make a humble suggestion: So, he likes you because you’re Asian? Then, he doesn’t love you. Really. Maybe you should try dating until you can find someone who likes you, and who doesn’t give a fuck what you look like.

And that might even mean giving up your own racial fetishes, too.

140 thoughts on “So, She Wants To Defend Asian Fetishism

  1. Good blog post, Jenn. I agree with everything you said.

    I remember 8-10 years ago, and yes, it was much more contentious back then. I think what happened was that people eventually realized that they couldn’t change other peoples’ perspectives by arguing. It’s similar with Ms. Chen. No matter what you tell her, eventually she’s going to find a White man whose fetishes she can overlook. And then everyone will be happy. And once she’s settled down, another Asian female blogger with a White fetish will step in and take her place. And then there will still be people like you and me on the side, watching, knowing that that just seems to be the way it is.

  2. “eventually she’s going to find a White man whose fetishes she can overlook. And then everyone will be happy. And once she’s settled down, another Asian female blogger with a White fetish will step in and take her place. And then there will still be people like you and me on the side, watching, knowing that that just seems to be the way it is.”

    And that’s what frustrates me. The whole thing is just so insidiously racist and anti-feminist. And it plays exactly into the kind of crap that I was targeted with 8-10 years ago. ‘Cuz the sexists in our community think ALL Asian American women think like Chen. It’s fuel for the misogyny.

    Or, this will prompt the counterargument written by the AF blogger: “I’m an Asian girl who exclusively dates Asian guys” which gets lauded as a revolutionary act by these same sexist assholes.

    Which in the end leaves Asian women and our activism being qualified based on the race of the guy we’re dating, rather than our own intellectual contributions.

  3. I’m an Asian guy raised in the US for 19 yrs (I’m 27) and this article is pretty refreshing. I’m still very much attracted to Asian women, but my ratio for approaching them vs approaching non-Asians stand at 1 to 10. Simply b/c I’ve discovered non-Asian women are much more likely to treat me as an individual instead of boxing me in as another “Asian guy”. That’s another place where the other author has it wrong: Asian guys are quite assertive, we just like to talk to girls who treat us better. And for me, I feel the social experience of Asian men and women are so different in the US that we might as be of completely different minorities. And sometimes I feel ready to accept that and say: that’s it, if that’s they way Asian women wanted, I can live with never talking to another Asian female outside of my mom and relatives. But not quite yet…

  4. In terms of stereotypes, Asian men are rising to positions of power in movies and TV as directors and producers. The big example is Justin Lin, you’ll notice that he has done all he can to rehabilitate Asian masculinity in some of his movies. With the Asian film market primed to explode to the tune of 300,000,000 audiences in China alone, hollywood would do well to kowtow to global tastes and put Asian men front and center.

    Oh, and I’m a director with a very ambitious idea with huge market appeal. Asian women might hold the spotlight more as actresses for now, but the real power lies in the writers and directors.

  5. I’m sorry, but how is your thesis different from the final thesis in Chen’s article, which is:

    “So, with that in mind, perhaps the best question we as Asian women should be asking ourselves is this: Does he treat me like an individual? And perhaps the dealbreaker is then not what race of girlfriends he has or how often he frequents the bubble tea shop, but rather he who assumes anything about our personality based on our physical attributes, or disregards our autonomy because of our anatomy.”

    She isn’t arguing that ALL Asiaphilia is okay, but that questions of attraction and desire are more complex than simply: if you’re attracted to X race, you’re a creeper. She’s arguing for viewing any individual in a relationship, be it an Asian female or a white male, as an autonomous human being who should be valued as an individual first regardless of race. The “dealbreaker” is not just that this person is interested in a certain culture, but when this interest delves into the realm of dangerous power relations, assumptions, and (yes) racism because that person views the ‘object of his desire’ as simply an object.

  6. @Joyce:

    Because that thesis paragraph is completely disconnected from the rest of the article, which argues that there are acceptable forms of racial objectification.

    I argue that it’s impossible to like someone BECAUSE of their race, and still see them as an individual. You are viewing someone differently because of their race — how can you do that and claim to see someone as an individual? If you love someone for who they are, than their membership in one race vs. another shouldn’t matter.

  7. Jenn: I like people BECAUSE of their gender. So does every other non-bisexual in the world. Does that preclude me from viewing them as individuals?

  8. @Jake:

    See this paragraph —

    “And for the many people who lauded Chen’s article because (apparently) you can use it to rationalize anyone’s sexual fetishes, including (apparently) heterosexuality; I think there’s a big difference between having a particular sexual preference (re: hetero- vs homo-sexuality) hard-wired into your brain v.s. having a fetish for a woman of a particular race. Specifically, there’s a difference when viewed in light of the many damaging hypersexualized stereotypes that affect Asian/Asian American women in particular.”

    The general consensus is that hetero- vs. homo (vs. bisexuality) is a hard-wired thing that one is born with. Is it difficult for men to treat women without objectification or vice versa as heterosexual creatures? Yes — this is the basis of the entire pornography industry. This is also why sexism and misogyny exists. It’s not impossible for people to view targets of sexual desire as individuals, but it’s something that every adult struggles with (even bisexual people!).

    But you’re also conflating hard-wired sexual attraction to a particular gender that one is born with versus rationalizing a fetish — particularly one based on race — that one is not born with. It’s simply not the same thing to say “I’m attracted to women (or men) because of their gender” v.s. “I’m attracted to Asian women because of their race”. Race and gender are not the same.

    And finally, let’s not play Oppression Olympics here. This is about the racial and sexual politics (and associated stereotypes and oppression) faced by Asian women within and outside of our community. I’m totally disgusted by the attempts being made by supporters of this article to co-opt this debate and make it about LGBTQ issues. This is about sexism faced by Asian women; how about we actually keep the focus on us and our narrative?

    God forbid we actually spend some time talking about the feminism of Asian American women in its own right, without having to link it to other narratives in order to make it relevant.

  9. I agree that we shouldn’t make this debate about lgbtq issues, but for your own growth, you should reconsider the notion that “hetero- vs. homo (vs. bisexuality) is a hard-wired thing that one is born with.” It’s not that clear-cut or generalizable.

    Otherwise, great job unpacking a well-intentioned yet warped argument by Vivienne.

  10. Your comment policy sets out very clear, appropriate guidelines as to avoiding ad hominem and remaining respectful.

    Yet this piece contains such sentences as:

    “If that’s what floats Ms. Chen’s boat, than so be it. But, please don’t make all of us Asian American women look like racist asshats while you’re rationalizing the sociopolitical consequences of your own poor love-life choices.”

    Could you please clarify this inconsistency?

  11. Hey, I’m an African-American male in the midwest with a predominantly Asian-American friendgroup, partly a byproduct of who I met first in college and my major.

    To address your “Man, I really dig Jodie,” quote, the exact same notions have stopped me from approaching girls in the past, but because of the surrounding community, not the individual girl. I already had an unfounded, undeserved reputation as an Asian-girl chasing womanizer because of my visibility within the community, the gender and racial makeup of my close friends (mostly asian girls), major (japanese lit), interests (colonial japan, japanese food) and club activities (japan club, japanese dance). How things got generalized from Japan to a pan-Asian fetish is beyond me. In short, yes, the threat of being seen as having yellow fever is indeed a barrier to a serious non-asian man.

    Along with that there’s the inevitable “What if I really DO have an asian fetish!?” that comes with years of being socially oppressed in the above manner.

    Also, for a longest time I’ve felt that I could never date a Japanese girl, as the Japanese my targets of study — I’ve moved away from that into a broader focus in studying international student life/adjustment to the US, but actually I still puzzle over how people get over this.

  12. Thanks for writing this Jenn. You are much more articulate in your reaction to the article than I can ever be. I’m also glad you responded because an opposition position really needs to come from another Asian American woman than from an Asian American man.

    You hit on every objection I have to the article, from the casual dismissal of Asian people’s skin colour discrimination, to the rationalising of the Asian fetish, to the simple lazy intellectualism.

  13. Seems that the writer of the article ,Vivienne Chen, is merely stroking her own ego. There was a case that I came across where an Asian American women married to non Asian men died and her death was ruled a suicide, even though it seems unlikely:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2029371/Jonah-Shacknais-lover-committed-suicide-guilt-death-6-year-old-step-son.html

    Would anyone buy this if she wasn’t Asian and did stereotypes about Asian women play apart in the ruling?

  14. After reading both the original article and this post, I only have this to say.

    “In closing, let me make a humble suggestion: So, he likes you because you’re Asian? Then, he doesn’t love you. Really. Maybe you should try dating until you can find someone who likes you, and who doesn’t give a fuck what you look like.”

    No. He likes you because you’re different. Because you stand out. And because he sees you as the most special thing that has ever happened to him.

    Both articles, but especially this one in its holier-than-thou attitude, seem to forget this fact. Yes, there are the creepers out there, but hell, are you forgetting the fact that not every single “Asiaphile” out there is some anime-obsessed psycho? And the fact that a lot of guys who happen to be interested in Asian history, Asian culture, and Asian language are not doing it out of some perverted sexual fetish to get with Asian girls, but rather because they are generally interested in something so foreign to their native experience?

    I have a fraternity brother who fits almost perfectly in one of the quotes Chen’s article brings up. He said this to me: “I’m dating a half Chinese girl, but I don’t to let her know I like some Anime and speak some Japanese. Then she might think I’m way too into Asian culture and creep her out.” It’s the fact that THESE WORRIES EXIST that Chen was writing these articles. I am not excusing the basement dwelling otaku that, yes, explicitly sexually objectify women. Regardless of what race that happens to (and yes, it happens to Caucasians, Hispanics, Blacks, etc. as well), that is not okay. But if hiding the fact that you know and are interested in Asian culture automatically qualifies you as a pervert, then we’ve reached a despicable (and ridiculous) level of hyper-politically correctness that this article seems to do nothing but promote.

    And for the record, I’m a half-Asian who majored in Chinese, and I have a Chinese girlfriend whom I love very much. Am I dating her “only because she’s Asian”? No. I’m attracted to all girls of all colors and backgrounds. I’m dating her because she’s a great person, and because the world she comes from is INTERESTING, SPECIAL, and MAKES ME WANT TO KNOW ALL ABOUT HER.

    So please, sit down, calm down, and then kindly reflect on the things you really should be getting worked up about.

  15. Thanks to everyone who read this post. I was away this weekend without Internet access and was unable to dedicate time to commenting until now.

    @Jake “I agree that we shouldn’t make this debate about lgbtq issues, but for your own growth, you should reconsider the notion that “hetero- vs. homo (vs. bisexuality) is a hard-wired thing that one is born with.” It’s not that clear-cut or generalizable.”

    That is a fair point. In my mind, one’s sexual attraction based on gender is largely based on biology, v.s. a choice (which for me distinguishes it from the vast majority of fetishes), but you’re certainly right that the science is still conflicting on exactly how “hard-wired” or clear cut sexual orientation is. Thank you for pointing that out.

    @Thomas: “Could you please clarify this inconsistency?”

    Thank you for reading and thanks for the question. If you re-read the sentence, you will see that it is structured to read in such a way that I am lamenting the likelihood that Chen’s writing will make all of us Asian American women (particularly those of us in interracial relationships) appear to be “racist asshats” to the world at large. I am not calling Chen herself an asshat; I am saying I would rather not be viewed as racist based on how others interpret Chen’s article and argument.

    I need to go now so more on this later.

  16. Oh, you don’t want to make this an LGBT thing? You can impose your incredibly-high standards of being “attracted to men of all shapes and sizes, and all colours and creeds” and cite LGBT literature but the idea that maybe considering people as individuals and judging your attraction to them on a case-by-case basis should magically stop at gender because you’re convinced that your preference for men is “hard-wired”?

    Instead of stomping out sexual orientation as something inconvenient to your point, maybe you should consider it as proof that your sexual preferences are just as arbitrary as everyone else’s. Some people are attracted to aesthetics and body types and hair colors and personalities.

    The idea that east Asian languages/foods are some sort of shibboleth for a fetish doesn’t make sense either. Why should languages with billions of native speakers, a steady flow of TV/books/etc. for study material and a large market for translation/interpretation be ‘off-limits’ to people just because you dislike their dating patterns? I’ve studied multiple east Asian languages. And I eat in Chinatown fairly often because I can afford it and my lactose intolerance (shared with 90% of east Asia) means I can eat most cuisine down there without being constantly ill. And I’m bisexual. I must be some kind of monster.

  17. (Apologies to the folks in the middle who have commented whom I haven’t gotten yet. I promise will, but this comment may be relevant to what you have to say.)

    @Ben

    So… what you’re saying is that we Asian women should shut up on the topic of men fetishizing Asian women because this is really “an LGBT thing”?

  18. An Asian American woman dating an African-American man, and claiming to be uplifting the Asian American community is similar to a vegan being found at KFC with a fur coat.

    You might as well join PETA, and make yourself an official hypocrite.

    PS. When I was scanning this article, I thought to myself, “She’s American, for sure. From the East coast, most probably from a private or Ivy League school.” I could tell from the diction, angry voice, and just general writing style. It’s like herpes, it’s not 100% clear, but if you look hard enough you can’t miss warning signs.

    Then I clicked on your “About Me” and I was hysterically flabbergasted and disappointed that you said you were Canadian. So, I read the rest of that section in disbelief, and saw that you spent 11 years in the US, and went to an east coast private school – and everything made sense again.

    You’re so unCanadian it’s ridiculous. You belong in the US. Too bad, because UofT/McGill/UBC could have saved you.

  19. @Adonis –

    Just a word of warning that your comment is pretty much an ad hominem. If you have a problem with what I’ve written, feel free to disagree. But I fail to see how being Canadian, having lived in the States for 13 years, having been educated in the East Coast, or dating an African-American man is in any way relevant to my ability to promote and uplift the Asian American community.

    Also, lovin’ the parallel between me an herpes. That’s truly creative. Keep on keepin’ on with your fantastic reppin’ of the Canadian politeness and niceties that you claim I lack.

  20. “And the fact that a lot of guys who happen to be interested in Asian history, Asian culture, and Asian language are not doing it out of some perverted sexual fetish to get with Asian girls, but rather because they are generally interested in something so foreign to their native experience?” – N

    I think this isn’t the point. It’s really not about interest in Asian cultures; people can keep up with Romances of the Three Kingdoms without dating exclusively Asian women to indulge racist fantasies. In practice, I think it’s surprisingly hard to reasonably identify Asiaphiles.

    That being said, the problem here is the comfort level with not challenging racism. Chen’s piece advocates not challenging Asiaphile fetishism of Asian women so that Asian women can date White men, a predilection Chen assumes the majority of her own demographic share. No part of that is morally sensible.

    And let’s be clear – we are discussing the moral implications of personal dating choices. It’s not supposed to be accepting of all choices. The people who read Chen’s piece and loved it because they like the idea of all fetishes being morally upstanding have to insert their own desire for public acceptance of their private activity into the writing. Chen didn’t write a rallying cry for the LGBTQ community, nor did Jenn. Both authors wrote about Asian American political issues, and the focus should remain there.

    Just to everyone who has a problem with this post: No one really wants to be your kink. People want to be themselves, and you can’t justify reducing them to your fetish just because it helps you get off.

  21. JennJenn,

    It’s not ad hominem (oh lah laah didn’t know they taught you such fancy stuff in the States), it completely correlates to the fact that you’re a hypocrite.

    For instance, I don’t go around kicking puppies, then write about “uplifting the puppy community.” You do (except with Asians, not puppies).

    Also, going to an East Coast Private School in the US tells us a few things, which completely explains your perspective:

    1. You probably didn’t get into UofT or McGill.

    // This portion of this comment has been edited to removed references to Jenn’s parents.

    Jenn: “Great! Can’t wait to date a desperate white or black dude and snag that US citizenship. Fuck Toronto, and all the socially normal people here. I’ll pay my way into college, become a blogger,

    //This portion of this comment has been edited to remove references to Jenn’s parents.

    Score!”

    3. It explains why you probably have a major identity crisis.

    Please stop pretending to care about the Asian-American community. Even PETA stayed quiet for awhile after Showtime exposed them.

    The Huffington Post article made sense. Your life doesn’t.

  22. Jenn,

    I’m sorry.

    I think I understand now. You wrote that entire post with the part dating about “uplifting the Asian community” and dating a black guy as irony.

    That entire post was written as a parody!! I GET IT now, because there’s no way you could have been serious. You were being all fancy using literary irony, and all that fancy stuff you learned in the USA!

    You’re blog posts and basically like Peter Chao videos, except you’re female and American: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZIK03pQHwc

    Hahahaha you’re so funny!

  23. Adonis, I know you’re not here in good faith to engage in debate. Jenn’s response to the HuffPo article, while I don’t completely agree with all the points made was a fair critique of the article.

    It’s pretty evident that when someone resorts to attacking the person instead of the argument, that person actually doesn’t have the capacity to rebut the argument. If you think you know it all, why don’t you surprise us and actually engage the points Jenn made in her rebuttal instead of cheaply attacking her background (you need to look up the term “ad hominem” again).

    Here, I’ll even be charitable and give you an example:

    Good argument: Jenn, I disagree with you because I think ultimately pigeon hole Non-Asian men who date Asian because you write (blah blah blah).

    Bad “ad hominem” argument: BAAAARRRGGGH! Your article make me angry but I can’t articulate reason why. YOU WENT TO DUMB DUMB SCHOOL AND ARE A STUPID POO POO PANTS HYPOCRITE. THUS YOUR ARTICLE SUX SUX SUX.

  24. @Adonis

    Please be aware that your ad hominem attacks against me are no longer going to be tolerated on this blog. While I’m happy to let the existing comments stand (your ad hominems directed at me are more useful in illustrating what your side of the debate needs to resort to by being posted than by staying hidden), I don’t think additional comments of this kind WILL contribute in a meaningful way to the debate. I have edited your comments to remove references to my parents, because while I can handle it, my parents don’t deserve to be smeared by random Internet haterade.

    Additional comments from you will be held in moderation and/or deleted if they make it through my filters. They will remain hidden/trashed unless they are capable of steering clear of personal attacks against my background (i.e. you are welcome to continue participating in this discussion if you can avoid any additional violations of my comment policy). Also, I will not tolerate any attacks against my parents or anyone else who have nothing to do with this debate.

    (Also, your desperate stereotyping of my background is hilarious in how wrong they are on the facts. So, just FYI, you don’t know what you’re talking about.)

    @Ant

    Thank you for your comment and appreciate your criticism. While I don’t agree that I am pigeon-holing non-Asians who date Asian women, that is a fair counterargument to my debate and would be happy to have a reasoned discussion with you on the merits of that argument.

  25. @Adonis

    I’m sorry — I tried editing your comment to eliminate any ad hominem attacks, and was left with… well… one sentence that was completely out of context. So, it has been trashed.

