Ask the Yangxifu: What Western Women Think of Chinese Men

 

Western woman and a Chinese man
What do Western women think of Chinese men? A study by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences provides further insight into why couples of Chinese men and Western women are so rare.

This week on Ask the Yangxifu, I’m preempting the usual Q&A to share with you an article published a few weeks ago, in Chinese, discussing a China study about what Western women think of Chinese men — a topic on the minds of many readers.

No surprises here — especially if you’ve read or followed the comments on my post On the Rarity of Foreign Women and Chinese Boyfriends/Chinese Husbands. Still, it’s nice to see a more empirical take on something we have understood more intuitively, or through our own experiences.

My translation comes from the original article, first published on the Xinhua website.

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In our daily lives, we are always on the stage. Average Chinese are already accustomed to seeing more and more golden haired, blue-eyed foreign faces on the streets. But even though we no longer stare at them, the eyes of these foreigners are now sizing up our every action.

But, while stars such as Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi have built an international image of Chinese femininity, Chinese men, however, don’t enjoy such a positive reputation in the eyes of Western women. Starting from March of last year, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Sociology Professor Dr. Zhang Jiehai guided his team to carry out a survey for a project titled “The Image of Chinese Men in the Eyes of Western Women.” The current research group introduced their final results to us.

The survey shows, according to Western women, the most praiseworthy strengths of Chinese men were categorized as “looking after one’s family,” “willing to spend money on women,” “relatively serious about relationships between men and women;” weaknesses included “not so gentlemanly,” “poor physique, not enough exercise,” “no personality, lacking unique opinions.” Additionally, almost every participant mentioned how many Chinese men have nasty habits such as “spitting anywhere,” “growing long nails to pick their ears and nose,” “not brushing their teeth well enough,” giving these women a first impression of Chinese men as being very dirty.

During an interview, Zhang Jiehai explained that this survey included a questionnaire and focus groups, with more than 100 Western women finishing the questionnaire and more than 20 women participating in the detailed focus group discussions. All of the participants were adult Caucasian women with experience living and working in China.

Positive: Chinese men are good family men

French participant A: I think Chinese men, especially Shanghai men, really care for their families, are really like a father, and really care about their wives. For example, one time, I was with a Chinese male colleague shopping at the supermarket. From his behavior at the supermarket, I couldn’t help but praise him like this: you’re definitely an outstanding husband! That’s because this male colleague, from the beginning to end, participated in every detail of the shopping, such as choosing fruit, choosing drinks etc. However, in France, going to the supermarket to shop is often only women’s work, and many women go shopping alone. Even if a man accompanies you, he would not be like Chinese men, helping you choose everything. Many French men don’t do housework at all, don’t wash dishes — even if they have free time on the weekend, they won’t help out around the house.

American participant: I think to discuss this question, first you need to understand the background. That is, China has never experienced a complete feminist movement like the West. However, Chinese men still automatically understand you need to respect women — open the door for women, carry their bags. Only when I return to the US do I realize how I’ve been spoiled by Chinese men.

Last year during National Week vacation, a Chinese male friend of mine took me out shopping and bought me 1,000 RMB worth of clothing. When I protested about it to him, he said “if I had a girlfriend, I would definitely not just buy a few things for her.” I’ve never encountered a Western man who is generous like this, so willing to spend so much money on me. Maybe there are Western men like this, but I haven’t been lucky enough to run into them.

Negative – Some Chinese men don’t pay attention at all to their appearance

Male chauvinism

American participant: Most Chinese men have some male chauvinist ideas. I often hear my Chinese male colleagues say something like “This matter was bungled? I knew early on it would be a mess — could a woman really do a good job?” In America, if someone dares to say something like this in the workplace, they could get sued. What’s interesting is, my Chinese female friends told us the way they handle male chauvinism in Chinese men is this — first they appease them, then they use sweet words to control them, all to get the men to do work.

French participant A: The impression that Chinese men, especially Shanghainese, give me is that they are really, really curious. Many times, I’ve realized that many of my Chinese male colleagues are actually very conceited, and have some male chauvinist ideas. You can feel they really don’t want to listen to the suggestions of their female colleagues.

German participant: Overall, only 8 to 9 percent of Chinese men are successful in pursuing Western woman (but the success rate for Western men in pursuing Chinese women is far higher compared to that). The reason is Chinese men are not confident. Who would like to be with an insecure man? Another manifestation of Chinese men and their lack of confidence is more indirect. Those men with Western girlfriends or wives will brag about them, as if these women were a BMW.

