Friday, October 2, 2009

date asian men less frequently than asian women

Friday music, Friday topic --

"Date an Asian," by Jen Kwok (Caution: NSFW Language Ahead)

In "Asian American Interracial Relationships Today," Sociologist C.N. Le writes,

The other issue that comes into play here is how Asian women are frequently fetishized. Historically, it was very common for Asian women to be portrayed as docile, subservient, exotic, mysterious, and/or seductive. These images can be traced back to Chinese prostitutes who were "imported" into the U.S. back in the 1800s and through the prevalence of "war brides" (Asian women marrying U.S. military servicemen) after World War 2, and these images are constantly reinforced and perpetuated in the media.

Many Asian Americans argue that this cultural stereotype or fetish of Asian women is a large reason why many males (particularly White males) are attracted to Asian women. In this sense, Asian women are not seen as equal partners but rather, as sexual objects to be controlled and used by the male.

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.

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 recently analyzed the dating preferences of users of online dating sites (PDF of the study, 1.5mb). In Table 5.6 (page 49) of the study, they found that when it came to the dating preferences of White women, their first preference was to date a White man, which is not suprising nor uncommon. But their data showed that the 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
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.

H/T for the video: 8 Asians; for more humorous commentary, see "Yellow Fever," by Wong Fu Productions


  1. I find this interesting because I admit this is an issue with I struggle with. I have a *huge* thing for some kinds of Asian people (both men and women) - if there's a Japanese, Korean, or Filipino man or woman in the room, I guarantee you they'll catch my attention before anyone else (including other white people). My top three celebrity crushes are all Asian (Japanese/Filipino/Pacific Islander). There's just something about those particular features that grabs me on a primal level. (Interestingly though, Filipino people didn't used to grab my attention; and then I started hardcore crushing on a Filipino boy, and that seems to have primed my brain to find Filipino features attractive, because now I notice them all over the place).

    And then I struggle with this and feel guilty about it, because it feels racist to me to be attracted to someone solely based on racial features of their appearance. It just feels wrong.

    And then I discuss it with other people and the responses are usually along the lines of, "Well, it's okay since it's JUST based on their appearance - it isn't like you're expecting them to have a certain character along with it, or that you just think of them as dolls or something for your sexual gratification."

    But I don't know if I believe that. I have no idea. :( And if it is racist, I don't know how to stop feeling that way, because it's such an automatic thing. It isn't like I walk into a room wondering if there's going to be any hot Asians and then look around for them; I notice them without even thinking about it, and then either remain interested or lose interest based on whether they're hot as an individual (because although certain types of Asians automatically attract my eye, that certainly doesn't mean that they are necessarily attractive as individuals). If it is racist, how does one stop being attracted to the people one's attracted to?

    (And before anyone starts pointing out that I should be judging people by what's inside rather than on their exteriors, I should add that I've been in a committed relationship for over a decade now, and all I'm doing is looking for hot people to admire for a few minutes. I'm not looking for potential partners.)

  2. In the straight white world, yes, Asian men are devalued.

    In the gay white world, Asian men are fetishized. See the term "rice queen" (link goes to Urban Dictionary, with its usual mix of apologetics and offensiveness).

  3. That video was awesome. :-)

    Ironically, I actually do see a fair amount of interest in Asian men from white women - but currently it seems to be mainly within various "geeky" subcultures, most especially anime fans. And it's just as fetishistic, stereotype-based and implicitly racist as a lot of white men's attraction to Asian women - just based on a different set of stereotypes.

  4. This reminds me of a guy I knew in college. Apparently, in high school, he was voted "Most Likely to Marry an Asian." Now, overall he was a very nice person, and as an Asian girl, I personally never got any weird icky vibes from him. But when I heard that, my reaction was basically: o_O. (And yes, he did indeed end up marrying an Asian girl.)

  5. I am very attracted to Asian men. Sometimes I have to examine if I am fetishizing them or just have a preference for their facial structure and body type.

    And yes, there is an imbalance with whites preferring Asian women over men. I think that speaks to the intersectionality of sexism and racism where the patriarchy seeks out the most agreeable women and racism says that those are Asian women.

  6. I can't comment on the post because I am still laughing at the video...

  7. I've met people like Robin, who are attracted to Asian features -- and that bothers me a lot less than the people who fetishize Asians and believe the stereotype of the submissive, mysterious Asian. Still, it bothers me in a way, since they're still stereotyping about the way Asians look.
    A guy I talked to once told me that he's attracted to the "small eyes and petite figure" of Asian women. That skeeved me out because I know Asian women who are of various sizes (including myself -- I'm pretty pear-shaped!) and there are plenty of Asian women who have large eyes.

  8. I'm not sure why it's more common to see white male/Asian female pairs than Asian male/white female, but I'm not convinced that stereotyping accounts for all (or even necessarily a large percentage) of that. After all, I don't see why Asian women would put up with it.

    What I'm actually quite curious about is why Asian women date white people more often than Asian men. My pet theory is that it's because Asian culture favors men, so Asian women have a greater incentive to break away from their culture than Asian men. And for a lot of Asians, dating white people does appear to mean breaking away from their culture.

    I loved this comment:

    "Ironically, I actually do see a fair amount of interest in Asian men from white women - but currently it seems to be mainly within various "geeky" subcultures"

    Season 2 of The Guild, anyone?

  9. I have said this before, but I really dig this blog. It is so refreshing to "hear" the thoughts of someone that obviously does not have the same background as me, but has the same "mind" as me.... Which is that we are all Humans and we should be treated as such. Why do we have such a problem talking to each other about how we feel? What is it about the truth that upsets so many people? I wish I could answer my own questions.... but if I could I would sell the answers and be an instant billionaire.

  10. These images can be traced back to Chinese prostitutes who were "imported" into the U.S. back in the 1800s and through the prevalence of "war brides" (Asian women marrying U.S. military servicemen) after World War 2, and these images are constantly reinforced and perpetuated in the media.
    Additionally, most of the stereotypes about Asian women seem to exist in Asian countries as well (and presumably either inspired or reinforced the West's stereotypes). Japan's even got a specific term for the "submissive perfect wife type" archetype...

  11. I assume that by "Asian" you mean East or Southeast Asian, and not South Asian because as a Caucasian woman married to a South Asian man I have met tons of Caucasian woman/South Asian man couples, but the opposite is rare enough to make me do a double take whenever I come across it.

    1. do you mean you are married to an East Indian man ? where do you live becuase I rarely come across white women Indian men or the opposite ? All I see are white and asian couples, and now more asian male white females ?
      curious, bec. I'm E Indian too !

  12. (I'm a different Elizabeth than the one who already commented on this post, but I've posted here previously under this name. Not sure what to do about that...)

    This is in response to bluey512, who said:
    What I'm actually quite curious about is why Asian women date white people more often than Asian men. My pet theory is that it's because Asian culture favors men, so Asian women have a greater incentive to break away from their culture than Asian men. And for a lot of Asians, dating white people does appear to mean breaking away from their culture.

    I won't deny that Asian cultures (that's plural, by the way) can be patriarchal, but the Asian women who marry outside their race are overwhelmingly the more assimilated ones. Japanese Americans (especially 3rd, 4th and 5th generation) have by far the highest outmarriage rate among Asian American groups. By contrast, first-generation immigrant women have a much lower outmarriage rate. If it was just about getting away from the bad, sexist men, you'd think that the less assimilated women would be marrying out at much higher rates.

    I'm sure you meant well, but your comment rubs me the wrong way because unfortunately white people do like to condemn Asian culture as backwards and sexist. I find this especially weird in the context of feminist blogs, where we spend all our time critiquing American sexism and then as soon as some event in Asia comes up, it's all because of their culture and "Westernization" is equated with enlightenment and equality. Uh what.

