“Spoils of a Chinese Marriage?” More Like, Spoiled a Chinese Marriage.

Screenshot of Global Times Op-Ed on "Enjoying the Spoils of a Chinese Marriage"
File this one under “things that make you go, ‘WTF?!?'”(screenshot from globaltimes.cn)

Enjoying the spoils of a Chinese marriage? With this Op-Ed in the Global Times, I think it should read as “Spoiled a Chinese marriage” instead.

The illustration said it all. There’s a white foreign man lounging emperor-like in a gigantic bowl of noodles, with a morning-after “I’m high on carbs” smirk on his face. Beside him is a Chinese woman who looks like every guy’s teenage wet dream, dressed in a qipao that leaves nothing to the imagination. She leans on the bowl and stares at him as if to say, “What else can I get you, honey? More noodles? Me?”

The commentary seems more benign than the headline or illustration. Yet with a closer read, it strikes me as hopelessly naive. A Chinese green card, if you’re even lucky enough to eventually get one, won’t necessarily save you from long lines for good. Not every Chinese woman will be a “super-chef” or an outstanding mathematician, and for that matter, not every Chinese family will love you with open arms. But really, it’s hard to take the whole thing seriously when he frames the entire article in terms of “spoils” — casting his marriage to a Chinese woman as the treasure conceded to him, the “conquering foreign man” who went to China.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought of my marriage to John in terms of “spoils.” Benefits or perks — yeah, sometimes…maybe when I’m talking about, say, the ability to get an L-visa through him. But not “spoils,” which conjures up the synonyms of plunder, loot, and stolen goods. If I ever used such words to describe a relationship, I would probably be writing about a rape or human trafficking, not a marriage. Nor would I illustrate a marriage by suggesting the wife is nothing more than a qipao-clad professional call girl in stilettos, waiting on his every need — while he can slobber all over himself in a gluttonous mess of noodles.

Is this what some foreign men really think of marriage to a Chinese woman? Or was it just an off-day for the Global Times? Let’s hope the latter.

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34 Replies to ““Spoils of a Chinese Marriage?” More Like, Spoiled a Chinese Marriage.”

  1. Plenty of men do think that way…and plenty don’t. In Taipei you get both kinds as I guess you would anywhere. You can kind of tell, generally after getting to know them a bit, which is which (I mean, it’s generally not my business, for me it goes only as far as “I don’t want to associate with a man who has this attitude”, partly because half the decision to be together was made by the Asian wife/girlfriend, and she has every right to make that decision for herself). Sometimes you can tell just by appearances, but it’s easy enough to be wrong that it’s never good to stop there and make assumptions.

    Some admit to it openly on expat forums, in real life they pretend they aren’t total sleazebags with Asian fetishes. If you call them out on this, of course, you’re a ‘prude’ or an ‘ugly Western woman who can’t get any’ or ‘jealous’ or ‘racist’. Those same men will go all “I NEVER date Western women because they’re all fat/ annoying/ loud/ shrewish/nagging /demanding/b*tchy! Asian women are never like that! They’re so sweet, and slim, and lovely” and then wonder why anyone would ever be so horrible as to call them out on their racism. They never question whether they’d be desireable/dateable/attractive in their home countries. They never question whether their ‘preference’ was not decided by them, but rather by their lack of options back home. They assume Western women don’t like them because of something that’s wrong with Western women, not something that’s wrong with *them*. They never question whether cultural differences make it harder for their Asian partners to see or suss out their sleazy side, and that’s why they have it easier here (I have every confidence that these same women, who are generally attractive and intelligent, would be able to suss out a similar level of sleaziness from men in their own cultural sphere).

    And yet it’s never good to stereotype: some men come here and do just plain ol’ fall in love and it’s not sleazy at all. And you really can’t know for sure until you know the individual. However, that doesn’t mean such sleaziness doesn’t exist. Men like this are sadly very real.

    A guy like this? I’d turn my back on him if I met him in real life and not give him a second thought. He wouldn’t deserve it.

  2. I guess my main bad reaction to the article was the casual racism (“She’s a great mathematician!”), the assumption that she’ll cook for you every night, and the assumption that OF COURSE she’ll spend lots of money on handbags but not let you go out with your friends.