Also, apparently it seems that all Chinese men have the same opinions. How is this possible? Every person definitely has their own different opinions, but the Chinese men I know have the same opinions, as if they were all cast from the same mold. So I think they are not being truthful, or privately they have first agreed on what they should say to foreigners. Otherwise how could everyone’s thinking be exactly the same? We Western women appreciate out of the ordinary men such as Wong Kar Wai.

American participant: In different cultures, the meaning of manhood and womanhood is different. Of course, generally speaking (and this is really, really general), in the West, people believe that Asian women are more feminine, but Asian men are not masculine enough. However, I have found there are some (although not many) Chinese men who are very masculine.

Poor appearance

German participant: I often notice that some Chinese men make me feel they are not so tidy — for example, their fingernails are too long, they spit anywhere. Once I asked my Chinese female colleagues why Chinese men grow their fingernails so long. They said it was to pick their nose or pick their ears — I just could not understand this. Additionally, there are some Chinese men who like to squat in public, and I really cannot tolerate this either. In my country, only children do this; adults should sit on the ground or stand up straight. If you squat in public, it makes me feel like this person has no backbone — how can a person’s backbone be so bent?

French participant B: Now there are many foreigners in Shanghai, but some Chinese men make me feel they’re not as clean as we are — their fingernails are long, they have an unkempt appearance, and they spit on the street. In Europe, spitting is seen as a nasty habit, while cleanliness is a very essential, very important part of our culture. Chinese men just really don’t stress being meticulous about their appearance. Their physique, if not too thin is often a little fat.

Discussion: uncovering the hidden sense of inferiority

Reporter: Your survey is extremely interesting. I want to ask you, how did you first come up with this question?

Zhang Jiehai: “Chinese men in the eyes of Western women” is one of my starting points in research. In some places, it is common for Chinese to have an attitude that Western is better. This leads to a sense of inferiority before Westerners. I chose to look at Chinese men according to Western women, because, in terms of confidence and self-respect, we have higher expectations for men than women. For many Chinese men, when faced with international criticism, there are two themes that arise — one is inferiority; the other is concealed inferiority. For example, you might say to a person that something about him is not so good; his first reaction is to jump up and attack you, but really, this reaction is caused by a sense of inferiority. He’s angry because something someone else said touched something he is sensitive about. So, to solve the “inferiority” problem, the most essential first step is for you to admit inferiority. We did this survey because we wanted to look at the international world, to see if Western women already realized the inferiority of Chinese men. If so, I will once again turn around and tell everyone, your inferiority is already known, you don’t need to hide it.

Reporter: I noticed there are some Western women who said Chinese men aren’t willing to look for foreign girlfriends. Is their insecurity the basis for this judgment?

Zhang Jiehai: I believe definitely there is some of that. This lack of confidence, on one hand, comes from the economic conditions. Most Chinese men commonly believe men should be wealthier and more hardworking than women. But Western women’s salaries may be higher than theirs, and they don’t want to be a “social climber.” On the other hand, I should say, Chinese men have a pretty strong sexual anxiety. He might tell himself that Western women have a casual lifestyle when it comes to dating and sex, or that they have higher sexual expectations than Chinese women. So he has to judge himself to determine if he can meet her expectations. To the contrary, Chinese women looking for Western men have none of these issues. One Western participant told us that, if a Chinese man wants to find a Western girlfriend, he must have a very open mind and be flexible, because this really is not something a Chinese man is good at.

Suggestion – On the image of Chinese men in Hollywood movies

American participant: Currently, the image of Chinese men around the world is not so good, and Hollywood should take some responsibility. There are no great Chinese men in Hollywood movies. These few years, the image of Chinese men has improved some, with the help of Chow Yun Fat. Especially, after the 2000 movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” came out, many people changed their opinion of Chinese men. So for this, you should thank Ang Lee. I’d like to give you a suggestion — find one of the world’s finest directors, then find an extremely gorgeous Chinese man with a great body, and a beautiful Western actress — and make a movie. The movie has to be good, of course. Then, distribute it around the world. I guarantee this would immediately change the image of Chinese men to something completely different.

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36 thoughts on “Ask the Yangxifu: What Western Women Think of Chinese Men

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  • April 23, 2010 at 9:33 am
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    Blanket question..and I can give a blanket answer. Western women and Chinese men combinations are rare. My experience has been mostly in Singapore..many I know are married to white South African women trying to get out of their country. The pioneer, the first to marry is now nearly 50 years old….an Afrikaner married a Chinese surgeon..they are still married, have two attractive super smart daughters..one 21 and the other 18…with the last name Lee..The first one is working in an international organization as an intern and the other is a sophomore in college. Despite that the mother has hid her husband and daughters from her racist family. Her sister, brother in law and nieces are members of a supremacist group called AWB in South Africa…she visits home once in five years…they are trying to get her married…they think she is an old maid..and they dont know that she committed “the ultimate sin” in their eyes by marrying a non-white person. They have lived in China and Singapore and now I think they still live in Singapore.