    Please try again.

    Just to refresh your memory: an ad hominem attack is any attack that would attempt to refute an argument by drawing attention to the character or background of a person in lieu of the arguments that they have presented. If you disagree with any content within this post, you are free to quote the part where you think my logic is flawed, and to refute it be presenting an on-topic argument about where you believe my argument is flawed, which I will happily respond to.

    Ad hominem attacks are unacceptable because they are irrelevant to the debate at hand, and in your case, also factually incorrect. Mostly, I would rather not derail a potentially interesting discourse on racial fetishism by having to drag in where you have gotten assumptions about me and my background wrong.

    I’m not pissed (like I said — what you’re doing is really kind of humorous to me), I’m just trying to moderate the discussion to keep it on topic.

    Please don’t make me ban you. I really don’t want to.

    PS – “derete” is not a word.

  26. I’ve read both articles and I think there’s truth to both viewpoints. You can’t absolve people who lust after you only because of your race and not genuine love. But at the same time I don’t think having racial preferences means someone can’t truly love their partner. After all, I think everyone has racial preferences whether they admit it or not.

  27. I am a 100% white American who grew up in Portland, OR, and being on the west coast, East Asian people and East Asian culture has been a part of my life since I was very young. My parents were much more likely to take my brother and I out for Chinese food than steak or fried chicken, (probably because we liked it better) and as soon as Japanese became a language option alongside french and spanish in my elementary school, I was enrolled. At this point, I can speak, read and write fluently in Mandarin (my Japanese was neglected), and have lived and worked and studied in China for over two years. My initial interest in China had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with sexuality; I was a high schooler eager to get as far away from home and parents as possible, and I found an opportunity to study abroad in Beijing. Since then, Chinese language, culture and friendships have become a very important part of my identity. I currently work in a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant to help pay the bills while I’m studying for pre-med. I share a house with three roommates, one white, one Chinese and one Taiwanese.
    In case you were wondering, yes, my girlfriend is Asian. She was born in Taiwan, but her family moved to Portland when she was eight. Is it because I have some sort of fetish/obsession? Absolutely not. It is because we have a lot in common. We both are the products of the cultural pluralism that increasingly defines the West Coast of the United States, and it makes me proud to be able to say that I can wholeheartedly embrace the inevitable mixing of western and eastern ethnicity and culture. I fell in love with my girlfriend because she, like me, speaks both English and Mandarin on a daily basis, and she, like me, has an appreciation for both hamburgers and tofu, and she, like me, could listen to both American electronica and Taiwanese pop. The point here isn’t in the specifics of taste, it is in the fact that both of our identities are defined by bridging the gap between East and West, and incorporating both cultures into our personalities.
    I met her through school on a field trip and we started dating because we made each other laugh, not because I had some sort of abstract fetish and singled her out based on her ethnicity. I love her because we have similar interests and a similar worldview. She is ‘my girlfriend’, not ‘my Asian girlfriend’ or some other racist nonsense. I don’t really see her as being any different from myself, and the fact that she is ethnically different only comes up when other people remind me of it.
    Which brings me to my last point. I hate when people accuse me of having ‘yellow fever’, whether they are white or Asian. It is the most ridiculous and hurtful racist nonsense I can imagine. Other people are taking the fact that I have openly embraced another culture and made it a part of my identity, and twisted it into some sort of sexual fetishism. It’s not like my girlfriend is my only Chinese friend that I tote around as some sort of exotic other to show my white friends; on the contrary, some of my best friends are Chinese guys, and I’ve dedicated a lot of my life to living in China and learning the language and culture all to the point that I feel more comfortable in a mixed setting than I do with all white people who make comments about ‘communism’ and ‘eating dogs’ every time I bring up China.
    If our world is going to move forward in the 21st century and avoid cataclysmic conflict with the PRC, then more Americans and Chinese have to start looking past issues of race and nationality, and see each other for what we are; people with common hopes, desires and aspirations, whose differences are defined by individual preference and not fictitious racial stereotypes.

  28. James — Thanks for the reply. To touch on some things:

    “Chen’s piece advocates not challenging Asiaphile fetishism of Asian women so that Asian women can date White men… No part of that is morally sensible.”

    100% correct. That isn’t morally sensible. But is that really what she’s saying? Hell, maybe that could be an interpretation of what she’s saying. And yeah, many people have interpreted it that way. But I don’t think someone like Vivienne Chen, who has written about minorities and the tribulations they face, would so knowingly and passively ignore blatant racism. Nor do I think she would encourage it. In my view, the absence of condemning sin is not equivalent to championing said sin. As morally skewed as that may be is up to interpretation. But I just think if she wanted to write a condemnation piece, she would have. That didn’t seem to be the focus.

    P.S. Haha I don’t know many guys (if any) who’ve used their Asian fetishism as a better gateway to understand RTK. But hell if you know people who get off to Cao Cao, then maybe this response piece IS a good thing.

    Also: I’d like a response from the blog owner regarding my views. As much as I appreciate your comment, James, I’d like to hear what the author of this piece has to say. I mean damn if you’re gonna engage with some troll on here, the least you could do is humor ME, right?

    Finally, before you do that Jenn, please read Andrew’s comment above. My situation is very similar, minus being 100% White American; like I said, I’m half Asian. What would you say to people like us?

    I should add that my multi-ethnic identity is part of the reason the backlash to the Chen article pissed me off so much. Am I supposed to assume my White dad is some fetishist who married my Asian mom to satisfy some perverted sexual desires? A big screw you to anyone who thinks I should. He learned her language because he was a diplomat stationed in her country. But he learned her culture because he fell in love with it when he fell in love with her. Is that “sexual fetishism”? If one thinks it is, then god save us, because globalization is going to produce a shitload of perverts.

  29. I was born in Poland (Eastern Europe*), just before the fall of communism — my biological mother left us (me and my dad) when I was only three years old. Two years later, my dad married my Korean mum, and soon afterwards, we moved to Korea. Note: I get it, technically = step-mum, however, that word has a negative connotation to me. I have been calling her mum ever since I can remember — and she is my MUM in every aspect that truly matters.

    I consider myself Korean, Korea is all I have ever known, and Korean is the one language I am fluent in. For the past three years, my family has been living in Michigan, but my dad’s work contract will run out next year, and so, we’ll move back home.

    What I have come to observe during my short stay here is that at it’s core, America is race obsessed and arrogant.

    Jenn, how can you as simply someone of Chinese descent represent other Asian minorities — what gives you that right? Asians are NOT a monolithic group.

    All my girlfriends have been Korean (America included) — does that mean I suffer from a fetish? According to your article’s reasoning = yes. Categorizing people based on race should be frowned upon in any civilized society, and yet, this is exactly what you are guilty of yourself.

    American media claims that Korea is xenophobic when in reality, the complete opposite is true — speaking from my unique perspective.

    Anyways, congratulations on your doctorate and all the best of luck to you.

  30. Lol, the reactionary responses that you are making speaks volumes. Why should Asian women have to put up with centuries of orientalist fetishism designed to dehumanize them. Just STFU and listen for once in your lives.

  31. “So… what you’re saying is that we Asian women should shut up on the topic of men fetishizing Asian women because this is really “an LGBT thing”?”

    Actually, what I’m saying is that if you want to start dragging out the LGBT academia to challenge the way attraction is percieved, maybe you should try actually challenging how attraction is percieved.

    You know why it’s okay for you to not date women? Because you don’t owe them or anyone else your company. If you think people need to change their dating habits because you think they’re too narrow, how can you enforce that without stripping them of the agency to choose whom they see? You don’t think it’s dehumanizing that you’d rather police how much bibimbap someone eats than allow them to define their social sphere organically?

    It’s extremely childish of you to just dismiss my comment as ‘shutting Asian women up’ when apparently, us faggots get to make your points for you when it conveniences you and then fade into the background when it turns out that the points you’re making contradict each other. I agree with you that LGBT discourse is proof that categorical lenses are harmful and that judging attraction on an individual level is a more progressive way to view sexuality. Your “get out of gender free” card because EWW GIRLS ARE ICKY is what bothers me.

  32. While it’s true that there are some problematic claims in the article you’re criticizing, and while I support and agree with feminism and racial equality, this whole post seems remarkably unsympathetic to the points the article made right.

    That of which the “Asian fetish” discourages race mixing and a discouragement towards any interest. It’s particularly easy to get the “Asian fetish” label, for instance, if one so much as dates an Asian person as a non-Asian. And you’re conveniently ignoring and mocking everything about this truth. There’s also the fact that a person can notice subconscious preferences they might have that might be racial or gender oriented, and realize they might be a bit more physically attracted to certain facial features(i.e. what people in America use the term “race” to mean, facial features typically attributed to East Asians).

    That is, not only is it not okay for people to mix races and white people date Asian people. And that the Asian fetishist label in a negative light is often used to degrade interracial relationship(white nationalists I’ve found are quite happy with this trend and love to hop on the “white men dating Asian women is disgusting fetishism” trend. Go check Stormfront about the subject if you don’t believe me. The “Asian fetishism” is like mana from heaven to them and their anti-race mixing agenda.). But I’ve going to have to side with the idea that a person can be even an “Asian fetishist”, or a person who recognizes their own subconscious preferences for things like round faces and not be any more racist than a homosexual is sexist.

    When people are making the claim that it’s different because “homosexuality isn’t a choice”, well, I say there’s a lot of spectrum. Some people still think that most people are a little bit bisexual, and that there is a spectrum, and that sexual orientation may be less biological than people think. There’s a need for orientation to be heavily biological, because it blocks the bigotry towards LGBT by conservatives. Even if homosexuality were a choice, That’s not to say it’s a choice, it isn’t a choice for the most part, nor is most desire. That doesn’t mean Asian fetishism is much of a choice, either however. Speaking of which, there are neurosexist “studies” out there trying to claim that

    As a Polysexual, sometimes Pansexual feeling, I have a hard time understanding what something that seems as meaningless to me as gender(this statement may come across as transphobic and possibly agender, but I don’t understand how people can feel attached to gender, to me, genderless is a meaningless and painful constraint. I’m not trying to degrade transgender people, I just find the existence of gender itself to be painful and perhaps am agender myself), but I don’t consider people who prefer one sex or gender over another to be sexist. I feel a bit of “shallow” gender preferences sometimes myself.

    To specify, I don’t see what’s so amazingly different about the penis and vagina. It’s just one body part you aren’t usually going to see. From my perspective, gender roles are stupid. And said penis and vagina don’t have much to do with personality or so forth, and I see as much reason to have preference for one over another as many people see point in having preference for one race over another. None. You can have sex with either one, after all. I prefer personality over genitals.

    The same applies to this “objectification” comment about race. People don’t have much choice in whether they have a round face, a flat nose, an epicanthic eyefold other other features we deem as “Asian” by the American classification of “race”, but neither do people have much choice in whether they have a penis or not. Isn’t also heterosexuality and homosexuality filled with “shallow” things like whether they like chest-hair, flat chests, large breasts, tallness, and so forth? Preferring a lack of chest hair isn’t much different than preferring a round face or flat nose.

    And yet, if a white guy so much as dates an Asian woman, he’s constantly degraded with the label of Asian fetishist or “Asiaphile”. Year after year I’ve seen this on the internet and real life, as a young man who had some realization of his own attraction to Asian features by the age of 7 or so, this constant vitrol has led to the discovery of my own “bisexuality”, or rather, Polysexuality. This hatred you act like doesn’t exist and these thoughts in men you think don’t exist, do. All of these stereotypes, I became afraid of studying any non-European language at the age of 19, stopped watching anime for 2 years, and felt these incredible pangs of guilt and shame as I watched Asian television and listened to Asian music. Looking at the screen any realizing I had no choice but being physically attracted to these Jpop and Jrock and Kpop musicians and so forth. I started to become alienated by my heterosexual side, all of the homophobia that scared me as a child suddenly didn’t seem so scary anymore. I started looking at my penis with disdain and internalizing all of the hateful things said about me as a white person who thought that Asian women are beautiful. People calling me a racist, people calling me a pedophile and a future child molester if I found an Asian women beautiful, a creeper, a sexist, a misogynist, and so many other things. I hated myself for continuing to listen to Jpop and do something that was Asian despite my racist. The magic in my heart was dead, and I felt guilt and shame in everything I knew and loved. I started looking at my own penis and how it felt about things with disdain and started wanting to cut my own penis.

    But lucky I was able to with a lot of angry, emo, soothing and cathartic music, and a healthy discovery of my “bisexual” reality. Indulging my attractions to men on a frequent basis, and avoiding thinking about Asian women romantically or sexually. All the homophobia felt like absolutely nothing and I was such a proud “bisexual” or rather, polysexual. If there’s anything I can thank the vitriol aimed at “Asian fetishism”, it’s how the disenfranchisement with my heterosexual side and heterosexual culture helped allow me to become a loud and proud polysexual. Truly, the pain of homophobia does not even close to compare. In fact, it sometimes even feels cathartic and relieving to be attacked for something other than being attracted to Asian women.

    At this point in my life, I’ve pretty much left my desire to ever date an Asian woman in the past and have focused a lot more on hopefully dating a nice, androgynous white man someday. But seeing this whole controversy all over again for the first time in years has really reminded me of why I did such a thing, and re-instills a lack of comfort my heterosexual side. And made me feel a whole lot better about a lot of homophobia and biphobia I have received lately.

    That vitriol of yours, I understand some of it is justified. But much of it, much of it, is certainly not. The kind of “objectification” Vivienne is talking about, is not the same kind you are thinking of. It’s the same kind of shallowness of a heterosexual who doesn’t want to date the same sex. Maybe not quite the same, but similar. “Asian fetishism” is all only what you think it is. Asian fetishism is a simple thing for some people. Sure, some Asian fetishists are bad people. Of course, you’ve already heard that from Vivienna. But what Asian fetishism can mean, is simply someone who finds flat noses, round faces, and “Asian eyes”, for instance, the presence of something like the epicanthic eyefold attractive. That’s what the Asian fetish is. And what, would it be better for me to say something like “I don’t care what race a woman is, as long as she’s pretty and has a nice personality. And looks like a woman and has breasts and the like”? Or, in my case, as a polysexual, “I don’t care what race a woman is, as long as she’s she has a nice personality and is kind of androgynous and boyish looking.” Which is what I do, because even though I might be called shallow and start reanalyzing whether my gender preferences for androgyny or just me being a shallow jerk, at least I won’t have to put up with the feeling of having an Asian fetish. And won’t be seen as having any Asian fetish. But that’s a lie, I’m not just a polysexual, I’m an Asian fetishist. But I’ll probably never date an Asian person, I’m too scared to. I’m scared of how I’ll be seen, I’m scared of how people will treat me, I’m scared an Asian woman would never love me for who I am. I wouldn’t be able to be myself, and eventually, they will find out I like anime, jRPGs, Jpop, Jrock, Kpop, manga, Jdramas, Kdramas, and so forth. And most importantly, they’d find out I really do have an Asian fetish and I really do find their eyes, nose, and the rest of their face, so very gorgeous. Hopefully, I can find myself a cute white guy who likes all of those things, and then my interests will be less suspicious and harmful.

    Funny how it’s so okay to say “black is beautiful”, but saying “Asian is beautiful” is to “black is beautiful” as “black pride” is to “white pride”. I’d like to live in a world where people could proclaim that “Asian is beautiful” and it be a positive thing, but I don’t think that world will ever exist. And speaking of that fembot thing, you may not ever be an Asian fembot, but you know, as a white guy who feels trapped by my gender and even my race sometimes. I think that I will be. They say the Singularity is coming, I hope so. Not that I particularly feel like a female, but I think that I would enjoy and love turning from a white male, to an Asian female. Maybe with a hint of anime appearance thrown in. But mostly, an Asian woman. I’ll be a feminist, just like you. In many ways, I’m sort of feminist now. But if people see me as a woman instead of a man just in a woman’s body, and the world is still sadly patriarchal by that point, I’ll likely feel the sting of male privilege, and won’t enjoy everything about being a woman. Certainly, I won’t have a “grass is greener” mentality. Privilege exists, and men have it. People call me a feminist brainwashed mangina pussy as it is now. And I’m sure if I ever become a woman thanks to technology, not with slow, painful hormones, but with easy mind uploading, there will be a lot of men who will call me a feminazi, dyke, man-hater, gross, ect. Even if I’m sure I have my own gender and racial problems to grow as a human being, misogynists see the word “feminist” and go vitriolic. However, I won’t be exactly the same kind of feminist and woman as you. I will have a great deal of sympathy for men who are attracted to me. I’ll be happy they find the way I have chosen to look attractive and I will find that fact attractive about them. Instead of something they find to look past about me for my personality. I won’t want a person to find me attractive despite my Asian face. I will want them to think my Asian face is beautiful. Every bit as much as I will want them to look past the fact I was once a man. And the best of all, I will be able to enjoy my Asian fetish in myself, I will be able to be the woman of my dreams, the Asian would I would never be able to date, in myself. I will be able to love myself, as a beautiful, beautiful Asian woman. May the Singularity truly happen, this truly be technologically possible before I am dead and gone. And men will not have to worry that I find them unattractive for having an Asian fetish, for I will be worried the find me unattractive for being a man.

    But for now, I am quite happy about my current preference for white men. I am far too scared to date an Asian woman. May there one day be a world where finding Asian women attractive and considering Asian women beautiful isn’t scary or unacceptable.

  33. I’m willing to admit that my viewpoints are unscientific and totally based on personal experience, but I’ve known quite a few Caucasian men who only (or primarily) date Asian women, and every single one of them had obvious sexual and emotional issues. And the Asian women I’ve known who only date white men are not exactly healthy in their outlook either.

    Moralizing aside, it is absolutely racist to fixate on a particular race – whether for good or evil. We all judge and discriminate to some extent, to think you are above that means you aren’t being totally honest.

    My hope is that we as humans can evolve beyond placing such severe limits on who we love or who makes us horny – and that includes gender orientations and preferences. It’s who you are on the inside that counts, and that has nothing to do with race, culture or gender.

  34. What I think is really sad is that Asian women who date and marry non-Asians are essentially saying that their fathers, uncles and brothers, who loved as family, are not good enough for them. I hope those fathers and brothers will return the favor by casting them off to live with the people’s they’ve chosen over their own people.

  35. “Here’s the difference, and it’s a critical one. I never exclusively limited my dating choices based on race. In the very brief period between when I was both post-pubescent and single (and I do mean brief — we’re talking 3, maybe 4, years?), I was attracted to men of all shapes and sizes, and all colours and creeds. As far as I’m concerned, limiting oneself to dating only a certain physical type — racial or otherwise — is as superficial as it is racist, and is almost a guarantee to miss out on the potential love of your life.”

