ATR 56 – Asian outmarriage, race and genetics

Carmen is joined by guest co-host Jennifer Fang in this super-sized episode. Jennifer blogs at Reappropriate primarily about issues dealing with Asian American feminism and race activism. She is also the webmaster for, a syndicated blog of a number of political Asian American blogs.

First up is listener feedback. Then, Jenn, Carmen and sociologist C.N. Le discuss the high rates of interracial marriage among Asian-American women and its implications on community-building and Asian-American feminism. Finally, Jenn discusses the politics of research on race and genetics.

This episode features music from Psalm One and Madlib, courtesy of Spectre Music.

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Duration – 1:21:18
File Size – 74.6 MB
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22 thoughts on “ATR 56 – Asian outmarriage, race and genetics”

  1. The problem with big internet debates is that terms which gain popularity are never ratified by the community as a whole and thus, like a partial obstruction in a river, create constant turmoil after they stick.

    Jen commented that the term “sellout” was a reflection of the Asian American chauvinism, and then offered a hypothesis explaining why so much male anger exists at AAFs outdating and outmarrying. This is actually a logical flaw which I think is consistant throughout the debate which I hope I can point out here. No one can deny that the term “sellout”, in its application here, came from the words of a chauvinist who may very likely feel that his masculinity is damaged, as Jen hypothesized. However, the origin of the term oversimplifies and, in my opinion, distracts from the reasonable points coming from more reasonable people. In particular, Jen’s follow up point, about the right for anyone to choose their romantic relationships, in my opinion, represents the core of the inflamed response to the term “sellout”, and I feel that this response also begins with a misunderstanding. Hence, my stab at the whirlwind:

    A) Mino’s take on the male perspective

    The term “Sellout” is chauvinist. No one can deny it, and surely it came from chauvinist lips. Someone was angry. We’ll never know why, but they said what they said, and somehow, the term stuck. The problem is, for reasonable Asian men, the term “sellout” says something different from how we feel. In particular, the real problem, as perceived from the male side, which I feel is often overlooked, is NOT that some AAFs are dating white people. The sore spot, in my perception, is AAFs who will not date Asian people. More specifically, the problem is AAFs who hold racial dating preferences. Racial dating preferences are racist.

    This is not to say that no one has them, and, as Carmen mentioned in an earlier show, since the term “Racist” has become such a negative term that to even consider such a possibility would be deeply offensive. I think many people have an internal conflict between “I’m not attracted to X race” and “I feel humiliated that I’m a little racist”, and I think that’s completely 100% healthy.

    The problem with the term “Sellout” is that the term, popular, though not illustrative, I think, of most people’s true feelings, does not really connotate a reaction to racist preferences. It reminds you of words like “traitor”, which are not the point. The deep anger, from what I’ve seen, is not some sort of affront to masculinity or manhood, but rather the stomach turning reaction to racism. I think the phase which burns in most peoples minds is “I don’t date Asian guys.” It means that this person doesn’t date Asian people BECAUSE they are Asian, much like, in the 50s, people didn’t rent to Asians BECAUSE they were Asian, or didn’t hire Asians BECAUSE they were Asian. And lets not forget that the imbalance outdating and outmarriage only is related to white people – Asian American women outdate and outmarry in significant and LOW numbers to other races. Again, this smacks of racism, and, in my opinion, the real feeling from the male perspective.

    B) Mino’s take on the female perspective

    The immediate reaction to the term “Sellout” is completely different from the feelings that (I think) the term is being wrongfully used to convey. Women feel they are being controlled. Every time you ask an AAF about her feelings on this contentious issue, you inevitably are reminded about chauvinist culture, patriarchy, and male control and domination. A choice should be a choice, regardless of how it affects the suitor. This rings especially true in feminist circles who have carefully analyzed the societal structures and pressures which erode and wrench female choice out of women’s hands. The natural reaction is “why shouldn’t I have a choice?” In the face of the frustrated suitor, this reaction is the obvious one.

    However, what is infrequently mentioned, in my opinion, even among Asian feminists, is the surprising application of male privilege. Asian American males seek dates and marriage from Asian American females more frequently than an unbiased selector. Race must be just as much an aspect of some Asian male choice as it is an aspect of Asian females refusing to choose Asian. Thus, the truly chauvinistic, among Asian males, are those who refuse to date non-Asian, demanding liaison exclusively with Asian females.