    Second, there was an incident at the Perth Airport when I was there, involving a Chinese multimillionaire and his Afrikaaner wife with a South African passport…she has been disowned although her family is poor back in South Africa. The immigration officer would not believe that an Afrikaaner woman, and an attractive one at that would be the wife of a Singaporean Chinese..all hell broke loose when immigration detained her. An Aussie from an international organization got involved and he got detained..of course later on he used his power and influence to have the officers suspended and sent for re-training. To this day I have not figured out if it was plain racism or the “rarity” of a white woman from SA marrying outside her set the officer of…I will probably never find out as he has been put at the desk…Generally, unless you cross immigration in Sydney or Melbourne where there are many Aussie immigration officers of Indian origin from Fiji, interracial couples, especially involving white women will have problems with Australian immigration…especially of course if an Asian guy is married to an Aussie woman..used to be that way in the US and still is places such as Atlanta or Charlotte, NC, but have not experienced it in DC, San Francisco or Los Angeles or even in Chicago

    Reply
  • April 23, 2010 at 9:35 am
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    “and they dont know that she committed “the ultimate sin” in their eyes by marrying a non-white person.”

    …and if they ever find out while she is visiting, they will never find her body..that is how vicious AWB folks are.

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  • April 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm
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    OK, I’m going to pt in a nay vote for the spitting, but if you can get past that and maybe “train” them not to spit in public, you will have found yourself a very nice Hubby lol
    .-= rhiannon´s last blog ..Decisions decisions… =-.

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  • April 25, 2010 at 8:17 am
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    OK, I’m going to pt in a nay vote for the spitting, but if you can get past that and maybe “train” them not to spit in public, you will have found yourself a very nice Hubby lol

    Have you been to a US baseball game?

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  • April 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm
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    Hi Jocelyn! Decided this will be my first time commenting on the site. 🙂

    Thanks for posting this topic and translating the original article. I know that not everyone will agree with my following opinions and, I don’t know, may even insult somebody. If so, I apologize ahead of time as that’s not my intent.

    Jocelyn already knows this about me but for others, I’m an ABC and a Police Officer.

    Part of my job involves observing people; and that’s not just the casual “people watching” thing. Among the things Police Officers observe about people is behavior, because it’s usually an indicator or precursor that can tell us how a person is or what a person might do. Even when I’m off duty, I can’t help but to apply some of my observation skills in public places or social settings. I grew up visiting my nearby Chinatown and still do. I have to say, with regret, that article seems very accurate at least on what I’ve been seeing for years about Chinese men in particular.

    My opinion is the findings of that article may not reflect as much to ABC men, or Canadian-born Chinese men or probably Chinese men born in other countries. My guess is the environment may play a factor. However, it seems to ring true with Chinese men who are immigrants (obviously from China). Unkempt personal appearance and clothing and obvious lack of exercise seems to be the norm. There are exceptions, of course, but doesn’t seem to be the norm.

    I’ve never been to China, but I’ve a deep interest to visit one of these days mainly because it’s my ancestral homeland. From the article, it would seem that the views of the sampling of foreign women on Chinese men in China (along with this article that Jocelyn posted a while back:

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/www/english/metro-beijing/two-cents/opinion/2010-02/505499.html

    from the topic:

    http://www.speakingofchina.com/ask-the-yangxifu/western-women-meet-chinese-men/

    are parallel to the basic observations I have made of immigrant Chinese men. Some of their negative comments/observations are also some that I’ve heard of before in the past. This is both frustrating and as a Chinese, embarrassing.

    I think that Zhang Jiehai in the article is right on when he pointed out that the inferiority complex and confidence plays a big part on why Chinese men seem reluctant to approach western women in China. I would also suggest the lack of sophistication in social skills too. Is it because of the upbringing of the Chinese society there? Is it the years upon years of stereotypical (?) views instilled upon them that certain things or ways are better than others? The economic situation where there’s a big disparity between the small rich class of people compared to the small middle class and high amount of low income people there? Could some of it be from a lack of education for some Chinese men?