    Also, I am very curious what you mean by dating white people being a way to "break away from Asian culture". In my experience, this is almost never among the reasons that Asian women date white men, but it's something that they're ALWAYS accused of, as if policing Asian women's bodies would help "preserve the culture".

    (Adding another comment with my own thoughts, I just wanted to get that off my chest...)

  13. Hmm...for me much of this discussion falls under the same set of statistics for height preference among women. I'm a white female who is attracted to tall men for all the crazy primal sociological reasons one can read in a thousand articles. I'm from Seattle, but the realities are the average Asian man doesn't meet my completely arbitrary and shallow height requirement. I dated a white man who was 5'9 once, and it was something I obsessed over constantly. I just can't buy a whole new shoe wardrobe again. And I'm only moderately jesting.

  14. Anyway...

    A couple of people touched on this already, but I find that one side effect of the mainstream media's desexualization of Asian men is that it's made it almost impossible to critique portrayals of Asian men that involve elements of sexuality. One example is a discussion on Racialicious a while back where commenters were questioning whether a remark about an Asian man's "beautiful, exotic Asian eyes" was fetishizing him. A couple of Asian male commenters stormed in and accused everyone of trying to desexualize Asian men, as if Asian women were trying to keep all of the creepiness to ourselves.

    Because of this, I find myself in the same situation as some other commenters, questioning my attraction to Asian men in a climate where ANY positive attention is taken gratefully and not to be questioned. (For what it's worth, I'm Japanese/white and would date a man of any ethnicity, but I'm primarily attracted to Asian men and deep down I know I would rather have kids with an Asian man than with a white man, so that my kids won't have to battle for "authenticity" in the community like I did. This kind of thinking is extremely problematic to me, but it's not really something I can bring up in an average Asian American studies class, because the only response I would get is "You go!").

    On the other hand, I do understand that this kind of critique can become too overzealous when the group in question already gets such a bad rap, so for the most part I try to celebrate sexy Asian men (John Cho, anyone?) as much as I can while working out my own issues in private. I think the key is to treat people as individuals and avoid racializing them as much as possible... "That cute guy at the bar" is better than "that cute Asian guy at the bar," and try not to fantasize about the Japanese guy in a kimono or expect the Chinese guy to want to go to dim sum on EVERY date. (You think I am joking.)

  15. @Elizabeth
    You beat me to it! I was going to respond to bluey's comment with some smart ass remark about their Asian culture generalizations. Your response was much more mature.

    @Dirty Red
    Have you checked out I highly recommend it.

    That's too bad for you.

  16. I am attracted Asian women(not exclusively, however) in that aesthetic sense because of what one would call Asian features, but when it comes to relationships I can't deal with timid or docile (from any race). So any Asian female I would pursue would not fit the stereotype that is so fetishized by a large number of males in this country (United States).

  17. Not to dignify what JEM said with a response (I think Invasian's was perfectly adequate), but her comment is a great example of what I mean by treating people as individuals. Sure, in general Asian men tend to be on the shorter side, but how is that a reason to turn down a 6'2" Chinese American cutie? Unless you're just frantically justifying your own racism... no, that couldn't be it.

  18. Interesting post. I found it entertaining to take a look at the statistics C.N. Le cites. Here's what I found:

    Yes, Asian men have to make more money than white, hispanic, or black guys in order to get a shot at dating a white woman. To Le this confirms his or her theory that it's because of the way Asian guys are portrayed in the media. All well and good.

    But if you look at how much extra income Black women require in order to date outside of their race, white men need to earn more than Hispanic men, and if you look at how much extra income Hispanic women require, white men need to earn more than Black men (for some reason Asian men are only included in the stats regarding white women).

    Following Le's logic, if Asian guys are getting portrayed so negatively in the culture that it's hurting their chances to date outside of their race, then white men, the rulers of this racist system are faring poorly too, coming in right behind them. Clearly, the white men who rule the system aren't making very effective pro-white male media (odd, considering they own and run it), so that black women and hispanic women will prefer them when it comes to interracial dating. In fact, they're doing such a bad job that they appear almost as undesirable as Asian men.

  19. Elizabeth, I could easily be wrong. It's pure speculation on my part.

    Though I wasn't actually thinking of first-generation Asian women. The scenario I had in mind was of a second-generation Asian-American, assimilated herself but with parents who both want her to marry an Asian man AND who don't treat her as well as her brother. What incentive does she, a normal American teenager, have to do exactly what her parents want? Not much. But her brother might.

    This isn't a generalization about all Asian women, by the way. Just, again, a highly speculative thought about why some Asian women date white guys.

    Which is honestly not quite on topic anyway, it's just that it doesn't make sense to me to put this phenomenon down to "yellow fever" and the Asian nerd stereotype. It doesn't sound right, particularly the latter. Some white guys may have romanticized ideas about Asian women, but does that really translate into long-term relationships? There's got to be more to it.

    The height issue that JEM brought up may have a lot to do with the low prevalence of Asian guy/white woman pairs, though. It's pretty clear that women almost universally prefer men who are taller than they are.

  20. I'm not quite sure why, but the part of this article that *really* rubbed me the wrong way was the stats about how much more money a POC had to be making then a white male in order to be datable. Maybe it's because I had two separate males joke about when I was going to graduate with my M.R.S, but the idea that any woman (or man) would quantify how datable a person is based on their income really ticks me off.

    While I know that there are shallow people out there that think their income shows how much they're worth, I don't think that should have been a factor in this study. If I'm not attracted to a person, I'm not attracted to them. It may be based on prejudices that I don't realize, or it may just be based on hormones. Either way, if the guy is rich I'm not going to suddenly find him more attractive.

  21. @The Takeout Wench, who said I've met people like Robin, who are attracted to Asian features -- ... Still, it bothers me in a way, since they're still stereotyping about the way Asians look.

    This is absolutely true, and part of why I was careful to specify certain ethnicities (although I understand that saying I'm generally attracted to, for example, Japanese people is still stereotyping; it's on a somewhat smaller scale than saying "Asians" in general, but still stereotyping, because it's based on there being a general "Japanese look"). I suppose it's more accurate to say that I'm attracted to features that I tend to associate as being generally Japanese, etc. But yeah, it's still stereotyping.

    While I'm far more likely to be attracted to features I associate as Japanese rather than, say, Chinese, that certainly doesn't mean that no Chinese people have ever caught my eye, or that I find all (or even many) Japanese people attractive. Within any particular ethnicity, there's going to be a huge variety among individuals. Once I take a closer look at an individual I'm often not interested anymore.

    But it's interesting that there's always that immediate racial-feature-based interest that makes me take a closer look at them as an individual. I have the same reaction to other triggers such as spiky hair - if I notice someone has spiky hair, they'll get the automatic second look. (I'm not sure why spiky hair draws me either.)

    I've been thinking about this a lot today, pondering it and turning it over in my head, and one *possible* reason why I feel the way I do occurred to me, which was that my circle of friends during adolescence were often Asian boys (predominantly Korean, but also some Japanese, Chinese, or Filipino); the reason was because I was a computer nerd, and the other computer nerds during the early-to-mid-90's tended to be almost exclusively Asian boys or white boys). So because that's who I was around when I was a teenager, that's who I tended to crush on. So maybe there's some sort of positive emotional subconscious association going on there that was created in adolescence, in terms of finding certain features attractive and desirable now. But then again, some of my social circle back then were white boys, and I didn't crush on them *as much* as on my Asian guy friends, so maybe I had a predisposition even then. Or maybe my particular Asian guy friends were just a little more crush-worthy than my particular white guy friends. I don't know. It's a possibility, but I'll probably never know for sure.

