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).
Even with a favorable visa (for example, a permanent resident card), [Chinese men] will face discrimination in hiring for jobs [in English-speaking countries] if he doesn’t: 1) know how to “perform” in job interviews; 2) have a degree from your country (remember, news about China has primed them to be suspicious about China, including Chinese credentials), or; 3) speak good English. As Jessica explains, “my husband has no marketable skills—he’s a career musician—and speaks no English. Guess where we’ll be living for the foreseeable future?”
….If your Chinese husband is not very highly educated or highly paid, you’ll almost always earn more than your husband if you live in China because of the discrepancies between expat and local salaries. A lot of Chinese men cannot handle a foreign wife as the primary breadwinner. Even Jessica’s husband, who is pretty accepting, still has trouble with the reality: “My husband is extremely unconventional and doesn’t mind being a stay-at-home dad for now. But, even for him, it gets to be a bit of a bummer that I make in a month what he used to make in a year and that he can’t contribute meaningfully to our family income at this point.”
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?” Continue reading ““Spoils of a Chinese Marriage?” More Like, Spoiled a Chinese Marriage.”
“I’m so glad he’s not going over to China anymore. It’s too tempting.”
My friend Susan Blumberg-Kason overhead this snippet of conversation one afternoon while attending a reading. The woman speaking was white, and referring to the fact that her white husband — who she followed to China — would no longer be working over there. It was in the context of a discussion about men who have affairs in China — with Chinese women, of course.
I’ve been going out with my Chinese girlfriend for the last five years, on and off, mostly on though. Yes, that’s a bit of time, but since the last couple years her mother, whom I have met for a two week stay in China before, has been insisting that we get married. I know part of it is that her mother is traditional, my girlfriend is their only child, I’m her first boyfriend (big one), and now she only has a few months left still to find a job here in the US, or she has to go back to China. As for me, I’m still looking for a job and housing, and I feel like I’m only 26 years old and not ready yet, especially under these circumstances.
I know she and her mom love me to death, but I know there is an undercurrent of me having to “help” or “do her a favor” so she doesn’t have to go back. Honestly, I’ll say, as an American I do feel like her mom is kind of using me, and furthermore my girlfriend has also put this in terms of “doing a favor for each other”, or “an “engagement”, meaning the marriage certificate. Then the plan would be whenever we get things set up we would go over to China to have a big wedding. Now this does sound really great but I am confused and I do feel like I’m kind of being pressured into this. I don’t want to have my girlfriend go back to China, but at the same time I hate to be the one who “holds the key” to us staying together, and to her future. Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: Marriage Pressure From 5-Year Chinese Girlfriend”
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