    See, this is what really bothered me about your post, and presumably your whole position on the issue: you have a very narrow view of what is a fair an appropriate manner of being attracted to another person. It’s nice that you can pat yourself on the back for being so open to being attracted to so many diffferent types of people.

    But you know what? If you had ended up dating around a bit more–and as you get on in life, it’s entirely possible that you will–you might notice that you gravitate towards certain types of people, for reasons that maybe you can’t quite articulate, or don’t care to. I think that most people do, and I don’t think that the core factor in these tendencies are racist.

    So, when the next guy you date ends up inexplicably being black (hey, it could happen), are you going to think to yourself “Oh shit, I’m fucking racist!”, or are you going to not think twice about being with him because he is amazing, you’re crazy about him, and fuck whatever other people think? I guarantee you that regardless of how altruistic you consider your attraction for this second hypothetical boyfriend-who-happens-to-be-black, people will give you shit, just like they did the first time. But would it actually make you racist?

    I’ve dated plenty of girls, and I’ve dated several asian girls, and every time I have, I’ve gotten this “asian fetish” bullshit thrown in my face, and I don’t really think it’s fair. I’m also not going to let it deter me from dating whomever I want, because I refuse to let other people’s narrow-minded politics–I’m looking at you here–police who I get to be attracted to.

    If someone’s stated position is: “I ONLY date asians”, then yeah, that’s racist. Is this is really an issue in the circles you run in? In real life, I don’t really see a lot of guys going around declaring that. Because it’s easy to recognize that that’s fucking racist.

    But what if I ONLY have been in serious relationships with people of asian background, but would totally date someone else if I were attracted to them? Am I still racist?

    What do you think is an acceptable ratio of asian women to have dated, before I’m getting a little racist? 1 in 3? 3 in 5? Is a majority pushing it for you? What’s your dating diversity QUOTA?

    For that matter, can you clearly articulate to me when a white man is not being racist for being attracted to an asian woman? Because your only answer in the post seems to be “as long as your open to other races too.” Right. So everyone can just look inside my mind and see that I also would love to date a freckled redhead. Because people have telepathy, and judge me not on my actions, but my inner values that I fimly hold, but haven’t actually ever had a chance to act upon.

  36. Sorry, a few corrections in my last post; I’m sure I’m missing some too. You can just delete this post:

    “the core factor in these tendencies are racist.”

    should be

    “the core factor in these tendencies is racist.”

    and

    “as long as your open to other races too”

    should be

    “as long as you’re open to other races too”

    Cheers.

  37. This topic has pretty much been beaten to death over the years. Why not just simplify it? Do you only date your race? Do you only date outside your race? Do you only date one particular type of race? The key word is “only.” There’s people who say they’re “open” to date other races yet they continue to date only one particular race. ie: A white guy that says he’s open to date any race yet if you check his track record he’s only dated Asians. Hell yeah he’s got Yellow Fever, he’s just too chicken to admit it. I used to rent one of my spare rooms at my house to a female Japanese international college student and she was a member of a “Japan Club.” When she had meetings here, she was the only female and all the other members were non-Japanese males. Hmm.. But as mentioned, the fetish goes both ways. Lots of females come here from Japan to supposedly study abroad but end up chasing after white guys constantly.

    I’m Mexican and Japanese, born and raised in Southern CA where it’s quite diverse. I’ve dated other people of mixed races, one being half black, also Latinas, Asians and whites. My girlfriend is Thai-American also 1/4 Chinese. My girlfriend has dated both within her own race and outside of it. I prefer Asian women hands down but what distinguishes me from a Yellow Fever weirdo is I actually went out and dated multiple races rather than obsess over one particular culture and objectify one specific race of women. And yes I despise Yellow Fever weirdos as well as Asian women who claim to not be attracted to Asian men. These people are warped in the head and/or socially programmed beyond repair. Has anyone pointed out that demographics also has a lot to do with us socially? My cousin on my Japanese side only dates white guys and she admitted to me she is not attracted to Asian men. But she grew up around mostly white people and all her friends are white too. Is she racist for not being into Asian guys? Some would say yes some would say no. I will say I believe if you are not attracted to your own race then you have some sort of internal issue that’s out of sync. How can you be Asian and not be attracted to Asians? Makes no sense.

    Anyhow… Jenn, you’re a great writer but one thing that made me raise an eyebrow was when you wrote:

    “So, he likes you because you’re Asian? Then, he doesn’t love you. Really. Maybe you should try dating until you can find someone who likes you, and who doesn’t give a fuck what you look like.”

    I agree 100% that if someone’s with you simply because of your race or nationality then they don’t love you. But rather than say “Maybe you should try dating until you can find someone who likes you, and who doesn’t give a fuck what you look like” – Maybe instead of “what” it should be “who.” Because I most certainly give a fuck what my g/f looks like as she does me.

  38. Dear Jackson – Just FYI, your comment was not approved because apparently your enlightened retort to this post is “Who cares because I don’t think Jenn’s pretty. I only care about what women have to say if I personally want to screw them”.

    It’s sad to me that you had the time to go check out the About page, but got so caught up in the picture that you failed to scroll down to the Comment policy of this site.

    Feel free to try again.

    Have a great day! <3 <3 <3

    (Also, you just mad ‘cuz you can’t have none of this! *snap, snap*)

  39. What’s ironic is that the white men who see no issue dating asian women are against, or at the very least, have no comment on white women and black men relationships… indeed behind the scenes (on forums, etc) – they think it’s plain wrong.

    So you compare and contrast the comments they make here and similar articles… adoration of the culture, disliking their own race’s women (quite often these white men say such things when they are socially inept to actually hold onto such a white girl, and use their white racial status to get an asian woman, knowing that asian women see white as a major plus point – in some cases more so than money/personality/love etc….and thus see them as easy catches.

    Another issue is how open asian women talk about this. You may think “well why shouldnt it be, 21st century blah blah”. Well consider this. Even white women, living in liberalised white countries etc… cannot say, to the white man’s face, that they exclusively date black or another race’s men. Indeed, it is rare to find such a woman. Same with black women, same with arab-indian women. Many of them may find men outside their races attractive, some may be married to them – but it’s rare for one to actually dislike their own race’s men. Judging by evolution, some will say rather screwed up – after all, she wouldn’t exist if an asian woman didn’t like an asian man several times in her family tree.

    So why do asian women feel they can be so open about this racial issue? Well, most of this is because asian men are not putting up a fight. I don’t mean physical confrontation – but as I said above, no way would a white, and certainly not black or arab girl say to their men “I don’t date you”. They would either get socially shunned, abused, assaulted, even stoned….asian men – put out a feeble “oh but why don’t you like us”…. the result is that asian women don’t see an issue, indeed they think what they are doing is right, and happily whitewash their identity.

  40. You’re into black men. Your claim to be racially omnivorous is dubious to begin with, but your drooling over the black male actor you posted clinches it. And it was dubious to begin with because most people have a strong looks preference. And yes Virginia, people from different racial groups look markedly different.

    What’s funny about women who are into black men is that they think it makes them more racially enlightened somehow, when of course it doesn’t.

    So it’s typical all around. The author of the first article was trying to justify her personal choices, and you’re trying to dress up yours. But people have their preferences, so live with it. You’re NOT superior to her.

  41. You’re right. You read a single post consisting of roughly 1000 words written from me and you automatically know my entire romantic history of the last 20 year better than I do. How could I possibly hope to fool you?

  42. I read the blog this was in reply to, and what struck home above all was how honest Miss Chen was. Whereas you reply with a seething dismissive blog calling her out for ‘defending fetishism’, when her blog did not imply what you determined it as in the slightest. I see that in your blog you focus on the ‘white male’ as being the fetishist and don’t seem to be able to look at the topic in an open minded manner (perhaps racism and bias on your part?) I notice that you say you are dating an African American male, what would your views be for you to discover him as a fetishist? Or does your inability to think outside the box not include other non-whites? You speak about ‘Eurocentric ideas of beauty’, yet fail to realise (intentionally?) that there is already racism deeply rooted in East Asian (particularly Chinese society) where preference for lighter skin through class (peasants who worked the fields had a darker hue) has been around much longer than colonialism. What irritates me most about your post (it’s not so much the racist focus on the white male) but the hypocrisy on your part, what’s to say that these people who admire East Asian culture/food/music/language aren’t doing so through choice (and this extends to dating). Indeed, what gives you the right to label someone an ‘Asiaphile’ or a fetishist? To be honest, there have been other posters here (such as Andrew) who made perfectly valid points about his own experiences yet you failed to reply to him (no doubt you’d pigeonhole him as a fetishist the same way you seem to have the white males who date Asian females). Depressing as it is, it’s views like yours which make me almost question myself and my dating a Chinese girl, but then on the other hand, it’s not of your business nor is it your right to judge. I truly believe views like yours promote ignorance and are regressive for the rest of the human population. Yours sincerely, a white guy dating an Asian girl.

  43. So in other words white males are not allowed to have a preference when dating.

    Got it, thanks.

  44. You are all making it worse. It’s nice to have an interesting discussion and flex your debating muscles but your belief that you need to defend your choices in a partner is, in fact, reinforcing that it’s a “problem” in the first place. When you react to other people’s prejudices, in a way, you validate their misconceptions. It’s your life and your choices. There’s no need to justify it to anyone. You definitely need to stop perpetuating racist vocabulary like “Asiaphile”. Reducing these relationships into a slang word dehumanizes and degrades them to a level that invites prejudice.

  45. Here’s your comment thread in a quick summary: Allll the straight white men with Asian fetish coming out of the woodwork QQ’ing.

    And there *is* an easy way to tell whether a non-Asian guy has Asian fetish: Are they upset by racism against Asian Americans, including Asian American men?

  46. There’s a huge difference between loving or having a preference for other races and having hatred for your own. I’m white. My brother is white. Both my parents are white. Their parents are white. We’re an Irish Catholic family – as white as it freakin’ gets.

    When I was a very young girl, by happy chance I ended up in the accelerated program at a magnet school, where my only classmates were Chinese. My only friends were Chinese. My only sleepovers were at Chinese houses. My only birthday parties were with Chinese people. I was all but legally adopted by these Chinese families. China was my world growing up. This was the early 90s and my mother, seeing that China was becoming a major world power, was perfectly happy to hand me over for, as she called it, “cultural assimilation lessons.” Fast forward twenty years, and I had so much Chinese customs, language, and culture pushed on me as a child that even to this day I have a strong preference for Chinese men. It’s WHAT I KNOW.

    But does that mean by any stretch that I would reject a man just because he had the wrong skin color? No. That’s a ludicrous idea. A guy being Chinese is a nice bonus in terms of physical and cultural attraction, but at the end of the day he still has to be a decent human being, and I’ll take a decent Western man over a prick of a Chinese man any day. When people like someone BECAUSE of their background, rather than appreciating their background as a secondary bonus to their character, they’re completely missing the point – and they’re risking losing out on a good, compatible partner for the sake of an idealized trophy.

    The worst part is that I see many Asian men, men who traditionally have difficulty in pursuing interracial relationships, so completely blinded by the surprise and mystique of being pursued by Western women that they fail to realize they themselves are becoming trophies:

    http://www.asianmanwhitewoman.com/jt-tran/interracial-dating-advice/13-evil-women-who-exploit-asian-men-part-1/

  47. @xuxien – So in other words, you didn’t read the article you’ve commented on and, instead, have chosen to become offended by your own preconceptions.

    Got it, thanks. Don’t know why you’d inflict that sort of thing on yourself, but it seems to be a popular past-time for the majority of the commentators on this article.

  48. @Alice

    “When people like someone BECAUSE of their background, rather than appreciating their background as a secondary bonus to their character, they’re completely missing the point – and they’re risking losing out on a good, compatible partner for the sake of an idealized trophy.”

    Yes. That is basically my point.

    Date who you want to date. But if you’re trying to defend dating a person based SOLELY on their race (i.e. “So he likes you -because- you’re Asian”) than you are defending dating a racial stereotype, not a human being.

    I don’t care whom people want to date. I don’t care if you like whom I’m dating. I -do- think there’s a difference between being in an interracial relationship based on emotional compatibility and being in an interracial relationship based on mutual racial fetishism. I simply cannot condone the second, whereas that is the THESIS of the original piece in question, with the added assumption that all interracial relationships fall into the latter category.

  49. Also, to anyone who is hoping to comment on this piece with comments alone the lines of “Jenn is a racist” (uhm, okay…) and “Jenn has a White guy fetish” (the fuck? where the hell are you even getting that from?), your comment will not be approved because it violates the comment policy of this site.

    Keep the conversation civil, please.

  50. Ugly asian girls have a vested interest in propagating the yellow fever stereotype, because it makes ugly asian girls feel magically attractive.

    Hence, Vivienne Chen’s article.

  51. Not entirely sure I feel comfortable boiling it all down to Vivienne Chen and any potential self-esteem issues she has over her appearance. I disagree pretty vehemently with the original article, but am not going to speculate on Vivienne as a person.

    Either way, I don’t think women should have to have their words dismissed based on their physical appearance (or whom they date). There’s enough in the article Vivienne wrote to disagree with that I don’t think it’s necessary to character assassinate.

  52. After reading your article, it is easy to see that you are not trying to uplift the Asian American Community. Since you believe in in interracial mixing and have a black boy boyfriend, how can you uplift the AA community? That’s just as ridiculous as a White Supremacist group accepting other people of color.

    The only difference between your article and Vivien Chen’s is that Ms Chen’s article is more truthful. Ms Chen does not mind being treated like an object or a whore as long as it’s by a white person, but not by Asians.

    Your article is merely just an attempt to rebuttal her for the sake of showing off your writing skills. At the same time, you pretentiously claim to be “uplifting” Asian Americans by promoting interracial relationship. Well done!

    Mike D.

  53. ^– Wow. Can we all just appreciate the sheer awesomeness of that comment for a second?

    It’s 2013 and folks are still confusing political awareness with supremacy, and calling for an end to miscegenation.

    (I almost didn’t approve this comment, but it is just SO. AWESOME.)

  54. It’s simple, these Asian women are RACE TRAITORS. I can’t believe I am saying this, but people from Stormfront are correct. Race mixing truly has a negative impact towards every ethnic group. As a result, you see a rise of a certain ethnic sexes that prefer to date only outside their race, namely black men and asian women. For these people, their offsprings will be cursed with no ethnic identity and likely to be never happy because of their traitorous parents.

  55. @Keith —

    Nope, unless they are using an IP mask and have two different email accounts that they use to pretend to be different people. But this post attracts a lot of people calling me various names, so not altogether shocking if it’s two separate people.

    @Race Traitor —

    Thanks for commenting. I think we are all the better for having been exposed to your anti-miscengistic racism.

  56. haha

    I wish you could be more terse.

    Basically, it sounds like you’re against people who date for someone’s ethnicity instead of dating them for who they are.

    I agree. With that out of the way.

    I think chen is an [EDITED TO REMOVE AD HOMINEM]

    Asian females like her are just [EDITED TO REMOVE AD HOMINEM]. “Ya, let’s go and defend the people who lord it all over all minorities with their white privilege.” instead of defending the Asian males who get screwed by the system or the Asian females that get sexually objectified and face increased risk of violence. “That’ll show em how progressive I am”

    [EDITED TO REMOVE AD HOMINEM]

    Who the hell are we kidding? You think white guys just wake up in Asian studies accidentally? What about Egyptology? Wouldn’t that be a hell of a lot more interesting considering how many unsolved mysteries there are.

    Good comments from:
    Jeff says:
    January 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Shaun says:
    October 27, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Grace says:
    September 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

  57. Hi Yun,

    Yep, I’m against people who date for someone’s ethnicity rather than dating the person they are. That being said, what bothers me — and where I tread the line on this issue — is that I don’t think there is a difference between criticizing Chen for defending her own fetishism, and criticizing her because she is somehow insufficiently committed to the APIA cause because she won’t “defend the Asian male”. It’s not clear WHY she has chosen to date White men exclusively, but does this automatically imply that she is derogatory towards Asian men specifically?

    Further, I don’t think the primary issue with sexual objectification is a risk of increased violence. While this certainly happens, it’s as if you’re saying the only problem with sexual objectification only occurs if a woman gets beat up; whereas stereotypes have numerous and important effects on self-identity that are not related to actual violence. To me, it’s the same reason why the emasculation stereotype, which we’ve been talking about at length in BigWOWO, is important — not because of any real or perceived impact on dating access (which is complicated by a lot of other mitigating factors having nothing to do with race), but on less tangible but likely more widespread impact on general racial (or in this case sexual/gender) self-identity.

    This comment:

    You think white guys just wake up in Asian studies accidentally? What about Egyptology? Wouldn’t that be a hell of a lot more interesting considering how many unsolved mysteries there are.

    … completely lost me in regards to context.

    Also, just to be clear, my comment policy is a little more stringent than the sites you might be used to. I will not permit ad hominem attacks (basically “you are X”), and particularly if they involve slurs of any kind. I’ve edited your comment to remove that language, but otherwise left it intact. Please take a minute to check out my comment policy through the about tab above!

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  58. I found Vivienne Chen’s blog post at the tail end of a forum and comment reading stupor (I am masochistic?), and it led me here. You are awesome. That is all.

  59. Hey Jenn! I was one of the people whom you had lengthy discussions with at BigWowo. I just wanted to say that though I’ve read this article a few times already, I just went over it again and really noticed this great line:

    “She wants to leverage her race to her own romantic advantage, and be desired with a clear conscience.”

    I think that’s the perfect way to sum up what’s going on here. Vivienne Chen likes the existence of the fetish because it gives her greater access to White men, but she wants it to just stop short of becoming problematic enough to bother her. In other words, she wants to have it both ways.

    This is what we Asian guys have to face all the time. After a while, the bombardment of putdowns and logically inconsistent rationalizations as to why we deserve to be the low man on the totem pole drive us insane. So forgive us if some of us (like a couple of guys on BigWowo) seem a little unhinged, but you should be able to see where we’re coming from.

    With lots of Asian women like Vivienne Chen, we’re really lacking for allies. Obviously, non-Asian guys aren’t going to empathize with us because they benefit from the status quo by having a lot of Asian women to date without the competition from Asian men. Moreover, they can use these Asian women to “bargain down” with women of their own race. I’m sure you’ve witnessed the phenomenon of White men using Asian women to berate White women who’ve gotten “fat” and “too feminist” for their liking.

    And most non-Asian women don’t have enough contact or exposure to Asian men to rid their minds of the stereotypes of us being sexist, micro-dicked, asexual, geeky, conservative, etc. So who do we have left? Ourselves, and Asian women. But lots of Asian women want to jump ship, so really, it ends up being a bro-fest of frustrated Asian guys. This can escalate into a cesspool of misogyny (i.e. Model Minority.com).

