What celebrity couple are you and your significant other? What is your spirit animal? When will you die? How long would you survive in a velociraptor attack?
Facebook “News”feeds are a breeding ground for time-wasting quizzes, links, and stories. Hopefully, over the course of one’s journey, posts become something more thought provoking or stimulating in one way or another. Hopefully.
Then there are the posts that baffle and infuriate. A friend of mine posted a piece from Thought Catalog on her Facebook profile on March 29. The title of the article is Asian Women Need to Stop Dating White Men. Again, It was on Thought Catalog, a place that is supposed to publish pieces that are creative and stimulating. It went viral pretty quickly.
Navigating through the painful “article,” author Anne Gus proclaims herself as an educated, well off, popular, white, college-age girl who is “visually assaulted” every time that she sees a “WMAW” couple: White Man/Asian Woman.
Let it be known, that I am aware that this Anne Gus is the alter ego of a white male named Angus. Unconfirmed, but I read that this Anne Gus is a character whom Angus believes would be the type of woman to complain about such things. I think this is something Angus should work on. He has a linguistically challenged, racist, privileged white woman living in his mind. If you’re going through the process of creating such an opinionated character, please be sure to display that same level of preparation in your execution.
The point of the satire was to point “The WMAW phenomenon is itself one steeped in Patriarchal values, sexism and racism.” Oh! So we are supposed to be talking about the problems with a patriarchal system! There are small mentions of white men doing it because of a sexual fantasy, and viewing Asian women as subservient, and more pleasant than their white counterpart; or simply to display their manliness over an entire race of women who are only rice pickers, or ladies of the night. For the most part, the piece reeks of bitterness and bigotry.
By giving such specific examples steeped in fragrant racism, you lose your point of general male dominance and oppressive nature. This makes it as though Chinese men cannot and do not display the oppressive qualities of patriarchal society over their own women. Race blurs the boundaries and shape of the intended argument.
But then again, this might be simply about “Damn the white man.” We, as a people need to let this go. This is not going to lead to progression and adaptation. The argument is still trying to pin problems on a population that arguably is the source of many problems, but of yesteryear. This blame game is a hindrance on the growth of the collective.
Women are a force to be reckoned with, regardless of race. The values of a patriarchal society still infringe upon the rights of women to this very moment. In 2014, we are still discussing the right of a woman to have a baby or not. Conservative and religious men are yelling into microphones and cameras about how she should or should not deal with a pregnancy that was unplanned, potentially harmful, product of rape, or whatever situation. How does she react? With protests, petitions, and open letters to politicians.
Our black, white, Asian, Latin, European, Middle Eastern, and mixed mothers and their mothers have burned their bras for women’s rights, marched to vote, sat in the front of buses to fight oppression, strutted the runway in the name of beauty, petitioned to play sports, and made a place for the ladies of tomorrow to flourish in ways previous generations never had the opportunity to.
Women have stood strong and gained ground in the face of patriarchal values, and articles like this make it all sound like we are sitting pretty, awaiting instruction from the next man who comes along. While there is obvious work to still be done, this is hugely offensive to all of the women who fought so that women could become educated, learn to play sports, obtain employment, vote, have a baby, not have a baby, wear a bikini, and marry whomever they love regardless of race and socioeconomic background.
As a Chinese-Puerto Rican woman, I find myself angered by this one particular article, and on the somewhat prevalent arguments regarding relations between white men and Asian women.
These arguments have been around for some time. The first time I heard it was actually from a Chinese young man who made the argument that Asian women have been “brainwashed” by the media to think that white men can take care of us and offer us more opportunities than Asian men. Television shows, movies, and theater have “educated” Asian women to believe that Asian men are feeble, work blue-collar jobs, and are completely sexually inadequate.
I cannot begin to picture a life truly shaped by the media. We are all influenced by it, but to reach the level of eliminating an entire race of people from my pool of potential mates, makes Asian women sound as though they are not capable of forming their own opinions. Looks like the idea of the simplicity of taking advantage of an Asian woman spans racial boundaries.
I grew up in a New York suburb of New York City. In my elementary school, there was one mixed-race girl, one black boy, one Korean girl, one set of Indian twins, and me. Everyone else was white. This is how I began my life of attraction to white boys. My personal preferences in a mate were not shaped by the media, but by the neighborhood I grew up in. The only exposure I had to Asian boys, aside from the one Indian boy, was the little boys I would see during family trips to Chinatown to visit my grandparents.