    Those few unquestioned assumptions say a lot about the man behind them…and EW.

  3. Even if this article wasn’t very serious, it’s still depreciatory in a sense that it gives the impression that every Western guy who marries a Chinese woman is that kind of guy (or every Chinese woman that kind of woman).

  4. Since you put things that way with a cartoon, am hoping for the same thing. It’s never right to be racist or to draw and imply those kinds of things. Somehow I think it’s far more difficult to be married/dating someone who’s Chinese or Korean rather than easy-peasy the way the cartoon is making it out to be.

  5. @Jocelyn. You have shown yet another great post. But I liked your post of Oct. 15, 2012 better (“Asian Women Too Tempting”). I like the idea of having a Chinese girlfriend by my side as I have spoken to many of my fellow White boys who have Chinese/Japanese/Korean girlfriends and they tell me that the Asian woman certainly fulfills their fantasies quite well. So, maybe the stereotype of the sensual and submissive Chinese woman is grounded on some degree of truth. I don’t know. But again I have not yet had an Asian or a Chinese girlfried and so I cannot confirm this to be fact or fantasy. Soon, I hope to be in a relationship with an ABC girl (American born Chinese) and then I can let you all know. So, stay tuned for more of my postings.
    If any of you have any success stories about Western men and Chinese (or Asian) women to share here with me, I would be very appreciative. Thanks everyone and thanks especially to Jocelyn Eikenburg. Jocelyn is the greatest!!!!!!!!!

  6. In Australia, we love this sort of lampooning. The cartoon is the direct result of a comedian’s dialogue. My ex-girlfriend was Chinese, my ex-wife was Chinese and my fiancé is Chinese. There are amusing elements of truth in all the observations:- having had Ma and Ba living with us for a year 🙂 Yes the cartoon is distasteful, but it highlights an attitude which makes people think is this really a good thing? I like *the look* of most East Asian women:- Korean, Japanese, Nepalese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Filipino but discussing why I liked them with a Japanese female friend quickly clarified that it was a small part of the raft of characteristics of why I’m attracted to someone. Intelligent, romantic, sexy, creative, charming, hard-working are far more enduring and attractive for a life partner.

  7. Ugh, no matter what race you are… if you have that kind of attitude you are nothing but a chauvinistic pig. What some people need to learn is that we are WAAAY past the times of women being only there to be “useful” to her husband or man. Goodness. I know that cartoon was probably intended to be humorous, however if I really see someone who truly thinks that is how life is, I am tempted to give them a cruel reality check. Love is two-sided and it takes service on BOTH sides to make a relationship successful.

  8. Isn’t that supposed to be some sort of satire for a different ? If this article is in Chinese, you will get even worse reaction from Chinese themselves – words like imperialist, foreign devil, etc.

  9. Another person perpetuating the myth that marriage to a Chinese gets you resident status. Since no one has ever been able to show me this, nor have I heard of it being granted to anyone, it’s my experience that this is a myth. Every year I’m told that I’m only eligible for a 6 month visa, at most, by the officials where I live. After a good bit of arguing, I finally am able to get a one year visa. All this must be done without my husban’s presence, or else it will get far more complicated, take more time, and bribery will be expected.

  10. Manny: google is your friend.

    Here are some interesting videos regarding European/Chinese relationships.



  11. Before my grandfather died, he served in WW II in the Pacific Theater for the U.S. After the end of WW II, his unit along with many U.S. forces were in the Shanghai area in 1946-47 (prior to the communist victory) helping the Nationalist government. He told me that when he was a young soldier in Shanghai, he and his buddies were able to have woman after woman. He denied ever using prostitutes though, but he said that the Chinese women in Shanghai were known to throw themselves at American, French, British soldiers etc. for a good time. He said that he recalled very few lonely nights while in Shanghai. He did not provide me with details but he loved the idea that a man can be a real man in China by having so many beautiful Chinese women to chase after and they were so easy to chase also. He said that it was so easy to pick-up a Chinese woman using very little effort such that the environment was surreal. Perhaps he was exaggerating a little but it did not sound fake. Comparing it to the U.S., he said that after his repatriation, he did not have such a great time as the women here did not throw themselves at the U.S. soldiers. In the 1950’s life, as he said, was very prudish. I wish U.S. girls could be like those Chinese goddesses in Shanghai in the 1940’s after WW II.

