Justifying Cross-Cultural Love By Hating On Others?

(photo by Sebastien Wiertz via Flickr.com)

The other day, I was reading an article on chinaSMACK about Men in China taking Vietnamese wives, and noticed one of the translated comments:

My wife is German, blonde hair blue eyed, but I think I’m very ordinary and it was just fate. Actually, I think Western women apart from being a bit more independent-minded, they’re [also] much more virtuous/chaste than Chinese women, are kind-hearted, aren’t vain, are frugal, emphasize love and family on a spiritual level, and these alone totally blow modern Chinese young women away. I’m currently constantly introducing German girlfriends to my brothers [fellow male friends], exhorting them to not seek Chinese women. Oh yeah, Western women don’t demand that you have a house.

While this comment was written by a Chinese man, it echoed the sentiments of certain white Western men I encountered online — men who also justified their decision to date/marry Chinese women (or other Asian women) in a somewhat similar way:

Chinese women on the other hand are beautiful, intelligent, happy, and just plain pleasant to be with. They don’t have the associated  emotional fluctuations Western women have and they are not demanding. They are serious about love and marriage and use common sense…. Single western women cannot compete with Chinese women and you can see it in their faces when you walk happily by with your Chinese girlfriend while they grimace and pretend to not notice.

(NOTE — that’s just one commenter in a thread that overwhelmingly criticizes Western women while commending the virtues of Chinese women. Read at your own risk.)

Honestly, I don’t get it. These same Western men who denigrate Western women also have mothers — and likely sisters or female cousins — who are Western women. The same could be said for the Chinese fellow above — that his mother is Chinese, and surely he has relatives close to his age who are Chinese women.

I’m so proud of my husband, and I love nothing more than sharing with the world why Chinese men can make amazing partners in life and love. But I don’t want to do it at the expense of my fellow white Western men. In fact, before I came to China I had only dated white men. While those relationships didn’t work out for a variety of reasons, I hold no grudges against them nor white men as a whole. Were some of them scumbags? Sure. But it’s unfair to generalize those scumbags as representing every single white Western man.

Why are people doing this then? It may be poor self-esteem — often the usual culprit when someone is publicly tearing down another group. Perhaps they’re still smarting from past failed relationships — and the “battle wounds” that were left behind in their hearts.

But whatever it is, they need to get over it. If they are really and truly in love with someone, shouldn’t that be enough to nourish their hearts and souls? Does our world really need more people mindlessly sowing hate (especially against their own) in an effort to justify their love?

And I’m not the only one who thinks so:

I’m genuinely vexed by SB guys like this. Even if the foreign woman you’ve found is genuinely good, is it necessary to go look down upon your own country’s women? Chinese women gave birth to you, raised you, and instead of repaying/appreciating them, you’ve instead become a running dog for foreign women. It isn’t enough that your conscience has been eaten by a dog [lost], you run here to insult Chinese women. If you’re going to be like that, you might as well take your German wife and get the fuck out of China. Westerners are too open [liberal], how many green hats [a symbol for being cheated on] is brother [referring to the original commenter] ready to wear?

Here’s another one:

I find it annoying that American men assume all Western women are the same. I am not… Culturally or otherwise. Not that I’m slandering Western men OR women…

As for me, I have a Chinese husband who I live dearly. And that doesn’t mean nice white guys don’t exist! But there really are a great number of educated, kind and considerate Chinese men out there.

To those Western men with Chinese girlfriends: a question:

what about your potential half white daughters? Is this the lesson you want to teach them? the awfulness of their white femininity?

And what about your half Asian sons? Is this what you want to teach them- about the awfulness of their Asia masculinity?

Be gentle with those around you.

Wishing everyone a more gentle world.

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39 Replies to “Justifying Cross-Cultural Love By Hating On Others?”

  1. “Honestly, I don’t get it. These same Western men who denigrate Western women also have mothers — and likely sisters or female cousins — who are Western women. The same could be said for the Chinese fellow above — that his mother is Chinese, and surely he has relatives close to his age who are Chinese women.