    If it’s one, some, or all of the above (or it’s a deeper issue), then again it’s both frustrating and embarrassing for me to hear as a Chinese man. It’s also frustrating and embarrassing when this apparently is happening in their own country, where they are (obviously) a lot of Chinese men. Yet it’s rare to see a Chinese man with an available western woman in China? And (I can pretty much guess why), I heard (more than once) that Chinese women are literally throwing themselves at foreign men in China, even undesirable types that probably couldn’t even get a date in their own country?

    Jocelyn mentioned someone blogged about this here:

    http://www.speakingofchina.com/ask-the-yangxifu/why-not-stay-us/comment-page-1/#comment-2111

    I’m glad, at least, I’m not the only one who’s noticing and angry about this.

    Then there are mentions of “Chinese sometimes treating foreigners better than their own” or “崇洋媚外” as mentioned by Adam here:

    http://www.speakingofchina.com/ask-the-yangxifu/why-not-stay-us/comment-page-1/#comment-2111

    China, I hate to say this, but this is a slap to your face and should be very embarrassed!

    I will not allow myself to look unkempt in appearance. I don’t look anything like a bodybuilder or a high end athlete, but I do make an effort to keep fit. I had the will to get a college degree. And I’m certainly not better than anybody else, but I’m also not inferior to anyone else either.

    One of the things Jocelyn said her husband John wants to do is to go back to China and apply his training in psychology and help his people as there is a shortage of psychologists there. Maybe, psychology is one of those things that can help the Chinese people there on a myriad of problems and views they may hold. If so, I applaud John for his commitment and soon to be effort.

    But ultimately, it seems the Chinese men there need to acknowledge their shortcoming(s). Everybody has them. Then they need to make the effort to address them. And perhaps, the Chinese men there do need to “man up”, the right way though.

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  • April 25, 2010 at 10:38 pm
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    Waiting for that blockbuster with the hot Chinese guy and western woman to come out!

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  • April 25, 2010 at 11:14 pm
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    I just found your blog a few weeks ago and am enjoying reading it.
    I’m an American married to a Chinese guy. We live in a small city (a little less than a million) and our son and I are the only lao wai. Makes for an interesting life.
    This article is intersting. My husband doesn’t spit, drink, smoke, gamble or go out daily or have long fingernails; I was surprised about the spitting be a problem. I only see my students and elderly folks do that. He’s a clean guy, though he does love to tell me a story from his college days when he went a month without bathing! I didn’t realize that these shortcomings mentioned in the article were a big reason for the lack of western women with Chinese guys.
    However, I must say I’ve never met another guy who I would consider marrying due to their love of smoking, drinking and going out (among other things). I always tell my husband he’s a rare gem.
    We do have problems concerning his parents and thier desire to be with thier grandson every waking moment of the day.

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  • April 26, 2010 at 3:39 am
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    I am a Singaporean Chinese guy and I worked in Shanghai. In general the comments passed about Chinese men are right. China is progressing super fast and so are the women. If you look in depth, you will realized that the women are quicker at everything, fashion sense, gait, etc. Chinese men are too slow to react. If we think in Shanghai, the men are better we should also realized the women here in Shanghai are a lot better dressed and composed than their male counterparts. Somehow men in China do not generally care for their appearance, dressing or hair styles, whereas the women do. This phenomena has sort of encourage a lot of divorces here in China where the women strive to move ahead either with wanting a better life or a better husband. Divorce are becoming a social problem here in China. I see men in China, in general again, as uncouth, spitting, speaking loudly over the cellphone, being chauvinistic (da nan ren), brash mannerisms, etc. It is sad but that is true. So if you western ladies do find a Chinese guy that is cultured, grab him. Such men for the time being are rare species in China.

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    • April 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm
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      @George, thanks so much for the comments, and for sharing these stories. Certainly racism/prejudice does play a role in why these pairings are so rare, even though the participants did not really discuss it. I expect that, since these women were living and working in China, they would probably be a little more open-minded. But I’m sure if you did a survey of Westerners as a whole, these ideas would certainly come up in conversation.

      I agree that baseball games can get rowdy, and people do behave in an uncouth manner at times in public.

      @rhiannon, thanks for sharing! The spitting is certainly not pleasant, but not all Chinese men do it — and, as you say, they can unlearn it.

      @Rich, thank you so much for such a detailed comment! As my husband might say, “you touched the main point.” We often laud China for its extraordinary economic rise, and certainly, nowadays people — generally speaking — have a comfortable life. But comfort — and its signs (such as fancy cars, cell phones, etc) — are no indicator that a society has made progress socially, or in terms of behavior. I agree — they should admit and address their shortcomings.

      @Chris, thanks for the comment! I’m with you there on that blockbuster movie — we really do need one.