    Asian American feminists, however, should not blame chauvinism exclusively on Asian American males. The dating and marriage protocols in the US are clearly distinct from traditional arrangements (a whole separate can of worms), and the men themselves, perhaps the first or second generation of Asian American men to participate in the US protocols, cannot be held responsible for the chauvinism of the US system. What they SHOULD be held responsible for is their refusal to date non-Asians, because again it is a racist preference.

    C) Conclusion

    Obviously we have a dual layer problem. One layer is a problem of race. Women who refuse to date men just because of their race, are racist. Men who refuse to date non-Asian because they only want to date Asian, are also racist. These racial preferences should be worked on, and should not be squeezed under the already bumpy carpet of Asian American social issues. In terms of an Asian problem, we need to see our own biases and try to work against them. Even solving this single problem would be tremendous.

    Another layer is a problem of sexism. Men calling women sellouts for refusing to date them, and thus creating a wave of undue pressure, is chauvinism in its ugly finest. That needs to be stopped. However, in the fight for gender equality, women cannot simultaneously demand equality while refusing to take back and re-engineer our social protocols. I know many woman feminists who see the “decider” aspect (to use a Bush analogy to turn your stomachs and motivate you) of our dating and marriage protocols as a comfortable privilege. There is ease in not having to get up the courage to ask someone to go out with you. But there is also a loss of power, because these decisions only relate to suitors, and not the space of all potential partners. American dating protocols are inherently chauvinist.

    Fortunately, taking back equality in dating protocols may not be impossible because of the trade in effort. Shouldering the nervousness and fear in asking someone out takes some of that burden off of men, and I think, unlike in other aspects of the fight for gender equality, men will gladly share that burden. Who wouldn’t love to be asked out once in a while? If women equalize the dating protocols, then male criticism of female preferences will be equally reflected in female criticism of male preferences. Especially, in the Asian American case, in terms of racist preferences.

  2. Incidentally, to add to a comment which is already too long:

    Saying that women should “equalize the dating protocol” smacks of sexism and scapegoating. To clarify, given that one person asks and the other person responds, it not really possible to ask men to “respond more”, since you have to ask first. Since both sexes should ask equally, the burden is thus on the women to ask more. NOT intended as a sexist comment.

    Love the podcast.

  3. I managed to catch this episode last night and it touched up on a lot of good points and I’m always looking forward to the dialog between Jenn and Carmen. I was in a rush and pretty much fast forwarded to the discussion of Asian American interracial marriage and bypassed the other issues, which are definitely not less important. I was saddened to learn that, while talking about this particularly fiery topic, the podcast lacked the voice or representation of someone that actually finds this issue very troubling or in your description, anti-interracial dating fanaticism. Granted, I’m not talking about myself but in order to shed light on the ugly side of this debate, I’ve frequently talked to these very “bitter and angry” Asian men and I must say that they’re not rare.

    It’s not fair to bind the description of “bitter and angry” in such a blasé attitude because they do have legitimate points from “male” eyes.

    Men, since the beginning of time, have always viewed “their” respective women as their counterpart. They’re, hypothetically speaking, “their” women just like how Asian men can be viewed by Asian women as “their” men.

    It’s instinct. It’s been coded into men and is as primitive as man’s desire to be pyromaniacs since cavemen need fire to survive. It’s this exact primitive nature, in all men, that during wartime, the general mentality was to destroy the men and take over the women. It’s where the phrase “the honor of a man lies between the legs of a woman” came from. Granted, there is no war where Asian men are been killed off in order to gain access to the women, but this mass projection of Asian women with white men is very symbolic to Asian men. It would be no different with men of *any* other race. Therefore, it’s not fair to just dismiss this as an Asian male insecurity but rather a male insecurity. It’s been built into men for thousands of years and it’s pretty arrogant to suggest us ignore that instinct.

    The first and most famous response is that Asian women dating out, in such massive numbers, directly tarnishes and emasculates Asian men in mainstream American society. Real or imagined, it’s almost as if white men are using this particular pairing to try to desexualize and emasculate Asian men in order to eliminate them from being sexual rivals. Given the history of sexual exclusion such as interracial marriage laws, I’m not sure that it’s merely our imagination. Believe me; many Asian men have been taunted that “we can’t even control our women from flooding to them.” Asian women are viewed as pawns, and sometimes willing pawns, to attack Asian masculinity. Now, emasculation is usually employed in two fashions. The first being to show how Asian men are inferior to white men and the second to show how Asian men are somehow defective if their own women don’t want them.

