Monday, August 10, 2009

The politics of inter-racial relationships in Asian America

Last week a reader left a comment on the post about Euna Lee and Laura Ling that expressed surprise at seeing the white male husbands of Lee and Ling and noted that seeing such pairings can lead to "ANGRY ASIAN MEN."

So I wanted to talk, today, about specific inter-racial pairings, namely those of white men with Asian American women.

[Caveat: I am, for today's post, limiting my discussion to the politics of inter-racial relationships among heterosexual couples. There are dynamics and politics involved in queer inter-racial relationships, esp. among gay men with phrases like "rice queen" getting invoked to describe certain preferences/fetishization (word choice depends on where you fall in the debate) of Asian men by white men, but since the commenter was discussing ANGRY ASIAN MEN in the context of Ling and Lee's inter-racial marriages, I wanted to contain my comments to this particular inter-racial gendered/raced pairing, although I'd be interested in any readers chiming in with their own queer inter-racial comparisons]

Interestingly enough, there is a Marie Claire article titled "The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women" [tip of the hat to Angry Asian Man]. It is not very well written or well conceived--the author seems to want to have it both ways, to critique American society and culture for the overtly sexualized and exoticized stereotypes of Asian American women as well as to perpetuate said stereotyping within the article itself (the writer, Ying Chu, refers to Asian women, variously as Asian babes, mail-order brides, and doll-faced Asian sylphs, to which I say WTF???!!!). But it does give you an idea of part of the problem and problematics embedded in the vision of white men with Asian American women.

Which is where I should first begin. I don't want to speak on behalf of all Asian American men (how could I?!) but my guess is that those who, like the commenter, are upset at Asian American women dating inter-racially are really upset with Asian American women dating white men. Maybe they also don't want to see Asian American women with American Indian, Latino, or African American men, and I know that there are a few ethnic nationalists who would prefer that Vietnamese Americans date other Vietnamese and Korean Americans date other Korean Americans, but my guess is that intra-Asian American dating is not really an issue with folks--it's inter-racial dating, especially with white men.

So what's wrong with Asian American women dating white men? Well, I've sort've tackled bits and pieces of this before in older posts: "Mixed Race America: how does it begin?" and "Monday's Mixed Race Musings" and "Dating Across the Color Line." But in a nutshell, let me elaborate the main bones of contention:

*Asian American women date white men for increased status--essentially, they are race traitors selling out their ethnicity in order to be wannabe whites or in truly denigrating language, "bananas/twinkies" (white on the inside, yellow on the outside).

*Asian American women date white men because they believe that Asian American men are too "traditional"--that Asian American men are too misogynist and subjugate Asian American women and oppress them with the old-world values of their traditional Asian culture that dictates that Asian women must be beholden to Asian men.

*White men date Asian American women for many of the reasons cited in the Marie Claire article, which boils down to sexual fantasies/fetishization. They want a young, sexy China-doll who will be a docile partner in public and an sexual vamp in private, and these stereotypes of the Asian American female oversexualized dragonlady vixen is inculcated in these men from the many media stereotypes of Asian & Asian American women in popular culture (esp. film and television portraits).

[There are MANY books that talk about the stereotype of the oversexualized Asian American woman in popular culture, an excellent one being Gina Marchetti's Romance and the Yellow Peril, and a really excellent documentary Slaying the Dragon by Deborah Gee (too expensive to rent or buy but if you are near a university they may have a copy in their library).]

*Asian American men are especially p.o. at this inter-racial pairing because they do not have the same inter-racial dating options--Asian American men are not sought after as desirable romantic or sexual partners by white women and have been desexualized in popular culture, leading to lower rates of inter-racial relationships of Asian American men with white women and with white women (and even Asian American women) telling these men that they simply aren't attracted to Asian American men. In other words, they are driven by jealousy/envy into a posture of anger because of the ways in which they have been denied the same access to inter-racial relationships as Asian American women, and they are additionally scornful of Asian women with white men because of the troubling politics of Asian American women being commodities for white male consumption/display.