    Not quite sure where I’m going with this, but I’m just trying to give you the layout of the landscape for Asian American guys. And I’m one of the better off ones! I’m reasonably attractive and can comfortably venture outside my racial group for friends or dates. Yes, I do notice how I have to try a lot harder to appeal to non-Asian women, but I know it’s not impossible.

    But I have to still imagine how horrible it must be for those who aren’t as fortunate as me. And to be surrounded by people from your own group who try to tell you that your place at the bottom is justified? Who wouldn’t get angry at that?

  60. Hey Pozhal,

    Thanks for stopping by the site!

    “So forgive us if some of us (like a couple of guys on BigWowo) seem a little unhinged, but you should be able to see where we’re coming from.”

    That’s the thing. I do see where you are coming from in terms of anger, but not necessarily the expression of that anger. Chen’s point of view is insulting, but is it personally so if you are an Asian man? Chen wants to leverage her own race for her own advantage — is that an explicit rejection of the Asian man? The way that folks react on BigWoWo, would suggest so, but I would argue that that aspect of it is misplaced.

    Chen’s perspective frustrates because she rationalizes racism — in herself and in others, and she does it a way that reflects poorly on others in our community. But, her specific perspective harms herself, mostly. In other words, I’m not sure she has come to her conclusion based mainly on internalized stereotypes of Asian men. I think there’s more to it than that, having to do with her OWN identity and sexuality as a woman that have nothing to do with Asian men.

    What also frustrates me, I think is this comment:
    “With lots of Asian women like Vivienne Chen, we’re really lacking for allies.”

    It’s still not clear to me that there are “lots” of Asian women like this. There are women like Chen, but there are women with much more diverse an progressive outlooks on their sexuality. Why the focus on perspectives like Chen’s as evidence that there is a lack of allies, when Chen is arguably a minority of Asian women. And even if she isn’t, is it more productive to focus on the subset of women who are getting it wrong, or to build bridges with the women who aren’t?

    For me, the persistent misogyny is the non-starter. I don’t know how to get past this impasse when Asian men focus strongly on the Asian American women with the fetishes, and in so doing, spout sexist nonsense that alienates every other Asian American woman who might be otherwise be interested in building a bridge to mainstream this particular issue and narrative. Some racist people will always be racist; there will ALWAYS be fetishists who justify fetishism in any community. That’s a given; basic Bell Curve theory.

    So, in light of that, someone’s got to give. Either the subset of angry Asian American men need to temper their misogyny so you don’t end up with stuff like “Asian women are race traitors” when the argument should really about the stereotypes rather than the finger-pointing, or you expect Asian American women to operate in a political environment of misogyny. Obviously, I fall pretty strongly on the former solution, since the latter solution is wildly sexist.

  61. Jenn,

    In a society where every other group of women shows at least some preference for their own in-group, someone like Vivienne Chen is indeed rejecting Asian men.

    I’m not saying that Asian men own the “right of first refusal” to Asian women. But we do still live in a society with lots of unresolved racist issues, and IR relationships are still, as a whole, the exception rather than the rule. Every other group of women, whether they be White or Black or Indian, show some level of preference for men of their own group.

    Except for Asian women, and that’s the giveaway. If other groups were doing it too, then it wouldn’t be as much of an issue. But if you combine the fact that only Asian women do it, and how maligned Asian men are in American society, it doesn’t take much effort to see the great incentive for Asian women to leave Asian men behind if White men are a viable option.

    You can’t date or marry more than one person at a time, so if you exclusively (or overwhelmingly) prefer one type over others, you are by definition having to discriminate against those you haven’t designated as your “type.” This is an active choice made by the holder of the preference, and he or she should at least own up to it.

    I definitely AGREE that Asian guys should focus more on building bridges than scorning those who are determined not to be our allies. But the problem is that these women are generally hard to find! Seriously, an article like Vivienne Chen’s is not unique at all. I have a ton of links to articles—from the NY Times, XOJane, Thought Catalog, HuffPo, and various other sites—where Asian female writers extol the virtues of White men.

    As for the number of articles in which Asian women defend or praise Asian men? I could count them on one hand. It’s so rare that a lot of Asian guys still cite the Julia Oh article from over a decade ago as an admirable example of an Asian woman siding with us Asian guys. That’s pretty sad, no?

    I know that there are a lot of non-racist and non-self-hating Asian women out there. I would just like to hear their voices more often. I know it’s an uphill struggle because the American media would rather empower those Asians who glorify the superiority of America and the West over all things Asian, but still, I would love to see more angry Asian women who realize that the stereotypes against Asian men are ultimately a denigration of the entire Asian race as a whole.

    And you know what? I HAVE seen more of these women. I go to places like Tumblr and there will be some whip-smart Asian women who know what’s going on and aren’t willing to play into roles that support White primacy (unlike Vivienne Chen).

    But there still aren’t enough, and that’s what’s frustrating. Chances are that if I go to, say, the comments section of Jenny An’s XOJane article about how she only dates White guys to feel more “American,” there’ll be more White and Black women who sympathize with my viewpoint than Asian women, many of whom will insist that their preference for White men is totally “colour-blind post-racial love,” even though they’d probably never ever date a Black guy.

    Anyway, BigWowo is having some hosting issues, so I hope to continue our conversation here!

  62. I also wanted to add that I’m definitely NOT one of those guys who thinks that it’s just natural to prefer those in your own group.

    But I also think that it’s grossly perverse to DISCRIMINATE against those in your own group. And that’s what a man or woman does when s/he overwhelmingly or exclusively prefers those outside of his or her group. At least when you are prejudiced against outsiders, you have the excuse of ignorance, which we all hope will one day be rectified. But if you’re biased against those whom you already know, what excuse is there (besides racism)?

    Also, I don’t think this is strictly a misogyny issue, though I know there’s a lot of it among some Asian men. Black women are equally, if not more, upset at Black men for some of their self-racist “preferences” for White people. That’s why I see this as more of a racial issue than a gender issue. It’s more about men AND women feeling angry that once again, they’re being told that they simply don’t measure up to their White counterparts. This time, by those who are closest to them.

  63. @Pozhal

    Thanks for the commenT!

    “In a society where every other group of women shows at least some preference for their own in-group, someone like Vivienne Chen is indeed rejecting Asian men.”

    Except, I think you are arguing that Asian men have an implicit “right of refusal”, because you are assuming there is something bizarre, and importantly deviant, about the dating patterns of Asian women, and projecting motive to a sociological trend. The assumption is that women of all races express a conscious preference for men of their own race and that Asian women are explicitly rejecting men of their own race, as if race is the premiere factor in dating choice and that women are deliberately choosing to date out.

    As I’ve already written before, this both 1) over-simplifies the factors that go into dating choice which will include (but are not limited to) race, and 2) chastises women for “rejecting” men, as if there is a racially/culturally acceptable mode of dating that Asian women are in violation of, but which is defined entirely by Asian men. This hypothesis also presumes that Asian women have equal access to men of all races, which isn’t true for Asian American men and women who live in predominantly non-Asian regions.

    Also here are the facts: 1) Roughly 30% of Asian women are in interracial relationships, which means that roughly 70% of Asian women are not. 2) Those numbers are falling; more Asian women are actually marrying within the race. 3) Younger generations of all races are increasingly both dating outside of their race and tolerant of intermarriage. The intermarriage phenomenon isn’t a conscious rejection of one’s own race: it’s a reflection of the increasing globalization of culture, such that men and women are increasingly de-emphasizing the importance of race in choosing one’s mate. It basically is post-racial dating, and is a phenomenon that we can see occurring in virtually all racial groups.

    Why are Asian women “ahead of the curve” in this phenomenon? There are a variety of factors, that likely include the fact that we (speaking specifically of Asian Americans) are a cross-cultural community who are racially Asian and culturally American, we are not tied to the cultural responsibility to pass the family name on (which is a pressure that strongly affects Asian/Asian American men) so are less inclined to “keep the bloodline pure” (as disgusting a notion as that is), we are generally fairly feminist and interested in pursuing personal choice, etc. Also, as I’ve noted, these numbers are somewhat skewed by war/foreign brides: the U.S. has maintained a strong military presence predominantly in Asian countries in the last 3-4 decades. Just based on the fact that the military is disproportionately populated by men aged 18-34, you’re going to have a subsequent reflection of our policy of putting marriage-eligible men in foreign countries in our marriage patterns.

    “I definitely AGREE that Asian guys should focus more on building bridges than scorning those who are determined not to be our allies. But the problem is that these women are generally hard to find! Seriously, an article like Vivienne Chen’s is not unique at all. I have a ton of links to articles—from the NY Times, XOJane, Thought Catalog, HuffPo, and various other sites—where Asian female writers extol the virtues of White men.”

    I disagree. Not that there haven’t been a slew of articles by women like Vivienne Chen, but that women who don’t promote fetishism are hard to find. Remember the bias of article publication: publishers seek articles with an interesting twist. And, “my marriage is my choice/Asian men keep trying to limit my dating choices” is a powerful narrative among feminist circles; one that is perpetuated by the counter-argument by Asian men who assert Asian women actually -should- be chastised for out-marriage.

    On the flip side, who’s going to read an article whose thesis is: “I like Asian boys because Asian boys are the bestest!”. It’s still a fetish article, but one that perpetuates existing rather sexist ideas that men should control women’s dating patterns, and also gives off the veneer of anti-miscegenation. Or how about the middle article: “I;m a woman, I date men of all races.” That’s just uninteresting, particularly in an increasingly post-racial dating market where the universal assumption is that no one filters their dating choice based on race, so the article is basically just “I’m not racist”.

    As for blogs written by women who try to promote or discuss the issues of Asian men (although in the context of sexual stereotypes, not dating), there are actually a few on this blog. It would be worthwhile to expand one’s horizons to considering this issue outside merely marriage stats, because there are quite a few female bloggers (myself included) who talk about this issue from the perspective of combatting Hollywood stereotypes.

    “But I also think that it’s grossly perverse to DISCRIMINATE against those in your own group. ”

    I think it’s wrong to discriminate for or against anyone based on race. That’s the thesis of this article. Perhaps on that we can agree. Where we disagree is on the details of intermarriage in general. I simply disagree that Vivienne Chen represents all or most women who out-marry.

  64. Jenn,

    When we live in a Eurocentric world that bombards us with notions of White superiority from birth, preferring White people to one’s own group is hardly being “ahead of the curve” in terms of racial open-mindedness. Asian IR relationships, whether it be Asian men or women, are almost exclusively with White people. Asians also often express aversion to IR relationships with other minorities (yourself excluded, obviously). Can you honestly call this open-mindedness?

    You say that the IR imbalance right now is the result of various factors such as war brides and lingering-but-decreasing aversion to IR relationships that all women (except Asian women, it seems) have. I also read that study about the falling rate of Asian IR marriages, so let’s see how this goes. But if all other groups of women continue to show significant preference for their own in-group except for Asian women, I think at that point, we have to acknowledge that yes, Asian women are the odd ones out who attach no importance or value to men of their own race.

    From what I’ve seen from people in my generation and younger, I do think things will get better. Growing up Asian in America is not as isolating an experience anymore, not only due to demographic change but also due to greater access to Asian culture through the internet. Still, I’d rather not sit back and relax and be the good Model Minority and just hope that everything will fall into place.

    I’m very perplexed by your idea that AW/WM articles somehow have an “interesting twist” when this pairing has been a popular figment in the Western imagination for a long time (e.g. Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon, The Joy Luck Club, Shogun, etc.). An “interesting twist” for whom, exactly? White guys? When you ask, “Who’s gonna read this article?” whom are you talking about? Asian women? White women? Asian men? White men?

    If you’re saying that the media is biased in favour of White people, which is why they publish all these White-men-flattering articles written by Asian women, I definitely agree. But I would also add that that should create greater incentive for Asian women who are sick of such a one-sided display to counterbalance with articles that promote Asian. After all, as you said, the majority of Asian women do marry Asian men. I remember after the Jenny An article on XOJane came out, another woman named Clarissa Wei published a counterpoint article about why she loved her Asian boyfriend.

    Yes, in an ideal world, neither of them should have been so fixated on the race of their boyfriends. But this is the reality we live in, and I thought it was so cool of Clarissa Wei to do what she did because it’s pretty rare to see.

    Personally, if I ever heard someone slandering Asian women, I’d get extremely angry and do my best to fight back because Asian women are our mothers, sisters, cousins, grandmothers, aunts, friends, etc. I wouldn’t just sit by and shrug my shoulders and make a blithe statement of how everybody’s a little racist. I’m not saying you’re doing that, but it seems that that’s the attitude of some Asian women.

    Also, are you saying that while “I only date Asian men” and “I date all races” articles are either sexist or boring, an “I only date White men” or “I don’t date Asian men” articles are acceptable?

  65. “Except, I think you are arguing that Asian men have an implicit “right of refusal”, because ……………”

    Pozhal and many others have explained this repeatedly. Asian women are the ONLY group that don’t favor their own. That’s a pretty black and white case. No amount of big words and rationalizing will explain it away.

    I’m skimming the rest where you talk about globalization and other stuff. How is it that you’re handwaiving the balant castration of Asian men from EVERY avenue available? (media, advertising, news coverage, theatre, books, school cirriculums). You expect us to just ignore all that and think it’s “globalization”?) If it were globalization wouldn’t we seen similar rates across the board for all ethnic females?

    “e U.S. has maintained a strong military presence predominantly in Asian countries in the last 3-4 decades. Just based on the fact that the military is disproportionately populated by men aged 18-34, you’re going”

    No. Asian american women are more likely to date/marry out inside america.

    “On the flip side, who’s going to read an article whose thesis is: “I like Asian boys because Asian boys are the bestest!”. It’s still a fetish article,”

    Wrong. Who wants to read another article that kisses wm ass? again? and again and again? Isn’t that played out? Apparently not. There are decades of articles kissing their ass. Oh wait…I know who wants to read that. white guys! You know, the same guys that control media and passed laws to prevent white women from marrying out – you know, the beacons of freedumb and equality.

    You know what’d be a interesting narrative? lynching blacks, lynching philipinos, run away mail order brides from abuse “rugged white heroes”, the exceptionally higher divorce rates between af/wm that is 400% higher than an af/am – that’d be a pretty fu*king interetsing narrative.

    But we can’t have that. That would upset the white “men”

  66. Yun,

    Are you “Yun Xu” from BigWowo?

    Jenn, I hope you don’t think we’re ganging up on you or anything. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk things out, and you should take pride in the fact that your article has generated this amount of discussion.

    I think what Yun and I are trying to say is that if you take out Asian male emasculation and devaluation out of the picture, what else could explain the unique fact that Asian women are the group that favour their own in-group the least (if at all)?

    You could mention sexism, but South Asian culture is extremely sexist. Yet there’s no IR disparity there. Southern culture is pretty sexist too, but White women there aren’t abandoning White men in favour of Black/Asian/Latino men.

    I think there are other factors, such as White men’s fetishization of Asian women which allows all this to take place. I think IR disparities would exist in other groups if White men fetishized those women as well because American society does a great job of propping up White guys.

    So there’s that. And as you mentioned, there’s also the war bride factor. I think there’s also the adoptee factor.

    But to glowingly see this as Asian women being “ahead of the curve” in terms of open-mindedness is extremely weak in my view. It falls all too neatly within the colonial mindset framework for that to be true. It’s also gravely insulting to us Asian guys for someone to classify our marginalization as some kind of social progress.

  67. @ Jenn:
    Nice article.

    One of the things that bugs me about Chen’s article (aside from the breezy justification of anti-black racism that you pointed out) is that while it’s not directly insulting Asian males, it contains implicit insult nonetheless. There’s this paragraph:

    “But by constantly projecting this idea that men who specifically like Asian women are creepers, we risk making otherwise decent, respectable guys avoid dating Asian girls for fear of being labeled a creeper — until we have nothing but creepers left.”

    In other words – if we avoid dating all the white guys who like Asian girls, there will just be NO ONE else left to date. (ie. dating an Asian man is not even an option to be considered)

    @ Pozhal:

    But to glowingly see this as Asian women being “ahead of the curve” in terms of open-mindedness is extremely weak in my view. It falls all too neatly within the colonial mindset framework for that to be true. It’s also gravely insulting to us Asian guys for someone to classify our marginalization as some kind of social progress.

    Avoiding looking at this through simple black-and-white lenses, could in part be a combination of social progress and a simultaneous lack of progress? Taken in isolation, the amount that Asian women mix with white men could definitely seen as open-mindedness. In which case the problem would be the lack of it elsewhere – eg. white women towards Asian men. It’s a societal problem, but for some reason a lot of Asian men can only direct their frustrations at the easy target – Asian women. And while women like Vivienne Chen do deserve condemnation for actively promoting ignorance, women like Jenn bear the brunt of it too.

  68. @Pozhal

    “Asian IR relationships, whether it be Asian men or women, are almost exclusively with White people.”

    White people are also approximately 75-80% of non-Asians in this country. It would be surprising if the vast majority of Asian outmarriage were NOT to White people, as they are the most populous race in this country.

    “But if all other groups of women continue to show significant preference for their own in-group except for Asian women, I think at that point, we have to acknowledge that yes, Asian women are the odd ones out who attach no importance or value to men of their own race.”

    Again, we are talking about at most 30% of Asian women — in some ethnicities far less — who are in interracial marriages. Within that 30%, an arguable amount are fetishizing; I would argue a small amount. But, let’s say half — a compromise between your argument that it is all, and my argument that it is a very small amount (and the remainder are in IR due to circumstance but exhibit no specifc racial preference). Okay, half of all Asian women who are in IR are also fetishizing. So we’re talking 15% of Asian women.

    15% of Asian women who may or may not fetishize is hardly “all Asian women”.

    And second — SHOULD Asian women, or all women for that matter, attach some specific importance to men of their own race? Again, this is wandering fairly dangerously into anti-miscegenation territory, wherein the argument is that interracial marriages are somehow objectively “less good” or “less authentic” than in-marriage.

    “I’m very perplexed by your idea that AW/WM articles somehow have an “interesting twist””

    Again, you misunderstand. I am describing the phenomenon of editorial bias by magazines for an unusual story, particularly if those magazines are feminist (like XOJane, for example). You can argue against that bias, and indeed you should. I’m simply saying the bias exists, and consequently you cannot assume it is a representative sampling of all attitudes.

    It’s a simple concept: if you bias your sampling, you are biasing your sampling, and therefore cannot make conclusions as if it were a randomized sampling. In this case, because of the selection bias, you cannot read 8 number of articles from a certain perspective and none from a counter-perspective, and assume that 100% of people have the first perspective. The bias prevents the second perspective from being published.

    Again, I’m not going to speculate as to specifically why certain articles are published, or specifically to judge the pros and cons of that editorial decision. Simply to say that it exists.

    “Personally, if I ever heard someone slandering Asian women, I’d get extremely angry and do my best to fight back”

    To be honest, I haven’t seen a huge number of people rally against some of the sexist and misogynistic things said on Byron’s site.