    @Elizabeth, who said: (John Cho, anyone?)

    Oh, yes please! My crushes tend to be on professional dancers so they aren't widely-known people in general, but I've been known to crush on talented actors as well. =^.^= And John Cho is indeed yummy. (I've come across pictures of him with spiky hair, which makes him double-hot. Mmm.) And Daniel Henney is super-yum too.

  22. I live in Taipei, so it's just as well i find Asian men attractive^^
    But it's true that even here, I see a lot of foreign men with Taiwanese women; the opposite is pretty rare, although my flatmate and myself are both dating Taiwanese guys at the moment.

    I have a classmate from home also living here who says she doesn't find Taiwanese guys attractive, and I have to admit that I really don't understand how you can generalize that much. Apparently a lot of the white girls here feel that way, and I'd be very curious to know why...

  23. I love this blog. How do you get a name so as to stop posting as anonymous?

    I read someplace that in Asia, the men prefer women from their own ethnic backgrounds. My question is, are Asian men attracted to white women? And what about other women? Why are we only talking about white women here?

    @ Jem

    The sizeism thing kind of bothers me. That bias is something I really think people should examine. Who is tall? I was talking to a Bolivian friend about this who pointed out that a lot of the images they are bombarded with in their "telenovelas" or soap operas are of people who are blond, European looking, and one of the other adjectives he used was "tall". He told me most Bolivians don't look like that and saw it as a kind of esthetic tyranny imposed on them from the north. It made me think about who is tall? Northern Europeans are pretty big people. Is that why being large is somehow seen as better and more desirable? Is it really primal? Or does it reveal a deep cultural bias? I'm just asking about the height thing because studies show that not only in choosing a mate, in other areas such as salary, responsibility, etc, taller people are favored and if you come from an ethnic group which generally has a smaller stature, this seems kind of not right to me. People can have sex with whomever they like, but height bias exists on a more general level and it has ocurred to me that there is something deeply wrong with that in a plural society. I'm not trying to pick on Jem, but this is something that I've picked up on recently and I don't like it.

  24. Ironwood, to post with a name, just click on the "Name/URL" option below the comment box and enter a name. You don't have to enter a URL.

  25. When ppl say 'Asian' men here...what kind of 'Asian' are we talking about? Often, Asians born and raised in Western countries think, act, move, walk, sit, sound, and LOOK different from Asians born and raised in Asia.

    When I think of marriage in abstract terms, I prefer a Westernized East Asian guy or Asianized white guy (preferably non-Anglo, ie. someone who knows what it's like to be a migrant). This is probably because I'm mixed cultured and that's the closest I'll get to 'my own culture'. Being mixed means that I have to navigate through cultural differences every day, so my preference is to keep the cultural difference to a minimum in marriage...if at all possible, that is, given that opting out of a cross-cultural marriage is not an option for me.

    As of late, I’ve noticed that I often get instantly attracted (and feel connected) to Westernized Asians (not that I actually like them all). I think it’s because there are so few of them where I live, such that I’m starving of them, so to speak. But this doesn’t happen with Asians born and raised in Asia...because, well, they’re different.

    (But as far as non-instant attractions go, preferences go out the door when it comes to real life. e.g. 1) I've been attracted to men of all kinds. East Asians born and raised in Asia, South Asians, Blacks, etc. 2) I used to think I could never be with a hairy guy (simply because my own dad is mostly a smooth skinned hairless guy, hence that's what I was familiar with). But when I did fall in a love with a guy, that preference went out the door too ;p )

  26. Questions if anyone has any thoughts/links to share in regards to them:

    Where does a preference in regards to appearance stop and fetish-ization of or discrimination against a group begin?

    On a personal level, I've often felt I have preferences in appearance when it comes to dating: dark features, average height, short hair, etc. But I'm certainly open to dating someone who doesn't fit that mold. Are my libido's leanings away from the Western media's tall Aryan idea of beauty indicative of something morally wrong with me? Despite the fact that I wouldn't be entering a relationship with someone thinking that because they're of a race that they must be a certain way or fit a certain stereotype?

  27. @fromthetropics, who said When ppl say 'Asian' men here...what kind of 'Asian' are we talking about? Often, Asians born and raised in Western countries think, act, move, walk, sit, sound, and LOOK different from Asians born and raised in Asia.

    I'd never thought about that! But you are totally right. For me it'd definitely be the Westernized Asians. If I think about my crushes, even those that were born in Asian countries moved to and grew up in North America. And I don't go trolling the web for hot pictures of people in Asian countries, so yeah. I guess that shows pretty clearly that Westernized Asians catch my interest, not Asians raised in Asia. Huh. The Westernized/raised in Asia dichotomy is something that would never have occurred to me. o_O

    But as far as non-instant attractions go, preferences go out the door when it comes to real life.

    Yep. My fella doesn't even remotely fit any of the "types" I was/am into on a physical level, but he's still the one who got to keep me, and I find him plenty appealing!

    @Witchhazel: That is exactly what I struggle with. Where does aesthetic preference turn into fetishization? Does it entirely have to do with whether we carry an emotional/intellectual expectation for them as well as finding them visually appealing? If it can be just a visual thing without being problematic, what about those who are into it because they find their preferred race's features "exotic"/Other? Is it problematic only if we feel so strongly about it that we exclusively seek them out as partners? I have no idea. :/

  28. That video was wonderful :)

    I don't know if you watch the Guild, but the white main female character had a crush on an Asian-American man during the second season. I was pleased to see that this man's character wasn't a brilliant, docile geek but rather a muscular, arrogant stunt guy. In fact, the only time his race is even mentioned is when the Asian-American guild-mate meets him for the first time -- she turns to the main character and says "He's hot AND Asian? You just got more interesting."

    I don't know if you're familiar with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, but there's a great song about Asians in the movies in the commentary here (it's not a video, just a still of the woman singing).

  29. Is it the other way around with black people? Seems like a lot more black men date white women than vice versa...

  30. @Bluey512

    Actually, I think a lot of it really is due to media portrayals. Think of it this way- since the norm is to date within your race, if you're a white man, you're likely to rule out, say, black women as potential dating partners. However, because Asian women are generally viewed as attractive, and because relationships between Asian women and white men are generally portrayed in a positive light, the same white man might not rule out an Asian woman as a potential partner. He might not be a hardcore fetishist, but the general social climate is more welcoming to that particular interracial pairing than almost all others (and especially a pairing between a white woman and an Asian man). In other words, white men and Asian women get together for the same reasons all couples get together; white men aren't rushing out TO find an Asian women, but if they happen to find themselves attracted to one, the normal barriers that interracial relationships face are somewhat lessened, so it's more likely to go somewhere.

    I understand the difference between your scenario and that of an immigrant woman, but if you look at what I said in my previous comment, the type of woman you describe is still not the one marrying out at the highest rate- it's 3rd and 4th generation Japanese Americans, whose parents are just as American as she is. What you're saying has been said many times before, both by Asian people who blame the death of the community on Asian women who marry out, and by white people who want to justify an Asian fetish by claiming that they are "rescuing" women from an oppressive culture, and frankly I find it kind of insulting. I'm all for critiquing the attitudes that go along with interracial relationships, but to look for a "reason" why they happen is to problematize them, as if certain groups of humans would not fall in love with each other if it weren't for oppressive Asian culture/yellow fever/horny anime nerds/WHATEVER.

    I'm staying away from the "when does a preference become a fetish" question for now because it'd take me another hour to work out my thoughts on that, but I'm really interested in what you all are saying, so I may come back to comment on that later!