    I’m so proud of my husband, and I love nothing more that sharing with the world why Chinese men can make amazing partners in life and love. But I don’t want to do it at the expense of my fellow white Western men. In fact, before I came to China I had only dated white men. While those relationships didn’t work out for a variety of reasons, I hold no grudges against them nor white men as a whole. Were some of them scumbags? Sure. But it’s unfair to turn generalize those scumbags as representing every single white Western man.”

    YES. THIS! I’ve been saying this many times. I can relate. I mean, I have a brother (cough) and he’s not this demon Western man.

    “Even if the foreign woman you’ve found is genuinely good, is it necessary to go look down upon your own country’s women? Chinese women gave birth to you, raised you, and instead of repaying/appreciating them.”


    “what about your potential half white daughters? Is this the lesson you want to teach them? the awfulness of their white femininity?

    And what about your half Asian sons? Is this what you want to teach them- about the awfulness of their Asia masculinity?”

    Words came right out of my mouth. This has been on my mind since I moved to China for a while now. I’ve bumped into some really bitter people with this really sad attitude. I’ve been thinking about writing similar to this topic.

  2. Thank you for writing this Jocelyn! Cannot agree enough. The whole idolizing one race and denigrating other for the sake of that makes no sense, and has no relation with intercultural love. Also, I almost think that its like denigrating BOTH the races involved. I mean not ALL white/asian/black/brown women are the same! Saying that you like a woman because their “kind” possess certain qualities is ignorant.

    I rememeber seeing many WM/AF couples and people/guy/ girl saying things like “asian women are better than WM coz they wont gain weight; they only date white men coz they are more liberal/tall/insert another positive adjective; white women look better; bla bla bla” and it would always pain me to see that even those involved in an intercultural relationship would show ignorance and generalize not only their partners but put down their own race for that sake.

    I think it is both a self-esteem and past experiences issue. Maybe they feel angry that they cannot follow rules of the game in their own culture/ or it is a media induced bias (like asian women dont gain weight so they must make attractive dating partners, unlike white women :’/ ) or that asian guys are not all, unlike white men (:-/) and on and on.

    I say, know the culture to better know the individual, not to pain everyone in the same color.

  3. I’ve thought about this too. It doesn’t only work in one direction (eg. “my Chinese/western partner is so much better than a partner of my own culture would be”), there also seems to be a prevalent opinion with certain individuals that they are better than others just because they have a partner who comes from a different country.

  4. I’m gonna get a lot of flak for saying this but most of the young Chinese women that I’ve met really are ferocious airheads. They are so fundamentally shallow, clueless, ignorant that I instantly feel for the men saying some of the things about them in the post.

    I have very high self esteem but the level that many young Chinese women have sunk to is so obvious that you’d need to be purposely ignoring it not to take note of it. Many behave like children. I don’t know what is wrong with China to produce this level of human beings. Granted many Chinese people in general, not just Chinese women today, completely lack awareness for their fellow human beings and the world around them and don’t care about anyone but themselves (many don’t even care about themselves) but it seems to me that many of the criticizers are essentially correct. If Chinese women can criticize Chinese men as they always do nowadays why can’t Chinese men criticize in return?

    1. Because then you get stuck in a cycle of hatred. You will criticize Chinese women, and they will criticize you in return. Then you will do it more, and they will do it more. Will it benefit either of you?

      It is better to see the world as it is; every country will have their airheads and their selfish people, whether they are guys or girls. Many times, their lives have not been happy, and their upbringing was hard, whether physically, or emotionally. You don’t know their stories. Simply focus on the happiness of those you love and of yourself.

      And if you must, instead of criticize; engage. Be humane.

  5. Jocelyn, I couldn’t have said it better. One time I was talking online to an Asian guy who proceeded to tell me that all white men are bastards, and all Asian men are much more caring. Now, I am all for interracial dating, but that pissed me off so bad. I told him, “My dad is white, and my brother and they are both wonderful people. You need to judge individuals, not the whole of society.” That shut him right up. I didn’t even want to talk to him with that attitude.