    Julia Oh’s article attempted to explain why Asian women who date white men are seen, and rightly so, are hypocrites when it comes to Asian American activism. Long story short, she rationalizes that fighting the emasculation of Asian men by white society is one of the Asian community’s main objectives and dating white men fights that objective, not reaffirm it.

    Additionally, the sheer image of Asian women with white men reinforces that “defective” stigma. It doesn’t matter if the media roles could be played by any race or if the story is good. White created media portrayals were created to emasculate Asian men, current images, and no matter how innocent, reaffirms that racial notion that Asian men are inferior. (See “Outrage over Red Doors”)

    The second response is that interracial dating is fine but the huge gap reports a telling problem. Critics are not far off base. It’s been a well known fact that Asian women are more accepted as legitimate spouses compared to their male counterparts because Asian women appear to be less threatening than Asian men when confronted by the white male power base in this country. Out of all media representations, minority men from all ethnicities always outnumber their female counterparts except for Asian Americans.

    Everyone wants to be accepted and have a sense of belonging and many Asian men are envious of Asian women when it comes to acceptance in America. We’re ignored and unacknowledged. I can assure everyone that if white women or non-Asian men were viewed as preferred spouses, this whole heated debate would die tomorrow. It seems that while acceptance of Asian women is widespread, Asian women refuse to stand up for their counterparts. I know that most Asian women in interracial relationships with white men support their culture and men but they belong to the “Silent Majority” and are causing most of the backlash. It seems to be ingrained in Asians to not “rock the boat” and there is a hypothesis that Asian women refuse, or at least reluctant, to stand up for Asian men because they don’t wish to raise the ire of white men and lose their so-called privileged status as being accepted by white society. It’s the proverbial “house slave” compared to the “field slave.” The causes resentment because these same Asian men believe they’re in this fight for racial equality and acceptance by themselves.

    I rarely utter “sellout”. In fact, I only reserve it for Asians that have truly sold out their heritage for white society. Coupled with the “Silent Majority,” Asian women who are dating white men and bash Asian men are also some of the most vocal and prominent. In media, almost all the Asian female representatives in recent memory have been complete embarrassments and reinforce this rift. Unfortunately, their message has been broadcast all over America. I can name a few just off the top of my head. They include Gina from “America’s Next Top Model,” Jun from Big Brother, and Kelly Hu from Maxim.

    Every single Asian male I know, they know of at *least* one Asian female that employs and promotes the idea of Asian men being inferior in every way possible. I haven’t seen any other minority women that have exhibited this type of hateful rhetoric towards their male counterparts. Granted, they’re in the minority but it’s a serious problem if every male knows of at least one.

    I’m missing other aspects of this side of the argument but it wasn’t designed to explain the whole situation to Asian women but merely offer a glimpse to where this hate for Asian women/white male pairings come from. Simply dismissing it as something trivial is irresponsible as it leads to bigger side effects such as low morale when it comes to Asian men standing up for themselves. After all, who wants to stand up when they believe they’re about to get stabbed in the back while getting stabbed in the chest?

    I know there are good Asian female and white male pairings. In fact, I’m willing to believe that most are healthy relationships. A friend of mine who just happens to be white has dating three Asian women before and I’ve supported him more than anyone else. In fact, he fights for Asian men and their image harder than most Asian women do so I don’t dismiss interracial relationships between Asian women and white men outright.

    However, Asian women need to do more to offset their louder counterparts just like how mainstream Muslims need to fight their fanatical counterparts for tarnishing their religion. Whatever these groups are doing, it’s not enough.

    I don’t think that the term “sellout” which most of these forum boards are using is formulated correctly. It’s a term that no longer means someone who has sold out at the expense of someone else but more along the description of “not doing enough.”

    Also, take what you read on Model with a grain of salt. Though they do have good articles, the forum is pure poison.

  4. It should read:

    “I can assure everyone that if white women or non-Asian WOmen were viewed as preferred spouses, this whole heated debate would die tomorrow.”

  5. Perhaps an evenhanded episode dedicated to discussing some of the components of the outmarriage/inmarriage debate would be better.

  6. That’s fair. While I’ve stated before how I support honest interracial relationships between Asians and whites, I find it pretty insidious to leave one group responsible for the rift.

    The Asian female demographic has played the victim for too long and needs to know why they suffer a huge backlash because of who they date. We’re not upset at them, we’re upset at society which treats us unevenly and they refuse to acknowledge it or at least be empathetic towards Asian men.