  31. "When does a preference become a fetish?"

    When you don't look at people as individuals, that's when, IMO.

    As a white woman married to an Asian man I have a loooot of thoughts on this topic... but I'll confine myself to the aesthetic preference vs. fetish issue for now. I think it was unfair for Jem's comment about tall men to be dismissed. People DO have aesthetic preferences that seem to be pretty much hardwired; my own experience proves it to my satisfaction. Y'see, until I was 17 I lived in an all-white environment. I liked boys of a certain type: slim, with pronounced cheekbones and "smooth" (not "typical male hunk") faces. These boys were few and far between. But when I moved into a multiracial environment, they were everywhere! Because the fact is, a lot of Asian men have that type of build and face. Of course, a lot of them also don't. But statistically, there it is: men of my "type" were more likely to be Asian than not. Marriage of course goes so much deeper than aesthetics. But it has to have a physical-attraction component, right? And I don't think there's any point fighting our own preferences because we're afraid of being fetishists or conversely racists. The body, she don't speak that jargon.

    That said, there sure are fetishists out there: I've been fetishized for my whiteness by men who transparently were deaf blind and dumb to my personality. They're really pretty easy to pick out :)

  32. I'm back for round two.

    bluey512 said: >why Asian women date white people more often than Asian men

    Srsly? Do you have the stats for that? Coz if that was true, then Asian men might have to start importing picture brides again. Or is that a typo for 'why there are more Asian women/white men couples than white women/Asian men couples'?

    >My pet theory is that it's because Asian culture favors men, so Asian women have a greater incentive to break away from their culture than Asian men.

    Arguing the above as the main reason behind the trend seems like racial prejudice to me because:

    a) it makes no distinction between Westernized Asians and non-Westernized Asians (or between Asian cultures for that matter, as Elizabeth says); and therefore
    b) assumes Asian men are genetically more sexist than others (of course, that would explain why feminism has the strongest following in the West…not); and
    c) assumes that Western definition of 'sexism' or 'oppression' of women is the right and universal definition.

    Here's are three of examples of how (c) happens. 1) A Western feminist friend of mine argues that the jilbab (Muslim head covering) is a symbol of female oppression. Meanwhile, we have a mutual friend who wears a jilbab but is also a very independent, high achieving woman. In fact, her husband gave up his job and followed her to Australia because she wanted to do her PhD overseas. She finds the comment about jilbab insulting. Obviously Western feminism is just that, WESTERN feminism.

    2) A white friend of mine, Jane, asked about a couple who were our mutual friend. 'Why does Jack seem 'overprotective' of Yuriko?' She seemed concerned that Jack was being overbearing and Yuriko wasn't getting enough independence. But the problem wasn’t with Jack and Yuriko, it was with Jane who perceived a non-Western style couple dynamics as ‘sexist’ instead of merely ‘different’. While Jack & Yuriko’s couple dynamics wouldn’t work for me due to my personality, I saw Jack as ‘loving & sensitive’ instead of ‘overprotective’.

    3) I noticed a Western couple who split the bill 50-50 for EVERYTHING. Finally, curiosity got the better of me and I asked the woman why they do that. She was confused that I even asked. I was confused that she was confused. She said, ‘Coz it makes me feel independent. Don’t you agree?’ Hell no, I thought. ‘It would make me feel totally unloved. I feel loved and protected when my partner pays for me,’ I said. She looked even more confused. It was an eye-opener for both of us. There is no such thing as the ‘right’ couple dynamics.

  33. I'd like to chime in and say that I'm one of those white women that tend to find the physical features I'm most attracted to in black and asian men. My number one turn-ons are full, thick hair in interesting styles, grace and beauty. I see it as an alternative masculine ideal, and I don't know if it's racial so much as cultural; the only women I've seen proudly proclaim their men beautiful were asian or black. In America, the ideal masculinity is as far from pretty as possible. I've seen beautiful white men before, but it seems that most white men daring enough to avoid conforming to western masculinity are into another subculture I don't care for, like goth.

    I've preferred beautiful men for as long as I can remember, and I've always felt isolated because of it. I remember being 13 and telling my family that I'd love to marry an asian man; my mother threw a look of disgust, pulled me aside and whispered, "But, you know, they have small..." Theoretically, I understand why the common Western sentiment is that asian men are not "masculine" enough to be sexual, but it's still hard for me to imagine, when every knee-meltingly gorgeous man I've seen in person was either asian or black.

  34. This is racist, but I always thought that asian women in particular embraced this stereotype. I only know two asian women who are actually married to asian men. The majority I know either date or marry white men exclusively. In Japan you can find restaurants geared towards asian women with "Western" (ie white staff) to cater to them.

    Not to mention with the stereotype that asians are the "ideal minority" it isn't shocking that asian women frequently date IR with white people. Usually when a white guy says he dates IR, I always assume that means he dates Asian women, maybe hispanic women, and never black women.

    There is reciprocal love between white men and asian women. On the other hand the same stereotypes that benefit asian women hurt asian men. Asian men are seen as "less masculine" than other races of men, which loses the appeal to those who embrace and hold fast to stereotypes.

    A guy made a funny short film about this a while ago and posted it on youtube. It's called Yellow Fever.

  35. Is it the other way around with black people? Seems like a lot more black men date white women than vice versa...

    Yep pretty much. As a black women you are told unless you look "less black" you are deemed unattractive, as dark skin is seen as masculine and black women aren't seen as docile, but rather aggressive.

  36. correction 1: "I prefer a Westernized East Asian guy or Asianized white guy" to "...or Asianized Westerner"

    correction 2: "I've been attracted to men of all kinds. East Asians born and raised in Asia, South Asians, Blacks,.." to "...South Asians, black Africans,..."

    This changes the meaning quite a bit doesn't it? At the end of the day it's about the individual and their values.

  37. I think the height factor is significant, although far from the only reason this imbalance exists.

    As Jem said earlier, preference for height might seem superficial, but its hard to shake your instinctive attractions to certain types.

    Height subconsciously conveys authority and strength, which women tend to find attractive in males. Although Asians are getting taller (particularly in the West), it is hard to deny that they are still shorter than Caucasians.

    Height goes both ways as well. Many men want women who are smaller-statured than them, since it makes them feel strong and manly in comparison. Thus Asian men might discount taller women as prospective partners, which would tend to rule out more white women than Asian women.

    As a guy who is not overly blessed with height myself, I admit I hate it when my girlfriend wears high heels which make her taller than me. Sure, it's dumb of me, but it taps in to a whole lot of deep-set ideas about male identity which are not easy to get past.

  38. Often, Asians born and raised in Western countries think, act, move, walk, sit, sound, and LOOK different from Asians born and raised in Asia.

    Very true. On the "look" side, the large number of Indian-Americans (Punjabis mostly) I knew growing up are almost all several inches taller than their immigrant parents as adults. Not sure why - more protein in the diet perhaps?

  39. I am an Asian (Korean) American, and my girlfriend of three years is Caucasian. We met in college, she is an Asian Studies Major, (I am an art major). Sometimes, the system works...

  40. I thought this was such an interesting discussion on what makes us all attracted to others. Something my good friend said rings very true for me still though: there are beautiful people everywhere, but that doesn't mean they have a beautiful mind. I've found that the more male POCs and male whites I talk to (as potential mates), just the fact that male POCs understand the racism that I also face (as a queer Chinese male born in America) makes them that much more attractive and sexy to me. In the end, I'm not going to be sitting around staring at a beautiful fool all day long, I'm gonna wanna do stuff with him (or her). If we only opened our minds to the possibilities, then maybe we would get past the superficial features that we're taught to focus on. If we let height control our every desire, we're really limiting our pool of potentials, so why not hear what the shorty's got to say? It might be something well worth my time. :-)

    Anyways, I'm sick and tired of the gay white male world that often conveniently forgets that it is still white and male at the end of the day. To that end, I'm still male, so please keep me in check! :-p

  41. As a white male I've always found Asian women more physically attractive than white women. Its definately the facial features I find more attractive. With Asians having less testosterone than white women the likelyhood of more pleasing feminine features is higher. Higher cheekbones,softer features and smoother unblemished skin to name just a few.

