Love or Fetish? On “Yellow Fever” and Creepy/Sketchy Attractions

In the past few weeks, I’ve discovered They’re All So Beautiful, an online forum about race and dating that’s features a five-part online series and is also a companion to the documentary Seeking Asian Female.

Yes, it’s a conversation in part about “yellow fever” — but one with more intelligence, one that seeks to transcend the usual boundaries and assumptions.

The site really got me thinking when I discovered Jeff Yang’s blog post. For those of you who don’t know him, he’s an Asian-American journalist for the Wall Street Journal — and one who has written some of my favorite articles exploring why you see so few Asian men with non-Asian women (such as this piece).

He points out that the white guys interviewed in Episode one of the online series seem to embody the worst possible stereotypes about white men who pursue Asian women: Continue reading “Love or Fetish? On “Yellow Fever” and Creepy/Sketchy Attractions”

Yin-Yang: “A Headstrong Australian Girl…Humbled By China”

An Australian girl and her Chinese boyfriend, standing on a historical street in China
Huaiqian and Christi (photo courtesy of Christi)

When I first read Christi’s story — which shares some of the ways she and her fiancee, Huaiqian, balance their relationship — I smiled at the way she described herself as “a headstrong Australian girl…humbled by China.” Her words echoed much of my own experience with John — the moments when we realized just how differently we viewed exactly the same thing, the times when we learned to negotiate the differences. She brings so much heart and honesty to the subject, and I’m excited to share her story with you.  Continue reading “Yin-Yang: “A Headstrong Australian Girl…Humbled By China””

Interracial Dating in China is Not Just for White Men

Photo of Sam and Amanda from Shanghai Calling
(photo from

This week, I’m not responding to a question. I’m responding to something else entirely that’s been on my mind.

There’s this white guy who continues to post hate-filled diatribes of comments on my site about Western women dating Chinese men, about how we shouldn’t be dating at all. The comments all go to my spam folder now (I have a personal policy about keeping hate speech off the site), but he still keeps ’em coming.

He’s clearly one of the douchebags that Shanghai Shiok author Christine Tan once referred to as “taking up way too much discussion space on the Internet.”

Still, his comments got me thinking, Continue reading “Interracial Dating in China is Not Just for White Men”

Double Happiness: Michelle and Kwan are Getting Married

Michelle and Kwan
Michelle and Kwan (photo courtesy of Michelle)

Not long after I first launched Ask the Yangxifu in January 2010, I received an e-mail from an American woman named Michelle about her burgeoning relationship with Kwan, a Chinese-American man she just met. Never did I imagine that, more than two years later, I would follow Michelle and Kwan throughout their relationship (through Michelle’s occasional e-mails) — right through to their engagement and marriage plans.

What a thrill. This is the first couple I’ve ever had the privilege to follow from their first meeting to marriage.

But even better, Michelle agreed to share her story with us for Double Happiness — how she met Kwan, and how he proposed to her. Michelle, I wish you and Kwan báitóuxiélǎo (白头偕老, may the bride and groom live to a ripe old age together)! Continue reading “Double Happiness: Michelle and Kwan are Getting Married”

A Story of Sexism, Chinese Men and Who Should Wash the Dishes

Washing the dishes
(photo by peapod labs)

“Washing dishes? That’s women’s work.”

That’s how Yao, my first Chinese boyfriend, ended one late Saturday night dinner at his apartment.

Up until that moment, he romanced me the entire day like any real gentleman — from running to the hospital for my medicine, to regaling me with a delicious homemade dinner of fried rice. All afternoon he told me to rest, relax, take it easy — I still felt exhausted from my recent illness, and had only just regained my appetite. Didn’t anyone ever tell him that sexist slurs are hard for girlfriends to swallow?

“What do mean, ‘women’s work?’ Are you telling me you won’t do the dishes, ever?” I asked.

“It’s not my job.”

I glowered at him. “So who’s going to do the dishes then?”

“Just leave them for my mom,” he said. He immediately jumped up from his seat and wandered over to the bedroom to start watching Saturday night football games.

How could he say that? Didn’t he realize he was dating a feminist who grew up in a household where both mom and dad were breadwinners, and didn’t believe in things like “women’s work”? I wrestled with these, and many more, questions about the man I was dating, and the future we might face ahead of us. But never, ever did I hold the one thought that all too often gets slapped on a guy like Yao — that he was just another sexist Chinese man I should never have dated in the first place. Continue reading “A Story of Sexism, Chinese Men and Who Should Wash the Dishes”

UK Chinese Studies Student Seeks Chinese/Non-Chinese Couples for Dissertation Survey

Small porcelain dolls showing a Chinese husband and wife in traditional red clothing
(photo from rickz Flickr)

UPDATE: Participants are still needed until January 2013! Please read this message and contact bankslaura (at)

Want to help scholars with research into Chinese/non-Chinese interracial relationships — in just 30 minutes?

A UK student in Chinese studies is doing her dissertation on Chinese/non-Chinese interracial relationships, and she needs to find couples — both married and non-married — who are willing to complete a survey, which should take about 30 minutes. That includes Chinese men and non-Chinese women, as well as non-Chinese men and Chinese women. See the details below in this letter: Continue reading “UK Chinese Studies Student Seeks Chinese/Non-Chinese Couples for Dissertation Survey”

Double Happiness: A Brazilian-Chinese Love Story That Started With Football

A bride topper made for a cake that was a gift from a bride-to-be to her soccer lover fiance on his birthday.
(photo by Ban Tell)

I’ll be honest, it’s been a challenging summer for us. Moving across country, getting settled in, even my husband’s whole internship thing (he still faces uncertainty in some respects, but that’s another story…sigh).

But then, days before, I found this little postcard of a love story in my inbox — in Portuguese. Well, I don’t know Portuguese. But between my Spanish minor from college and a little help from Google Translate, I worked the story out — and was touched. In the midst of all of the difficulties, I found a little something that made me smile, and restored my faith in the world.

Thank you for this story, Diandra, you saved me from my summer blues. Muito obrigado. Continue reading “Double Happiness: A Brazilian-Chinese Love Story That Started With Football”

Double Happiness: A Kiss 12 Years in the Making

Kissing lips
(photo by Julia Freeman-Woolpert)

Twelve years after she first met her Asian high school crush, Rebekah never imaged she would finally get her chance at love with him — including a kiss that, as she put it, was 12 years in the making. She originally published her story on her blog, and kindly gave me permission to edit and reprint it here.


We first “met” in high school, way back in 1994. He was a senior, I was a freshman. From what I can remember, I just loved him the instant I saw him. The big movie at that time was The Crow, Brandon Lee’s last movie (which, coincidentally was my first Asian guy crush). Imagine my surprise meeting this adorable Asian guy at school, with long hair past his shoulders and a gorgeous smile, the kind that just lights up the room. I always saw him either outside of the lunchroom or in the music room. It is so funny for me to tell this now. At age 14 I was the girl who was so shy, I could barely make eye contact with a boy. I remember actually making eye contact with him once, and I could feel my face burning. He remembers this too, and he recalls not only me turning bright red, but “cutely” covering my face with my hand before looking away. I knew I could never talk to him because I was way too shy. So off he went to college and I never thought I would see him again. Continue reading “Double Happiness: A Kiss 12 Years in the Making”