    So, I have now shared a great story about Western man & Chinese (Asian) woman with you all. Do any of you have a sucess story about WM/AW for me? I would be mighty obliged. Thanks all.

  12. @Manny,
    Do you have a blog? If you create a blog you could definetely create controversy about the topic. Lots of visits for sure!
    How old are you?
    Regarding the comment you wrote for Jocelyn, if I am not mistaked she already told you in another post that she is not writing about relationships between foreign men and Chinese women, since is not her expertise.
    I am sure you can find great blogs about that topic but since Jocelyn is not a man that’s a very complicated topic for her..

  13. Hmmm, guess they did not tell the other side of story.
    By now, we all know about tiger mother Amy Chua, anyone takes a closer look at her husband?
    You have to admire him for not jumping in during mother daughter yelling contest. In short, couple has to fit to last.

  14. @Manny

    I’ve been reading your comments here in Jocelyn blog and it’s been irking me to respond to your comment. Initially I thought I would give you the benefit of the doubt first. But it seems more and more irritating after reading your comments. Is it me alone or is it due to the fact that you just reached your puberty and couldn’t control yourself? My instinct or gut tells me that neither of those consideration meets any level of logical interpretation on you. Is it either you’re trolling with your own agenda or have a mindset of propagandizing how extremely easy it is when it comes to get one night stand with Asian women, especially Chinese.

    You draw your fantasy from your grandfather, going back to half a century and tries to imply that those Chinese women used to be so much easy that you wanted one for yourself. I agree there are times when socioeconomic status of one person (I’d repeat “one person”) will influence his/her social manners as in outwardly displaying their obedient nature in light of surviving in hard economic times. I can’t deny the fact that there were more disasters, war torn countries in Asia, which has decimated the social systems, destroyed infrastructure, and severely aggravated one’s hardship and such. Coupling those underlying problems together with existing traditional concepts of “guanxi”, you’ll get the idea of why every time you turn on chinese old movies, you’ll see that even men always show obsequious manner towards their landlords and boss. It’s not that those culture only existed in Asia or at least China, they did exist in Western as well, of course in different forms.

    I’m not here to retrieve aged-old history and claim that you’re trolling. I’m here to let you know that you’d better check your testosterone level in your blood or otherwise, it can damage your brain in a way that you’d gradually develop Asian Fetish. You sounded you don’t like Asians. I mean You don’t LOVE Asians. You just like the idea of Asian women being easy. That’s all. You don’t even know Asian culture. Don’t tell me you eat fried rice with chopsticks. You don’t even want to know Asian history at all. All you care is “how it would be great to have a cute little asian girl in my arms to fulfill my fantasy for one night. If my grandfather is right, I might come across one after another” attitude. You don’t immerse into Asian culture. You don’t even know how to write “love” in Chinese character at all. All you wish for is just to get an easy chinese girl. The tone in your comment is not explicitly meant to convey the idea that you have Asian fetish. But I can sense you desperately need one. This is a girl who actually immersed in Chinese culture and her Chinese is way more better than mine.


    Given the current state of Asian girls (ABC) in US trying to hook up with white guys, I can foresee your fantasy will be fulfilled in no time. I’m neither side of those pro or against interracial relationships. We Asian guys tend to be self-absorbed and stay quiet. We work hard and claim what we deserve. We’re not beating around the bush and letting the world know that we’re going to do that and do this. Had it not been for Jocelyn blog, others or at least you wouldn’t even know that there is one Chinese Man and Western Woman marriage exists in China. How about this story?

    The real story that will make everybody sit back and think “Are you having a stroke of Asian Fetish Or you are IN for real?”

    If you bring your half a century story from your grandfather, I can bring a century old real stories:


    This is the a century old real stories written by William Lyon Phelps. You can imagine how those American girls were throwing themselves to Chinese guys at dancing ceremony at universities. I repeat “at Universities”, not sleazy, sordid, old speakeasy.