      @Charlotte, thanks for sharing! Your story is a great example of how there are always exceptional people out there — I feel the same way about my husband. You mentioned yours didn’t bathe for a month…mine grew up in the countryside, and it was commonplace to not even bathe all winter (which was natural, since otherwise they would catch cold). 😉 I can imagine his parents with your child…probably trying to coddle him, just as my husband’s parents have coddled our nephew over the years.

      @starbucks_sg, thanks for weighing in, and sharing your experience. Indeed, the cultured, enlightened Chinese men are exceptional — but if you find one, they are a gem.

      Reply
  • April 27, 2010 at 7:01 pm
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    @Rich, starbucks_sg

    It’s disheartening for me to see that you two hold these viewpoints towards Chinese men in general. These are factors that outside of your control and if you really limit your views solely on a few unkempt Chinese guys, then that’s what you will see no matter where you go.

    It maybe true that Chinese immigrants in America would be more “carefree” in their appearance, but then again, why should they care? They worked their butt off to come to America just to look good? I really don’t get it.

    Now, Chinese men in China are a completely different story. I would say that most of *YOUNG* Chinese men in their mid-20s holds a much, much more sense of style and fashino than any American I know. I’ve been in China for a long time now and I’ve never seen so many hairstyles/fahshion before in my Life. The way they do their hair is more creative than anything you’ll see in America, that’s for sure.

    But then again….I’m not sure if you two see it that way. And also, I’m not really sure what type of Chinese guys you hang out with…..and why you would have these views towards them.

    And as for Chinese guys being skinny and unfit, well of course they’d be skinny. They don’t work out simply because they don’t have the money or the time. And being in High School is probably the most stressful time of their lives who in their right mind would want to go work out? Just makes no sense at all….

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  • April 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm
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    @Jason – Agree with you. A lot of people in China are still below middle class. I doubt migrant workers worry too much about their personal grooming, physique, manners, etc when they have to deal with more important matters like putting food on the table for their families or getting their employers to actually paid them.

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    • April 28, 2010 at 11:19 pm
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      @Jason, thanks for the comment. You do touch on some very important issues that explain the current situation in China. I agree — along with Pat’s concurring comment (thanks Pat) — that there are factors that make it difficult for Chinese men to look as polished as they could be.

      Reply
  • July 11, 2010 at 6:05 am
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    What’s with all this urge to play Henry Higgins to the umpteenth Chinese male Eliza? You see these people in less than desirable conditions, and you should be thankful that you are luckier than them. But critiquing these people’s appearances just shows how limited your own life experience is.
    I eat healthy all the time, but I won’t lecture those who don’t have the luxury to do so. Let people live their own lives and stop trying to housebreak them. If you don’t think they’re up to par for potential dalliances, no one will lose any sleep over it.

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  • July 13, 2010 at 12:42 am
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    The older and more life experiences one gets, the less “obsessed” a person is with appearances. They still matter to a certain point but not the same level as when you were a teenager, a young adult or middle-age.

    Then again, I guess it depends who you’re talking to. I do noticed (maybe selective memory on my part) that there’s quite a lot of young Western females (late teens – 20s) who are attracted to the hipper Chinese-Asian guys with their creative hairstyles, fashion and looks. It’s a lot more than I remember and that attraction is increasing. I interact quite a bit with more “mature” ladies. Some of the mature Western women are open minded towards Chinese-Asian guys believing in the stereotype that they’re decent family men (which is true in a lot of ways).

    Some Western women haven’t been to China yet but they’re also open to Chinese guys. People may call it cynical but I say it’s practical;some women think that the increasing economic strength in China makes men there more appealing. Depends on the individual. However, in my amateur assessment, I say there’s more on the family man side than the fat wallet side in terms of attraction to Chinese-Asian men. Overall, women are kind of the same everywhere in terms of building and maintaining an intimate relationship.

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    • July 13, 2010 at 11:32 pm
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      Thanks for the comment, Friend. Things are indeed changing in China, and you’re right — there are more and more attractive, creative, interesting men over there. And, they can be a breath of fresh air, especially if you’re just tired of dating games and really want someone who’s more serious about committing.

      I agree — as China gets stronger, more women are going to be noticing the great men in this country.

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  • August 3, 2010 at 12:37 am
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    Hey, I’ve commented on Asian insecurity before, but I really want to drive this theme home. “Confucian” parents really do aim to suppress their child’s, especially the son’s, confidence. Humility, which is kind of the opposite of confidence/arrogance, is the goal. They do this by putting intense pressure on their children to perform, and sometimes being heavily critical of them. Thus, until a child escapes the parents’ sphere of influence, he may have confidence issues.

