I found this article from an Asian-American interest site very true-to-form. Originally published in the Harvard Crimson, it discusses the role of media and traditional racial preferences in contemporary dating preferences.
This article, also on ‘Model Minority,’ features a fascinating running discussion on the theme of Asian female/White male dating, offering a broad spectrum of dissenting opinions which range from “stick to your own” to “look only at the individual and past media stereotypes” to all-out angry White man bigotry.
It calls to mind this interesting discussion on why Aussie girls don’t often date Asian men, which came up in the Age. Upon reading it, the entire blank catalogue from my Australian high school dating career came flooding back to mind.
From my own experience, I’ve seen very few East Asian and Black couples. In fact, I can’t remember the last one I did see. This leads me to think that Asian parents (and their children) from my own generation still have a long way to go in re-evaluating their misbegotten perceptions of people originating from Africa.
And yes, I think it remains far more common and acceptable for an Asian woman to date a white man than the other way round.
Asian men, it is often asserted, are placed at the bottom of the gene pool for most women, behind Blacks, Latinos, and Whites. I’m not sure how we fare next to Arabs or Native Americans in this country, nor whether my South Asian brethren have my measure. But a quick tour of current DC Craigslist personals (don’t ask me how I ended up there) is filled with BBWs (Big Beautiful Women) looking for Black and Latin men. Dating sites that cater to a general (read: white) clientele that allow individuals to set racial preferences offer similar results.
Is this racism? And do I feel outraged as an Asian man, getting slighted by the whims of racial and gender stereotypes (the Kung Fu fighter or the angry shop owner, for example)?
Well, I can’t say I love the situation that I find myself in. But at the end of the day, I try and take my old roommate’s advice (he is Indian) and convince myself that the right girl won’t be worried about what colour my skin is. Though I agree with him, this fact only offers so much solace after a year of non-opportunity.
I’ve spoken to many friends about this particular topic, but after much pondering, am still quite puzzled as to my inability to befriend East Asians. It’s sad to feel estranged from young people of your own race or cultural heritage, but at this point, that’s how things are with me. Growing up in a white-bread town, not being either completely Asian nor American, not Asian-American…whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to the day that this country can really move forward on race perceptions.
But boy, do we have a long way to go.
And that, my friends, is one of the reasons why Barack Obama offers so much hope to the United States, as well as the world. After all this, I will be deeply disappointed if the man doesn’t run.