Now, let me be clear. What I describe above is not necessarily what I believe. But I have certainly heard, anecdotally, all of these arguments from other folk: I have heard both white and Asian American women (and actually Latino and African American women) claim that they just simply aren't attracted to Asian American men. I have been told, by white men, that they prefer dating Asian American women because of their values, because they feel they are more "feminine" than white women, more interesting looking, more exotic (yep, that word was used to my face), and that sexually speaking they were better in bed than other women (Asian American women are apparently endowed with special sexual powers from birth). I have heard Asian American women say that they are just more comfortable with white men and that they find Asian American men to be too dominating/domineering and traditional and white men treat them better. And I have read countless articles and books and watched numerous films talking about the dynamic of Asian American inter-racial relationships--the power differences and differentials based on race and gender, exacerbated by racism and sexism, in which Asian American women, due to a history of wars in Asian countries, have been used as trophies of war for white Westerners in an effort to subjugate Asian men and hence Asian nations within the paradigm of American imperialism and hegemony.

So does anyone ever get together because they like one another? Are politics always a dynamic within inter-racial relationships? Can't people just fall in love with each other?

My simple answer: yes, yes, and yes. Yes, people often fall in love and find common interests and attractions that are not about race or ethnicity or trophy status. But are politics a part of this dynamic? In my opinion yes. It may not be overt. It may not be conscious. But I just don't believe that anyone is immune to forces of social and cultural markers and values. I don't believe that anyone is immune from the influence of popular culture and popular discourse. And we have been bombarded with the image and the message that Asian American women are very acceptable and desirable sexual partners for men--any men, but perhaps especially for white men since Asian American women, when they are not shown paired with Asian American men, are most notably shown as partners for white men (although there was Sandra Oh's character dating the black surgeon on Gray's Anatomy before the actor made homophobic remarks and got kicked off the show).

I don't exempt myself from being influenced by these messages and images. I have dated mostly white men during my lifetime. Even in my current relationship, which I'd like to think was based on a mutual love and appreciation of food, narrative, and politics, first and foremost--I am aware of the ways in which who I am told is an attractive partner in this society is a white man--who I should see as sexy and strong and handsome are white men. I know that when I walk with my white partner in public I am perpetuating a stereotype that I am vigilant in critiquing. But the problem, at least for me, is what do you do when despite what you know, despite the politics that you are all too aware of, you end up finding yourself deeply connected to someone.

I would like to say that it's where I live--that my choices are limited in terms of dating Asian American men in the South--or at least greatly circumscribed from what they were in California or a more metropolitan area like Boston. I'd like to say that I had intended, when I moved here, to date across a spectrum of races (I had been in a long-term relationship for over 12 years prior to coming to the South) and to actually make the personal political by dating a person or color or by especially eschewing a white man. And I suppose I could tell you that I initially dismissed Southern Man as a romantic possibility because of his race and where he grew up--because I was uncomfortable with the idea of being an Asian American studies professor and feminist dating a white Southern man with a discernible Southern accent. In many ways what I've revealed about my own romantic and relationship practices is far too personal than what I am normally comfortable with disclosing in this space. But I believe that I can't honestly write about this subject without recognizing that as much as I interrogate the politics of Asian American inter-racial relationships that I must be both critic and subject in this regard and cannot exempt myself from being influenced by these factors, even as I am constantly questioning them in my life and questioning my partner for his own beliefs about race and dating and inter-racial relationships.

[The Asian woman fetish question is usually one of the first deal-breaker questions I ask when I've dated white men. Some would say that no white guy in his right mind is going to admit to having an Asian woman fetish if you ask him directly, but you'd be surprised at what some white men will tell you thinking it's a compliment to say that they find Asian women to be particularly sexy--and for all you Asian American women out there who are still dating and esp. dating inter-racially, if you believe this is a simple compliment, THINK AGAIN--it usually comes with a host of other problematic belief systems--better to get out early than to find your white boyfriend handing you a kimono and wanting you to do some kinky version of Madam Butterfly--I do not speak from experience but I have heard tales from others that would curl your toes]

So where do we go from here? Am I a sell out? Should I break up with Southern Man because we are a walking stereotype, and some will accuse him of having a trophy girlfriend? Am I worried that I won't be taken seriously as an Asian American scholar with a white partner (actually many Asian American scholars date inter-racially across gender and racial lines, fyi). Is it possible that I love my partner and find him interesting and that we both recognize the ideologies at work in dating inter-racially but are willing to negotiate them honestly and openly because talking directly about race and these dynamics is perhaps the most healing thing we can do for our relationship?