    My girlfriend on the other hand has always had a preference for white males and features common to us, angular face, high bridged nose. These would typically be viewed as more masculine traits as compared to a typical Asian male with more feminine traits.

    As to why white men with Asian women is far more common i'd say that white guy asian girl couples have it far better than the reverse in terms of social racial caste stigma.
    I live in Australia and very rarely you see a white girl dating an asian guy, i'd imagine you don't see this coupling often partly due to lack of physical attraction on the womans part (most girls saying Asian guys ugly etc) and a large part because of the social stigma.

    The few girls that have dated an asian tend to cop alot of crap for it along the lines of being too unnatractive for a white guy, asian small penis jokes, being wapanese, a nerdy subculture (even if their not) etc and this is just from white women!

    The guys tend to make the penis jokes more regularly and basically consider the girl unworthy of dating them.

    On the other hand white guys cop it a bit but far less for dating asian women like them wanting submissive girl, who cooks and clean for them cause they are mummies boys. Esentially saying they just want a sex toy.

    In comparison to what the girls would cop its not so bad. I think white guy cop less crap because asian women are seen as at least being physically attractive (by not all but a significant number of white women so they can see what the white guys are going for) where the asian guys are not seen as physically attractive by both white men and women.

    Obviously there are exceptions to the rule but from everything i've seen, read and heard this is true far more often than not.

  42. With Asians having less testosterone than white women the likelyhood of more pleasing feminine features is higher

    The whole testosterone levels in different races of people has long been debunked, but people hold onto to the stereotype. It explains why black = manly, asian = feminine whites = in between, regardless of gender. It's racist science at it's best to explain the "differences" between the races. Testosterone levels are affected by environment, nutrition, as well as other factors, it isn't just race. Testosterone levels also change with age.

    Study 1

    Steroid Hormones during Puberty: Racial (Black-White) Differences in Androstenedione and Estradiol-The Bogalusa Heart Study

  43. After reading Christian's long list of why Asian men aren't seen as attractive by some, I just had to say this:

    I think Asian men are very attractive.

    Smooth unblemished chest and some with a six pack that's not overdone. (FYI: There are many who women don't like hairy chests.) Very handsomely smooth yellow tanned arms with handsomely angular but shapely masculine forearms and hands. (Yes, I like nice arms.) Firm shapely shoulders (that's not out of proportion like the football players). Slim, but firm and toned. Sharp purposeful eyes. High cheekbones. Wide angular forehead with a jutting eyebrow section (not sure what it's called). A nose that's not oversized or moves when they talk. Proper lips that aren't too thin.

    And no, I'm not making this up. I've just described my father and uncles who are a bit older now, but still have their frame, and cousin, nephew, and some friends (...and maybe Bruce Lee by accident).

  44. Admittedly, I've only had the chance to skim this page and read about a half dozen or so comments... As an Asian male, however, I should note that I live in the south (AR). Admittedly AR may not be the "deep South", but we definitely have our own touch of Southern traditions as well as the "bad" that comes with it; stereotypes, prejudice etc. All this to say that to this point in my life (I'm almost 30), I've only ever dated white women; and very attractive ones at that. They have typically been your "Southern blondes", having their Southern belle charm, very blonde hair, and blonde or blue eyes.

    I'm not a fan of anime and while I have my quirks and geeky side (who doesn't?), I've been fortunate in meeting women whom I've befriended and dated, their having given me a fair shot based on who I was as a person.

    I've also been fortunate in NOT experiencing any major prejudice or racism, but also having a personality that tends to allow that sort of thing to "roll off" anyway.

    I definitely think it's a shame that we (the collective majority of all people - guys, girls, black/white/other) rely so much on our initial physical attraction and/or the ingrained beliefs and perceptions of others that shapes our actions and dating behaviors.

    One thing I've observed is that of myself - my best friends growing up were upper middle class white males and females that shaped my tastes, culture and behaviors. Throughout school and work, people that have gotten to know me have realized that while I am obviously different in appearance (I'm full Viet), when they realize that I'm not all that different from them, it has seemingly opened the eyes of those around me. And indirectly, I think it's bridged a gap in their misconception about who/what an "Asian" is (or should be). I've dated a few White girls that always liked Asian guys, but I've also dated a few that had never dated one before, but I really think they'd be more open to it now (after dating me).

    Who knows, I could be competely wrong and making no sense. Just some thoughts. It all started when a friend sent me this article -

    And while I empathize for this guy, I think he's probably just looking in the wrong places....or maybe his approach is wrong.

  45. So attractive is blonde and blue eyed. We have that perception in Texas, but usually the woman who fit this description don't look like super models, of course the media makes us think anyone who is blonde is automatically pretty.

  46. @Trungerton
    It's interesting how you admit that your surrounding friends have shaped your tastes. I wonder if you've thought about what those tastes were, and whether there might be something insidious in those tastes that you have acquired. For one thing, you say you have only ever dated "white" women. Then later on you note that you think it's awful that people base their attraction on initial physical attraction. Do you take your own advice??? It would be interesting to hear what you have to say about how your surroundings have affected you. Also, you say that you haven't experienced racism, but then you say you have the attitude that lets those things "roll off." So have you really not experienced it, or do you just take it because we are conditioned to do so?

    For anyone that's interested, the original okcupid results/analysis for their racism in online dating can be found at:

  47. @ Siditty
    I acknowledge that attractiveness is relative to an individuals' taste; my point is that based on my reading of some of the articles and comments I've read - it seems that there are some opinions that Asian (males or females) are relegated to dating people who are less desirable (less attractive, nerdy, etc - the articles' words, not mine). My commentary was meant more to say that I personally haven't felt like I've ever been relegated to dating "less desirable" - whatever that means. I know it's all relative. In my own particular case, I happen to be attracted to blondes w/ blue or green eyes, although I am currently seeing a brunette. I hope I didn't offend you and this clarifies my point (for better or worse).

  48. @Me
    I apologize in advance for not being clear and/or possibly offending you.

    I would absolutely and readily admit that I'm a product of my surrounding and circumstance. That said, I believe everyone is similarly affected (at least to some extent - some more, some less).

    As an added point for clarification, my comment about only having ever dated "white women" was more a point (or even a testimonial, however silly that may sound) to the individual who has expressed lament as being an Asian male that Caucasian females won't date.

    For my opinion about how people base too much on physical experience; I do think it's awful how people are collectively (on this subject). I'm not absolving myself of that in anyway. I, presumably along with countless others, am most certainly guilty of this.

    On racism, I've been fortunate for 2 reasons:
    1) Compared to the stories I've read and heard about (some from a very close friend), I do not believe I've ever experienced very intense racism or prejudice - for this, I count myself very lucky;

    2) the minor incidents of prejudice/racism I've experienced -I feel lucky to have a personality to let it "roll off"...although admittedly I've never considered if it's b/c society has conditioned me to take it. I guess my point is that I don't let it make me anger or bitter towards people for it - so much of it is born out of ignorance or misunderstanding, that I do my best to not take the little bits I see or experience as personal.

    As per what tastes I've acquired or have been influenced by my surroundings - i have no doubt that I've picked up both the good and the bad. Insidious sounds a bit strong, but sure, I'll acknowledge that possibility.