  6. Great post Jocelyn. It is something we all need to be aware of and integrate into our conscious thought. Stereotypes certainly serve a purpose but that purpose has a limited role, and we tend to over extend the significance and pervasiveness of our stereotypes.

  7. The needless trashing of another group aside…….

    When you compliment someone based on (supposedly) positive attributes based on their race, it also makes the person you are with no longer unique and therefore (easily) replaceable with another person from the same group.

    Not really a compliment IMO.

  8. I must say this is very, very often – there’s one biggest Chinese forum focused on AMWF – my husband translates me very often topics he reads there and what’s going on there is rediculous, I mean they treat their own women (Chinese women) like they were some kind of devils, they are so proud of their women being WHITE, they don’t write she is smart, pretty or kind hearted. She is white, that all that matters.
    Later they ALL argue which wife is better ‘My German wife is better than your Russian one’ – ‘Oh, German? My wife is UK’ ‘UK? pfff mine is American’ all over again. It gets crazy. They ask their women ‘do you marry a man or marry a flat’ and I sometimes want to ask ‘do you marry a woman or marry her nation and skin color’.

  9. When I was dating my Korean ex, I found it a bit disturbing that he tended to be negative about Korean women. Isn’t his mom Korean? Perhaps some Korean women were jerks, but not everyone. I don’t think I put down or denigrate white men. I simply don’t find them attractive, that simple. I had negative experiences unfortunately with white men and I do have problems like everyone else, but I really think I don’t put them down. Heck, I also had very negative experiences with Asian men as well, far more than ones who are Caucasian, but I won’t put down either group of men.

  10. I think Asian men are falling victim to negative media campaign against Asian women. Truth be told, Asian women in general are not as awful (internalized racists, prone to prostitution, etc.) as the media wants you to believe. It’s just those images have been hammered into our subconscious psyche by the media, that the odd Asian women who do fit those stereotypes tend to elicit strong visceral emotions.
    While the number of Asian women dating Western men is decreasing, the opposite is increasing. I don’t know how many out these AMWF couples are formed due to their disdain to Asian women. I don’t know what the Western media is trying to achieve, but Asian men should be more mature than to allow themselves to be manipulated like that. I’m not a racial purist, but seeing Asian men becoming the internalized racists that they accuse their female counterparts are guilty of makes me wanna puke.

  11. There’s a huge difference between loving or having a preference for other races and having hatred for your own. I’m white. My brother is white. Both my parents are white. Their parents are white. We’re an Irish Catholic family – as white as it freakin’ gets.

    When I was a very young girl, by happy chance I ended up in the accelerated program at a magnet school, where my only classmates were Chinese. My only friends were Chinese. My only sleepovers were at Chinese houses. My only birthday parties were with Chinese people. I was all but legally adopted by these Chinese families. China was my world growing up. This was the early 90s and my mother, seeing that China was becoming a major world power, was perfectly happy to hand me over for, as she called it, “cultural assimilation lessons.” Fast forward twenty years, and I had so much Chinese customs, language, and culture pushed on me as a child that even to this day I have a strong preference for Chinese men. It’s WHAT I KNOW.

    But does that mean by any stretch that I would reject a man just because he had the wrong skin color? No. That’s a ludicrous idea. A guy being Chinese is a nice bonus in terms of physical and cultural attraction, but at the end of the day he still has to be a decent human being, and I’ll take a decent Western man over a prick of a Chinese man any day. When people like someone BECAUSE of their background, rather than appreciating their background as a secondary bonus to their character, they’re completely missing the point – and they’re risking losing out on a good, compatible partner for the sake of an idealized trophy.

    The worst part is that I see many Asian men, men who traditionally have difficulty in pursuing interracial relationships, so completely blinded by the surprise and mystique of being pursued by Western women that they fail to realize they themselves are becoming trophies:


  12. Note: the person criticizing the Chinese guy with the German girlfriend said this:

    “Westerners are too open [liberal], how many green hats [a symbol for being cheated on] is brother [referring to the original commenter] ready to wear?”