    A lot of the “Asian women are traitorous whores” stuff pretty much goes unchallenged. Just putting it out there.

  69. Jenn,

    Asian Americans tend to live in very diverse areas such as NYC and LA where the population is decidedly NOT 80% White. Furthermore, if Asian female outmarriage is simply due to exposure and not racial prejudice, why do we not see the same thing happening with Asian men and White women?

    30% of Asian women is still a lot. You can’t just look at a number without context. When you add in the fact that no other such disparity exists in any other racial group, it behooves us to question what is going on.

    Again, I don’t think we should attach too much importance to our in-group members. HOWEVER, when there’s only one group of women who’s doing it, and their preferences align perfectly with colonial notions of White male superiority over Asian males, then again, it behooves us to question what is going on.

    Okay, so we agree that the publishing industry is biased. However, the internet is a free space. Why aren’t there more Asian women starting blogs fighting back against this one-sided portrayal? I’ve seen some, but not that many.

    As for what happened on BigWowo, a lot of us came to your defense. Maybe you left before we chased the likes of Sasaki Ken out of there, but we had zero tolerance for his kind of personal attacks.

  70. Eurasian Sensation,

    Good point about the “implicit insult.” I completely agree.

    I also agree with the fact that the blame should go around, not just to Asian women. But since Asian women do (most likely) grow up around Asian guys, know us well, and are part of the same group, I do think that there should be extra scrutiny when they internalize anti-AM stereotypes because, as I said before, they don’t have the excuse of ignorance. Moreover, self-hate is an altogether unique kind of hate.

    AMs and AFs should be in this together and looking out for each other, but often, as an AM, I feel like the kid who gets ditched by the wannabe cool kid who pretends she doesn’t know me anymore as we both enter junior high.

  71. @Pozhal no offense, but what’s your problem? Do you want her to beg for your forgiveness for every Asian American Asian Canadian women? Be happy that she is acknowledging anything and move on. At some point you have to recognize when you are badgering someone.

  72. Keith,

    It’s called having a discussion, one that is usually never had in a productive manner between Asian American men and women. Often, it devolves into men calling the women sellout sluts and the women calling the men chauvinist pigs who just suck compared to white men. I’ve been trying to avoid such a devolvement in discussion.

    If Jenn thinks that I am badgering her, then she can tell me so herself. We don’t need you to butt in with your zero-value contributions.

  73. Actually Pozhal, I can butt in if I feel like it. Let’s not beat around the bush here, Jenn gave an answer, but it’s not good enough for you. At this point you are doing nothing but trying to make Jenn prove a negative, which no one can. So if you want to throw a tantrum fine, but I am not going anywhere.

  74. More later, but just to address the stuff immediately above:

    No, I do not feel badgered, but Keith is also not butting in; he is free to come in and comment on the conversation if he feels he has something to offer. Since he lacks the context of the BigWoWo conversation, he is perfectly within his rights to question why the sudden influx of folks on this thread.

    I also of course think it’s pertinent to note that Keith believes you are asking me to prove a negative. This is something I’ve already said to you. I cannot prove a negative, nor is it my responsibility to. Rather, it is on you and others to prove the positive, which we are still in the midst of discussing.

  75. Jenn,

    Of course Keith CAN interject anytime he wants. My point was that we don’t NEED it unless he’s going to add something other than, “Get over it! Gawd!” That’s the message that we model minorities have been adhering to for way too long.

    You raise a good point about disproving a negative. In my view, I’m not asking you to disprove a negative because I feel that there’s already substantial evidence that a significant portion of Asian women have internalized negative stereotypes about their fellow Asian men, which exacerbates the IR disparity. My evidence consists of things like OK Cupid studies, the Columbia Speed-Dating experiment, the many articles available in which Asian women profess of their preference of White men over Asian men, mountains of anecdotes from both Asian men and Asian women, and reasonable conclusions derived from what we see in the media and culture.

    Even taken in the aggregate, all those pieces of evidence are not 100% conclusive, or else we wouldn’t be having this discussion right now. But I also don’t think you can conveniently handwave them away because there hasn’t been some be-all end-all Nobel Prize-winning study that clinches my position.

    I think from the available evidence, we can surmise that negative stereotyping of Asian men by Asian women does exist. We’re probably disagreeing over the degree of its prevalence, right?

    I’m not saying that all AF/WM relationships are based on self-hate. Or that even a majority is. What I’m saying is that it’s enough of a factor that it makes Asian women a unique demographic in that they outmarry at the highest rates out of all groups of women. And I think that that factor is significant enough to raise questions about racial identities in the Asian American community.

    I would like Asian women’s help in fixing our culture and society so that that factor is lessened as much as possible in the future. I don’t want to go around breaking up AF/WM couples, even if they’re based on self-hate, but I want future generations to be on a more level playing field. Obviously, everybody should try to help fight racism, but I think Asian women have a special and leading role to play because we come from the same background.

    Your thoughts?

  76. Ya, it’s me Yun from wowo. I co-sign on Pozhal’s last comment. He perfectly summarizes the position. There is overwhelming evidence explaining ir disparity that at no point during these lengthy discussions has been addressed with legit counterpoints. We’re open to debate, but that doesn’t mean we’ll concede simply because you disagree. Please show us counter proof. Telling us it’s very complex is silly. Many phenomena are complex. We might as well stop studying military strategy, science, economics, psychology, etc and just blame it on complexity.

    re:defending af
    I’m not sure which discussion you’re referring to Jenn, but I don’t recall the words “traitorous whores” ever being used. Sellouts and self-haters yes. When you were attacked most of the guys active in the discussion addressed it – some more so than others.

    Furthermore, how you expect us to defend af from the truth that SOME of them do sell out and self-hate. That’s like expecting me to defend icecubes from being called cold.

  77. Pozhal you are being a reactive child. And if you think my comment can be boiled down to get over it, then you have more problems than I thought, more so than your long winded rhetorical posts. Interesting that you used the term “model minorities”

  78. @keith – You have demonstrated your own immaturity with your stream of unfounded accusations and personal attacks. You have countered nothing. You have contributed nothing.

    Here’s a list of your unfounded accusations and personal attacks.

    “Do you want her to beg for your forgiveness for every Asian American Asian Canadian women?” – unfounded accusation

    “At some point you have to recognize when you are badgering someone.” – personal attack. This exchange is called a debate.

    “you are doing nothing but trying to make Jenn prove a negative, which no one can.” – False claim.

    “So if you want to throw a tantrum fine”
    “you are being a reactive child”
    “you have more problems than I thought”
    “your long winded rhetorical posts”

  79. @Yun,

    Again more on the topic when I have a chance, but just in response to your comment above, about 50% of the things you are accusing Keith of are not accurate. Accusing a person of “badgering someone” is not an ad hominem — ad hominem is a personal attack such as “you are an idiot”. Keith is commenting on the debate techniques, not on anybody’s personal characteristics.

    He said this:

    “Do you want her to beg for your forgiveness for every Asian American Asian Canadian women?”

    … and that is a completely reasonable question to ask. He is asking what the purpose of the discussion is.

    In general, it is not necessary for anyone here (including Keith) to moderate the tone of the debate. I will step in when someone crosses the line. Let’s focus on the topic at hand, please.

    More on the substance of the topic when I get a chance.

  80. Great, looking forward to it. btw,

    “you are an idiot” = name calling

    After looking at it again, it’s worse. Most of the comments were name calling – not even personal attacks, which is a level above acording to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graham%27s_Hierarchy_of_Disagreement1.svg

    He was hardly addressing debate techniques. Read the quotes again. They’re mostly about him name calling and making accusations.

    Using the verb, badgering, implies the accused is a pest. Maybe that’s not a personal attack (I didn’t realize there so many precise ways to define an insult), but it is name calling.

  81. At no point does Keith engage in name-calling. The closest he comes is saying that Pozhal is behaving like a “reactive child”, and again, this is criticizing Pozhal’s actions and behaviour, not his person.

    Saying someone is “badgering” is not name-calling. Badgering is a bonafide description of debate tactics — it is pointing out when a person is persistently and aggressively pursuing a debate with thin or zero focus on presenting evidence — and is well within reason to accuse someone of doing when in a debate.

    Thus far, all of the published comments are fair game and within this site’s comment policy. Let’s focus on the topic at hand (I will respond in the morning).

    Keith, if you think Pozhal and Yun are wrong, I encourage you to engage them on the things you think are wrong. As I’ve said to Yun and Pozhal, I’ll shut this discussion if it crosses the line. But as of right now, it is okay.

  82. Being told to butt out, when asking a reasonable question, and that I am telling someone “to get over it” pretty much tells me that any comment I make will go nowhere. It’s not about being right or wrong, I think they are just misguided, and if they get what they think they want, they will still be disappointed with the results, believe me a seen this happen before. That’s it for me.

  83. @Keith

    Being told to butt out, when asking a reasonable question, and that I am telling someone “to get over it” pretty much tells me that any comment I make will go nowhere.

    See, that really annoys me. If everyone is approaching this discussion with good intentions, than no one should be telling anyone to “butt out” because all opinions, supporting or dissenting, should be welcome.

    I agree you were asking a reasonable question. Well, two: 1) Why are you persisting on this line of thought? and 2) What are you hoping to achieve by doing so? Both, good questions that I — too — would like the answer to.

    You shouldn’t feel unwelcome in the conversation simply because you showed up and expressed concern over the tone of the debate.

  84. Keith,

    You’ve accused me of throwing a “tantrum,” and acting like a “reactive child” when I’ve merely stated that your post didn’t add much value to the discussion. I think you should calm down a little.

    Jenn and I have been having a long series of exchange, starting back on BigWowo. If it seems like I’m “badgering” her (which she herself has denied), it’s because I’m trying to understand the nuances of her position more. As I said, there’s so little productive dialogue between Asian American men and women. Not everything can get answered in one exchange, which is why this isn’t a situation where I ask one question, Jenn answers, and I say, “Okay! Gotcha!”

    So why am I persisting in this line of thought? Because, as I said, there’s a lack of dialogue in our community. It’s usually a bunch of Asian guys or Asian women talking amongst only each other and further perpetuating stereotypes without taking the time to understand the other side.

    And what do I hope to accomplish? As I said earlier, to try to understand the other side while also trying to get them to understand mine.

  85. And Keith,

    If you have something you’d like to discuss with me about what we’ve talked about so far, something that’s not tantamount to “End this discussion already!”, I’d be happy to start a dialogue with you too.

    But basically, all you’ve asked me so far is what kind of problem I have (not a substantive or specific question), if I want Jenn to beg for forgiveness (hyperbolic and surely not a serious question), and demanding that I end this exchange.

    Those aren’t very substantive additions to this discussion.

  86. Yun,

    Glad you appreciated my post!

    But I think a salient point that Jenn made, and one that I often advocate, is that instead of focusing on the self-haters, we should reach out and appreciate the people who are aware of our issues and have our backs. My only frustration is that while I know that a lot of these Asian women exist, they’re reluctant to speak out and/or ignored by the media that would rather hear of endless stories of Asian women fawning over Western culture and Western men. Jenn and I have both acknowledged this structural inequality.

    Ultimately, our point of contention is A) how significant is this self-hating group, and B) what should Asian women do about it? Someone like me would say that the self-hating group is significantly large, and that Asian women should ideally do something to address those issues.

    Others (not sure if Jenn is among them) would say that it’s insignificant and not worth paying attention to. Furthermore, they may even say that even if it were significant, Asian women shouldn’t be burdened with the issues of Asian men, any more so than, say, White women.

  87. @Pozhal

    Asian Americans tend to live in very diverse areas such as NYC and LA where the population is decidedly NOT 80% White.

    Most Asian Americans tend to live in urban areas — and within those areas, in ethnic enclaves or in some cases wealthier neighbourhoods — where in many cases the next largest ethnic group is White. Take for example, my home city of Toronto. Although it is racially diverse, you still see geographic and class-based racial segregation where the greatest chance of social interaction is between Whites and Asians; this is mostly wealth- and class-based since Asians are self-selected into higher income levels based on the immigration process.

    Furthermore, if Asian female outmarriage is simply due to exposure and not racial prejudice, why do we not see the same thing happening with Asian men and White women?

    Although Asian women participate in outmarriage more than men at the moment (again, with the caveat that female outmarriage is higher in part because of social circumstances that have encouraged female outmarriage over male, e.g. military stationing of American troops in the Asian theatre), there is no disproportionate trend of AF women specifically favouring Whites, whereas AM don’t. Of the AM who are in IR marriages, 90% or so are with White partners. So — why are Asian women choosing White partners if they out-marry? For the same reason Asian men choose White partners when they out-marry.

    30% of Asian women is still a lot.

    Not really; it’s all contextual, and reflects the growing acceptance of IR in younger generations. If you look at 2010 Census stats, 15% of all new marriages are between interracial partners, and those numbers have steadily increased. In aggregate, Hispanics and Asians both have outmarriage rates at 30%, and among native-born Asians, even men are outmarrying at about 30%.

    What you’re seeing is a growing acceptance of interracial marriage, with about a third of the younger generation not prioritizing same-race marriage. For a number of reasons, Asians have been “ahead of this curve” as I said above; but it’s a reflection of a pan-racial cultural shift that happens to have manifested in the APIA population sooner.

    Emphasis: Even US-born Asian men, who are outmarrying at rates higher than Whites.

    HOWEVER, when there’s only one group of women who’s doing it, and their preferences align perfectly with colonial notions of White male superiority over Asian males, then again, it behooves us to question what is going on.

    Except that’s just not true. By the stats.

    Why aren’t there more Asian women starting blogs fighting back against this one-sided portrayal?

    Hey, look, you’re commenting on one such blog post.

    I could also ask: where are all the Asian men starting feminist blogs that are interested exclusively in addressing issues affecting Asian American women (that aren’t really veiled attempts at subverting feminist arguments to advance the causes of Asian masculinity)?

    Maybe you left before we chased the likes of Sasaki Ken out of there, but we had zero tolerance for his kind of personal attacks.

    I watched what happened to Sasaki. I’m not talking about Sasaki. I’m talking about comments akin to “Asian women are *our* women” and “those who marry out are traitors” which isn’t limited to the sentiment expressed just by Sasaki. That kind of misogyny is pervasive in this debate, and goes unchallenged.

    Take a look at what Yun says above. He appears to assert that any Asian woman in an IR marriage — simply by virtue of being in that relationship — is a race traitor. Indieking argued on BigWOWO that Asian women were promiscuous, and wanted to catch STDs.

    Yes, folks stepped in and slapped Sasaki down — but when he attacked me, not when he generically spouts crap about women.

  88. @Pozhal

    Ultimately, our point of contention is A) how significant is this self-hating group, and B) what should Asian women do about it? Someone like me would say that the self-hating group is significantly large, and that Asian women should ideally do something to address those issues.

    Others (not sure if Jenn is among them) would say that it’s insignificant and not worth paying attention to.

    I say that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the proportion is large. When asked for evidence to support this conclusion, I have been pointed to: 1) six or so Hollywood celebrity WM/AF couples and the attitudes of the male in question, 2) anecdotal stories, and 3) general hypothesizing and hand-waving.

    This lack of evidence does not strongly support the conclusion that racist attitudes are pervasive in all or most interracial marriages.

    On the flip side, I have in my corner the reams of evidence that support the conclusion that mate choice among humans is complex, and dependent upon many factors, of which race is one of several competing variables. In other words, the reason why a person out-marries has something to do with race but a lot to do with other things, and so it is not parsimonious to conclude that race and racial fetishism is the single determining factor.

    As with any application of the scientific method, in the absence of solid and convincing evidence, it is reasonable to go with the negative hypothesis (i.e., racial fetishism is not a primary factor in Asian outmarriage) than it is to go with the positive hypothesis (i.e. all or most IRs are grounded in racism).

    As any good scientist, I am willing to revise my hypothesis when presented with convincing evidence. To date, that has not happened. What really surprises me is your interest in concluding that most Asian women in IR are racial fetishists, and your willingness to do so explicitly without scientific evidence — a perspective I find both cynical and unscientific. Like many Asian men on your side of the debate, you have adopted a pet theory, cherry-picked anecdotes that support your theory while disregarding any opposing evidence, and then challenge science to “prove you wrong”. That’s not a rational way to approach the world; it’s a dogmatic way.

    As to whether or not I’m being badgered — I’m not. But I am frustrated with this debate. Approximately 700 comments have been filed on this topic between this site and BigWOWO. It would be one thing if I felt like I am debating folks who are willing to keep an open-mind.

    But I don’t feel like I am. Can you demonstrate to me that there is some purpose to this “dialogue”, wherein there is SOME WAY that you or Yun or anyone else is willing to consider the flaws in your argument and/or expand the way you approach this debate? I have approached this debate with the purpose of understanding a viewpoint that is not my own, and have conceded points that I think are reasonable (for example, yes, I understand why some Asian men are angry; yes, some Asian women are fetishists; yes, this is a debate worth having.)

    I do not feel like that courtesy is being reciprocated. I feel like this has been, in the guise of “dialogue”, seen as a chance to browbeat an APIA woman with dogma and rhetoric without actually reading or fairly considering an alternate point of view. Am I wrong in this?

    I too would like to know what, concretely, can come of this dialogue. Otherwise, I also don’t really see the purpose. If you aren’t interested in learning about my side, just in convincing me I am “wrong”, than this has been a huge waste of my time.

    Having a “dialogue” isn’t enough if it’s not really a dialogue. And dialogue involves having an open-mind and being willing to reconsider your opinions. Can you demonstrate to me any impact that my participation has had on you? At all? If so, why am I continually being asked questions that I have engaged and responded to about 300 comments back (e.g. “why aren’t Asian men outmarrying at the same rates as Asian women?” which I have already responded directly to at least three times.)

    In short, Keith’s question is entirely appropriate and I am asking myself the same thing. What’s the point — from your end? Why are you doing this? If you’re not interested in listening to my side, than what do you hope to accomplish by having this debate?

  89. @Yun

    No amount of big words and rationalizing will explain it away.

    I’ve already said this, but hey, since we’re in the business of arguing in circles:

    1) Asian women are NOT the only group to engage in intermarriage. And not even at the published rates. Hispanic women, Black men, and even native-born Asian men all outmarry at approximately 30% of total marriages.

    2) Intermarriage is not an explicit rejection of one’s own race. And are Asian women (or Asian men, or people in general) supposed to favour our own race. Again, this wanders into anti-miscegenation territory, as if an interracial marriage is somehow sub-standard. Is this what you believe?

    Also, I really dislike your dismissal of what I have to say. It’s not just “big words”, and if that’s all what I have to say means to you, than I don’t see any point in further engaging. I deal with all arguments as debates wherein I judge the scientific merit. If you’re not interested in debating this from a rational and scientific perspective, than there really is no basis for further discussion. I can’t hope to have a reasonable discussion with someone who is only looking to solidify their own prejudices on the subject.