  49. If Asian men were the preferred IR pairing for White women just as much as Asian women are the de facto choice for White men, Asian men would jump at the opportunity and out marry in droves. Their angst and the few women that love them are palpable because many adopt the Model Minority modality and wonder why they aren't pulling White and White Hispanic women en masse.

    Asian men statistically are more likely to be solvent and stable compared to other supposed races, thus it is surprising that so many White women skew Asian men. Still White women more than any race of women overwhelmingly prefer White men and are less likely to marry out of their race even though popular theory is that they like to date black men--which is not the case.

    So when China, etc officially ascends in the next couple of decades, and the shift is heavily weighted to Sino/Asia and totally eclipses White/American/European, I am sure Asian men's value will shoot up exponentially for White women.

  50. >As per what tastes I've acquired or have been influenced by my surroundings - i have no doubt that I've picked up both the good and the bad.

    @Trungerton - I wonder if your strong taste in blondes with blue/green eyes have been affected by what some call 'internalized racism' as opposed to something that 'happened' by mere chance? (

  51. I've only skimmed the comments.

    I'm an asian female dating a white male. Currently, my dating statistic is half asian, half white.

    This is an issue that I've struggled with for a while because many anti-racist activists will give me a hard time for dating a white men, like I'm dating the enemy or playing into the social stereotype of the obedient asian female with the white male. I understand why they feel that way, but I also feel trapped by their sentiments that I can't choose who I want to date without receiving some sort of backlash because of my race.

    I've been at bars where men have tried to pick me up by first asking me my nationality and then reminding me that they've "heard that chinese women treat their men very well." This offended me on many levels. It insults me as a female, and as an asian american. I am wary of men who have an asian fetish. When I date a white male, I'm the first asian woman they've dated. This doesn't guarantee that they don't have any asian fetish, but if I'm following a string of asian girlfriends, this is enough to make me wary.

    Up until about 6 or 7 years ago, I didn't even think white men could find me attractive because of my race. I wasn't blonde or blue eyed or any kind of conventional sort of pretty. Sure, there were men that were into Asian women, but I didn't want to be some fetish fantasy.

    These days, upon discovering that white men could find me attractive and not out of a fetish for Asians, I find that I'm more likely to date a white male than an Asian American male. My reason why has nothing to do with me finding white men more attractive or less sexist or anything of that sort. Asian American men like white men can be very very hot (um, John Cho anyone?) White men can be just as sexist as Asian American men. The real difference between a white male and asian american male is their power in society. A white male is born with more privilege and power in our American society than an Asian American male. Because Asian American men have been so desexualized in our society and made so powerless, I find that we often clash in that power struggle, grabbing on to what little is available to us. As a woman of color, I feel the need to take advantage of every bit of power is "up for grabs" including being in more control of the relationship than might be normal. I am a woman who puts you in your place. White men, born with their privilege and respect and power already have that sort of reaffirmation outside of the relationship, in the rest of their lives. Asian american men however, like me, fight at every opportunity to earn the respect and power denied to us daily in this society. We clash because we are similar, because we are disenfranchised in this society, because we are fighting each other for the same thing.

    For the record, I'm also less likely to date anybody European. It might be cultural, but for me, they are more sexist and racist than most white Americans, Asian Americans, and Asians that I know.

  52. I started the previous comment with the intention to say one more thing and then ended it before I said it.

    I struggle with this issue personally because the truth is, while I can give reasons for why these days I'm more likely to date someone who's white than asian, at the end of the day, I couldn't say for sure that it's not because I'm racist. At the end of the day, I can't say with 100% certainty that my preference for white men has nothing to do with 20 years of media and society telling me that white is beautiful and white is better. I can't be sure that my dating preferences isn't somehow a manifestation of an subconscious desire to be a white male and a racial self hatred.

  53. Very interesting, CL. I see the same power play with black men and women. We are all fighting for a share of the pie, even the crumbs.

    Also, even though I'm married: back off of John Cho. He's mine in another life, lol.

  54. @CL
    Thank you for your last comment. Honestly, it takes a lot of work to undue the media brainwashing, and it's a continual fight since we continue to receive the same signals throughout our lives.

    I think what I wonder about here is the system in which we are all vying so desperately against each other for? You say that you don't date Asian/American men so much because of this similar attitude, but it would be great to think that a similar understanding could help you develop a healthy struggle out of it. Of course, one could similarly do that with a white person, but hopefully the choice isn't because the person is white that you engage more fully rather than with another POC (or Asian as this blog specifically targeted...).

  55. Not to downplay the role of stereo-typing and objectification, but could it also be that in American culture we like petite women? Like Southeast Asian women. That we like women who are young looking, who unlike white women, don't really wrinkle or sag into their 30s and even 40s? Again, like Southeast Asian women. That we like women to have no body hair? Like Southeast Asian women. That we like delicate features - small chins, big eyes, small noses? Like, um, yeah, lots of Asian women.

    And though I'm sure the desexualizing dork stereotypes mentioned are a problem for Asian men, couldn't it also be that in mainstream American culture, we like big guys? Unlike Southeast Asian men. That we don't like a lot of hair - like South Asian Men, but we don't care for nearly hairless - like Southeast Asian men either?

    And if what Elizabeth, the second commenter said is true, that Asian men are loved by gay guys, well then that just further follows the physical ideals of that overall group. Small, wiry, those seem to be physical attributes enjoyed by a sizable section of American gay men, so shouldn't it follow that guys who have those attributes should be sought after? Like, you know, Southeast Asian men.

  56. Gosh, I love this blog, accidentally landed here but loved reading the comments here. Well, if the white folks were to live in any Asian country for an extended epriod of time, it shouldnt take too long to figure out where all this comes from. 'White' is the zenith of beauty, success, social class and virility. Many asian women walk around everyday with an umbrella in Asia when they have to step out of their home , not because of the rains but because they do not wish to get tanned and drop on the social standing. Therefore, getting a 'white' guy is the ultimate psychological boost as well as the best signal that one can send out to society . On the other hand, like most people pointed out, no where have we promoted Asian men as possessing the most desirable qualities, hence a fewer number of white women date asian men. Alos, if I may add, although asian men might be attracted to white women initially, I doubt many would want to eventually settle down with one because asian men are usually very intellectually inclined and familial, qualities that most regular white women are not likely to possess.

  57. Man, there are some f----d up comments in here. I'm not sure if a few of these readers stumbled upon this blog mistaking it for the other, less-analytical, less-melanin-charged (not referring to who writes the post, just more the readership) 'Stuff White People LIKE', or what? Damn.

  58. I'm a half Asian Pacific Islander and half European female and I find Asian men attractive. Growing up,no Asian boys liked me. They were always going for the Caucasian or full Asian girls.They still don't pay me much attention with the exceptin of much older Asian males.

    I have been limited to dating African American and white men because Asian and Latin men seemed to be most interested in white women. Not that I have a problem with that, of course.To each their own. I certainly am not lacking in the looks department though. I would say that I am above average in looks.

    I would have had no problem dating Asian men but they never seemed to be attracted to me. I've seen really cute Asian men together with heavy, and not-attractive white women. These are the guys who wouldn't give me the time of day. I don't know how common this is, but I don't think Asian men are the only ones who can complain about their race not being attracted to them.

    BTW White men who have been attracted to me have never exhibited any behavior that would make me think that they consider me a fetish. Both African American males and white American males as well as European males have always treated me like a human being. Perhaps they were a bit more appreciative of my exotic looks but who am I to complain when someone finds me beautiful?

