So the big sociological question of the moment: What's the deal with the white guy/Asian female dynamic? To be more specific, why do WM/AF relationships outnumber WF/AM relationships by about 15:1? This disparity certainly weighs on my mind when I get asked/teased by my teachers or random foreign tourists: "Are you doing this just for a Chinese wife?"
I first noticed this disparity sometime when I started college, because Swat has hypersensitized me to racial issues, and also simply because Swarthmore has high percentage of Asian/Asian-American students (itís hard for this phenomenon to occur in my hometown, which is 97% Irish Catholic). It weighed on my mind slightly when I myself dated a female of Indian descent my sophomore year. But it hit me hard last summer when I lived in San Francisco, which has a very large Asian population. I could walk down a street in the Richmond district (where I lived and unofficially SF's second Chinatown) and pass by dozens of WM/AF couples without seeing a single WF/AM couple for weeks.
In Beijing itself, you'll see it in the tourist areas, where plenty of Chinese-American females revisiting their motherland can be seen dragging around their white boyfriends, whom for the most part don't give two shits about China and are only here to keep their women happy. Youíll see it in the Sanlitun area as well, where any decent white male expat will have a local girlfriend.
Interestingly enough, the few WF/AM relationships that I've seen in Beijing have ALL been between Chinese guys and EUROPEAN females.
Iím certainly not the first person to make this observation. Iím certainly not saying that interracial marriages are wrong. If anything, I think they should be encouraged. Indeed, my latest theory is that dating is like going to the mall food court. Why go to Burger King your entire life? I want to be able say that Iíve been to Burger King, Panda House, New Delhi, Taco Bell, and (it pains me to say it, but the analogy must go on) Popeyeís before I get old and married. And so far Iíve been to them all except Popeyeís. Once I can cross that off my list, Iíll consider my work done.
Back to my original rant, given the fact that Asian-Americans are very well-integrated into white society, large scale Asian/white intermarriage is bound to occur. Itís the fact that there is a disparity that makes me uneasy. Why the disparity? To some people (in particular, Asian men), itís rather obvious. Asians are considered a feminine race. And who would want to date a "feminine" male?
I feel really uncomfortable with media portrayals of Asian men as impotent, small-dicked computer nerds (the stereotypes in Breakfast at Tiffanyís, Sixteen Candles, and Goonies all make me wretch) and Asian women as exotic, passive, and overtly sexual. Iím not uncomfortable with these stereotypes because Iím ultra-PC, but because I have a paranoid feeling that other people assume I believe these stereotypes. Plenty of other people probably think I studied Chinese just to get my yellow fever on. And given the track record of white men who study Chinese for any extended period of time, thatís not an unreasonable assumption. I've met other white males in Beijing who completely subscribe to these beliefs. For instance, I knew this Belgian guy who lived in Seoul for a year and loves to rave on and on about how beautiful Korean women are. Not coincidentally, this same guy nearly got his ass kicked by a Chinese-American guy because of some remark about how Chinese condoms must be really small.
And for me to fit into that mold seems so...cliche. If I go back to China for an extended period of time, I almost feel like I would date exclusively from the few white female expats out there just to spite the naysayers. I guess thatís what it boils down to. I donít care about whether the prevalent stereotypes are racist or not; I just have to rebel against everyone elseís assumptions.
I'm not saying that all this stereotype crap is the motivation behind all, or even most, WM/AF relationships. God forbid, the motivation behind most of these relationships probably has nothing to do with some sort of freakish Asian fetish. And I strongly disagree with the idea that Asian males are somehow less masculine than white males. I think Europeans don't believe it as much either; that's why I think the only WF/AM relationships I've seen in Beijing involve European women.
Afterword: It's time for full disclosure. After I originally wrote the above essay, I dated one of the locals before I left China. What does that mean? Am I a hypocrite for condemning white men who date Asian females and then turning around and doing that myself? I have several lines of defense. First is that there's nothing wrong with dating an Asian female when I knew exactly four white females in Beijing, all of whom were either unavailable or butt-ugly.
Secondly, there are advantages to dating a local, the primary one being that itís great for your language abilities.
Finally, I want to re-emphasize that the problem isn't that there are too many white males dating Asian females. The problem is that there are too few Asian males dating white females. I was recently looking through a web site geared to Asian-Americans and there was a poll question asking Asian-American males what factors would prevent them from dating a white female. Some of the sample answers were cultural differences and different goals. But the answer that received overwhelming support (more than 70%) was that, "I fear white females wouldn't find me attractive." This goes back to the stereotype that Asian men have smaller dicks. Whatever. To all you Asian males out there, hear this: fuck our women! I beseech you, for the sake of racial equality, try your best to find a white female and screw her senseless. If that requires you to act "white" (i.e. like a dumb, macho idiot), so be it. Miscegenation is a beautiful word.