    It usually degrades into accusations of Asian men attempting to control Asian women, we’re sexist, racist, etc. I guess it’s always easier to play the “babe in the woods” rather than to fess up to the idea that maybe 50% of the blame goes to you as well.

    “It’s everyone else’s fault but mine.”

  7. Whoa there, lets not start claiming people want play the role of victim.I mean if that’s the case from the looks of it, The same could be said of many asian males.

  8. Rob, you went into great detail of trying to explain the point of view of Asian men who think that the interracial relationship gap is one of the biggest issues of the Asian-American community (I understand that you are talking on behave of people you know and these are not necessarily your views). However I can’t see how the rational justifies expecting Asian women to only date Asian men. Nor do I see why it should excuse anyone who says an Asian woman does not have a valid voice in the Asian community if she has a non-Asian partner.

    It not only unrealistic but it’s racist to expect the opposite sex from your race to only date/marry within the race when your living in a multi-racial society. I can understand why Jenn sees this belief to be chauvinistic.

    One of the arguments you put forward behalf of these angry Asian males’ perspective is that Asian men are in a power struggle with White men. And Asian women are hurting their own race by dating white men in (what’s preconceived to be) large numbers, which in turns helps White men keep Asian men emasculated. No doubt White males have blatantly tried to maintain a sexual dominance over the other races in the past through interracial marriage laws and racial propaganda. But I don’t see how starting a serious relationship with someone of another race can be an attempt to have sexual dominance that race.

    I don’t believe in the “Asian women dating white men makes it look like Asian men are undesirable or accepted” argument either. There other other ways for Asian individuals to fight invalid stereotypes other then staying away from interracial relationships. It’s also an invalid belief that every Asian woman in an interracial relationship find Asian men undesirable.

    Very often, I hear the complaint that there are Asian women out there who say that Asian men are inferior and refuse to date any of them. I understand that people like that stir anger, but you have to ask yourself, Do you want to be in a relationship with someone so shallow they refuse to date someone on the sole basis of race? Should you care what if you can’t get a date with an empty person who only see the races as the way pop culture portrays them. Such a person’s opinion is of no higher value than that of a KKK member.

    The interracial dating gap should not be a major issue the Asian-American community should concern itself with. Instead, Asian-Americans should focus on addressing stereotypes and the poor portrayals of Asians in the media. Once the false stereotypes and images of Asian men being undesirable are eliminated, the inter-relationship gap will go away. I can’t see why the sole part role Asian women have in fighting inequality is to date within the race.

  9. mr guy,

    Everyone wants to play “Oppression Olympics” but it’s unfair to imply that only certain groups like to play it. That was my main point.


    You said: However I can’t see how the rational justifies expecting Asian women to only date Asian men. Nor do I see why it should excuse anyone who says an Asian woman does not have a valid voice in the Asian community if she has a non-Asian partner.

    I already explained this. The reason why many believe Asian women who are dating outside their race are viewed as hypocritical is because it subtly reinforces the stigma of the emasculated Asian male. Julia Oh sheds some more light on it. ( Fighting Asian male emasculation by white society should be one of the main goals of the Asian community. You said so yourself by believing media representations of Asian Americans need to be improved. I also want to add that this is not a conflict between Asian men between Asian men and Asian women but rather a conflict between Asian men and other non-Asian men. As I explained with primitive instincts, the idea of women being “taken” by men of another group is always an affront to a group’s masculinity.

    White men have been notorious when it comes to “protecting” white women from minorities. In truth, they’re just protecting themselves and their image.

    What many Asian men find irritating and infuriating is that Asian women don’t understand the dynamics in male ritual on how this emasculation even takes place. The massive intermarriage disparity is a prefect example of emasculation because two specific scenarios are happening; while Asian women are being “stolen,” white women are not dating Asian men in kind. The interracial marriage between Asian women and white men could be at 80% but if Asian men and white women were also married at 75%-80%, this wouldn’t even be an issue.

    These Asian men aren’t angry at the interracial rates of Asian women, they’re strictly angry at the massive disparity.

    You said: But I don’t see how starting a serious relationship with someone of another race can be an attempt to have sexual dominance that race.

    That’s not what I’m saying. My theory is that white men who date Asian women are not necessarily trying to exhibit racial power over minorities (though we have heard many stories of racist white men with minority women) but rather the whole of white society is trying to exhibit racial power over minorities. It feeds the notion of the broader white population’s view of Asian male emasculation.

    You said: I don’t believe in the “Asian women dating white men makes it look like Asian men are undesirable or accepted” argument either. There other other ways for Asian individuals to fight invalid stereotypes other then staying away from interracial relationships. It’s also an invalid belief that every Asian woman in an interracial relationship find Asian men undesirable.