  59. If I wasn't happily married, I would absolutely date an asian man. Chalk it back to my anime obsession in my teen years or whatever, but I've always had a thing for asian men. (Yes I was a part of that "geeky" anime subculture in the 90's) I've always joked that I think I might have been asian in my past life.

    On the other hand, my little sister has never really been attracted to asian men. They're just not her type. *shrug*

    Honestly, I don't think it's shameful to find people of other ethnicities attractive based on their looks. I really don't know the difference between finding someone physically attractive and "fetishizing" them. It's not like I rule out all other men because they're not asian. I'm attracted to all kinds of ethnicities. Asian is just one of them.

  60. [Dear Anonymous person who didn't bother to follow the request on this "Post a Comment" page of using a name,

    Thank you for submitting a comment to "stuff white people do." Unfortunately, I am declining publication of your comment. It would clearly not advance the discussion here, due to its useless and potentially hurtful reiteration of stereotypical notions regarding passive Asian masculinity and aggressive white masculinity. If you'd like to craft a comment that attends more carefully and respectfully to the comments above and to the post itself, I welcome your efforts. Sincerely, macon]

  61. What a crazy thread and site. Not even sure how I happened upon this.. but it's got me thinking. I am over 40 and on a trip to Asia earlier this year was seduced, much to my surprise, by an Asian (Khmer)guy. It was totally unexpected because he's significantly younger than me and I wasn't anticipating anything, so his flirting caught me unawares. I have never not found Asian guys attractive, but just haven't really been around them and all my relationships have been with Anglo men. My preferred male body type is slim, but this "friend" is actually overweight, so it wasn't physical attraction - at first.
    How to describe why it's so nice (and I notice no-one has mentioned anything much about the mechanics of attraction or the elephant in the room - size) ... it was just a totally different energy to anything I've known before. He asked me if I'd ever kissed a guy from a another culture, so I couldn't say 'no' and leave it at that.
    Well, it's probably the best kiss I've ever had in my life. I'm still pondering if the difference is because he's Asian or it's just him - but everything is just more .. sensual... (gosh, I could wax lyrical here, but better to have some discretion).
    We are still in a relationship, despite being 15,000 or so km apart, and he's visited my country since. I have had acres of doubts about the power imbalance, whether my appeal to him is primarily economic or whiteness, etc, or whether it's just pragmatism - if you are Asian and in your 20s and waiting to marry a virgin, the opportunites to get laid are fairly limited - you either pay a local or find a friendly white girl. And it's clear as you travel through SE Asia that whiteness and westerners are fetishized.
    But despite wrestling with lots of 'whys?' and the ethics of it all .. in the end in our situation works. And we are both smiling.
    Now, I notice Asian guys a lot and LOVED the video. Fantastic. Go for it girls...

  62. Here's my idea of a hot Asian dude.

    And then here's the real hunk. He speaketh great English too ;) Enjoy.

  63. all i can say is: I wish that people we're well-traveled. So that they'd be more open to things. i'm a mixed guy. got 8 different countries' blood in me. And have been lucky enough to have lived for long periods of time both in Asia and the US. I have dated both Asians and whites more whites probably coz they're more agressive than Asian girls. Anyway I've found after travelin' so much that what people say about others doesn't really matter since all races are somewhat racist :D. And that the more you travel the more your eyes are opened u start to understand what you really want instead of goin' for the norm. At this point i've found that i like mixed girls with the asian eyes and face shape but with creamy white skin black hair and a more caucasian nose. My sister, who looks a lot more white than I(i look more sicilian than white) prefers Asian men period. she goes crazy for them korean and jap boys. I guess my point is go for what you really like, don't bother too much with what other people say, and seriously, traveling and actually seeing things for yourself really helps you find yourself faster.

    To em, white girls there are a lot of good lookin' asian men out there and most of them are not in your country but in their own. So go travel and see the world :D.

  64. >most of them are not in your country but in their own

    Really nice going with that comment Joe (I'm being sarcastic). I wonder what the Asian guys in Western countries reading this would think? It would've been better if you phrased that sentence as an opinion or preference instead of fact like you did with the rest of your comment. FYI, the Asian guys I get attracted to are usually the ones who are born and raised in the West. That's my general personal preference when it comes to Asian guys, even though I don't always stick with this.

  65. I like Asian guys. Why does this statement cause people to go on the defense with their claws out, ready to call racism or stereotyping? Is this really any different than someone saying "I like blond hair and blue eyes"? But, do you shake your fist and accuse this blond-lover of being a Nazi? Probably not. It is a personal preference. Hair/eye color both have varying shades and say nothing on ones personality. Just like being of a certain ethnic group.

    I think people need to realize that when someone says "I like Asian guys/girls, blond/red/brunetter/black hair, etc." there is a hidden implication that says "who posses characteristics that I find attractive". When someone says "I like Asian guys" they really don't mean ALL Asian guys. They are refering to ones that they are physically attracted to (whatever that may be), that also meet their checklist of personality characteristics. It is just easier to use the all-encompassing statement. The human brain likes to categorize information so it doesn't experience overload.

    I know people worry about fetishes, but a key part of a relationship is attraction, and I don't think everyone approaches interracial dating with a fetish in mind. I don't look at Asian guys and see some sort of j-pop sensation that will make me sushi or something. And everyone claims White guys have fetish-expectations with Asian girls, but the same could be said for the other way around. White guys have this certain image that Asian girls are latching on to. Go to any board and you'll see common phrases like "Confident, more out-going, less serious, makes more money, has nicer things, less chauvanistic towards wives, isn't cheap etc.etc" As if every white guy is a confident, out-going, big spender with a BMW who will treat you nice.

    It's time to drop your race card. It has been played enough. I'm talking to EVERYONE. White, Black, Asian, Native American, Brown, Hispanic/Latino, whatever, just stop looking for things you want to see in everything you do. If you look for it, you will find racism in everything. I'm not saying that no one is racist of course, but a lot of by-standers and normal people are getting accused of something ugly merely by saying something as simple as "I like Asian guys".

  66. @Justine's comment:

    Anybody got popcorn?

  67. @Justine
    If it's not just a blanket statement about "all Asian guys" + the sushi making that you mentioned, then why state it as such?

    Also, you notice the way that the message about white guys pops up all over the place, but you really don't think much more about it. It would help if you read some of the other postings and comments, it might help put this blog into better perspective for you.

  68. @ Popcorn:

    What's there to drink with it tonight?!

  69. I notice a lot comments blame the white women for the lack of AM/WF relationships. Is this really the type of attitude you should have while trying to pursue this kind of relationship? I think white males and asian males should stop trying to speak for white girls, thank you very much. As if you can say for certain, every WF likes/dislikes this.
    People also say things like "white women are less likely to marry outside of their race". Why is this primarily the woman's fault? Men are generally the ones asking us out, and proposing to us. Did anyone consider that maybe it is asian guys and black guys that prefer to marry their own race. Why does the blame always lie with the white female?

    People speak of this "superior confidence" white women seem to have. It's not true. I am so painfully shy that I would never ask any guy out, asian or not. There are white girls out there that are just as shy as the asian guys that seem to have trouble dating. My best guy friend is asian, attractive and has no problem dating white girls. Why? Because he flat out asks "will you go on a date with me?". Most don't say no. Stop projecting all your woes and troubles on the white female. Just ask, if you get rejected, don't take your anger out on all white women.

    Looking at these comments, I'd have to say it is the white female that has it the worst. White guys are calling us rude, ugly, fat, stupid and every other cruel insult, as if asian women are practically perfect in everyway. And now non-white guys are pointing the finger at us for not dating them, when most don't even try in the first place. Stop using excuses like "oh feminism means girls should be asking guys out now" or "because she's white she must prefer white men". Feminism is about equal opportunity and equal rights, which until recently was not a reality for many. It does not mean, treat us like men, or ignore all gender roles, or an excuse for females to take revenge on males by acting bitchy or demasculating anyone. I want the guy to ask me out, this does not mean I reject feminism or give the guy an excuse to walk all over the "inferior" female, it's just the way that feels right for me.