    Isn’t that just MORE hate while criticizing other hate? That’s not fair towards Western women/Westerners either. Also I find it kind of rich that he says there are “so many green hats” – as though China does not also have a high rate of extramarital affairs and cheating!

    Anyone else noticed that when these hateful exchanges take place, the people involved tend to be men? A lot of Western men criticize Western women as “angry”, but when you hear Western women give opinions on cross-cultural relationships, generally the criticism given has nothing to do with race or ethnicity: it’s usually something along the lines of Western guys coming to Asia specifically to date Asian women due to some mythical constellation of wonderful, feminine features that they all supposedly have…an idea which is both sexist (assuming all Asian women are more “pleasant” – besides being not true simply because ALL of one group can’t have one personality trait – it encodes assumptions about how the “right” sort of women should act) and racist (that ALL Asian women are this way, linking it to race). Generally speaking you will not hear them hating on cross-cultural relationships generally and they’re not hating on the idea of dating white (or otherwise non-Asian) men. Rather it’s a criticism of the attitudes certain subset of expats (not even all expats).

    Whereas when you hear men hating on women, it feels often like it’s *all* women or all *Western* women (or if you’re that Chinese guy above, *all* Chinese women) and it’s directly linked to what they think of dating those women, rather than criticizing a particular attitude a certain subset of women may have. It’s 100% linked to their sexuality.

    I know one could say “now you’re just hating on men” for this post, but honestly, that’s my observation of who is doing the criticizing.

  13. Maybe they’re overcompensating because they feel like black sheep for dating/marrying someone of a different race. For example, maybe a Chinese man who marries a Western woman gets criticized by his Chinese friends and family, so he feels the need to extol the virtues of Western women as a whole compared to Chinese women. I think that could possibly be the case for some people, where they are hating on their own ethnicity and praising their “foreign” partner to defend their decision to be with that person.

    1. honestly I haven’t seen a situation where a Chinese man got criticized – more like they were impressed by him, only bad opinions I heard was on some Chinese forums made by girls ‘You cannot handle a Chinese girl, that’s why you marry a foreigner’. have you ever seen a situation where a man got criticized? I’m just curious 🙂

      1. I guess I haven’t seen it personally, since I don’t know that many Chinese men with Western women, but seeing the comments above that were on ChinaSmack, I can imagine there are cases where the guy’s friends are wondering why he’s with an “open Western woman” as opposed to a moral Chinese woman with strong family values.

        The overcompensating can go both ways. Could be that the Western woman’s friends and family think she’s settling for someone of lower class and less money if she dates a Chinese guy from a village, so she talks up Chinese men’s virtues to defend her decision.

  14. “I can imagine there are cases where the guy’s friends are wondering why he’s with an “open Western woman” as opposed to a moral Chinese woman with strong family values.”

    Sadly, I think this just answered my non-question question above about why people in China often think we Westerners are “too open” when cheating and affairs are just as common if not more so in China.

    Because the people who say these things* want the WOMEN to be virtuous ladies with strong family values, and if the WOMEN don’t do that, then they’re too “open”. But they seem to see less of a problem with a MAN who has a “special secretary”, “pink friend” or is otherwise fooling around.

    *not all Chinese people, just the ones who talk this way

  15. Shit women aren’t race exclusive, same with shit men. I don’t diss Chinese girls, it’s just sometimes we don’t always have things in common. After having traveled, I do expect a girl to live up to my standards of being able to backpack and travel globally. I went out with a Chinese girl, she was a nice girl, but sadly there was no click, sync or understanding of each other, besides her being nice, that’s all. I don’t see her as a life partner, because we live in a completely different world. On the side note, I dated some Caucasians and hooked up alright with them, because they backpack and travel as much as I do. I’ve dated some British, American, Kazakh and now Russian girls, each of them have cultural pros and cons, but in the end of the day, if you like what you like, you can’t really stop the attraction. Just find the best in them and hopefully both of you will understand on the cultural differences. I wouldn’t mind to hook up with some Chinese girl who travelled as much and understand my life now.