    Again, I didn’t mean to imply that “all” people are this or that. I know there are Asian women that are dating white men who find Asian men desirable. However, I’m not willing to give normal people that are not well versed in racial issues in this country to understand that all Asian men aren’t some type of stereotype.

    To white women, Asian women dating white men will feed the stereotype that Asian men are not desirable. To white men, Asian women dating white men will feed their conception that white men are superior to Asian men.

    I can’t stress this enough and I want people reading to absorb the next sentence. It’s not the fact that Asian women dating interracially in such massive numbers which results in Asian male emasculation, it’s the huge disparity that causes this emasculation. It’s the combination of both.

    You said: Very often, I hear the complaint that there are Asian women out there who say that Asian men are inferior and refuse to date any of them. I understand that people like that stir anger, but you have to ask yourself, Do you want to be in a relationship with someone so shallow they refuse to date someone on the sole basis of race? Should you care what if you can’t get a date with an empty person who only see the races as the way pop culture portrays them. Such a person’s opinion is of no higher value than that of a KKK member.

    This is very simple to answer. I treat these types of racist and hateful Asian women as popular media. No Asian man wants to date shallow and hateful individuals such as these Asian women but we don’t enjoy their hateful message. We don’t want their voice to be heard because it’s a form of bad propaganda. As much as Asian Americans hate media companies for portraying harmful stereotypes, these Asian women personify these types of media companies. They’re solely there to smear the image of Asian men for everyone. No one enjoys a negative image. Why should Asian men just ignore this particular problem?

    And like media companies, we protest them. However, good Asian women do little to nothing to counter their voice. The reason why Fox News is so well known is because it’s much louder than mainstream media outlets that tend to have a liberal slant.

    You said: The interracial dating gap should not be a major issue the Asian-American community should concern itself with. Instead, Asian-Americans should focus on addressing stereotypes and the poor portrayals of Asians in the media. Once the false stereotypes and images of Asian men being undesirable are eliminated, the inter-relationship gap will go away. I can’t see why the sole part role Asian women have in fighting inequality is to date within the race.

    I agree with that theory that if American media would portray Asian men as human beings, the interracial disparity would go down. It is, and never will be, my agenda from stopping Asian women from doing anything. I also sincerely believe that it’s not any other “bitter and angry” Asian man’s agenda either.

    Media representation is a huge factor on how people do and act. I am a firm believer that if American media were to show Asian men as desirable, the interracial disparity will start to dissipate. Alas, we all know how Hollywood has treated black Americans in the past so I’m not holding my breath.

    The proof is out there. I’ve seen countless comments on message boards from non-Asian women that rave about Yul Kwon and Danial Dae Kim and it usually contains one type of message: “Wow, I never looked at Asian men in that way!”

    As for Asian women that are in interracial relationships that get less credibility, I have to say that I don’t completely agree with that assessment. However, I must also point out that there is some truth to it. If we’re fighting against Asian male emasculation, dating a white male just serves to reinforce that IMAGE to white society. It no longer concerns what the Asian women stands for, as long as white society sees an Asian woman with a white male, the emasculation stereotype lives on.

    “I don’t agree with what he did but I understand.” –Chris Rock

  10. “mr guy,

    Everyone wants to play “Oppression Olympics” but it’s unfair to imply that only certain groups like to play it. That was my main point.”

    Fair enough.I agree.That’s exactly what I was trying to say in my first post.Practically every racial(including white) group likes to play it sometimes.

  11. I have a question that was triggered by the man who called in with his example of black people being racist. In his example, the black woman who felt that the job opening should have been mentioned to a black person before a white person, was clearly racist. But what about race-based affirmative action? Is a company that offers a job to a black person instead of a white person in order to fill its equal opportunities quota also racist?

    I am an Asian woman who works for a company that has an equal opportunities quota. On one hand, I enjoy working for a company with a diverse employee base, but on the other hand, I sometimes wonder if I was hired because the interviewers thought I was the best person for the job, or because my company needed more minority women on their roster.

  12. In the context of this century and country, what is meant by the phrase \”traditional Asian cultures\” and how does it compare to other traditional non-Asian cultures and non-traditional Asian cultures in today\’s America?

    Why do some Asian-American feminists approach inter-gender relationships, within the Asian-American community, like White supremacist approach inter-racial relationships?