Let me just end by saying that I don't think you can legislate love. You can recognize the politics and ideologies and values of these relationships. You can accuse Soon-yi Previn of having a daddy-complex, which is why she slept with her stepfather, Woody Allen. You can say that some white men infantalize Asian women as sexual toys. But you also have to acknowledge that Asian American women and white men date and marry for a variety of reasons, personal as well as political. Perhaps the most we can hope for is to figure out why it bothers some of us so much and to also ask ourselves what is influencing our desire to date inter-racially. But at the end of the day, you end up loving who you end up loving. Which is one of the reasons I wish we could just get on board with same-sex marriage. Because like I said, I just don't believe you can ever legislate or tell people who they can and can't love.


Laura Stillman said...

Being in a blk/wht IR relationship, I never thoguht about the stereotypes about other IR couples. That was so well written. People have always wanted to know my reasons for dating outside my race. They seem to be expecting something other than, I like him. Great post.

nikki said...

I have to say, this issue really troubles me, and annoys me more often than not. I was the only Asian girl in my 500-person class at a high school in southern Oregon. There weren't a whole lot of African-American students, either (as in none); if I was going to date anyone, it was going to have to be white guys.

That said, I didn't really date. There are probably a lot of reasons for this; I'm sure my race didn't help. If there were creepy white guys with an Asian fetish, it certainly did not lead them to approach me (for which I am grateful!).

I went to a university that is more than a quarter Asian, and it was my first opportunity to date Asian men. I went out with a few, we just didn't click. Nothing against them, and the ways in which we didn't click really had nothing to do with their cultural background. My junior year, I started dating the (half-Irish, half-Lebanese) man who would eventually become my husband. I met men with Asian fetishes in college, unfortunately. My husband is not one of them. And if anyone is the "submissive" one in our relationship, I'm afraid it might be him, just because of our personality differences. I think we ended up together because we became such good friends in the solid year before we ever dated, and by the time we actually went out, we couldn't imagine not being together.

This is not to contest the very real concerns you and others have raised. I've heard all these arguments against the white man/Asian woman relationship. But it also bothers me that my relationship, which began quite sweetly and unexpectedly and, really, innocently - as a friendship first and foremost - is also something that has to be politicized. I GET why it happens, I even get that it's unavoidable, and necessary to ask these hard questions. I just sometimes wish we had the luxury same-race couples do of avoiding all that and not worrying about the comments of others - in other words, keeping our relationship, and whatever it "means" or "represents," PERSONAL.

Jennifer said...

Laura & nikki,

Thanks for leaving a comment and yes, I agree with both of you, being interrogated about the choices you make in your personal lives feels invasive and puts one on the defensive.

That being said, I do feel that I'm in this weird position of being one of those academics who dissects and over-analyzes such things--at least in a global or meta way. In other words, it's hard not to see the patterns where Asian American women date out (meaning date inter-racially) at over twice the rate of Asian American men, and the partners of both are often white Americans.

I do want to say to you especially nikki that I really felt what you said in your last paragraph was very powerful and eloquent and important. We do not question the motives of same-race couples the way we scrutinize mixed-race couples. We generally don't ask same race couples to defend their partner or marriage choices the way we make inter-racial couples justify why they are together or what brought them together.

And that is such an important point to emphasize because it speaks to the ways in which inter-racial couples, regardless of the gendered/racial pairings, are susceptible to forces of racial scrutiny and racism that are really distinctly different from same-race couples.

Thank you both for chiming in--hope to hear from you again soon!

Julia said...

Slightly off-topic, but related... I'm an extremely anti-institutionalized religion person and who did I end up marrying? A very religious guy (mormon) who believes all sorts of things that I think are nuts. It's a very odd feeling when the personal and political do not quite align...

special_k said...