    No. Asian american women are more likely to date/marry out inside america.

    As I quoted to Pozhal, US-born Asian men and Asian women are outmarrying at high rates, as are virtually all younger generation people (both White and of colour). 30% of native-born Asian men outmarry, compared to 43% of native-born Asian women. The difference is only 13%, and both numbers are pretty consistent (and on the high side) with general intermarriage trends in this particular generation. The extra 13% for women vs. men within the APIA community could be a complex amalgamation of a lot of factors, but it would be an oversimplification to conclude that it’s entirely due to racial prejudice against Asian men.

  90. @Pozhal

    Let’s be real here. In your first comment to Keith, you dismissed him and told him to butt out with his “zero-value” contribution. This was in response to Keith asking what your purpose in engaging was (quite literally he said, “what’s your problem?”).

    He only used the language “tantrum” after you told him to butt out. Which — while totally within the limits of this comment policy — is something I think was a little rude.

    Just because this dialogue is hugely important to you, it’s important to remember that its importance is not shared by many other people. It was completely understandable for Keith — who is a regular reader on this site and whose input over the years I do value — to question why the sudden and rather pointed engagement on this thread, particularly since he didn’t have the context of BigWOWO. No need to tell him to butt out as your first engagement with him. You could have clued him in without dismissing him entirely.

  91. Jenn,

    The first thing that Keith said to me was, “What’s your problem?” You have to admit that that’s a very negative tone to begin a discussion. What if that was the first thing I said to you? Wouldn’t you think that I was being antagonistic and hostile, especially when my main message to you was basically to be quiet?

  92. Jenn,

    I’ve read that study too about how American-born Asian men outmarry at around 30%. I often point this out when some people try to make it seem as if Asian American men are doomed to die single and alone.

    However, as encouraging as that is, I also read a follow-up analysis of that study which showed that while the percentages were roughly equal, there were also a lot fewer Asian men getting married, period. So it could be that a lot of Asian men are simply being excluded from the marriage market due to racial discrimination, and that 30% figure is misleadingly optimistic. Then again, maybe some men are just waiting until later to get married because there isn’t as much social pressure on them to get married as there is on women.

    But I don’t see increasing IR relationships between AM and WF as a solution of any sort, because chances are, a lot of these Asian men will have some messed up ideas about Asian women too.

    Essentially, I want Asian Americans to stop looking up to White people so much, men OR women. If AMs start dating/marrying WFs more, but they’re doing so because they think Asian women are ugly or boring, I don’t see that as a victory of any kind.

    And the fact remains that it’s an easily observable phenomenon among Asian women that many of them discriminate against Asian men in favour of White men. It’s clear enough that people of other races can easily notice it too. This is a problem that needs to be addressed, and it’s not going to be solved because Asian men might soon be successfully self-hating at a similar rate as well. I think that’s an extremely shortsighted “solution.”

    I also never said that ALL or MOST IR relationships between AF and WM are based on fetishes and self-hate. I said that enough of them were that it constituted a real problem that needs to be addressed.

    As for people like IndieKing (and Awake & Alive), plenty of us have chastized him for his views. They’re more of gadflies though, so we may not have been able to police him every single time. Sasaki Ken was so extreme that we all had to jump in. But I do agree that we can all do a better job of curtailing the more extremist members of our group.

    As for positive and negative arguments, does the proof that I provided count for nothing? I’m not saying that they’re conclusive, but they support what many in our society (including non-Asians) can readily observe in the power dynamics between Asians and Whites.

    I am not trying to convince you that you’re wrong. I am trying to see what your thought process is. Discussions aren’t battles for conversions. To me, they’re more about learning what the other side is, even if you disagree with them.

    We agree on a lot of things. You think Asian women self-hate is a real problem. I think that Asian male misogyny/douchebaggery is a problem too. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been frustrated by some Asian male “crusaders” who say dumb things like how they’re not attracted to Black women. It just makes me want to punch a wall.

    So, you know, let’s try to work together and talk about the stuff that frustrates us and makes us uncomfortable. Our discussions don’t have to revolutionize our society overnight, but the more we talk about it, the fewer misunderstandings that we’ll have and there’ll be less resentment festering underground.

  93. Hey Jenn and Pozhal (and others),

    Just dropping in, and I took a quick read of what went down after my site went down (and I haven’t had time to do the tech stuff yet, Jenn, but I will!).

    Here’s something that Pozhal said:

    “So, you know, let’s try to work together and talk about the stuff that frustrates us and makes us uncomfortable. Our discussions don’t have to revolutionize our society overnight, but the more we talk about it, the fewer misunderstandings that we’ll have and there’ll be less resentment festering underground.”

    Let me pose a challenge question. Is this really what you want, Pozhal? Do you really want to talk about stuff that frustrates you and makes you uncomfortable? I think many of us think that that is what we want, but I wonder if it really is. I think what you really want (and what most of us really want) is just for things to get better. And for that reason, maybe this topic should actually be getting less attention so that we can focus on areas where we can get better.

  94. BigWowo,

    I think that in order for things to get better, we have to talk about some of our pent-up feelings and misunderstandings. There’s clearly a lot of volatility on both sides, and just further suppressing it for the sake of keeping up appearances or being conflict-averse won’t work, IMHO.

    So think of it like this:

    Step 1) Talk about issues and see where the other side is coming from so that our misconceptions (e.g. “All Asian women are self-hating white-worshipping whores” or “All Asian men are ugly and dweeby little chauvinists”) are replaced with examples of real people with real life experiences and stories.

    Step 2) Having bridged the divide somewhat, work together towards a creating a future where there won’t be as much estrangement.

  95. @bigWOWO

    Do you really want to talk about stuff that frustrates you and makes you uncomfortable? I think many of us think that that is what we want, but I wonder if it really is. I think what you really want (and what most of us really want) is just for things to get better. And for that reason, maybe this topic should actually be getting less attention so that we can focus on areas where we can get better.

    I actually think it’s good to talk about things that make us uncomfortable (hence commenting on mental health/suicide post in the first place), but I also think we should do so with a mind towards our goals, particularly tangible ones. What is the purpose of having the conversation? With mental health/depression/suicide, the goal is to raise awareness and combat general myths, largely because it is the silence that is adversely impacting diagnosis and treatment within our community.

    I do think that the IR debate suffers from a loss of focus. After as many comments on this subject as we have had, it’s unclear to me what Pozhal wants to concretely achieve, when speaking to me or someone else. Beyond just “being heard”, what is the ideal outcome? Less IR? More Asian male dating/marriage? I’m basically at a loss as to what — within the community — the desired endpoint is. Maybe Pozhal or Yun can weigh in on this?

  96. The aim is to make the “IR disparity” the “singular point of rage” for Asian men. As someone else has casually mentioned.

    This is an evolution of the method. Apparently, things like the casual racism, the social predation, the cultural attrition are too complicated to understand for the Asian male idiots born into it, whose sole wish is to be accepted as an honorary white.

    Then you take a direct result of everything that has acted on the Asian man as a policy of mass psychology and the only thing that stands out is why can’t he get a date and why is he desired less than a lesser white man.

    This acts on his mind constantly. Therefore you have it. A tool of recruitment that acts on the emotional level, like Oprah Winfrey does to stupid women, except that the grouse is there but there is no solution because just like Oprah Winfrey it’s all about catharsis and constant outpourings of mass emotion, like synchronised menses.

  97. The Bloody Handed,

    I think the focus tends to be on IR because:

    1) It’s so personal because everyone has, or wants, relationship experience.

    2) It’s perhaps the most visible manifestation of the power imbalance between Asians and Whites.

  98. Jenn,

    If I had to sum up what I want, I’d probably say this: I want Asian Americans to be comfortable with themselves.

    I don’t care about the IR disparity in and of itself. What I mean is that if we lived in a world where both AMs and AFs had equal opportunity to date outside, but for whatever reason, AMs chose not to, then I’d be fine with it. The problem now is that the disparity is not one that is borne out of AMs’ choice. Moreover, some AFs’ decision to be in IR relationships have been influenced by racist and sexist ideas.

    I don’t mean to be solipsistic, but I always have to go back to my own upbringing. There was a time in my life when I didn’t want to be Asian. I blamed a lot of my family’s problems on the fact that we were Asian. I had little access to Asian media and pop culture so I could only interpret myself through the experiences of White people, only I knew that I wasn’t White. I thought of my Asianness as a burden to overcome.

    Maybe you never went through the same thing. If you did, you’re probably the rare 1% of Asian Americans who never had to deal with these issues.

    So I want Asian Americans to work together to build greater appreciation, pride, and confidence in our identities. Personally, I always feel a little uncomfortable when I’m hanging out with all Asian Americans because I get the uneasy feeling that we’re all aware that we’re here just because we’re Asian and that means we don’t fit in with Whites or Blacks. But beyond that, we have nothing else in common besides our Asianness, which is something a lot of us are trying to escape from anyway by dating/marrying White people.

    I know that that’s not a very concrete answer, but I think it all has to start with better communication between Asian American men and women. This isn’t simply about expanding dating options for Asian men because, as I said earlier, if we have high rates of IR relationships between AMs and XFs, but it’s predicated on self-hate on the part of AMs, that’s no progress at all.

  99. @Pozhal

    I see what you’re saying but it strikes me that the IR debate is something of a symbolic one, but one that won’t address underlying racial iniquity. You said yourself that it’s something visible, ergo easy to discuss (and to exact social shaming). But it’s a little like that age-old adage of losing one’s keys in the dark, and looking under the streetlamp because that’s the place with the light.

    Also, your speculation about why marriage rates are on the decline among Asian men being explained by some sort of racist stereotyping resulting in failure to have marriageable opportunities also seems like reaching to me. Marriage rates are, in general, declining in the younger generation. And marriage rates are generally lower for young men than young women (a kind of weird number if you think about heterosexual marriage being between one man and one woman, but makes sense if you think that men tend to marry a little later in life than women, so if you’re examining marriage patterns within a specific young age group, you’ll have fewer married men than women).

    Ultimately, this whole debate strikes me as a lot of focus on an undefined “problem”. Might there be some Asian women with fetishes? Of course. But if even you don’t think this is a large segment of the population, wouldn’t our time be better spent on more widespread social problems that affect a larger segment of the population? Previously, I thought you were arguing that all or most Asian women in IR were racist — okay, then maybe that might support your argument as to why this issue deserves attention. But if you think only a small fraction of Asian women are racist, than we’re talking about the attitudes of what — 1%? 5%? — of Asian women?

    You will find problematic attitudes in ANY fraction of ANY population. If this isn’t a pervasive phenomenon, I’m losing sight of why this issue is of such primacy to you.

  100. Jenn,

    This isn’t the only issue that matters to me, but it is one that affects us on an everyday personal level the most, so it almost inevitably gets brought up. I also don’t always get a chance to talk about it with an Asian woman, so that’s why this exchange has gone on for so long.

    But I am deeply interested in other matters as well. Media representation of Asians and Asian pop culture are big issues for me because of how much they can impact Asian American self-identity. Appreciation of Asian art, history, and architecture is very important for me as well.

    These are more abstract ideas though, and it’s not as easy to just talk about in free-flowing fashion.

  101. Hey Jenn,

    I haven’t forgotten about this discussion. There’s a lot to digest but I’ll get back to you.

    In the meantime, it’s interesting that you put the 1-5% out there, which implies this is some minor issue. I don’t think it is.

    The reason am(s) like me keep trying to focus on this is in the larger context, this is a divide and conquer strategy that must be stopped if you truly want Asian empowerment. I wish you would see things more holistically.

    How does the west fight the one group of people who seem to prosper no matter where they go? Break their family unit up. How do you do that? Make the men seem like losers to the entire nation using every means available. Hopefully, they’ll learn to hate themselves and be ashamed of their ethnicity, which a lot do. If you truly succeed, the women will learn to hate the men from their own group and openly insult them – which some do.

    When the genders can’t even cooperate together to acknowledge and fix an obvious issue that affects 50% of the group (that’s pretty large since you’re interested in solving big problems), how can anything move forward? Asian men and women are supposed to be on the same team, but we’re too divided – All Asians are too divided – spineless greed, intra-racism, ashamed of their identity, ir disparity, fob vs western Asian, etc. Too. Many. Divisions.

    No one even takes am(s) seriously when even Asian females don’t take us seriously.

    Take for instance, the hypersexualization of af(s). Who does that to af(s)? It’s not am(s)? It’s whites/jews – the same guys many af(s) end up with. Why? That makes no sense. Some Af(s) want to give us am(s) shit and yet the people who are treating them like sex objects deserve their praise? I don’t know if the stories about mistresses/cheating in Asia is true (that’s another matter to address. I’m currently speaking about the west)

    If I’m a white guy, I’d be laughing at these af(s) who willingly “date” me while we turn them into racist cartoons for our perverse enjoyment. The icing on the cake is watching these af(s) insult the very guys who are trying to shed light on the issue.

    We can’t defend and we can’t attack because we’re divided. It looks retarded. It’d be like one sports team watching their opponents bicker, lynch, and steal from each other. The team can easily stroll past them and win the game without breaking a sweat – while being cheered on by a bunch of females on the opposing team. It’s ridiculous.

    I wrote a long email a while back re: the issues that af(s) face. I’m not sure if it fell through the cracks. You can reply to the email if you want to keep your thoughts private.

    Again, I’m writing my response to the stats you brought up earlier. I’ll try to post it by Thursday.

  102. each section is separated with ===========

    my replies marked with >>>>>

    =============

    “What you’re seeing is a growing acceptance of interracial marriage, with about a third of the younger generation not prioritizing same-race marriage. For a number of reasons, Asians have been “ahead of this curve” as I said above; but it’s a reflection of a pan-racial cultural shift that happens to have manifested in the APIA population sooner.

    Emphasis: Even US-born Asian men, who are outmarrying at rates higher than Whites.”

    >>>>>>>>>>
    -This argument is broken. Whites don’t marry out as much because they don’t even have the option to. They’re the majority. There wouldn’t be enough minorities to go around. Assuming as many whites marry out as possible, it would MAX out at 42% or so.

    =============

    “@Pozhal

    Ultimately, our point of contention is A) how significant is this self-hating group, and B) what should Asian women do about it? Someone like me would say that the self-hating group is significantly large, and that Asian women should ideally do something to address those issues.

    Others (not sure if Jenn is among them) would say that it’s insignificant and not worth paying attention to.

    I say that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the proportion is large. When asked for evidence to support this conclusion, I have been pointed to: 1) six or so Hollywood celebrity WM/AF couples and the attitudes of the male in question, 2) anecdotal stories, and 3) general hypothesizing and hand-waving.

    This lack of evidence does not strongly support the conclusion that racist attitudes are pervasive in all or most interracial marriages.

    On the flip side, I have in my corner the reams of evidence that support the conclusion that mate choice among humans is complex, and dependent upon many factors, of which race is one of several competing variables. In other words, the reason why a person out-marries has something to do with race but a lot to do with other things, and so it is not parsimonious to conclude that race and racial fetishism is the single determining factor.”

    >>>>>>>>>>
    1. what? Those were just a few small examples in the lists of examples given to you by everyone. Have you forgotten all the other examples?

    Let’s recap (the ones I can remember)
    the ONLY group females to not prefer their own men.
    eye lid surgery (they could be emulating whites or other Asians so who knows for sure) – very likely indicates self hate though. After all, why else would you change yourself? You don’t see anyone getting surgery to get so called chink eyes.
    af/wm marriages divorce at 4x the rate of af/am marriages, which indicates they probably clashed well before getting married but married in spite of the huge warning signs. This is a huge red flag to me.
    “I only date white guys”
    adopt and worship white culture
    hate on am(s)
    hate on/want nothing to do with their culture
    make fun of fob(s)
    idiots making more “progressive” af/wm films

    2. anecdotes by the legions of people (Asian and non-Asian) living in California, NY, and even Asia about how easy it is for a wm to get an af or how they see 7-8 wm/af for every am/xf . It’s become something of a sick joke where even moron am make fun of themselves for. By the way, ny and cali are the two biggest groups of Asians populations in usa. If there were “growing acceptance of interracial marriage”, then I’d expect to see some massive am/xf numbers to counter balance all these af/wm couples.

    3. What have am(s) in this debate have waved? Until this reply, you haven’t brought up any stats (which I will get to later). On the other hand, all the examples we bring up have been pseudo countered with “it’s complicated”.

    Also, no one claimed that all or most interracial marriages have racist attitudes, but I wouldn’t doubt that a large minority up to a small majority do.

    =============
    “1) Asian women are NOT the only group to engage in intermarriage. And not even at the published rates. Hispanic women, Black men, and even native-born Asian men all outmarry at approximately 30% of total marriages.”

    >>>>>>>>>>
    I never said af are the only group.

    =============
    “2) Intermarriage is not an explicit rejection of one’s own race. And are Asian women (or Asian men, or people in general) supposed to favour our own race. Again, this wanders into anti-miscegenation territory, as if an interracial marriage is somehow sub-standard. Is this what you believe?”

    >>>>>>>>>>
    The act itself is not. However, the choice of partners and their behavior is. I married a white guy = ok, whatever. I married a white guy and he’s better than all you am(s) = fucked in the head. Stop mixing up the things that I say. Ya, people are supposed to favor their own race. Think about it. Familiar and compatible physical traits, culture, language, and experiences. Also, did you know af/wm marriages divorce at 400% the rate of af/am? Where’s the compatibility? Doesn’t make any sense. If these people were so in love with each other, you wouldn’t see such insane divorce rates. If anything, you’d see less divorces.

    =============
    “Also, I really dislike your dismissal of what I have to say. It’s not just “big words”, and if that’s all what I have to say means to you”

    >>>>>>>>>>
    Up until this point, you didn’t show any stats. You basically wrote long essays to handwave evidence so I stand behind the words used at the time. Yes, you do use big words like amalgamation and parsimonious. I have no doubt you’re intelligent but I just want to see the main points. My problem isn’t that you write a lot. It’s that you say very little in a lot of space and you generaly don’t counter any of our points.

    =============
    “As I quoted to Pozhal, US-born Asian men and Asian women are outmarrying at high rates, as are virtually all younger generation people (both White and of colour). 30% of native-born Asian men outmarry, compared to 43% of native-born Asian women. The difference is only 13%”

    >>>>>>>>>>
    13% here = am marry out 33% less than af and af marry out 50% higher than am. That’s very high either way you look at it.

    Furthemore, how many of those am(s) married out because they can’t find a af? I wonder if these am(s) chose to marry out or were forced to out of necessity

    =============
    “30% of Asian women is still a lot.