My first crush was Ryan C., a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, cherub of a child. Then came along Dan W., another golden child; followed by blue-eyed cutie Larry G., basketball wonderboy Jeremy L., and my high school sweetheart Andy S. They were all white. Why? Because these are the people I grew up with. They are what I knew, and to whom I developed an attraction.
Another argument presented to me was that Asian women, just like a large portion of the Asian population in America try to deny their heritage to be more accepted, and by dating Asian men, they are regressing.
This enrages me because each person’s attachment to their heritage is different from the next. Just because I do not speak Chinese or have rice at every single meal, does not mean I’m attempting to deny my father’s side of the family.
In addition, why would we deny the heritage that has contributed so much to the Western world? Major contributions to mathematics, medicine, world cuisine, fashion, technology, architecture, philosophy, religion, and other aspects of life as we know it in America come from the Eastern cultures of Asia. The fact that I listen to Lana Del Ray, throw on Keds, and love Sunday brunch, does not mean I’m denying my Chinese roots. If I had an Asian boyfriend, chances are that I would pick one with whom I could share my cookie-cutter music and love for champagne. It would not be a step back in my book.
One thing a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge is the preferences of Asian men. After four years of living in Chinatown, Manhattan, do you want to know how many Asian men flirted with me? Three. One 17-year-old brave boy asked me to prom while I was working out at the gym. There was a nice older guy, to whom I simply was not attracted. Then, I got the news that I was not Chinese enough. One actually had discussed the fact that his very “old country” parents would not be thrilled over an mixed-Asian girl. And you know what? There are some Asian guys who, wait for it, only date white girls!
Moving on, there’s the fetish aspect of this discussion. In the age of porn and evermore twisted sexual indulgences, there’s the always popular theory that white men only want Asian women because the men believe that they can act out their wildest fantasies that they’ve concocted from online flicks they’ve seen at witching hours on a browser that is cleared out more than my closet.
The only reason Asian women are attractive to men outside of their racial homebase, is because we are a fetish. We are not humans. We are not wildly demanding. We don’t have standards. We are not attractive in our own unique ways. We are not intelligent and able to carry on a conversation. We are not the special little princesses that our parents said we were. So stop thinking that now, Asian women! People seem to think we are nothing but living, breathing sex dolls who wants to be spanked, slapped, spit on, tied up, taken advantage of, and passed from man to man.
Oh. Ok, then.
All in all, let love just exist, people! Where so many young people just want to hook up and remain fearful of relationships, why criticize any relationship that has the will to live? We have issues with patriarchy, still, but why target a certain trend in relationships to illustrate the problem?
I come from a family of strong-willed, determined, and unsurprisingly successful women. My oldest sister, a bio-chemist married a white Italian man. They have a happy marriage with the most perfect five-year-old son. She is the last Asian woman to bow down to the oppressive hand of anyone of any race.
My second sister, a graphic designer married a man of Mexican and French background. Their success has landed them the beautiful home with the picket fence and a view, the baby girl, and a dog! Surprise! The American dream is a reality in a mixed-race family.
My younger sister is in a successful relationship with a Colombian young man. Is there no argument needed for their happiness because he’s not white? What is the social understanding and label for relationships between mixed-Asian women and Latino men? Is she still being oppressed because she’s Asian? Someone let me know!
The Man and I are not perfect, and we are working on our love again now because that is what keeps us together. We learn from each other, we grow because of each other, and we share the belief that love is love. I was never and will never be a fetish, a mark, an easy target to dominate. If anything, The Man would argue that I’m a bloody handful and cannot be subdued no matter how hard one man may try.
Maybe I am simply fortunate enough to not come across scumbags who execute the patriarchal values Angus could not properly convey as problematic to the female gender. In that same breath, maybe I’m also fortunate enough to have been raised by confident and powerful parents, assisted by my equally confident and powerful sisters.
I love whom I love, but not because he is a bad man and I’m weak.
Men and women alike should be able to discuss oppression without making it sound like it is the oppressed one’s fault. And without blaming “The White Man.” The same argument goes for why people chose to be with partners outside of their own racial background. It is no one’s fault.
Oppression exists. Racism exists. Sexual objectification exists. And apparently we are still having a hard time talking about it.