    And those who’re reading this comment, be aware of online fakers who started off all those hokum pokum hoity toity stories about how they met Asian girl and finally proclaim they got Asian girlfriend.


  15. @MyTwoCents. Thanks for those links directing me to more success stories about WM/AW. I enjoyed them very much. If have any more I will appreciate it.

  16. @Laura. No, I do not have a blog as I have really nothing interesting to contribute. I am simply a White boy from a southern state in the U.S. who wants a Chinese lady. This simple concept is not sufficient to generate traffic. Also, I am not an attention seeker and thus I don’t want to creat a blog.

    I am 27 years of age.

    What about you? How old are you? Do you have a blog? Do you have a story about yourself? I am guessing that based on your name you are a White girl. Do you have a love story about yourself and a Chinese man to share with us? I would love to hear it also.

  17. @RDM. Thanks for your contribution. I am trying to acquire as much information about Chinese as possible as I am preparing to meet a Chinese girl tomorrow for Thanksgiving. That is why I am asking for help from you all. My younger sister will come back from her university and will bring a new friend of hers and this girl is an ABC girl (ABC = American Born Chinese). She and my sister will stay with us for the long weekend. I hope to use this opporutnity to make this “fortune chickie” mine. Your criticism of me is rather harsh. All I am simply doing is trying to have a “fortune chickie” for myself. I do want a long term relationship with her if possible. Am I a little “horny”? Yes, but I do not see anything wrong as this is nature. Do I have a preference for a Chinese chickie? Yes but again what is wrong with this preference? But I am not some sex-crazed white boy whose sole intention is to hold the attitude of “nail her and dump her” regardless of her feelings. You seem to feel repulsed at a white boy’s attempt to chase a Chinese woman based on your tone and language. I am simply trying to be honest and came to this site because Jocelyn offers so much more cultural information than any other site that I have seen to date.

    If you ask me whether I have any opposition to a Chinese man seducing or “banging” some of my fellow White “chickies,” I am certainly not opposed. In fact, I feel proud and honored when I see a Chinese boy (or Asian boy) walking hand-in-hand with one of my fellow white chickies. I even feel more proud and honored if some Chinese men are successful at seducing and “banging” some of my fellow white chickes. It would make me feel that we Whites are not prejuced as so many think. In fact, I would feel proud and honored if both of my sisters are solidly “banged” by some Chinese guys. In fact, both of my sisters are a little horny also. I know this for a fact since I was rasied along side them we share secrets together as we remain close siblings. My younger sister # 1 said that she is now curious about Chinese men and want to try to seduce a Chinese man if the opportunity arises. My younder sister # 2 said that she does not have a preference for or against having a Chinese boyfriend. They have not been sucessful yet but maybe they will in the future. I certainly will try to help them get into a relationship with a Chinese boy if and when I can find one for them in my small town or elsewhere. Neither of my sisters are prejudiced either. I am aware that in the South, the historical treatment of minorities was rather repugnant (eg. racial discrimination, segregation, slavery, etc.) But I think we whites have learned to overcome this type of prejuduce (although unfortunately some sill harbor some of the old lingering prejudice). I and my family are certainly not prejudiced.

    In any event, I have no ill will towards you for your criticism of me. I will construe your words as constructive comments intended to guide me. I thank you so much for those links showing me great things.

    You wrote that: ” we Asian guys tend to be self-aborbed and stay quiet.” To this I answer you by offering the following: you Asian boys should stop staying quite and stop being self-absorbed. Just get out of your shell and chase after some hot looking white chickes (or black or any type of girls). In fact, my younger sister # 1 complained about the shyness of Chinese men. She had tried to chase a Chinese man one time when she was in a bar in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong this year when we were there for a family vacation in May 2012 but she had no success. She squeezed the left biceps of one Chinese man in Hong Kong one time and tried to initiate conversation with him by complimenting him first on his good looks, but he seemed rather frightened and walked away rather quickly after having a terse conversation with my sis. My sis could not believe this type of reaction! I did not witness this incident or else I would have tried to help my sis by talking to the Chinese man for her so as to reduce his fear level. So, RDM go chase the White chick!!!!! Get out of your seat now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for all of your help!