One thing I've had on my mind for a while is how someone born in the 80s experiences race vs someone born in the mid-late 90s.

I don't think that Asian-American men have the best representation in the media, but I think that you've got more young people interested in Asia (mainly manga/anime, which is a good or bad thing depending on the person) than maybe 20 some years ago.
And that definitely depends on where you grew up.

I can't remember seeing Asian men in adverts as a kid, but I've seen them on Yahoo, Target, Sears, etc ads.

As an 83er who is not Asian, I felt that Asian-American guys were just as good-looking as anyone else.
I have non-Asian friends who think the same way...heck, I know that my mom thinks that Asian men are attractive.

The media, upbringing, etc all may play a role in who decides to date whom, but I find it ironic? sad? that everything is about who white people are dating.
The Asian-American guys who are angry at women for "dating out" seem angry that they are "denied" access to white women, not that Asian-American women are dating white men.

These guys have also bought into the "white is right" myth. If it were only about women, then they would look to black, hispanic, etc women...many of whom (if I am to believe internet chatter) are attracted to Asian men.

This is turning into a long post, but I am going to be interested in seeing how things look for people born in the 80s and since.
I wouldn't be surprised to see more Asian-American men/women pairings. ;D

TechNubie said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post. As a Black female dating an Asian male, I've always asked why he has never dated an Asian woman. There are so many reasons for this. I myself have grown increasingly aware of the disproportion of AsWm/WhM couples in general. It shouldn't be a big deal but somehow it is because I don't see the opposite in the same capacity.

Jennifer Imazeki said...

I just wanted to say that this post really spoke to me. Almost all the guys I've dated have been white and I've had so many of the same thoughts you express here, wondering how much of my attraction to white guys is due to social conditioning, and being bothered that we are a walking stereotype (as well as being wary of any guy who remotely exhibits anything resembling AWF). I've joked that it's not that I like white guys but that I like guys of a certain height (all three of the guys I've dated seriously have been exactly 5' 11 1/2" - seriously), and I rarely meet Asian guys that height. But really, the men I've loved have all been been attractive to me for reasons that have little to do with the color of their skin.

However, I do want to point out that although society may not question same-race couples in the same way we do inter-racial couples, same-race couples may face other stereotypes and I have to admit that I may have avoided dating Asian men because I want to avoid THOSE stereotypes. What I mean by that is when people see an Asian COUPLE, I think there is a tendency for any Asian stereotypes to be reinforced in people's heads - the two people in an Asian couple seems more 'Asian' than an Asian person in an inter-racial couple. Maybe it's just me - as a 4th-generation Japanese American, I know I've got 'issues' about people not thinking I'm American - but I have to admit that this may be one reason I haven't dated many Asian guys.

FB said...

Well Jennifer, thank you for blogging on this topic. Your comments on both sides of the argument of the Asian Woman/White Man relationship were insightful and fascinating.

I am an Asian man who I consider to be cool, hip, and very "Americanized". I have friends from all racial backgrounds and tried to steer clear of hanging around an "Asian Clique" of friends. While I was growing up, there were very rare images of cool Asian Men in the media. Even today, there are many more Asian Females (in the media from popular kids shows on Nickelodeon and Disney, to News Anchors on local TV all the way to International Shows on CNN. The only Asian Men I can remember from my childhood were David Louie Reporter and sometimes fourth String Anchor on KGO-TV, Hop Sing on Bonanza, the nerdy Asian guy in Pretty in Pink (Movie), and the semi-cool Vietnamese Guy on 21 Jump Street. There aren't many more examples of Asian men on TV/Movie and print media today, maybe even less.

Some Asian men such as myself feel that they are on the bottom of the social (dating) totem pole. I wrote a Sociology paper on inter-racial dating in college based on surveys I did, which showed that Asian men were found to be least attractive by most women of another race. This feeling can sometimes lead to anger to which I expressed to you when I noticed that Euna Lee and Laura Ling both came home to the embraces of non-Asian husbands. Yes, images like this can lead to "Angry Asian Men". I get angry that my race plays a role in what kind of women find me attractive, what roles are available to me in the media, how seriously people take my leadership abilities and what jobs are available to me.