    The counterexamples: Christian Asians often have very loving and supportive households, and seem to generate more confident children. There are also Asian males who meet their parents’ ridiculous expectations and thus escape criticism and garner praise from an early age.

    But I can tell you first-hand, growing up with a hardcore Confucian dad like I did is a real damper on your confidence growing up. I definitely developed my confidence a lot later than my non-Confucian-raised peers (including other Asians), and I’m still getting my confidence levels up there. This is the backdrop against which Chinese are raised. In fact, I hear Chinese parents can be even more hardcore, so take from that what you will.

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  • August 19, 2010 at 6:26 am
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    I was born in China and i have been a Chinese man for more than 20 years. I believe the article tells the truth.I think the environment pays a important role on Chinese man-why they are dirty and have other weakness.Plsase pay attention that Chinese is still a developing country and some Chinese man did not get a good education,also some of them in bad ecnomic condition.These are the reasons of their weakness.So maybe you will meet a Chinese man who are very clean and surely he is a gentleman.I will not feel surperised as i know that he is in a good ecnomic condition and get a better education.I believe that there will be more and more Chinese gentleman as the fast develptment of China.

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  • December 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm
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    1000 RMB worth of clothing sounds crazy steep until you do the conversion and figure its only about 150 USD. Which is not a lot of money to spend on clothing.. but IS a lot of money for a guy to spend on a woman he’s not even dating. He must have really adored you, Jocelyn!

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    • December 11, 2010 at 11:55 pm
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      It is a lot, isn’t it Mish? Actually, though, that wasn’t my comment in the interview — it was another American girl. But I will say John has been exceedingly generous when it comes to buying me things in the past. 😉

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  • January 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm
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    The main factors that differentiate Western and Chinese habits are really history lessons: Western & Chinese histories and their respective economic histories. According to the late American Professor Dr John Henrik Clarke (a renowned scholar of ancient African and European history), the ancient Greeks and Romans were very well-dressed (but they were super thugs, not very educated but could fight like hell, especially the Romans). So dressing neatly is a historical Western habit.

    The Europeans in the Iberian peninsula (ie Spain) were educated to develop proper hygienic habits largely due to its invasion by the African Moors in the 8th century AD. The African Moors built many public baths there. Prior to their contact with the African Moors, European habit of hygiene was poor. Also, Europe had the Dark Ages and were quite unhygienic for a long time. The Church considered bathing a sin. When the Spanish invaded the indigenous nations of the Americas massacring and raping their peoples in the late 1700s the indigenous peoples reported the Spanish seldom bathed and really stank. More recent history tells us that the Europeans were again very unhygienic. The super economic exploitation thanks to the great robber barons and so-called industrialists did not help either.

    I must say that people of European descent are very mindful of being neatly clothed. And Europeans have an almost schizophrenic penchant for good hair grooming. But many Europeans still do not in general have a similar devotion to bathing/showering to rid body odor.

    The Chinese have a very different history obviously. The main factor causing the average Chinese in mainland China to be unkempt and unhygienic is the very long history of the practice of super economic exploitation by the wealth owning class. The anecdotal evidence is the generally respectable appearance and generally much much better hygienic habit of the wealthier Chinese in mainland China and other Chinese populations like in Taiwan, Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia and those in the diaspora in, say, the various Western countries. The other determining factor is related to the level of income, education. Mainland China for the last 200 hundred or so years have been very impoverished. It is a truism that education is always only available to a child in a more well-off family. Unlike Europeans, Chinese historically value education highly (and still do). The Church in the ancient times for a long time regarded Mathematics as the work of the devil and forbade people learning it. Many kings and queens of ancient Europe could not read or write. Except during the Cultural Revolution, never in Chinese history had something so crazy like denigration of education by the Church in Europe happened. Taoism and Buddhism have held and hold education in high esteem throughout Chinese history. By the way, the Church for a long time was really the single institution that gave Europe a sense of identity and statehood, for good or bad. It is almost a miracle that Europeans today can point the finger at people like the mainland Chinese about appearance/grooming and cleanliness/tidiness. I guess the level of European economic prosperity has had a lot to do with the super economic exploitation Europe inflicted on the rest of the world. With general economic prosperity came the better things in life like being able to afford better appearance/grooming and cleanliness/tidiness and widespread availability of education.