  13. Unfortunately this podcast got the central problems between AFs and AMs dead wrong. Instead asking Dr C.N. Le, who has a reputation to protect, Carmen could have invited any asian guy off the street to set the record straight.

    Minotaar and Rob have the right ideal. The issue today IS NOT OUTMARRIAGE. The levee has already broke, too late to talk about prevention.

    On the internet, the biggest foe of asian men besides white racist trolls has become self hating AFs who bash AMs ruthlessly. It does not matter to them that they aggravate negative asian stereotypes.

    I make no blanket generalizations about AFs. I know asian women who are dating asian men and white men at the same time. I know asian women who would be happy to drop their white partner for a good asian partner. But, I cannot stand AF self-haters who make the world a worse for other asians.

    The black community condemned Michael Richards for the “Nigger” remarks. The jewish condemned Mel Gibson for his anti-semetic remarks. Why do AFs get a get-of-out-jail-free card when making equally offensive, hurtful remarks against their own kind? Some say who cares about these extremists – I say if we ignore them we allow their views to propagate the mainstream. In some sense, it is already too late.

    Surprisingly, it is too often the white girlfriend or spouse of an AM that is steps up to defend the asian men and they are as rare as pandas. Can we as a community , AMs and AFs together, denounce this self racism? If we can’t do that then racialious can forget about saving the effing world, promoting asian feminism, because asian-kind will be a historical footnote like the aztecs.

  14. I do agree with many good points Rob made above. That being said, I think this interracial marriage thing could have long term effect on the Asian American community as a whole. I think it is sad many Asian females view Asian males as some kind of “whinny” about this disparity dating/marriage ratio rather than trying to understand where Asian men are coming from. Even the hosts of this talk show made fun of some of the comments made by Asian men.

    The bottom line is while it is easy to dismiss the men because some of the comments are out of the line, it is sad that many of us don’t even bother to try to understand the other and the real issues facing Asian men every day in this racist society. Many AFs failed to understand what AMs have to go through on a daily basis where the media and everything is stacked against them. Even if these AFs married white men and have mixed babies, their kids might have to repeat this cycle again if they look Asian and there is 50%. Therefore, there are also long term issues no one wants to talk about.

    Finally, it is sad to see no AFs will defend their AMs in the public. I do realize there are many AFs who do believe in their AMs but they don’t speak out. What I do find in most cases are white women or black women who have dated Asian men have to defend us against racist stereotypes etc in public forums, even when it is coming from women of our own race. That, my friend, is the irony and the real problem within our community. Some of these AFs who bash AMs while dating white men really need to understand why they are racist against AMs in the first place.

  15. Blaming the media for your problems. WOW!!!!!!

    Being a minority in the US requires you to overcome obstacles but each individual needs to deal with the challenges in his or her own way, if you view yourself as a victim you don’t have a chance.

    I can’t speak for AF that don’t date AM but maybe they had some bad experiences or want to avoid dealing with some of the cultural or family issues of you marry as AM or maybe they’re just tired of waiting for AM to ask them out.

  16. I think asians are wonderful and beautiful people. You have so much to give. Many asians are reserved/quiet because I think we are thinking of ways to start a conversation without insulting others. Don’t ever feel inferior or put down by others as some people are insecure and will say anything to put you down. If it’s not one thing it will be another, that’s human nature. Alot of people do that. Asians are beautiful and great looking … from all ethnicities. Love yourself first. Now go and love others.

  17. I have an asian buddy who’s always railing about the inequity of interracial dating for asian men and women. I used to laugh and brush it off as insecurity about size and other hang ups that a lot of single asian guys have, but here in Orange County/L.A .area the imbalance is pretty one-sided. I am Hispanic and have been able to date a variety of races, same as my white friends. So by having a wider “dating pool” it is easy to believe all guys have this opportunity. They don’t. Women, asian women, will never understand because they will never go dateless or alone because they’re desirable to all races of men. Not so for my bitter asian buddy. I just tell him be glad he’s not in China. There’s like 120 or more men for every 100 women. Work in their population and that’s MILLIONS of 1) Tricks/Johns, 2) Potential Homosexuals, 3) Powder Kegs.