I have been attracted to many Asian women in my lifetime, but I have always sensed that I was second or third choice to them because of my race. Perhaps, I was only attracted to the Asian Women/Girls that I knew had an affinity for White Men/Guys that left me at a disadvantage. There were definitely a lot of Asian Girls at my High School to date that I simply was not attracted to. Many of those girls were probably subjugated to date Asian men that were even lower on the Asian Totem Pole than I stood based on attractiveness.

As a result of my lack of success in dating Asian women, I decided to mix it up a bit and married a very Anglo-looking Latina. Maybe my way of getting back at those Asian women who spurned me. I am always very awe struck when I see another Asian Man with a non-Asian woman as we are very rare.

I guess I am more upset with the disadvantages I face (real or perceived) being an Asian Man in America.

I am glad to see that young ladies like Special K and her mother are attracted to Asian men. My question is whether or not she or her mother or any such woman has dated an Asian Man. The proof is less on words and more on what is reflected in society. Perceptions regarding Asian men may be changing, but we certainly still do not carry the political or social clout that other racial/gender groups have in American Society.

Unknown said...

This is response to Ms. Jennifer Imazeki:

"I have to admit that I may have avoided dating Asian men because I want to avoid THOSE stereotypes."

So instead you walk right into a different and, arguably, worse stereotype?

I'm disappointed that you admit to pretty much going out of your way NOT to date Asian, just because you're afraid of being "perceived" as Asian.

Since you *ARE* Asian.. what's the big deal? What is so bad about being perceived as "Asian"?

And then there's the height thing.. which is another convenient excuse to cover for other issues. I find it hard to believe that you've never met an eligible Asian man that wasn't 5'10" or taller.

Jennifer Imazeki said...

@Patrick: As I also noted in my original comment, the height thing is more of a joke - I don't think I go out of my way to NOT date Asian guys but I don't go out of my way TO date them either. And what's so bad about being perceived as 'Asian' is that I don't identify myself as 'Asian' - I identify strongly as Japanese-American. I also noted in my original comment that I recognize that I'm particularly sensitive to not being perceived as American, which I think is probably not unusual given my family's history. Sorry if it bothers you that I find one stereotype less annoying than the other - I realize it's probably due to some social conditioning but unfortunately, that doesn't change who I fall in love with.

nikki said...

I understand the frustrations of Asian men in these cases, because while I personally find Asian men very attractive, I also know what it's like to feel unattractive - as if others don't see you as attractive because you don't fit the (majority/white) definition.

That said, as an Asian woman, I don't believe that my ending up with a non-Asian partner had anything to do with prejudice against Asian men. I don't think you can make those sorts of generalizations about every single white-Asian relationship. What was I supposed to do, refuse to date white men because I was saving myself for a member of my own race? "Sorry, I don't know where this might go, but I only date Asian men"? That would have seemed strange.

It's not as if there were all these Asian guys who wanted to be with me, and I chose the Irish/Lebanese guy to spite them. I ended up with the person who most loved and wanted to be with me, with whom I had a lot of important things in common (including faith, ambition, priorities, etc.), even if we weren't of the same race. I would have been very open to having a similar relationship with an Asian man, but the fact is, it just never happened.

It's not that I don't see the very real problems faced by all people of color, including Asian men, who are rarely portrayed at their best in the media or in pop culture. It's a huge problem, and it influences many people, and it needs to be addressed. I just don't think you can look at all Asian female/"Other" male relationships and say, clearly, this is what's going on, she's prejudiced against her own race.

Unknown said...


I understand that you were using it as a joking reference, but the thing is, it's [one of many] excuse(s) used by a number of Asian females to specifically not date Asian men. I'm sorry if I was nitpicking, but I see that one tossed around a lot (as well as: I don't want to date my brother/father, "chinky" eyes, too "nerdy", etc etc etc).

