The LA Herald published “Married to Chinamen – White Women Who Accept Mongolian Husbands” in 1892. But it’s hatred, not acceptance, that prevails in the piece.
Essentially, the article asks a simple racist question. What in the world is wrong with these white women, who would dare to love and marry Chinese men?
I’m amazed that there were white women in the 1890s courageous enough to overcome societal condemnation and love Chinese men regardless.
Think about it. This was only a decade after the US passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. In an era when the US wanted Chinese out of the country, these women welcomed them into their hearts and homes. They created families with them.
So, in an effort to remember the bitter early history of AMWF couples in America, I’m sharing 4 stinging quotes on white women who love Chinese men from this LA Herald piece:
#1: The average American cannot understand how any human being, however inured by custom, can live in an average Chinatown. That white women should live there by deliberate choice seems to him monstrous, horrible.
Racists crave dehumanizing language. So it’s not surprising that the paper describes these white women as if they were the brides of Frankenstein.
#2: She is but twenty-two years of age, remarkably beautiful and possessed of a voice that…would be a fortune. Yet three years ago, she met and loved a Chinaman.
If the 1890s ever ran a “public service announcement” against white women marrying Chinese men, it would probably start with something like this. (Oh my.)
#3: It is also well known that not one Chinaman in a hundred comes to these shores without leaving behind a wife in China; so by the laws of China, the white wife is not a wife…
And if that 1890s “public service announcement” continued, this is the climax, the heart of their argument. Don’t marry someone who can’t guarantee you a proper marriage! (Whoa.)
#4: They have had six children, of whom five are living – bright, intelligent half breeds. And Mrs. Watson (her husband took that name when baptized) is still handsome and pleasant spoken.
<sarcasm>Ah yes. Amazing that Mrs. Watson didn’t somehow become deformed or damaged after marrying a Chinese man. And her kids even appear normal. Incredible! </sarcasm>
You can read the full LA Herald article online. Prepare to cringe.
What do you think?
P.S.: Thanks to Tony of Frederickbee.com for linking to this article, which brought it to my attention.
I’m always on the lookout for more AMWF history. If you know of a couple or story you’d like me to spotlight, contact me today.