20 votes

When Asian Women Are Harassed for Marrying Non-Asian Men

14 comments

  1. [10]
    Cyhchan
    Link
    I've actually been meaning to post about this for a while now. I'm in an AFWM relationship and did not really think much about it until I watched Natalie Tran's documentary on youtube (I wanted to...

    I've actually been meaning to post about this for a while now. I'm in an AFWM relationship and did not really think much about it until I watched Natalie Tran's documentary on youtube (I wanted to link it, but apparently she's taken it down?) as she explored why the asian community hated her for dating a white man. The people she interviewed talked about how asian men have been emasculated in the media and that asian women who date outside of their race play a direct role in further perpetuating the idea that asian men are undesirable. After watching the documentary, I checked out the r/hapas subreddit and was surprised to find out how much asian women who date white guys are absolutely despised. They make ridiculously hateful comments about how all those women are "white worshippers" and "self-hating asians" whose children will definitely grow up hating asian men. White men, on the other hand, only want to be with asian women because they are fetishized and white men want a subservient wife. Unsurprisingly, they make no such criticisms of the WFAM pairing.

    Although I do agree that asian men have historically, and still continue to be emasculated in the media, I think their anger is misplaced. The vast majority of asian women I know date both in and out of their race. They may end up with a white guy, but it's almost never because ending up with a white guy was the goal or something. It's also deeply disturbing the way that women are viewed as a commodity whose only purpose is to validate asian men's sense of self-worth. Celeste Ng, Michelle Phan, Constance Wu, Amy Chua, and even Chloe Bennet are all under fire for dating white men regardless of their achievements.

    Another thing that is frequently brought up is that asian women receive white privilege when they date/marry white men. Not sure what that means, as I personally don't feel more privileged. Maybe that's just my own blind spot though?

    Anyways, all this to say that I recognize that asian men have their own unique hardships and I do hope that movies and tv shows start to better show them as fully fleshed, attractive people so that they can stop being stereotyped as nerdy and asexual. But I also hope that they can stop assuming they know anything about individual AFWM relationships.

    17 votes
    1. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      Am I right in guessing, from context, that "AFWM" = "asian female, white male"?

      I'm in an AFWM relationship

      Am I right in guessing, from context, that "AFWM" = "asian female, white male"?

      7 votes
    2. [6]
      Shiga
      Link Parent
      Hey there, stepping in as an Asian American man to provide my own personal insight. As a disclaimer, I do not participate or browse /r/hapas or /r/aznidentity or /r/aznmasculinity. I regularly...

      Hey there, stepping in as an Asian American man to provide my own personal insight. As a disclaimer, I do not participate or browse /r/hapas or /r/aznidentity or /r/aznmasculinity. I regularly browse and participate in /r/asianamerican, which is a more grounded Asian American community that talks about AA issues from all facets, including confronting the issues of villainizing AFWM relationships.

      It should definitely be acknowledged and confronted that treating AA women as commodities is completely wrong, and shaming them for dating non-Asians is wrong as well. I am not disputing this.

      However, I do have to highlight that internal racism is a large issue in the AA community. There are plenty of AA women that date any race, sure. However, there is an abnormally large amount of AA women that strictly date white men or strictly do not date Asian men. You can see plenty of this in statistics that you can pull from dating sites or studies performed that you can find in academic journals. I can share a few as well. Part of the problem is that there are AA women who say all Asian men are ugly, or dating an Asian man is like dating their brother. That's clearly racist and it's not commonly spoken about.

      I can tell you that I have 5 cousins that are women.

      Guess how many of them married an Asian man? Zero.

      Guess how many of them dated an Asian man at one point in time? One.

      The 4 of them that never dated Asian men all share the same sentiment that Asian men are ugly, nerdy, or un-dateable. It's baseless and racist. This can't be disputed. You can have preferences, but not on these grounds.

      We shouldn't let AFWM-hating extremists detract away from the problem that currently exists, which is that there is a prevalent existence of internalized racism that exists with Asian Americans, more so than any other race. There is nothing more dehumanizing than stereotyping an entirely large group of people (Asian men) to being perceived as lesser human than anyone else.

      Thanks for reading. I'm fine with fielding any questions you may have.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Cyhchan
        Link Parent
        Thanks for your insights on this. I think I pretty much agree with everything you are saying and I'm glad that the animosity demonstrated by individuals from subreddits like r/hapas and...

        Thanks for your insights on this. I think I pretty much agree with everything you are saying and I'm glad that the animosity demonstrated by individuals from subreddits like r/hapas and r/aznidentity are not necessarily representative of Asian men as a whole.

        I guess my only question is what you think individual Asian women can do to show support for Asian men? I think it is awful that some Asian women say that Asian men are ugly or nerds. These kinds of stereotypes are obviously wrong and harmful. However, if an Asian woman or woman in general is more attracted to another race, what can she really do about it? On a more macro level, I see that the woman is probably affected by westernized beauty ideals and there may also be internalized racism going on on some level, but I also don't see what we can expect her to do about it. She's not obligated to give every race or ethnicity a fair chance, nor can she really help who she is attracted to.

        I'm sorry, I don't think I'm really articulating this as well as I can and I hope I haven't caused any offense.

        1 vote
        1. Shiga
          Link Parent
          Not much. I think the better goal really is to look at how the mainstream media is portraying role models of Asian Americans. Because of how hard Asian American men are emasculated in modern film,...

          However, if an Asian woman or woman in general is more attracted to another race, what can she really do about it?