  18. To all Asian Women, White Men, etc, of course you can be dismissive of this issue. You’re not the one adversely affected by it. I strongly doubt you would be too pleased if half of all Asian men married white women, if one-third of Asian men didn’t even want to date Asian women and if two-thirds of White men didn’t want to date Asian women. As for your observation that you see a lot of Asian men with White women, you’re only examining one side of the equation. How many Asian women do you see with White men. I guarantee that number far exceeds the Asian men/White women count. My god, every single asian woman in Hollywood besides Ming-Na Wen is into white men. Kelly Hu, Ziyi Zhang, Lucy Liu, China Chow, Bai Ling, Tia Carrere, I guarantee you Michelle Wie will find… a white guy. Some of the worst excuses I hear our asian sisters give for not wanting men of their own racial background are ‘not wanting someone like their father or brother,’ or ‘we just want something different.’ It’s like they can’t wait to rebel. Some say all women want to rebel against their parents. I say B.S. How many white, latina or black women ‘rebel’ against their parents by dating outside of their race? Those that do won’t go ‘that far’ and date an asian guy. It’s a one way interracial imbalance dating marriage disparity and it does not bode well for a huge community of bitter asian men. I have seen firsthand many hapa (half white half asian) children grow up (the overwhemling majority being from WM/AF couples, of course!) and guess what race the hapa women end up with…? I one fo the few hapa girls with a asian father and white mother. Her dating history? White guys. Like I said, it is so easy to dismiss if you are not a single asian male, but there are so many now and their future for happiness that comes with a relationship of the opposite sex of ANY race is bleak.

  19. i’m replying having listened half-way through your audio and while i can understand that some of the points you make are very valid, and your perspective as an asian female should be considered in the issue, you failed to represent or discuss the issues affecting asian-american men, who bear the brunt of all the interracial marriage disparity. you may once again take that comment as chauvinistic or sexist but this is a truth inherent within ALL men not exclusive to asian. There was a black college footballer who proposed to his white girlfriend on tv this year and consequentially he received several e-mails and phone calls with people unappreciative of his interracial relationship. This was once instance. Imagine how it would feel if, firstly, you were a minority, and then you were castrated in the media, effectively telling you that you were worthless or rather, second-class and inferior solely because of your ethnicity. Imagine how it would feel if your kinsmen were marrying and dating other people rather than what you perceive as ‘your own kind’. You can consider that ‘racist’ or ‘chauvinistic’ but you forget that the world and cultures we we ALL brought up in were quite male-centric. that this is WIRED in us as males. That if this was reversed, if whites were a minority and females were outmarrying and outdating at 1/3 – 1/2 and consistently making derogatory marks towards them, how do you think they themselves would feel? This sentiment isn’t something that would be felt exclusively by asian men, even with black minority groups in the u.s 12.8% with only an outmarriage of 10% there are several threads of white men concerned about interracial marriages. This while they’re a majority and while the disparity hasn’t reached such an alarming level.

    I’m disappointed that you used this opportunity to rant and effectively degrade asian men once again rather than bring up their plight or some credible perspective as an asian female. I can understand some of the issues you brought up, but the fact that you just mocked asian men and brought up the worst comments you’ve read from them to drill an inane point across is self-defeatist. It’s ironic because that’s one of the key issues we were MEANT to be discussing. That asian women don’t necessarily outmarry entirely because of love, but because of their preconceptions of asian men, because they idolize whites, and the tragic fact that MANY of them, instead of reflecting kindly on their kinsmen choose to use their status and opportunities to abuse and throw derogatory comments towards them.

    Sorry if my comment went off track but i’m exhausted, ready for bed and i have to say, hearing you laugh at a genuine issue that affects asian-americans, scratch that, the asian diaspora around the world has made my day.

  20. the way this “tired” subject is framed always irks me. perhaps the reason so many people–including self-described “get over it” asian/asian american men & women–feel this subject is cliche is because the paradigm for thinking it remains unchanged.

    it’s simple. shake the context.

    for instance, just look at asia. the same phenemona happens in any east asian countries (and from what i hear, most likely south asian countries, as well). what you find it a statistically signaficant number of east asian women with white westerners (predominantly from north america, europe, and australia, usually in that order).

    most people argue that in the “motherland,” women are asserting “agency” for selecting a liberal-minded, “less/non sexist” westerner (usually white–although native asian women with asian AMERICAN men complicate the issue even further) in the face of an OVERTLY patriarchy, sexist asia. to a large extent, they would be right–at least the part about asia being overtly patriarchal and sexist.

    but it’s precisely this sort of critique that gets beaten to death. whether or not asian/asian american women are justified in “marrying out” of asian sexism isn’t really the issue. the issue has always been why white men and white heterosexist masculinity hardly ever gets an equal critique. yes, people allude this when they talk about white men with asian fetishes. but for some reason, any time you have a white man who “doesn’t have an asian fetish,” doesn’t objectify her, and, indeed even “respects” her it suddenly reeks of “agengy” and a triumph for neoliberal colorblind love.