  16. This is a really wonderful post, Jocelyn. It’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to. My husband had a really rough first marriage and as a result he harbors a lot of resentment towards Chinese women. It doesn’t help that the media (in China) is constantly reminding us that a man needs to provide material goods if you wants a chance at marriage. The issue isn’t as black and white as it’s portrayed. I think it’s complicated and I think every woman, Chinese or otherwise, is different.

    I think sometimes we see what we want to see in order to justify our decisions or continue to affirm our beliefs. For example, the white man who only dates Chinese women because they are “beautiful, intelligent, happy, and pleasant.” That’s probably what he allows himself to see in Asian women while ignoring these same traits that so many westerners often have. Surely you can think of a female friend of any race who possesses these qualities? I know I can. But I try to see the good in people, regardless of their race or nationality.

    On a final note, it’s not to say that there aren’t some differences in dating people from different countries or races. I think it’s true that there often are; due to culture, language, religion etc. As an American, for example, there are certain traits and values I think a lot of Americans share, but at the end of the day everyone is still quite unique. I think many of us are guilty of having some assumptions, whether good or bad, of someone based on where they are from or what they look like. I also think most of us are smart enough to put these assumptions aside and get to know a person for who they are before drawing any real conclusions about them as a person.

  17. Hi Jocelyn,

    Thanks for this great post. You put so succinctly what I spent so much time struggling to express. Most — perhaps all — of the flak I got for writing about WM/AF relationships had to do with the assumption that I and/or my partner hated men and women of our own races. I didn’t get why people would say that. My father is Chinese. My brother is Chinese, my cousins are Chinese, my best male friends are Chinese, and they are wonderful partners to their partners. I wanted to find someone like them. I did, and he gets along so well with all these important Chinese men in my life. He just happened to be Jewish. And HIS mother is Jewish, his sister is Jewish, and some of his best female friends are. He has nothing but the kindest things to say about them.

    All it took for me to understand the hate mail I got was to take a look around the Internet. At the white men trashing white women, at Asian women trashing Asian men. It made me nauseous, and I just wanted to distance myself from all that hate.

    I admit it is kind of a relief to read that there are some people in the WF/AM community guilty of that kind of hate too. I’m sure it also happens in other interracial/intercultural dating communities.

    It’s a scourge upon interracial dating of all types, I think, this tendency by some to denigrate others to justify their own choices. It harms the acceptance of interracial dating — it’s hard to promote the idea that “love is colorblind” when there is so much noise out there showing that it can be color-specific, and so is hate.

  18. Excuse my ignorance (?) pls define “Open Western women” and “Moral Chinese women with strong family values”. I believe we all know women (both Western and Chinese) who are “open, have morals and strong family values”.

    Agree with R Zhou comments also if someone has been hurt, discriminated against, vilified then any “negative” emotions expressed (such as hate) will more likely be towards a whole group. So instead of referring to she….. or he…. the emotions and feelings transcends to “them, they are all alike, you can’t trust any of them”.

    Don’t let one bad experience blind you so as to see everyone in the same negative light.

  19. Just to add to previous comment: my husband read me an article made by dating/matching sites, from which city they would like to have a partner: girls target is Beijing, HK is 21 … guys HK is 7, 1st is Canton area of China. After that there was a long complaint list: too greedy, too princess, too useless etc. – if media keep having that kind of image of Chinese girls some guys might get brainwashed by this and keep talking sh.t about his own race, just like his mother wasn’t (in 99% of cases) Chinese

  20. If anyone trashes other and praise the other especially out of his or her race then they answer will be they just ignorant.
    Any way, for all who have sister, mother or daughter; now I ask in this forum to help me out here. I do fight for Fransisca Yofie who being brutally murdered and her case were being cover up by Indonesian police corps. She’s not my friend, nor my family but after I followed her case it seems that the Indonesian police corp and the Indonesian government is trying to cover up this case for this case should be open can make their abuse of power and setting up their people being uncovered. For all the Americans please asked the US Congress to halt any fund for the comprehensive agreement between Indonesia and the US and for the rest of you please fight for her side by send this case to Human Right court since her

  21. killing were being cover up by the Indonesian authority just like all the organized gan rape against the Chinese women in Indonesia back in 1998.