Don't misunderstand, I don't have an issue with IR, but as was noted in the original post when one sees a large ratio of WM/AF couples as opposed to AM/xF, one can't help but wonder: Is she dating him because she *really* does like him? Is he dating her not JUST because she's Asian? Obviously no one can ever know what's going on between all WM/AF couples, BUT because we--AM's--have been marginalized for so long (and still are, despite minor advances) most of us can't help but feel a little.. well.. betrayed.

Social conditioning doesn't necessarily mean one has to be completely ignorant.. but unfortunately some are.

Jennifer said...

I don't really have to add much to this discussion since I said my piece in my original post.

I will just say that I do think that this is a fraught and emotional issue--specifically the politics and the dynamics of inter-racial dating between white men-Asian American women. And I think a key issue that I try to be sensitive about are the ways in which Asian American men are represented in the media such that they are often not rendered as the most desirable sexual partners, although I think that may be changing.

Certainly there are some roles currently where Asian and Asian American men are seen as powerful or who break or play against stereotypes. In LOST Miles Straume is one such character (Ken Leung) and so is Jin (Daniel Kim)--who is actually quite sexy and aside from the whole over-macho Korean man thing he did in the first season, he's been an interested character to watch develop. And John Cho is apparently going to be in the new series Flashback (I think that's what it's called) and of course there was Kal Penn on HOUSE before he left to go work for Obama.

Too few, I know. We need more--so for all you aspiring AsAm men who want to go into either entertainment or politics I say go out and change the face of popular culture/the media!

MrLook said...

YO! I just wanna say that even though this topic has been beat to death already, you really wrote on it well. You managed to look at all the sides, and exposed your own personal experience and man, you were just so honest. Its great to hear someone be real and honest. Also, its cool that you are teaching on this Asian Americaness. I had an AA history class in college (Binghamton U) and it was taught by a gay West Asian (Indian) man, and it was a really good class, he was a good teacher as well, can't remember his name now though.

I'm an Asian guy, and when I was single, when I went out to bars n stuff, I would always try to bring some non Asian guys with me, cus then my chances would be better to talk to women, and by that I mean, they would be better to talk to white, black, hispanic AND asian women yknow. Thats just the way it goes in this white world yknow? If people see you and label you as being all Asian n stuff, yr probably not gonna get the digits.

But now I got an Asian girlfriend so thats dead. This topic has really been beat to death, and all the things that are talked about are true. YES, Yes Yes and Yes. and to all the comments, more yes yes and yes. its easy to say that "thats life" or some bs like that, but also, even though it is the way it is, the most important thing IS the dialogue and the understanding thats gained from listening to each other.

and damn, it used to piss me off when this one girl i knew told me she couldn't date asian men because they remind her of her brother. but the year before she was totally into asian men, then a few years later, she told me that shes considering dating asian men again, as if, yknow? so yeah. dialogue = good

special_k said...

I am almost never on blogger, so, I don't know if FB will see my response to him.

My mom is in her early 50s, and never married.
From what I've known, she hasn't dated a lot, and hasn't had a bf in...a long time (I'll leave it at that).

She's also not an aggressive person when it comes to men.

In my case I've never dated.
I think that Asian guys are attractive, but just like any other guy, they need to meet my standards. I won't force something that I don't feel is going wrong, and I won't date someone just because they are a certain race.

However, if you are interested, the person that I've done the most with is an Asian guy.
I guess we were as close to dating as you could get, but he never said anything about becoming a couple and neither did I (not that we'd be able to because both of us were moving for work).

I know there are a lot of girls who flock to white guys because they are white, but I guess that memo missed me.
I'm more attracted to monoracial minorities and mixed people...

Unknown said...

As a single Asian man (enjoying it) I find that your comment" I have heard both white and Asian American women (and actually Latino and African American women) claim that they just simply aren't attracted to Asian American men." toward Asian men is narrow. I know the guys around me couldn't care less. If there are some out there that bothers them, then they need to step up their games. I never hear of any Asian guys that I know complaining about the dating scenarios. A lot of Asian feels good about themselves and their place in life. To the Asian haters: you are so sad.

Unknown said...


Asian guy here.

Wow this post is stupid. Never realized this was such a sore issue but come to think of it I do see the exact same parallel with black/white relationships where it's almost always black man/white woman.