    Talk to girls. Ask them out. Make friends with girls. If you don't do any of these things, don't expect any girl to date you, white or not.

  70. BTK, did you even read the post? The problem is not Asian guys lacking confidence; it's a lot of women not being as attracted to Asian guys because of a solidly established and widely perpetuated set of stereotypes about them. Your telling them to just suck it up and be more bold about asking for dates doesn't address the probability that their requests for dates are more likely to get rejected because of these pernicious stereotypes about them.

    Racism is a real thing, ya know? Even in this area of life.

  71. @ RVCBard

    Get out of my head but I think we need a bottle of Jack from reading BTK's comment.

  72. I am a tall white woman. Almost every time someone, who doesn't know my husband, learns that he's Chinese, the next thing out of hir mouth is, "How tall is he?" or some variation of that. It's irritating after a while. I think everyone does it but, now that I think about it, it may be slightly more common from White men and Asian women.

    Although, I have noted that where we live the numbers for WM/AF and AM/WF pairs seem to have evened out a lot, compared to when we started dating 12 years ago. In fact, I think we happen to personally know more AM/WF pairs.

  73. I don't understand why everyone keeps thinking that damn "Yellow Fever" video is an anti-racism parody. It ultimately denies the existence of racism against Asian men, dismisses our pain and suffering, and places the blame on the victim.

    And I've seriously had it with all the apologetic comments.

  74. happy shirt,

    I appreciate that the video highlights a problem few white people acknowledge as a problem, but I do agree about its ultimate failure. I think it does end up dumping the responsibility for fighting the problem in the laps of Asian men, as if it's saying to them, "All you gotta do to impress Asian women is be more aggressive!" Thank you for the reminder; if I mention the video again, I'll be sure to point that out.

  75. I think a lot of asian guys are hot but the ones I would see on campus would always only be hanging out with other asians. However I do notice plenty of the ones who were born in the USA would date white girls. For me I asked a Japanese male friend of mine what kind of guys and girls are considered hot or most desired in Japan and he said that feminine looking pretty boys are the most desired and for the girls they prefer them to be more cute and innocent looking as opposed to a bombshell like celebrities in the USA. He said an assertive curvy woman like me would not be desired there, or they might find me pretty but I might seem threatening to them and intimidating. This fascinates me due to the fact that I have no race preference when it comes to guys I date, I exclusivly only date guys wiht feminine characteristics, like guys who are pretty more then masculine looking. I dont mind if they are smaller then me and Im a large girl. So in a way you could say my attraction is based on maybe more masculine vs. feminine characteristics but thats a whole different topic and to say that all asian guys are feminine is just not true, the fact is though that some of them do have no body hair and softer delicate features then lots of white guys and those are all things I am sexually attracted to, but again I cant really say that is always the case because everyone is an individual. Hard to explain.

  76. Interesting topic. I find that you see a lot of white guys with asian girls but not really the other way around.

    Although I believe in the saying that its personality not looks that matter I usually find that I'm attracted more often than not to Asian guys and I'm a white girl.

    I find that Asian guys usually respect me more than white guys do. I mean they are more gentleman like, perhaps because the feminist thing isn't all crazy in their world.

  77. Hey all, this is a good discussion. Please check out our website ASIAN MALE REVOLUTIONS.

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  78. It is my firm belief, as an Asian male born in the US, that YES, it is not common for white females to be attracted to Asian males. I actually noticed when I went on vacation to Hong Kong, that all of the sudden it was extremely easy for me to go to a club and meet several women. However, if I tried to do this sort of thing in any given club that I used to go to in the US I would have a much more difficult time getting phone numbers.

    As for racism. It has always been my firm belief that the only way for Asians to be repected on an equal footing with white people is through consistent violent protests in the same way that blacks earned their civil rights. However, too many people don't share my same point of view.

  79. @Tim
    I don't know where you get the idea blacks earned their civil rights from violent protests (although maybe like the Black Panthers?), many supported non violent protests led by MLK...promoting violence just leads to more violence. What needs to happen is that the pop culture from Hollywood needs to be more responsible with the changing demographics. They need to start allowing Asians (particularly the males) to be portrayed fairly and also to tell their own stories instead of casting non Asian actors such as Dragonball Evo, 21, The Last Airbender, King of Fighters, etc.

    I do not feel anything will change unless if the majority of Americans (who are white) start supporting Asian stars or if the demographic for Asians grow larger, that's the only way. Protests alone are not enough considering Asians only make up 4% and violent protests (even though that would bring media attention) would have a huge detrimental impact about the perceptions of Asians being "those violent people" (i.e. WWII with Japan, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Virgina Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho).

  80. Hey all,

    I know this is an old post, but I recently stumbled upon this blog after deciding to do some soul-searching on the internet. I'm an Asian American male, and as an undergrad, I recently read Henry David Hwang's "FOB" - a critically acclaimed play about Asians in America and how they are perceived.

    During the discussion that we had in class, I slowly began to realize that I really resembled one of the characters in the play, a guy named Dale. Despite the fact that I am a first generation immigrant, and Dale was born in the USA, we both shared similar traits - we come from middle class families, have parents who want us to retain Chinese culture, and we both want to become more "American," or Westernized.

    But, like Dale, I also began to realize that I lived a somewhat sad existence. I came to the US when I was 6, so I more or less grew up in the States. My grandparents were very westernized and educated abroad in Europe and America, so my parents wanted me to follow their footsteps, and I ended up in a 95% white parochial elementary school, then a 99% white jesuit high school.

    I never realized this was a problem until I found out that I was more comfortable when I was in a room full of White people than I was in a room full of Asians. Even then, that wasn't a problem until I realized that they were very conscious that I was not one of them.

    Regardless, as I got older, I realized that growing up around my caucasian peers also influenced my preferences for women. For a long time, I didn't know why, but I found white girls a lot more attractive than asian girls. To be honest, I'm still not entirely sure why this is the case, but, I suspect that my childhood has something to do with it.

    I now attend a diverse university with tons of people, but I've found myself isolated and alone. I don't know my own culture well enough to mingle with other asians, and I feel that women from the ethnic group I've grown up with reject me simply because I'm not one of them. I feel that there is significant pressure for me to "stay within my borders," especially after one of my white female friends tried to hook me up with her chinese friend. I eventually took her out on a few dates, but never went further than that, and honestly, I'm ashamed to say it, but I only did so because I did not want to reveal to the rest of the world that I simply wasn't that attracted to her.

    I've yet to find a solution to my predicament, and sometimes, I wonder if there will be a way out for me. I grew up believing that I was lucky to never really feel the effects of racism, but I feel that it's pervasive grasp invades every aspect of our society in subtle ways that we will never fully comprehend.

  81. Hey Li,

    It's never too late to learn more about it. Maybe some intros to racism in the US for some background and connections could be helpful. They can both be found online.

    1- What is White Supremacy? -Elizabeth Martinez

    2- Heteropatriarchy and The Three Pillars of White Supremacy - Andrea Smith

    I think it's true that there isn't so much stuff about API experiences in the US seemingly, but if we don't connect it to the different types of racism, it won't help very much.

  82. White media criticizes Asian parents for being too conservative and being too academically demanding when raising their daughters. But when they grow up, the white men wanna marry them! So do you or do you not approve of the way asian parents bring up daughters? Make up your mind and let us know.


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