    Not really; it’s all contextual, and reflects the growing acceptance of IR in younger generations. If you look at 2010 Census stats, 15% of all new marriages are between interracial partners, and those numbers have steadily increased. In aggregate, Hispanics and Asians both have outmarriage rates at 30%, and among native-born Asians, even men are outmarrying at about 30%.””

    >>>>>>>>>>

    what?! It was 43% and now it’s 30%?!?!! I’m lost

    anyways, re: contextual

    Odd that you write about context yet you ignore the fact that the total number of immigrants has risen rapidly in the past several decades.

    Figure 1 shows very significant growth in the foreign-born both in absolute numbers and as a share of the total population since 1970. The immigrant population in 2010 was double that of 1990, nearly triple that of 1980, and quadruple that of 1970, when it stood at 9.6 million. The increase in the size of the immigrant population has been so dramatic (20.2 million) in the last two decades that just this growth is double the size of the entire foreign-born population in 1970 or even 1900

    see this
    http://cis.org/2012-profile-of-americas-foreign-born-population#labor
    Immigrants in the United States, 2010: A Profile of America’s Foreign-Born Population | Center for Immigration Studies

    That number doesn’t even factor in the number of kids created by those immigrants either. I’m hesitant to conclude that any of the numbers you’ve posted prove a growing acceptance. It MAY suggest growing acceptance but it’s inconclusive. It MAY suggest more options to go interracial.

    =============
    The extra 13% for women vs. men within the APIA community could be a complex amalgamation of a lot of factors, but it would be an oversimplification to conclude that it’s entirely due to racial prejudice against Asian men.

    >>>>>>>>>>
    again….with the handwaving…Even people outside of the Asian community know am are screwed with bad stereotypes but to you, there are “complex amalgamation of factors”.

    go ask anyone the top 3 sterotypes of Asian men are. Fighting for the top spot are microdick and asexual loser. “teh evul patriarchy” is also quite the contender and could turn out to be the darkhorse of this battle.

    =============
    “Take a look at what Yun says above. He appears to assert that any Asian woman in an IR marriage — simply by virtue of being in that relationship — is a race traitor. Indieking argued on BigWOWO that Asian women were promiscuous, and wanted to catch STDs.”

    and

    “This lack of evidence does not strongly support the conclusion that racist attitudes are pervasive in all or most interracial marriages.”

    >>>>>>>>>>
    You’re putting words in my mouth

    I didn’t say they’re traitors. I said their behavior is highly suspect. I definitely feel betrayed (but that’s on me and I know that) but I also said they can date whoever they want. I just hope they’re not doing it because they hate their Asian origins because of the stereotyping of Asians and specifically of Asian men. When did indieking say af WANT stds?!?! Asian women ARE promiscuous. Look up the std stats. They have higher stds than white chicks, who are already known as being loose. AND they have 4x the std rates of am.

    I never said most, but I did say a significant number of them are. These girls are vocal about dating wm to the exclusion of am and they shed every last trace of their culture because of being brainwashed to associate ONLY thick accents, ugly, nerdy, submissiveness, quiet, and mindless obedience with their culture. They adopt the idiotic mentality that white is right. If they would actually study white culture, they would realize it’s a giant farce with a few exceptions.

    =============

    “your stats”

    >>>>>>>>>>
    We’re not trying to beat you into submission. This is the first time I’m aware that you countered with statistics instead of telling us it’s “complex”.

    Here are some holes in your stats

    Heads up, there’s a gap between af/am for married and unmarried. The stats you’re pulling up refer to those who managed to get married. I crunched some numbers and found something interesting. You can see the stats at the end of this post.

    There are MORE af than am in america YET there are MORE unmarried am than af. I seriously doubt, they are “playaz 4 life” types. At the same time, I don’t know what the source of the af are – maybe it’s warbrides, mail order brides, or some other completely umbalanced racial-dynamic travesty.

    Nowhere are these numbers consistent with other ethnicities.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interracial_marriage_in_the_United_States#Asian_and_White
    Among all newlyweds in 2008, 9% of whites, 16% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 31% of Asians married someone whose race or ethnicity was different from their own

    But wait! There’s more!

    These numbers are hilarious for so many reasons:

    a. They don’t separate males and females.

    Black males marry out something like 3x more than bf. Af are 50% more likely to marry out than am. Looking at out marriage rates is a lot like looking at the income per capita of a nation instead of looking at income by Blacks vs whites vs Asians, by geography, etc. That would tell a very different story as it does here.

    b. How can we conclude anything off the category hispanics? I read and re-read and I still can’t understand what it is exactly. What is the statisical mixture of appearances? Are hispanics mostly white looking hapas that are the product of invasion and rape? Are they mostly Blacks?, Native Indian?

    -Hispanic refers to the spanish diaspora, or anywhere conquered by Spaniards…could be white, bunch of south american countries, half white-half bunch of south american countries, Black, Asian

    -I think this label is very confusing when discussing race. By this way of definiton, hk was once full of brits and Philipinos are/were hispanic. Are Philipinos Asian or Hispanic??

    According to a definition I’ve seen in some census data, Hispanic”Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Spanish-speaking Central or South American countries, or other Hispanic/Latino, regardless of race. ”

    Yet the problem remains, there are a mix of different looking people living in south american countries….

    Anyways….

    -we already know bf get shafted and bm get a boost so the black part of this can be ruled out for equality and the half white and half mexican people look practically white or a tanned white. The only question remains is the vague catchall, “south americans”, who often look like tanned white people too. That doesn’t sound progressive at all.

    Only by understanding those percentages could I even begin to make any sense of these numbers. For example, here are some hispanics…

    Just look at them
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans.

    If you didn’t tell me their last names, I would’ve assumed they’re all white. This may be due to hollywood’s racist casting choices.

    If this is the typical white/hispanic pairing then it’s as progressive as a white/hapa pairing.

    c. Furthermore, interracial marriage rates are far lower than interracial dating rates.

    It’s weird isn’t it. We’re back at square one.

    We’re back to Black men with hypermasculine imagery, Black women being desexualized with the loud obnoxious/finger snapping/fat imagery, submissive Asian female sex toy or dragon lady sex toy, and of course, everyone’s favorite, the dickless Asian eunuch. Horay!!

    =============
    “Anecdotal” is a nice way to brush off overwhelming evidence. There are all kinds of people living in NY and California that routinely observe almost exclusively af with wm pairings.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    When non-Asians consistently observe am(s) are getting screwed over, it’s still “anecdotal” to you…

    Your use of the word, “anecdotal”, is akin to telling a few billion people that their observation that the sun is bright is anecdotal and thus invalid.

    =============

    “So — why are Asian women choosing White partners if they out-marry? For the same reason Asian men choose White partners when they out-marry.”

    ” Asian Americans tend to live in very diverse areas such as NYC and LA where the population is decidedly NOT 80% White.

    Most Asian Americans tend to live in urban areas — and within those areas, in ethnic enclaves or in some cases wealthier neighborhoods — where in many cases the next largest ethnic group is White. Take for example, my home city of Toronto. Although it is racially diverse, you still see geographic and class-based racial segregation where the greatest chance of social interaction is between Whites and Asians; this is mostly wealth- and class-based since Asians are self-selected into higher income levels based on the immigration process.”

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The segregation sounds sensible. I can’t comment on the immigration process of self-selecting wealthy people.

    However, this shows that many immigrants whether Asian or not have very high education levels. Does self selecting work non-Asians?
    http://cis.org/node/3876#attainment

    calculation comes in two parts

    1. I found the total number of marriages split by am(s) and af(s)
    http://www.census.gov/population/race/files/ppl-ac11/ac11tab2.xls

    group / Asian male / Asian female / Difference
    total number of people / 5424 / 6076 / ——-> -652000 286000 3,968,000 <——- total eliglble am bachelors

    3. Finally, if you take the first two numbers and add them, you'll get surprisingly close to 1 million. *VERY* Roughly speaking, if af and am populations were equal in usa, there would be 1 million out of 4 million eligible am bachelors who never married – 25%. That's big.

  103. “We’re not trying to beat you into submission. This is the first time I’m aware that you countered with statistics instead of telling us it’s “complex”.”

    Absolutely not true. I have cited Asian-Nation repeatedly — those posts were lost in Byron’s reset, but they were there. When I cited them, they were -literally- ignored by most people commenting on the thread. I was also told “I don’t care about science, I care about my own experiences” — so I stopped using numbers-based arguments.

    But, even CN Le of Asian-Nation, who is the foremost academic studying outmarriage as it relates to Asian Americans, says it’s complex. His numbers are pretty much the only numbers out there relating to out-marriage. So, yes, it is also complex.

    And it’s really not my problem that I use “big words”. I’m really taken aback and put off that you are trying to shame me in it. If you don’t understand my counter-arguments because my vocabulary is too big, I don’t seen how it’s productive to blame me for it.

    Honestly, with your attitude, I’m not sure it’s productive in general to be arguing with you.

    Basically, you need to decide: do you want to hear the stats? Because CN Le has them, and I’ve quoted them to you before. But they don’t support your argument.

    Or, if you don’t want to hear the numbers, which is what I was told in the LAST 400 comments by some people (I honestly don’t remember who it was), don’t come back and tell me I’m not giving you enough numbers.

  104. @Pozhal

    This isn’t the only issue that matters to me, but it is one that affects us on an everyday personal level the most, so it almost inevitably gets brought up. I also don’t always get a chance to talk about it with an Asian woman, so that’s why this exchange has gone on for so long.

    Fair enough. But I think it would be helpful to see a willingness to discuss unrelated issues without it veering back to IR, then. Like — was it really necessary to have a discussion about female APIA mental health that didn’t turn into IR?

    Frankly, I’ve spoken about this topic a lot with APIA men and women, and I’ve only ever encountered this kind of vehemence on the topic in very certain corners of the Internet. I know I’ve raised this before, but it’s not as if I haven’t had IRL conversations with APIA men about it. Most just don’t share the sentiments that I’ve dealt with on these comments threads. Given that some of these people are related to me, others are among my best friends, I don’t see how it’s possible that this problem is as pervasive as you claim, yet never shows up in my RL interactions even when I ask about them.

    Most folks I’ve spoken to IRL talk about masculinity and dating, don’t express any of the anger and victimization I see here — i.e., they say “sure, folks might see me as not as masculine as the next guy, but that’s okay. I do just fine.”

    None I’ve spoken to ever care about AF/WM outmarriage.
    ***

    For someone like myself, I think there would be a lot more credibility that this issue isn’t disproportionately focused on if I could see examples where a topic can be discussed outside of this context. But I don’t. On sites like MM, F44, even BigWOWO, it feels like EVERY post is about IR.

  105. @Yun:

    “calculation comes in two parts”

    You’ve generally lost me on what you’re trying to prove. But it’s worth noting that regardless of race, men marry later than women, and so, based on how you collect marriage rate numbers, you’ll typically get a lower marriage rate for men than women (it’s kind a weird artifact of how demographics data are collected, that’s not necessarily intuitive).

    So yes, for marriage-aged men and women, there will typically be more single men than single women. That’s still true in Asian American communities, and has to do with gender-specific attitudes on marriage. So, I’m not sure what point you’re making.

  106. Jenn,

    I think the mental health thread blew up into an IR discussion because you started posting and a lot of us wanted an AF’s perspective. Perhaps it was heading in that direction, but I don’t think it would’ve exploded had you not been there.

  107. Perhaps it wouldn’t’ve blown up had I not posted, but I was responding to indieking, who was the 5th comment into the thread, who postulated that the entire phenomenon of AF suicide was due to outmarriage.

    I’m not saying YOU would’ve taken the conversation that way, but indieking did, and his comment was up there unchallenged for at least a day or so before I commented in response, arguing that the debate shouldn’t be about IR.

  108. Jenn,

    A few points

    a. I’m waiting for your counter arguments.

    b. I’ve read and just re-read CN Lee’s study again.

    http://www.asian-nation.org/interracial2.shtml

    Here are the highlights to explain why out marriages are happening – from his own page that you’re sourcing.

    1. One theory emphasizes that marrying a White person is the ultimate form of assimilation (see the article on “Assimilation and Ethnic Identity”) and signifies full acceptance by White society.

    2. The related theory of hypergamy would also suggest that Asian Americans marry Whites to increase their social status

    3. other issue that comes into play here is how Asian women are frequently fetishized.

    4. Another theory argues that, due to the Women’s Rights and feminist movements in recent decades, some White men now find White women to be too independent and strong-willed. See creepy weirdos known as mgtow

    5. *******These critics point out that in most areas of popular American culture, rarely do you see the opposite happening — Asian males being the subjects of infatuation or sexual desire by White women. In fact, these critics point out that Asian males have been and continue to be purposely portrayed as non-sexual martial arts experts, nerds and geeks, or evil villains and that this portrayal serves to eliminate Asian males as potential rivals to White males for the affection of Asian women. These critics also note that it is the saddest irony when Asian women either allow themselves to be objectified and fetishized or when they buy into and accept these demeaning portrayals of Asian men and eliminate them as potential partners.********

    6. As one particularly stark example of the “cultural penalty” that many Asian American men face when it comes to dating and overcoming the cultural stereotypes against them, a team of economists at MIT

    White women in the study would also consider dating men or color, but only if he made more money than a comparable White man, as follows:

    Latino American men: + $77,000
    African American men: + $154,000
    Asian American men: + $246,000

    7. Of course, this wouldn’t be complete without a glorious act of handwaving.

    “What these criticisms don’t mention is why Asian Americans sometimes marry within their ethnic group. Sometimes, particularly for young Asian immigrant women, they are pressured or forced into marrying within their own ethnic group by family members and cultural traditions. These critiques also don’t point out that patriarchy and sexism still exists within many elements of traditional Asian culture”

    How absurd. First of all, where’s the patriarchy when wm can EASILY get af when they travel to Asia? Second, instead of blaming “teh evul patriarchy” why don’t they discsuss the obvious advantages that encourage two Asian immigrants to pair up: they can actually communicate properly, share similar cultures, haven’t been brainwashed by self-hate promoting media.

    The “teh evul patriarchy” in explaining this is such nonsense. Why is the divorce rate 400% higher in af/wm pairings than in af/am pairings?

    In the earlier discussion about Asian female mental health it was noted that the longer an af immigrant lives in the usa, the more depressed/suicidcal she becomes. Don’t you think there may be a link?

    c. I’m not the one who’s ignoring your stats. I am the one who is questioning them. See above for my analysis. The reason why every discussion devolves into the ir issue is because it’s the one issue that pisses off half of Asians yet you seem to think it’s a non-issue that should be set aside to tackle “bigger problems” like going from the longest living/healthiest group in usa to becoming immortals.

  109. “On sites like MM, F44, even BigWOWO, it feels like EVERY post is about IR.”

    It’s because of the commenters. A significant majority of posts are not about IR, but the IR posts generate the most comments. Even posts that aren’t IR often become IR posts because of the comments.

    Years ago, I said that IR was the issue that most affects the greatest number of Asian men, more than workplace discrimination or racial violence. I continue to agree with my prior assessment, but I also think Asian men need to expand into other areas of interest, such as the many, many other non-IR topics we all blog about.

  110. Jenn,

    IndieKing doesn’t represent all of us, and he’s one of the more extreme posters whom we often poke fun of.

    I agree with BigWowo on why IR always tends to be a hot topic. Asians face discrimination in many areas, whether it be in promotions, media representation, politics, etc.

    But not all of us have experienced workplace discrimination because we’re Asian. Not all of us have ever been denied a movie role because we’re Asian. Not all of us have ever lost an election because we’re Asian.

    But all of us have experienced either explicit or implicit racial discrimination in relationships because we’re Asian. It’s the most common experience among us.

    I think you have to be an Asian guy to understand this. Or perhaps a Black woman, which is why I find that Black women are some of our most sympathetic supporters on the internet.

  111. @Byron

    It’s because of the commenters. A significant majority of posts are not about IR, but the IR posts generate the most comments. Even posts that aren’t IR often become IR posts because of the comments.

    Years ago, I said that IR was the issue that most affects the greatest number of Asian men, more than workplace discrimination or racial violence. I continue to agree with my prior assessment, but I also think Asian men need to expand into other areas of interest, such as the many, many other non-IR topics we all blog about.

    Sure, and I think this is an issue you addressed in your “bottom tier” post. I don’t mean to criticize your attempts to draw people away from IR — a quick perusal of your headlines makes it clear that you don’t typically POST on IR.

    But the instinct of your commentors to turn the conversation to IR speaks to an inability to expand their own political mindset beyond this single issue. It’s political tunnel vision, one that can become frustrating for activists like myself who a) disagree that all or most issues can be devolved down to IR, and b) who find the conversation over IR marginally offensive personally and politically. It’s hard to build a bridge with people who constantly want to focus on one conversation, particularly when that conversation is explicitly exclusive to Asian women, and/or anyone who disagrees.

    As for whether or not IR is the foremost issue affecting Asian men, this is a point I’d like to examine. Why do we say IR is the issue that affects Asian men the most? As pointed out above, outmarriage occurs in only about 20-30% (at most) of all APIA marriages, is falling, and in new marriages is roughly equal between men and women. If the argument is that many Asian women hold racist views against Asian men, even in this thread we have two disagreeing opinions: Pozhal says the fraction of Asian women who might hold these attitudes is small, whereas Yun thinks it’s massive.

    What I fail to understand is why folks think it’s -IR- that is the problem, rather than emasculation. You might think those are the same things, but I would assert that it’s not: while I think we can all agree that emasculation of Asian men has happened in media, where we disagree is in the link to IR, a link that even appears to be inconsistently framed when you speak to various members of “your side”. The focus on IR is actually IMO distracting from the root problem of emasculation, which is what I think is at the root of Asian male rage. In short, I think this constant discussion on IR is self-sabotaging for Asian men as a way to avoid talking about what really bothers — instead, by talking about IR, you can blame and shame someone else (i.e. Asian women) for the problems of Asian men, instead of focusing on how to actually address emasculation stereotypes both societally (i.e. via Hollywood) and within oneself.

    As for your blog, Byron, I would also submit that if you don’t WANT your blog to be a bastion of IR debate, than it will require a stricter moderation hand. While it’s important to not be dictatorial with your comment and let conversation flow relatively freely, if you agree even a little bit with me (and maybe you don’t, and that’s okay) that the IR focus is self-sabotaging, than it is more productive to force the debate to stay on the topic of your posts, rather than letting it spin out of control into IR over and over again.

  112. @Pozhal

    That makes sense to me. But, again, why then the focus on Asian women? If you have faced problems dating, why not focus on the stereotypes that have contributed to that negative perspective from dating partners?

    Why instead spin around looking for ways to a) blame Asian women in general, and those who marry out specifically by projecting attitudes onto them that are unproven and even by your own admission not widespread, and b) focus on relationships that are not yours? It’s arguably distracting, petty, pointless and none of your business.

