When it comes to dating, would Asian men rather be with white women? That’s the question the blogger at Big Asian Package (still one of my favorite new bloggers!) asks in his latest guest post for Speaking of China. (You might remember his previous post titled That 4th of July When I Met My White Girlfriend’s Racist Grandpa — and if you haven’t read it yet, take a look!)
Do you have something to say about AMWF relationships that would make for an awesome guest post? Check out the submit a post page to learn how to get your writing featured here.
I’ve wanted to write on this subject for a while in response to the seemingly common question of why Asian men are attracted to white women as marital partners or sexual partners. The question usually implies a disproportionate percentage of Asian men having a preference for white women in these departments.
This site is particularly appropriate for having that conversation, so I’m prompted to write about it now. My beliefs and impressions aren’t yet fully formed. Human attraction and emotion, these are fluid through time and in flux by the moment. So please bear with me as I make my way.
Racial preference for sex and marriage partners is a difficult area for calm discussion because it brings thoughts of our own deep seated fears to the surface. The arguments become less abstract and more personal. Some are less comfortable with this than others.
We continue to look at percentages of interracial pairings as a barometer of how our society is progressing. The OK Cupid Blog statistics opened a lot of eyes to the sexual degradation of black women and Asian men in society.
When I talk about partner preference, “preferring white women,” for example, I am talking about larger populations in this respect. Understanding interracial relationships as a barometer is not taking the position that the persons in an interracial relationship are more progressive. What I mean is that the presence of (healthy) interracial relationships is the sign of a progressive society. This little bit of logic eludes the “justified” racism heard commonly in this form: “I can say that about Asians, my girlfriend is Thai,” after saying something decidedly anti-Asian.
I have been an introspective person my whole life, and I try to live my life in harmony with my true beliefs. There have been times when I sought white women almost exclusively, excluded white women entirely, and there’s now – where the kind of closeness I seek casts the crudely fitting conceptions of any race aside.
I sought relationships with white women for a few reasons. First, practically, there were mostly white women around me 5:1, and almost no Asian population. Second, I was culturally more comfortable in white America (owing to a lot of factors). Finally, and to me most significantly, all the white women I dated were awesome. Open, bold, expressive, and fun. I met smart and attractive women, and I didn’t have any reason to stop.
There’s a bit of a sampling bias here though. Women who are more likely to cross social boundaries, I’m guessing, are more likely to have a great personality. For one, she is more likely to be intelligent, think for herself and is courageous or oblivious enough to cross strong social racial standards.
Then there was the period when I didn’t date white women. I was learning the racialized history of America through Howard Zinn, learning about the Third World Strikes for Ethnic Studies programs, reading poetry by Bao Phi, Ischle Park (and always Allen Ginsberg). I was the living embodiment of Kumar (of Harold & Kumar) when he says, “I’m sorry, I only date women of color.” I was at a point where I needed to show empathy and solidarity with women who struggled with their social sexual identity like I did. It was important. It still is.
Now, after a lot of learning, I understand that I don’t have to take it upon myself to be anything for society, to represent or stand for progressiveness or solidarity. Sex and intimacy, it’s for me and her – and that’s it. It’s our intimacy, our world of our making. And we’re leaving race out of it.
I’m an Asian American man in my 30s living in the U.S., Northern California. I was born and raised in the Midwest and in a predominantly white community that seemed to embrace every stereotype ever heard about Asian folks. I write about my sexual experiences and the politics of sex for straight Asian men. Don’t get a little bit of the truth, get the full package – http://bigasianpackage.wordpress.com.