    On the question of spitting, do you know that China has had to rely very heavily on coal to generate electricity and coal is the most polluting form of energy? Oil is a better option pollution-wise. Why did 9/11 happen? It was mainly a laughable pretext for the US to occupy Iraq (as Iraq reputedly has the second largest reserves of untapped oil in the world, only second to Saudi Arabia). And I believe the pollution is the large cause of the spitting in mainland China. It’s not as if people are not educated to refrain from spitting indiscriminately. Although it is really disgusting they spit because there is partly a health need due to the awful pollution from the heavy reliance on coal and it is partly a human tendency to imitate your neighbors, good or dysfunctional. Also the state does not enforce fines or anything like that to try to curb spitting in public places. But spitting in public places in english-speaking Western countries is not unheard of though. I am a Hongkong Chinese and have lived in an english-speaking Western country for over 25 years. I am from a relatively well-to-do family. I was in mainland China for a short visit about 15 years ago. Although I never have the bad habit of spitting I found I developed the need to spit when in China because of my body’s reaction to that awful pollution. I must say that most of the local Chinese did not spit in public places as a matter of habit. In contrast, during my years in Hongkong I never developed the habit/need to spit. And Hongkong has always enforced its ban on spitting quite strictly and publicity to educate/warn the public to refrain from spitting worked well. By the way, I rarely see Chinese in Taiwan or from Taiwan spit either. They are closely related to mainland Chinese as most Taiwan Chinese mainly left the mainland in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm
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    One of the fittest (in every sense of the word) men I can think of: Bruce Lee! And I’m a Chinese woman.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm
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    Perhaps I should add, I’m a Chinese woman married to a Western guy. My point is, the study is simply an example of crude stereotyping.

    Reply
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  • August 11, 2011 at 10:42 am
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    I know westerners only look on the outside image of a person. Chinese women are feminine looking because of their diet and culture. Don’t you think Chinese women spit and live like they are in junk yards? Of course, they do!! Chinese women accept this kind of behavior; therefore, bad habits like this happen. China is overcrowded and they are struggling with their daily lives. If you have $10 USD in your pocket, do you rather give 2 kids each $5 or 10 kids $1 each ? If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you manage your kids’ eduations, behaviors or well beings. I know whenever you’re poor , you tend not to take pride in yourself ,your job or living environment. Only way to correct these problems is to start at schools and start a clean up campaign for the ENTIRE CHINA. 10 to 20 yrs later, even thinking about those bad habits make you want to throw up!

    Reply
  • August 12, 2011 at 9:42 am
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    Keep up the wonderful work, I read few content on this site and I think that your blog is real interesting and contains lots of wonderful info.

    Reply
  • December 9, 2011 at 12:25 am
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    “Hollywood should take some responsibility”???

    Hollywood won’t do a damn thing about acting fair when it comes to Asian image in Hollywood media. Why do you think there are so much negativity of Chinese men on Hollywood media in the first place? It was DELIBERATE action by Hollywood management or the management above the management…

    Secretly Hollywood is just another arm of US government, Media Propaganda arm to be more specific. For those of you who are Psych major, ever ask a question why Hollywood movies are sooooooo in line with US govt foreign policy…???

    Hollywood media is the best propaganda tool out there, well funded and have a far reaching influence around the world. It is in their (US Govt) best interest to keep Chinese (or asians in general) men and China “down”.

    “If you can’t beat them, you make a fool of them!”

    Reply
  • April 2, 2012 at 3:03 am
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    It seems to be an issue of class and not of culture. Judging Chinese men by the behavior of the poor under class is not a fair assessment at all.
    Should we judge American men by the behavior of the poor “trailer trash”? Are American men, truck driving, rednecks, with missing teeth, who are racist, and belong to the klan? When you put it into that perspective, you should begin to see how ridiculous the above assessments of Chinese men are. Maybe because I’m an ABC, but if I don’t show any interest in a Caucasian woman, it just might be because I’m not attracted to her or am just not interested. It’s not because of some assumed inferiority complex.

    Reply
    • April 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm
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      @Roger, thanks for the comment and you pose some valid points.

      One thing to remember is the context for this study — these are opinions gathered from women (who are likely all Caucasian) who happen to work and/or study in China, and I don’t think their opinions are meant represent the opinions of all Caucasian women or behaviors of Chinese men across the world (for example, the inferiority complex — I have experienced this in China with local men, but I agree that it would not really be an issue for someone like yourself). I realize the title itself might be misleading in this respect (I translated it from the Chinese).

      In terms of the fairness aspect, though, I totally agree that these negative opinions come off as very unfair, even when you consider the context for the study. Why should so many Western women harbor such negative opinions of Chinese when, as you say, there are many negative behaviors in certain populations of Caucasian men (such as European-American men, as you reference) that could be considered turn offs. I think there’s some racism at work here — i.e. “if some European-American men show negative behaviors, we won’t generalize it to all of them; but if some Chinese men show negative behaviors, well then all Chinese men must be bad,” this kind of thinking.

