That happened to me just the other day. There it was in my social media messenging app — a picture of Jun and me under the title, Why Won’t Western Women Date Chinese Men? It was the first piece the Huffington Post ever published from me. Cool to see it’s still getting read, even after two years.
If you’ve never read it, here’s an excerpt:
“Whenever I arrive at the airport in America, the first thing I notice is our men, how handsome and how tall they are,” one of my white female colleagues mentioned over lunch. “I’ll just stare at them for hours, as if I was Chinese and had never seen a foreign man before in my life.”
At least that woman wasn’t as blunt as another colleague, who used to bicycle with me through the streets of Zhengzhou. As we stopped on the corner of a side street and watched the mostly-male populous pedaling past us through the intersection, she grimaced.
“Chinese men don’t really seem that attractive.”
“How can you say that?” I asked her.
“I don’t know… they just aren’t.” She sounded too casual for a woman who just dismissed the entire male population in China.
How could these women just write off all Chinese men as undateable? The question haunted me as I pondered my crush on Tian. But it wouldn’t be the last time I would find myself up against these ideas. As I continued to date the locals in China and eventually married a fellow from Hangzhou, I would come to realize that most expat women in China agreed with my Zhengzhou colleagues. And sometimes, their dislike was just shocking. A European woman I worked with in 2001 famously told me that, while she found all Chinese men completely repulsive, she considered Chinese children so adorable.
Check out the full piece at the Huffington Post. And if you like it, share it just like my friend did.
It’s October 7, the last day of China’s National Day holiday. Here’s wishing all of my friends in China had a great break! I’ll be back on Monday.