    this issue gets framed so much on the individual level that it keeps avoiding the larger issue at stake – the structures that allow such pairings to be possible in the first place, in addition to the larger hegemonic forces that create common-sense notions of what races are more attractive than others.

    the white supremacist english language industry in asia is enough proof to know that the current interracial dating map is more about racist/classist labor policies than individual acts of being “antiracist.”

    just flip the script. if native asian men were to enjoy the same privileges of mostly white western men in asia (in the form of comparably easy visa policies–compared to other foreigners that is, namely “migrant” workers from poorer and darker countries–instant status and upward class mobility, etc.) in the u.s. it’s highly likely that white men would get “upset,” as well. this argument is less a justification of a lot of whining by asian american men–a lot of which is, indeed, misogynistic in it’s tone (i.e. deeming ALL asian women with white men as “sellouts” or “bitches”) than it is a reminder to rethink the inherent one-sidedness of the issue. it’s easy to say that white men wouldn’t get as “angry” of the sudden influx of asian men with white women… but just looking at immigration policies of the u.s. historically is enough to suggest that protecting the virtue of “white women’s chastity” from non-whites has been a hallmark of western immigration policy from the very beginning.

    asian/asian american women’s agency, in this regard, is quite overrated. in an ideal world a a/aa woman in an interracial relationship with a white man would know and be completely upfront with the unequal balance of power between asian/asian american men and white western men (on a global scale–white masculinity v. asian masculinity), as well as her white partner. then you can more convincibly argue that the woman (and indeed even the man) are exercising some form of anti-racist, informed agency. alas, this is maybe 1-3% of these couples.

    to be fair, asian/asian american men are certainly not off the hook for condoning the existing overt sexism in their cultures… but shouldn’t white men be held to the same standard? how often do you meet white men in an ir relationship with a/aa women decrying the on-going SUBTLE sexism within white western culture? you’d be very hard pressed to find such courageous men.

    another way to flip the script – queer couples. while i’m not so familiar with asian/asian american female dating trends on the interracial level–it is pretty much common knowledge that there is a parallel trend between asian/asian american men with white western men. studies have suggested that rationale of asian/asian american men in such pairings are quite similar to those of a/aa women (a binary view of a/aa men as less DESIRABLE because of their hypermasculinity-read: overt sexism or their emasculinity-read: overt sexlessness.

    meanwhile, the notion of hypergamy is worth mentioning here – where in general, when it comes to marriage, studies suggest that women “marry up” while men “marry down.” this is certainly true in the case of a/aa women “marrying up” with white men, a/aa men (predominantly east asian/aa men) “marrying down” with a/aa women from poorer countries (predominantly south/south east asia), and even white men “marrying down” with a/aa women. while a problematic notion, particularly because the issue of dating and marriage is so entrenched in the post-racial, neoliberal concept of “freedom” when it comes to “romance” and “love,” hypergamy is quite real when you think of “marrying up or down” strictly in terms of social status–perceived OR real.

    it goes to show that to a large extent what is happening is quite “natural” – in regards to human nature at least. therefore, a/aa men who complain that a/aa women are “leaving them” while they may/may not “marry down” with “lower” a/aa women… need to reconsider their argument to some extent. of course, in a way, this point is moot anyway. hypergamy in this sense only reinforces the point that these hegemonic forces dividing different masculinities–white, asian, black, latino, etc. are socially constructed in their essence. and essentially, unequal. this is why interracial dating – as with ALL dating or marriages – is always political, about power, and is hardly ever–if it EVER was, which it wasn’t–simply about “love.”

    internalized racism on the part of a/aa women? an overly romantic projection of white masculinity over asian masculinity?

    white men idealizing their a/aa female partners as a “better” feminity than their overly “feminist-ized” white western counterparts?

    asian men desperately clinging onto the last vestiges of their threatened manhood and patriarchal power?

    perhaps. but one thing is for certain. i’m sick of this subject cuz we always talk about it the same way. it’s still endlessly important to talk about the issue, of course. and any of you folks who argue otherwise just haven’t read enough books on the subject… that or you’re just raging neoliberal capitalist romantics who believe the relationship between two people is simply “off limits neutral” to any sort of political criticism. i exaggerate, of course. but it’s a wonder how this subject still generates so much debate. that in itself is telling.

    it still matters.

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