          Not much. I think the better goal really is to look at how the mainstream media is portraying role models of Asian Americans. Because of how hard Asian American men are emasculated in modern film, it is so much easier to teach younger Asian girls to think "oh, ew, they're not handsome. I really like the handsome star though!" (aka, the main character who is more than likely white). This kind of calls into hand for needing more AA writers and directors who can write, relate, and understand how an Asian character would act.

          A really good example of positive AA male representation is Glenn Rhee, portrayed by Steve Yeun on The Walking Dead. His character broke beyond multiple stereotypes: he wasn't submissive, his identity didn't revolve around a generic nerdy character, he actively took charge and leadership roles in the show, earned the respect of all of his peers, showed he was a sharp and cunning individual, he was fit, and he married a white (meaning non-Asian) woman. It completely destroyed the whole dynamic of previous stereotypes that humanized AA men and I think more media outlets should do that. If we see more films of this character archetype (or at least more variance), it villainizes AA men less so and those kids/teens watching that content growing up can view them just as highly as any other male. We just need to break old stereotypes and pave way for new perspectives to teach open-mindedness.

          Anyway, you absolutely did not cause any offense, so please don't feel obligated to apologize! Let me know if you have more questions. I haven't checked Tildes until now, so that's why I replied so late, haha.

          2 votes
      2. [3]
        super_james
        Link Parent
        Did any of them date short non-Asian men? Do tall Asian men report being un-datable?

        Did any of them date short non-Asian men? Do tall Asian men report being un-datable?

        1. [2]
          Shiga
          Link Parent
          The general consensus is that white men tend to be taller than Asian men, but that still doesn't directly answer your question (which is a good one!). If you would like me to find alternative...

          The general consensus is that white men tend to be taller than Asian men, but that still doesn't directly answer your question (which is a good one!). If you would like me to find alternative sources fielding this question, I can eventually.

          Otherwise, I can link you to two studies regarding online dating communities/online opinions of sub communities: One talking about online dating preferences and Two, about racism and sexism on the internet.

          These studies are pretty interesting to look at and I think they can be fairly eye-opening to its audience, depending on level of previous exposure to the topic.

          2 votes
          1. super_james
            Link Parent
            Oh I was asking about your 5 cousins! I've not read the linked papers but do they try and tease out the effects of height vs race stereotypes vs economic status vs ??? Anecdotal is of course...

            Oh I was asking about your 5 cousins!

            I've not read the linked papers but do they try and tease out the effects of height vs race stereotypes vs economic status vs ???

            Anecdotal is of course useless but Jho Low dating Miranda Kerr is a pretty amusing and extreme outlier...

  2. [3]
    Luna
    Link
    For those out of the loop, there's a subreddit, /r/AZNidentity, which is about the identity of Asian individuals. That's pretty nebulous, but it covers everything from Harvard's accused bias...

    For those out of the loop, there's a subreddit, /r/AZNidentity, which is about the identity of Asian individuals. That's pretty nebulous, but it covers everything from Harvard's accused bias against Asians to Asian representation in Hollywood, and everything in between. Sadly, it also has a lot of people who believe that Asian men are being systematically locked out of the dating pool by Asian women, and use rhetoric shockingly similar to that of white nationalists. Reddit should have at least quarantined this subreddit in their recent wave, but it's a fairly niche subreddit compared to the likes of /r/CringeAnarchy and /r/WatchPeopleDie.

    I think this sums up their attitudes towards any and all criticism: Is Celeste Ng mentally deranged? (Celeste Ng is the author of the article.) Lots of harassment originates here, and I'm sure Celeste is going to have a new round of hateful DMs and emails from this article.

    12 votes
    1. grahamiam
      Link Parent
      Celeste is such an earnest and positive person on Twitter. You can tell she is trying really hard to figure out some kind of way to fight against this terribleness and I hope she doesn't burn...

      Celeste is such an earnest and positive person on Twitter. You can tell she is trying really hard to figure out some kind of way to fight against this terribleness and I hope she doesn't burn herself out because she is making a difference despite the continued harassment. Every time she posts there are so many people who comment thanking her for her outspokenness on the issue, and there are a lot of women who self-censor themselves and their identities online to avoid this kind of harassment.

      Celeste's fiction is also really great, if you want to check it out.

      7 votes
    2. Octofox
      Link Parent
      Wow, I just went down a weird reddit rabbit hole of communities I and arguments I never knew existed. I feel slightly more educated on world issues but also a little saddened by the extra hate and...

      Wow, I just went down a weird reddit rabbit hole of communities I and arguments I never knew existed. I feel slightly more educated on world issues but also a little saddened by the extra hate and racism I have been made aware of.

      1 vote
    3. Removed by admin: 14 comments by 4 users
      Link Parent
  3. Catt
    Link
    My sentiments too. I don't think anyone will disagree that in Western media, Asian men are often emasculated and seen as asexual, and on the opposite end, Asian women are exotically fetishized and...

    “I will fight anyone who wants to emasculate Asian men,” YA author Ellen Oh wrote me. “But I won’t do it at the expense of misogynistic hate toward my sisters. There are many enlightened Asian males out there who are able to see that Asian women who promote women’s rights, including the right to date and marry whoever the hell they want, are not the enemy.”

    My sentiments too. I don't think anyone will disagree that in Western media, Asian men are often emasculated and seen as asexual, and on the opposite end, Asian women are exotically fetishized and seen as overly sexual. And these portrayals often are extended to real life. However, I can't support this hate and blame they are placing on Asian women.

    6 votes