  18. @Manny
    thanks for your suggestion.
    And thanks for your kindly offer of your sisters.
    You definitely are TROLLING.
    Enjoy trolling.

  19. I always believe freedom of speech. As long as it is not a personal attack. People entitle their opinions.
    The way I see it, the real world is never black and white. There are all kind of grey area. Relationship is complicated. Is it love at the first sight or lust at the first sight? If the couple somehow stays togather forever, do you really care? And people change. Couple can grow togather or grow apart. If they enjoy their time togather and cherish it forever, that is good enough.
    I don’t encourage Manny for his doing, but the fact he tried his hardest no matter what is the same principal our parents want us to do in academic. Why can’t we just do that for relationship, and in life as well? Could that explain why there are many WMAF vs few AMWF couples? And the lack of Asian leadership?
    Instead of feeling bitter about someone else getting the girl you like or the promotion you want, try your hardest and see what happens.

  20. And don’t make Chinese culture a prerequisite class to graduate from your relationship, it is up to your significant other. Chances are, when she is in a relationship with you, she will have the interest. It is chiken and egg problem.

  21. @Cvaguy,
    To answer this, “Instead of feeling bitter about someone else getting the girl you like or the promotion you want, try your hardest and see what happens.” I’d ask you “Where in the world are you right now?” Do you think I feel repulsed for those non-asian guys getting asian girls? Read my previous comment carefully. I have no issue on whatsoever people are commenting here. I do believe in “Freedom of Speech”. I rarely comment here. I just enjoy reading constructive critique and insightful analysis by some of the readers here.

    Is it “together” or “togather”? Or is it “chicken” or “chiken”?
    Or is it “People entitle their opinion” or “People are entitled to their opinions”?
    First learn the English language first so as to discern what a thin veil of sarcasm or trolling Manny has. Once you figured out, please let me know what exactly the following statement by Manny has brought up to our discussion or at least what agenda he has in mind.

    “In fact, I would feel proud and honored if both of my sisters are solidly “banged” by some Chinese guys. In fact, both of my sisters are a little horny also.”

  22. The real idea of “Freedom of Speech” won’t compromise public good. Deprecating women into easy conquest should be denounced.

    In post war Europe, a loaf of bread from American GI could get you easy sex. German women shacked up with Russians to survive or avoid being raped. Manny, if you have any decency of respecting your grandfather’s legacy, you won’t share his story here. Desperate time brought out desperate measures. Other than you being retarded in some way, I can’t think of any good reason.

  23. “Fortune chickie”? Must be trolling for sure, as anyone with the most passing acquaintance with China’s Chinese culture knows that this is an American-Chinese invention. Same thing for cream cheese wontons.

  24. I think the post is meant to be a satire on western men who look for asian women specifically. Or at least thats how I read it. I dont think it propogates stereotypes of asian women as much as sardonically state some of the existent stereotypes present among people who ONLY date asian.

    The benefits part though, if meant sarcastically, is done poorly. For one, despite all its growth, I doubt China is anywhere near a stage where a chinese passport would by itself hold any aspirational value.

    And lastly I have heard worse when “educated, open minded people” speak about this issue. I once heard a western woman comment to a spanish guy that at least he doesnt have to worry about his wife gaining weight. I am sure I have heard some asian women use this as a “seliing point” too. I found it retarded.

  25. @Jocelyn, I really like the graphics. It touches people on the raw. I cannot draw like Peter C. Espina.

    @Manny, I will admire your moral fibre even more if it is imbued with a li’l bit of sensitivity. Good luck. Keep me posted on the outcome.

  26. Just to give my two cents, being an American with majority European heritage and now being engaged to a Chinese woman I can tell you that she rules the…well…everything. So these delusions of sitting around like an emperor are hilarious. Not that I would trade my life with her for that anyways. (I know my place, I have to make sure if she sees this I don’t get in trouble! Just kidding)

  27. My wife was outraged at the concept of buying anything off Taoboa, as “It’s all knock-offs, there are much better places to get deals.” As to the rest, “Of course we make better wives than white women.” Different people get offended over different things I guess.

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