      Reply
  • April 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm
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    Let’s not talk about Chinese men. Let’s talk about North Korean men and South Korean men okay. Can you show me the difference?South Korea is freedom and North Korea is communist. Men from S. Korean have tons of money to take care of themselves and familes whereas men from N. Korea are kept in the dark for so long and poor. Those are two systems here. How can you compare?? How??? Now let’s get back to China here.. all Chinese men have to open doors for women??? WHen you haven’t been poor before my friend, you just don’t know anything!! Most westerners don’t understand at all!!!because they haven’t tried eating yam, pickled cabbage with porridge until adulthood. I understand because I’ve been there my friend!! This is China and this is somebody else’s home . This China’s envirnoment and society . How can you go to someone else’s home and tell people that this is not right or that is not right??? How about men from Japan, HK or Singapore? Are they dirty,too since they all are from rich countries? Chinese men chase women differently in a subtle way. Unlike Chinese men, western men don’t really care in details how women will react. Chinese men care about how women feel about things. It’s like comparing with a pitbull ( killer dog) and a gold retriever( gentle, cute). YOu can’t even compare with your neighbors . Tell me how can you compare men from different countries? If I tell you straight on that I’m 6’1 , 215lbs Chinese. clean cut, full of muscles( this yr my body is way better than last yr :)), kind, respectful,considerate, clean freak, confident in physical appearance, talkative, great sense of humor 24/7, 365 days a yr . Do you believe it? don’t think and don’t guess! yes or no answer only. With my personality, I will throw this study in front of your face and demand explanations on how you come to the conclusion that all Chinese men or any other ethnic mens are like this? Can I have study of Hispanic men on playing around only or black men the same or white men looking down other ethnic men blah blah blah? Alll this is just about making other men look bad so you can feel good about yourself!

    Reply
  • April 3, 2012 at 11:13 am
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    Do we have study on Chinese women also? I want to see! So western men think chinese women are nice, won’t argue back, listen to her man, don’t have bad habits , always clean, don’t spit, feminine ( don’t act like men) etc? Bring out the study/report! I will point out to you in real life that most of chinese women who have these bad things!! beside any studies we are talking about here. I would like to suggest something that will clean up China’s infrastructure and cleanliness. The followings are:

    1) fight corruptions
    2) keep on executing corrupted officials and high rating officials ( no bribery can bail out execution). They are doing right now.
    3) have new restrictions on installing new toilets , mandates on installing sewage system and SEPTIC SYSTEM on sewage for residential and commerical.
    4) Nationwide stricted laws on sanitation and health. no spitting, no littering, no loitering. Fine and jail time for arrogant rich people ( domestic or foreign) !! Change the people’s mentality on making their homes beautiful and clean and the rest is history.
    5) Plant more trees, put on concrete roads, walkways
    6) EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION!
    7) Apply #1 AND #2 , the future will be clean everywhere for sure.
    I have more valid arguments to put here but “some people” will say I’m an idiot and there’s no way to change people. CORRUPTION IS THE #1 obstacle for a nation to move forward.

    Reply
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  • March 12, 2013 at 1:37 am
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    Chinese men hold your head up high (unless you’re a scumbag). Prove your worth. Don’t let the racist scum get you down.

    So many to hold responsible for this tragic state of affairs:

    1. the government, which has giant propaganda machine, should be warning its naive women about these filthy foreigners who only want to go to China for a fuck fest and to be treated like a king even though they look down on the Chinese.

    2. The locals who beat these scum into a pulp. Good, keep it going.

    3. the Chinese culture is just the ultimate cock blocker. It’s very depressing to think their own culture brainwashes them into being docile bitches.

    4. The parents of this women make so so sick – especially the poor ones. How absurd it is for them to exalt the status of degenerate foreigners (I’m not saying they’re all degenerate, but you know, 50’s+, obese, broke, ugly…etc) over their own people.

    5. Also, be careful of dating white women. Their culture since the feminist revolution has become completely corrupted. Most have many sexual partners and may (I’m guessing quite often) will use a Chinese man’s “family man” values to provide for them once their market value drops like a rock when they’re bloated, unwed, and full of sexually transmitted diseases in their 30’s.

    DO NOT BECOME THAT IDIOT WHO PROVIDES FOR AN UNDESERVING “easy woman” who’s had more sexual partners than you’ve had girlfriends. FYI, I don’t hold the idiotic double standard that men who sleep around are studs – I think they’re scum also.

    Reply
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