A few years back, I wrote the post, Why Did I Assume I Would Stay Single in China? Was it merely that I grew up in an incredibly white middle-class suburb (I could count on one hand the Asian men I knew from kindergarten to high school graduation)?
Was it the overwhelming absence of positive images of Asian men in the whitewashed world of American popular culture?
Instead, they characterize it as “yellow fever” and accuse people like me of having some sort of fetish, think that we’re looking for an easy way out, that we’ve taken mail-order brides, or that it’s just “because we couldn’t get a white woman.” Or worse, they assume the Asian woman is a victim and is being taken advantage of. Or contrarily, it means that she is taking advantage of him for a green card.
Since the end of the Vietnam war, white men have increasingly said “to hell with it” and went into relationships with Asian women, but we have met with mixed results when it comes to acceptance. ” They assume a level of inequality in our relationship that doesn’t exist, and despite their outward appearance of tolerance and liberality, they fail to acknowledge that there is a possibility that we are equal partners.
After all, as NPR reported a few years back, “According to new data compiled by the free online dating service OKCupid, racial biases are very much part of the romantic choices we are making online, even when we insist that they are not.” And Eduardo Bonilla-Silva once wrote in his book “Racism Without Racists”: The word “natural” or the phrase “that’s the way it is” is often interjected to normalize events or actions that could otherwise be interpreted as racially motivated (residential segregation) or racist (preference for whites as friends and partners).
But, as social scientists know quite well, few things that happen in the social world are “natural,” particularly things pertaining to racial matters.
There is also ignorance on the part of otherwise liberal folk who see themselves as Great White Saviors.
One of my old friends insists that every woman who works in an Asian restaurant is actually a victim of human trafficking and that children are pressed into service against their will.