I think you are WAAAY over psychoanalyzing this.

It's clear that you usually see more Asian female/White male (and similarily White female/Black male) since Asians are generally smaller/less massive than Whites (and similarily Whites are smaller than Blacks). Evolutionary sense kicks in and it's more natural the guy to be actually bigger than the female.

Case in point, I bet the disparity among Black/Asian couples is even MORE skewed.

You give too little credit to Asian females and I don't think White men have an Asian fetish - Asian females marry whites to increase status or because Asian men are too traditional? LOL. Then why do more White women similarily marry Black men than the reverse? Social advancement is definitely not it but biology seems to be the cause. I'm speaking generally of course and there's always going to be messed up individuals. LOL only in America where this is even an issue. Asians are like 5% of this population - insignificant so really not surprising there is going to be some interracial relationships since we're surrounded by a sea of Caucasians. Plus, considering East Asia >99% East Asian I don't think we'll ever worry about the Asian race dying out. In the U.S., what would you prefer that both females AND males intermarry? Someone has to preserve tradition I guess lol.

Final point, why again point to social/psychological reasons? For example, what is also the sex balance in the U.S. Asian population. Perhaps there is a large excess of Asian females than males (might be plausible considering most Asians are immigrants and thus bias could've been introduced this way).

All my Asian male friends are married and have never complained about not being able to find (Asian) females. Also from general observation the few Asian females that I have encountered with White husbands - let's say in terms of looks - would not make any Asian male angry (i.e. they have never been pursued by us). Sorry, for the male chauvinist bent of this post - it's harsh but true.

Jennifer said...


I appreciate that this post invigorated you to leave a comment (perhaps a second comment since I noticed that someone named "Patrick" already responded months ago).

I want to direct you to the posting/commenting policy on this blog--telling me that my post is "stupid" is not a way to encourage me to engage in open and honest dialogue with you. I appreciate that you have a different perspective, one that you believe to be "the truth." But I think you can see from my post as well as others' comments (and I don't think I need to cite academic research on this subject, but suffice it to say that Sociologists and Psychologists of all different ethnicities have done research on inter-racial relationships).

I welcome debate and discussion but if your point in commenting is to simply tell me that I"m wrong and that that's the way it is, I'm not interested in having that kind of conversation (and it's conversation I'm looking for on this blog--I reserve the right to engage in comment moderation/deletion--this isn't a venting forum I'm running).

Happy New Year!

Unknown said...

The post above by Asian guy implying all Asian women w whites are ugly what a dickish statement - ego issues anyone?

Around here Asians seem to stick together though I'd agree about the bm/wf the few I see.

It seems in Russia the opposite occurs - figures

david said...

I've been reading all the comments and I would like to know about preferences. Do preferences play any role in dating inter-racially?

I think that they do from my experience because in the past, I have been attracted to white women in the past but overtime my preference changed.

Should that change be scrutinized and analyzed to the nth degree? I don't think so. Peoples likes change. A person you liked in high school might not be attractive to you ten years later.

When I date, I don't date for status or because I'm attracted to a person's skin color(I don't see how a person can date someone else just on their race alone), I date that person because of the things we have in common.

My initial attraction is physical but it fades away and becomes more personal once I get to know that person better.

I'd just to know other people's take on this.

Jennifer said...


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm assuming your questions were more for other readers/commenters rather than for me, since I think my post demonstrates that I DO think that politics plays into our decisions, sexually speaking, and I disagree that things should not be analyzed--after all, this is what I do for a living--analyze culture for meaning. It may seem excessive to some, but I would argue that media and culture shape our desires more than we realize.

However, as I said in my post, you can't help who you love. Yes, my attraction to white men, in particular to my current partner, may have been a result of the subtle and not-so-subtle messages I've been receiving from society about who is considered attractive. And yes, I may be a walking stereotype--but that doesn't mean I don't love Southern Man and don't want to make a relationship with him work. I just want to be aware of these issues and to work against the underlying assumptions of white supremacy/privilege that situates whiteness as the ultimate in attraction.