  22. The explanation for such behaviour is just human tendency to paint the alternatives as bad ones in order to justify their choices/possessions…
    it’s in human psychology to only be happy when others around them aren’t, to have things that others don’t.
    Therefore it explains why some white men who have asian wives dismiss white women greatly (and vice versa with asian men and asian women)
    Sad? yes… surprising? No not really. As a species we have been doing this throughout all our history.

    1. I’m glad you wrote about this. You are totally right.

      I write about Korean men, and I really have only the best to say about my boyfriend, but I dislike when comments turn against white men or Korean women. It’s silly really, not to use any harsher word.

  23. Thanks for writing this. I have a white girlfriend and honestly I have never thought I would go out with one before. Everything just came naturally.

    It’s unfair to stereotype anyone and what makes a relationship work is the way couple communicates and whether they can strike a happy medium between the two! This goes for any couples of any nationalities!

    So my point is, language is probably the most important thing in a cross-cultural relationship but not whether one nationality is better than the other.

  24. Hello Jocelyn, I linked to your blog from a blogger named Christine. I like what both of you have to say about this subject.

    I am Black, my wife is Chinese. This type of self bashing comes up with our culture especially Black Men with White Women and White Men with Black Women. I never bought into the idea that my sisters and mother were bad because they are Black Women, nor did I think they were gods gift to man. My one sister thinks she is, but that is because of her spoiled brattish self centered personality not because of her Blackness.

    My wife and I get some stares from Blacks and Chinese as to be expected. A Black woman asked if I had an Asian fetish, I smiled and said I have a woman fetish. She looked a little confused. If i had told her the truth she may have fainted. Truth is I prayed/asked god to send me an Asian woman. A few weeks later my wife left a note on my door step asking if I could help with her car. (yep, that old trick) That was 13 years ago. Had I known it was that easy I would have asked a lot sooner – just joking!

    For me it was not a matter of -Black woman bad, Asian woman good. It was about my dating choices not working out and having the courage to step outside my own race. Years ago I lived in Los Angeles Korea town. I was a sales rep and most of my clients were Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino and of course Korean. There was a kinship and familiarity I had with Asian culture but was never bold enough to explore anything beyond a business friendship. Also my wife at that time would not have appreciate my sudden interest in another culture let alone another woman. I never felt the need to put Black or White American women down in order to justify my choices. Maybe because I felt 100% certain with my decision, which 10 years of marriage has validated.

  25. My mom, sister and cousins are Chinese women. They are just wonderful women period!!!!!!!! I have friends who are Chinese women ,too. Seriously, don’t talk bad about any women. Look at yourself in the mirror first and ask why? People just judge first and talk later.


  26. Haven’t read the comments here but I’ll put in my own two cents. My wife is Chinese. In a way I would almost say she’s ‘very Chinese’ in that she’s fairly traditional. It’s only something I ever think about when someone points it out to me or when I read an article like this. I never, ever, ever think of her as my ‘Chinese’ wife and I assume she doesn’t think of me as her ‘foreign’ husband. It’s interesting how frequently people apply that label though. Unfortunately that is often followed by questions or suggestions about how Chinese women are compared to foreign women. It’s hard to convince people that this is genuinely not something I think about. People assume I’m being politically correct or overly sensitive when I deflect such conversations. The fact is that I just don’t have any thoughts on the matter.

    I can honestly say that the sum-total of my wife’s various qualities make her the greatest woman I’ve ever met, but none of her individual qualities are anything I have not seen in other women, Chinese or foreign.

  27. All I can say is that Americans are weird. I married a foreign born Chinese 37 years ago. I have found out that he is a man, period. I have never had to worry about food or shelter, he isn’t a deadbeat. I wish that clueless American’s would stop projecting their stereotypes onto the other ethnic groups.

  28. Yeah it amuses me that the impressions of the Chinese/white men to white/Chinese women are almost identical. It just shows how delusional these racial fetishisers are. The big difference, though, is the Western men view Asian women as subordinate while the Chinese men don’t view white women thus.

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