Earlier this year, I went on a date with a man who told me he had a thing for Asian women.
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We were sitting across from each other at a table in a fancy restaurant and he stood up to do a head-to-toe scan of me. I am sick of being fetishised because of racist stereotypes about "small and compliant" Asian women. I told myself to run. Here was yet another man with what is not-so-jokingly referred to as Yellow Fever: When I tried to break it off with him, he texted: Thankfully, there are thousands of gorgeous Japanese, Chinese and Korean girls in Sydney, so I will be okay. This is not unusual.
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I have spent most of my adult life expending psychological and emotional energy fending off men like him. I have a small body.
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- 9 Asian-Americans Get Real About What It's Like To Date In 2018.
I have an Asian face. Women like me are handcuffed to a double bind.
We have to fight off men who infantilise us because of our small bodies, and who also believe the Asian face carries some special gene that makes us soft-spoken, gentle and non-confrontational. I continue to be astounded by the number of white men who still see me and immediately assume I am "submissive, docile, compliant, accommodating, sweet in the kitchen, tiger in the bedroom".
My body is viewed as a literal and symbolic site upon which to construct their fantasies of the perfect Asian lover. The pernicious perception that most young Asian women have petite, child-like bodies is not necessarily untrue. Yes, because my parents have two pretty different perspectives: The fetishization Asian-American women have to deal while dating is pretty widespread.
Has that affected your dating life?
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One of my biggest gripes with the fetishization of Asian women is that it reduces us to purely physical objects, associated with being docile and obedient. Well, I had a fairly matriarchal upbringing, which is common among Filipino families. My mom assumed the position of financial and familial authority, and my dad supported that dynamic entirely, taking on the role of raising my sister and me at home. This dynamic translated into my views of masculinity and feminism, and ultimately, my dating preferences.
I value my independence, financial and otherwise, and have always been drawn to men who find my independence to be empowering, not emasculating. Needless to say, they were immediately disappointed. Do you date Asians exclusively or have you had experiences with interracial dating? Fortunately, instead of minimizing my concerns, my current boyfriend a white male listens to my grievances and makes a conscious effort to advance the cause of racial and gender equality.
I think the pecking order is something along the lines of: How do your sexual orientation and gender identity affect your dating life as an Asian-American? Growing up in an extremely religious Korean household, almost everything was forbidden.
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Unless they were white; oddly, my mom thought that was more palatable because she was fed this idea that white equals success. When I was 12, I remember being attracted to women. Korean culture puts a heavy emphasis on social status and image. These interviews have been edited for clarity and length.
Your 'thing' for Asian girls is not a compliment
Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. What do your parents want for you in a partner? What have your experiences with interracial dating been like? She identifies as lesbian and lives in Portland, Oregon.
Odds Favor White Men, Asian Women On Dating App
How did your parents respond to you being a lesbian? How would you describe your experiences with interracial dating? Courtesy of Vicky N. Vicky is an American of Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese descent. She's a straight woman living in Austin, Texas. What have been your experiences on dating apps? How does your Asian-ness intersect with your ideas on masculinity? Courtesy of Dhara S.