    I sympathize with feeling like you’re disadvantaged in the dating market. This was why I pointed out that I’m a curvy Asian girl with muscles — I get what it’s like to not feel as desired as someone else based on a fundamental aspect of who I am. It’s unfair, and it hurts, and it makes you angry.

    A lot of women blame skinny women for being the object of desire. A lot of women blame the men who only date skinny women for being superficial douchebags who can’t break out of Westernized beauty image ideals. And there’s valid emotional reasons to do that.

    But importantly, none of that bitterness a) addresses the specific reason why YOU are not desired (Westernized beauty image ideals themselves, and b) helps you actually get a mate. Really, framing your hurt and anger against the people who are “winning” at the game is really just a way to wallow in your own losses, while not actually doing anything productive to improve things for yourself and others.

    When I walk down the street and see a skinny girl with a man, I can be angry that I’m not that skinny girl, or angry at that guy for being with her. Or, I can recognize that skinny girls exist in the world; superficial guys exist in the world; and that all of us are victims of a system of oppression that should be the real focus of my rage — Westernized beauty ideals.

    Similarly, it feels to me like Asian men spend more time thinking of ways to rationalize why they should be angry at the Asian woman they see who is not throwing themselves at them, than actually dismantling the system of oppression that affects them. It’s a way of painting the Asian man as the powerless victim, and Asian women as the victimizer (just by making her own personal choices) that may speak to your rage, but which is ultimately an unrealistic solution (because Asian women couldn’t and shouldn’t be told en masse whom they should and shouldn’t marry); all serving as political distraction.

  113. @Yun

    “waiting for counter-arguments.”

    You’ve received 400 comments on this subject. You should already have a pretty good sense of where I’m coming from. Specific counter-arguments will be slow because a) we’ve been doing this for a month, and I’m about reaching the end of my patience, b) everytime I post something, you post another 1000 word essay that requires reading and responding to. There’s one of me, and at least two of you (three if we count Byron). I’m trying to give everyone the proper attention without getting pissed. I also have a day job that I have neglected to write comments on this subject — one day over at Byron’s site, I spent 4hrs (straight) reading and responding to everyone in the thread; an effort that was pretty much unappreciated. I think you should be able to understand why that cannot continue to happen. I’ll continue to stay on top of this topic, but it’s unrealistic to expect me to continue to devote that kind of time.

    Re: CN Le and theories

    If you read his page closely, he spends the first half of the page defending his statistics. The part you are quoting is Le addressing the many theories that exist about intermarriage.

    Immediately following the part you cite, but which you neglect to cite, CN Le says this (emphasis mine):

    As I noted, these theories and criticisms can sound rather one-sided. However painful or grating they may be, it is necessary for us to look at how both Asian American men and women can become the targets of objectification and how this reinforces and perpetuates ethnic stereotypes against both. Fortunately, that is not always the story for many, even most interracial relationships.

    What these criticisms don’t mention is why Asian Americans sometimes marry within their ethnic group. Sometimes, particularly for young Asian immigrant women, they are pressured or forced into marrying within their own ethnic group by family members and cultural traditions. These critiques also don’t point out that patriarchy and sexism still exists within many elements of traditional Asian culture. In other words, these outdated beliefs can be very restrictive and stifling when it comes to the range of options Asian women have in choosing a marriage partner. Most people would probably agree that viewing women as merely possessions to be controlled on the part of men, whether they’re White, Asian, or whatever else, is not going to win the hearts of many women, Asian or otherwise.

    Further, when the primary motivation for such cross-racial unions (involving whatever racial/ethnic combinations) include love, individual compatibility, and perhaps the desire to broaden the exposure and acceptance of Asian/Asian American culture to the rest of mainstream society, interracial dating and marriage can in fact be a very powerful force for greater acceptance and equality across racial/ethnic groups in American society.

    The point is, dating and marriage decisions can be complicated but they don’t have to be. It’s hard enough to find a person with whom you are completely compatible. When you find that person, his/her race may be one consideration but in the end, I think most people would agree with me that love, a true appreciation of their similarities and differences, mutual respect, and genuine equality are the most important factors.

    In short, Le cites these theories, and then capably dismantles them. He calls them one-sided, admits it’s worth talking about, but emphasizes that they are woeful and dehumanizing over-simplifications of love and relationships.

    I’ve actually interviewed CN Le on his work. His opinion is exactly what he writes at the end of his page: love is complex. Intermarriage stats are interesting, but they do not speak directly to fetishism in the way that you advocate. He’s an academic like me — and it’s bad science to make over-extended and biased conclusions from one’s data, which is exactly what all those theories cited above do. In short, people start from a desired conclusion — AF are racist fetishists — and work backwards to inappropriately incorporate aspects of outmarriage stats as evidence for that conclusion. That’s a misapplication of the data.

    re: patriarchy

    Are you familiar with the concept of patriarchy? Because, if so, you should understand that your discussion of White men is irrelevant to systems of patriarchy and male privilege in Asian/Asian American cultures. If not, please let me know, and I will go into it.

  114. Jenn,

    My complaint about Asian women is that many of them seem to want to shed accountability for doing what they can to help Asian men. Black people had, and have, the “Black is Beautiful” movement. But there is no such equivalent for Asians.

    In my ideal world, Asian women would be much more vocal about their appreciation for Asian men, IF THEY ALREADY LIKE ASIAN MEN. I’m not trying to force anybody to go against their “preferences.” But when we frequently see articles out there where Asian women praise White men, I would like to see more determination among Asian women to offer a COUNTER-BALANCE, just to pull even with the appreciation of White men.

    Some Asian women I’ve talked to have even suggested that doing so would be racist, which is preposterous to me. In a Eurocentric world, it’s ANTI-RACIST to show appreciate for non-European aesthetics, yet for some reason, these women are more wary of the “racism” of showing appreciation for non-Europeans than the actual colonial racism of idealizing Europeans.

    And of course, Asian men need to help out Asian women too. For example, the rampant plastic surgery epidemic in Asia is partly driven by male demands. I think Asian men could show a lot more appreciation for the natural Asian look, particularly the monolid look. I think we Asian men have been way too silent on this issue.

    Because when you think about it, Asian men rarely praise Asian women publicly. I think some Asian women feel as though Asian men are with them just because they don’t have any other options, and that if they could, Asian men would rather be with White women (or Latina or Black or whatever). I’m not sure how accurate this statement is though. What would you say?

  115. Hey Jenn,

    Regarding IR, I agree with most of what you’re saying (with the only possible disagreement being that I’m not sure stats tell the whole story). Regarding your blog and my blog, I actually agree with…well, just about everything you said.

    In terms of moderation, I would LOVE to have a blog where people mostly discuss politics and literature without falling into the IR hole. But in a certain way, I’m kinda like the warden at the prison yard–there are more of them than there are me, and so it ends up being somewhat democratic, no matter what I do, unless I want to wield the ban hammer and just toss my weight around (and that’s just not me!). As you’ve seen, people have complained about me being a censor, and although I don’t agree with them, I still do try to limit my deletions and stuff. In most cases, I can bring up issues like “the bottom tier,” and people will listen. They do adjust their behavior accordingly, but they also fall back into old patterns.

    I’d love for there to be a place where people get all activist, standing up, shouting out, and moving beyond IR. Some people have in fact done so. That was my original goal when I started the site. But I think it’s something that most people won’t do, unless you’re there in person, in their face and telling them what they ought to do. The web provides too much cover.

    King and I (and you too, Jenn, if you’re interested) are going to record a podcast, maybe next week, on the topic of “competition.” Believe it or not, this has a lot to do with the topic at hand, and so I plan to mention it IN PASSING (no, it won’t be a predominantly IR podcast). I’ll also use the podcast to briefly address some of the issues that Pozhal is raising.

  116. So I’ve avoided much of this conversation, but the following quote from Pozhal got my attention.

    “Black people had, and have, the “Black is Beautiful” movement. But there is no such equivalent for Asians.”

    To be clear, the cultural nationalism this comment references was most prevalent in Black communities in the urban North and West, to refute and re-define negative portrayals of Black people throughout American popular culture. It was never used as a cudgel to promote intra-racial relationships, or to shame those to engaged in interracial relationships.

    Further, these conversations would be greatly improved in my view if participants would not liberally borrow from other groups’ political histories to apply slogans out of context for their own ends. 1970’s urban Black America is not 2013 Asian America, so wishing for a Asian American version of “Black is beautiful” may be somewhat counterproductive, and anachronistic.

  117. J. Lamb,

    I brought up the “Black is Beautiful” example to highlight that it’s good for minority communities to celebrate their features that don’t align exactly with Eurocentric ideals. I wasn’t trying to steal from the Black community or anything if that’s what you’re implying.

    I think all non-White communities can sympathize with each other on having to fight against the constant bombardment of Eurocentric aesthetic ideals and learn from each others’ experiences.

  118. Jenn,

    I don’t think it’s an either/or dichotomy.

    I agree that the best facilitators of change for Asian men are Asian men ourselves. We’re the ones who will be the most motivated and most capable at initiating change.

    But it would also be great if we could get help from Asian women who recognize the commonality of our interests.

  119. Jenn,

    1. This is what I mean by handwaving. I wrote ALL those counter points to your stats, to CN Le’s silly reasoning, etc. Yet you quote one line where he says it’s complex and the case is closed?

    2.. I’m not sure if you’re serious with the capably dismantles them. I’m not sure if it has occurred to you that the reason the reasons are one-sided is because the emasculation/discrimination has been happening only one way.

    From wiki “However, in modern times, it more generally refers to social systems in which power is primarily held by adult men”

    If this is the definiton then every place on the planet is a patriarchy especially Indians and Middle Easteners FAR more than any Asian.

    3. quoting Cn Le – “Further, when the primary motivation for such cross-racial unions include love, individual compatibility, and perhaps the desire to broaden the exposure and acceptance of Asian/Asian American culture to the rest of mainstream society, interracial dating and marriage can in fact be a very powerful force for greater acceptance and equality across racial/ethnic groups in American society.”

    sure….it COULD be love and compatibility. If that’s the case then explain the 400% higher divorce rates. The stupidity of this guy’s statement is amazing. “greater acceptance and equality”. Nearly 45% of Asian females are married to whites – the same people who continually degrade them and their brothers with racist imagery in all available channels. Asian high school students are bullied at higher rates than homosexuals.

    Why do you think many af HATE on their own culture and want to be accepted by mainstream white? Anti-Asian (especially male) Racism. They’ve brainwashed some of these af into hating themselves and their own culture that they want to “fix” the problem by marrying out. Little do they understand, they’ll still be just a racist stereotype in media and be treated with suspicion till they die.

    3. “That makes sense to me. But, again, why then the focus on Asian women?”

    We do focus on the stereotypes. That’s just one part of the equation.

    We have to focus on this because Asian women are part of the problem by pretending these problems don’t exist. Actually, their self-hating/white worshiping attitudes are proven in some of them with the many reasons I’ve listed above (the ones that I can remember).

  120. correction:
    If this is the definition then ALMOST every place on the planet is a patriarchy especially Indians and Middle Easteners FAR more than any Asian.

  121. Jenn, “emasculation” is also just a symptom of the disease, and not the cause. “Emasculation” is a propaganda tool, and is actually just one of a suite of others that in my opinion has been used against the Asian American community.

    What is the purpose of this tool? What is the objective?

    In my opinion, the goal from the very beginning has been about removing the social and political influence of Asian Americans and making them dependent on white power structures.

    I think you put it aptly when you mentioned losing one’s keys but then looking for them under the street lamp because there’s where the light is. Same goes for “emasculation”. Asian American men have not really been “emasculated”. But they certainly have been subjected to a suite of forces.

  122. @Jenn It Asian women that are obsessed with white men and not the other way around. The 2007 Columbia University Study stated the we found no proof for white men having a pronounce preference for Asian women. But what they did find was that Asian women preferred white men. This also back up by OKCUPID, where it showed Asian women selecting white men to the exclusion of every other race. This also matched other dating sites. You wrong about the percentage also. It 45% of Asian women that marry white men(this is both non US born and US born). Plus, look at every Asian women in Hollywood or high profiled and their all with white men and only white men. Tia Carrere, Kelly Hu and Lucy liu just to name a few.

  123. Chris Koy,

    If you go to a site like Creepy White Guys, you’ll definitely see that White men have an unhealthy and condescending obsession with Asian women.

    The Pew study showed that about 30% of Asian-born AF married outside their race, and about 40% of American-born AF married outside of their race. About 11% of Asian-born AM married outside their race, while about 30% of American-born AM married outside of their race.

    It’s interesting to note that when you adjust for acculturation, the IR rates are much more narrowed. That doesn’t mean that Asian self-hate isn’t a problem, but acculturation appears to be a significant factor.

    As for celebrities, yes, it’s very rare to find a famous Asian American woman with an Asian husband (the ones I can immediately think of are Lisa Ling, Grace Park, Ming Na Wen, and Yunjin Kim), but that’s probably because once you get that high up in society, it becomes extremely White-dominated. A ton of famous black women are married to White men, for example.

    Also, lots of famous and/or powerful Asian men (e.g. Harold Koh, Steven Chu, Goodwin Liu, Will Yun Lee, the late Bruce Lee, David Henry Hwang, etc.) are married to White women, so it’s a 2-way street.

  124. @Chris

    It’s worth noting that all the recent dating studies are based on the dating patterns of people signed up for online dating sites. Dating sites self-select for users who are primed to consider dating based on superficial characteristics and stereotypes (i.e., those who aspire to find mates based on individuality won’t find the dating site format appealing and exclude themselves from these kinds of studies), and are not representative of all daters. In that kind of meat market, it’s not surprising that you will find racial and gender stereotypes (of all kinds) predominating behaviour.

    And, as I’ve consistently said: I don’t deny that Asian men face emasculation stereotypes. My point of contention is the overall prevalence in the general population. Online daters are a proportion of daters, but it would be a fallacy to assume that their attitudes can be generalized to all daters. If you establish a group of superficial people, and then ask them the details of their superficiality, you will get some heinous, but ultimately skewed, answers.

    The same is true for celebrity couples. In a sample size of 6 Asian women, all sharing celebrity status and therefore by definition not representative of all Asian women, you’re going to get some pretty silly and meaningless results. If nothing else comes of this debate, I wish it would be to let go of this fanatical focus on celebrity culture from “your side” of the debate. Celebrity status is not a stand-in for scientific demography. And any assertion as such comes across as silly.

  125. Because it’s often easier to present anecdotal evidence than academic evidence. Anecdotal evidence is non-scientific, but (by definition) easy to collect, because you only have to draw on your own memory. It justifies and rationalizes one’s own experiences.

    If you depend upon scientific evidence, you have to think critically about your own experiences, and perhaps even reconcile with the idea that you might be wrong about how you interpret the world around you. That’s an uncomfortable place to be, for most people. It’s easier to tell a story about a guy you know — and universalize that one story to all people — than it is to study statistics and demography and confront the notion that the one guy you know is NOT representative of everybody, particularly if that realization comes with the idea that you might also be politically “wrong”.

  126. Jenn,

    I like oriental women because of their physical appearance, excluding Japanese women. Just like some men like blondes or brunettes because of their appearance, I happen to find oriental women attractive – again, excluding Japanese women. Furthermore, oriental women are not as overweight as white women, and they have less shapely figures – which I do, indeed, like alot.

    When I lived in Japan, most of the women were 5’0″, 110 pounds, drank alcohol weekly and had thick calf muscles. They also had very poor dental hygene. I wasnt attracted to these common traits amont the Japanese – about 7/10 j-girls had these features. So, in general, I am not attracted to Japanese girls.

    But, give me the average Chinese girl, even southern Chinese girl, and I am more than happy with how they look.

    I dont see why it is wrong for me to judge the phsyical appearance of a woman, just like everyone else does. Women routinely judge a man by his appearance. Are you aware of the phrase – ‘tall, dark and handsome’? How many short, skinny guys get all the women?

  127. Like the author here (I read this whole column quickly), it seems we are in agreeement that while there’s no problem with inter-racial dating as a whole (in fact it’s great), there IS a problem with trends in inter-racial dating, especially when someone can ONLY date people of another race while at the same time explicitly refusing to date their own race.

    I always have to chuckle when I hear an asian woman ‘complain’ about men with yellow fever as 9 times out of 10, the asian women doiing the complaining are THEMSELVES in relationships with NON-asian men and in fact likely tend to ONLY date non-asian men. But you gotta admit…it’s very clever of them. You see by going on and on about this supposedly rampant yellow fever, it plants the idea in everybody’s minds that it’s all the men chasing the women…not the reverse. Everyone will wonder if her white boyfriend has ‘yelliow fever’, but no one think to question her and her possible motives for being with him. Maybe SHE has white fever? Remember it takes two to tango and as we all know, women (including asian women) are very capable of letting a (white, black, latin) man know she is interested or ‘receptive’ to him, while at the same time these same women have their own ways of letting other (asian) men know they are NOT interested. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? How many men naturally find asian women simply attractive, and how many men developed a ‘thing’ for asian women because they learned the asian women have a thing for THEM? Let’s face it, who doesn’t like to be desired, right?

    So many asian women feel this need to ‘explain’ why they are with a non-asian man or to ‘explain’ their preference for white men. Seems to smack of a guilty conscience if you ask me.

  128. While it’s possible to have a racial preference based on looks, I highly doubt anyone who says they have a “preference” for Asian women given the heavy baggage of stereotypes surrounding us. (By “preference” I mean exactly that. The person should also be open to dating other races. Anyone who exclusively dates Asians or specifically seeks them out is a fetishist.)

  129. I read both. First, Chen’s then this one. Frankly, both articles are quite well written in my opinion so much so that I’m still torn on the issue. As a man, I agree with Chen. I think it’s unfair that women demonize the men as “creeps” while they themselves hold the same predilections. Yet, as an Asian individual, I also agree with Jenn here, racism is racism. Tough call. I’m going to go mull over this issue. What’s for sure is that I think both ladies’ perspectives are refreshing. Most articles that I come across on this issue almost always portrays white men as suffering from mental illness, “yellow fever”, while defending Asian women’s preference as her “right” to choose.

    Personally, I want to see more Asian males voicing our opinions over this issue in an intelligent manner. I’m sick of insecure asshole Asian dudes who complain about WMAF couples. Most of times, these guys hold secret fetish for white women and are suffering from sexual frustration. Meanwhile, I think a lot of intelligent Asian males are afraid of voicing their opinions for the fear of being seen as jealous. I think we can make intelligent argument against racism and emasculation of Asian males without coming off as jealous.

  130. Thanks for your comment, Richard!

    I think we can make intelligent argument against racism and emasculation of Asian males without coming off as jealous.

    Absolutely, and I think this represents the majority of Asian American men, too! Check out this post (which I wrote in 2007 and just restored from Racialicious) saying basically the same thing!

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