A few days ago, I published a diatribe here at xoJane specifically about the white men I’ve dated who have long histories of dating Asian women and how they deflect, get defensive and panic when I ask: “What’s up with your long history of dating Asian women?” And as anticipated, as with all essays about race on the Internet, the public responses were a total shitstorm.
I am proud to say I got Facebook blocked by Glen (oh, shoot, did I just call out his name?), the muse of that last essay. Glen is the tattooed hipster white guy I dated who is now on his 5th (or 6th?) Chinese girlfriend and/or wife. He still insists that this trend wasn’t a fetish because he “doesn’t see people for their race -- only their humanity.” Attention Chinese women! Great news! We are ALL of humanity!!!
It was as if people didn’t read the essay because the real point of the essay was asking white men to be willing to talk more honestly about racism and white privilege. In fact, I concluded the essay by telling white guys WHAT TO SAY when asked about why they’ve dated so many Asian women to IMPROVE THEIR CHANCES AT HOOKING UP WITH ME.
As if the first nine wack things guys say when denying an Asian fetish weren’t enough -- without further ado, here are TEN more wack things, coming as responses to that last essay:
10. “Who are you to tell people who to love?!”
It’s none of my business to tell people to stop loving or pursuing anybody. But, if you can’t have an open discussion about race with your partner or be open to discuss your differences, how can you have honesty and equity in your relationship? There’s only so long you can keep up a partnership with black hair and high cheekbones before you find out there’s a person under all there with a history and an opinion.
11. What about Asian women who say they will only date white men? Attack them Kristina Wong! Attack!
Sigh. All I can say to those Asian women who vow to only date white men (like xoJane contributor Jenny An) -- ALL THE MORE ASIAN MEN FOR ME. Your loss, sisters! Muahaha.
12. Well how many Asian Guys have you dated, Kristina?
Again, my last essay was not about why Asian women should date Asian men instead of white dudes, and really, this wasn’t an invitation to cross-interrogate me. But since you’ve asked, I’ve dated enough Asian guys to know that the “Asian men have small penises” stereotype isn’t true. Heyo!
13. What about white guys who only like white girls? Or black guys who only like white girls? Do they have a fetish?! Attack them Kristina Wong! ATTACK!
That was an essay about my experiences as an Asian woman confronting the white men I’ve dated about their long histories of dating Asian women, but I hope that this inquiry inspires people of other racial backgrounds to ask themselves where their ethnic dating preferences come from.
I believe there is a subconscious (or conscious) racial bias in the case of white men (who make up 36.2% of the US population) who consecutively and specifically seek out Asian women (who make up only 3% of the American population) for dating*. Racial dating preferences are not necessarily EVIL. What I am asking of these white guys is -- why not honestly explore where your racial dating preferences come from? If we are only seeking out specific ethnicities of people to date, how did we come to associate those races with more positive or more attractive connotations than other races?
*To get these percentages, I took the 2010 US census stats measuring total populations for white Americans (74.2%) and Asian Americans (6%) and divided them by half, assuming that 50% might be women and 50% men.
14. If you don’t want to date these white guys with Asian fetishes, why be so passive to date them?
Everyone who threw this question at me gets an F for comprehension! I thought I made it clear that Asian Fetish Guys 2.0 aren’t the supercreeps of yesteryear and I do want to date some of them. I just want these guys to talk about their subconscious racial biases rather than offer up the problematic answers that make things creepy.
15. So it’s “racism” if we find certain races more attractive than others. And it’s racist if we don’t. I’m not a racist!!! Are you saying we are all racist?
Yes, I am. "Racist" is a scary ugly word which is freaking out a lot of readers. But SURPRISE! We live in the aftermath of a country founded by a white racist patriarchy. For good reason, white people don’t want to be associated with the word “racist.” Yet the legacy of racism is alive and well in all of us.
Racism today is not about KKK robes and segregated bathrooms, it's in the subtle biases we have in our attitudes toward other races. The racism that we thought we said goodbye to a long time ago is still embedded in our ways of thinking today. While this subtle racism manifests in ways that aren't necessarily EVIL, it still exists and affects the way we read people of other races. It’s impossible to ignore that racism exists, so we need to acknowledge it and take ownership of the word, instead of hiding from it altogether.
16. I don’t have an Asian fetish, I just like women with black hair! Is there something so wrong with finding certain features more attractive than others?
Ah, yes. The black hair defense. If only I had some Asian albino lady friends to throw at these guys to see if the defense holds true.
17. “(Your essay) could be applied to many things, like hair color, height, body type, gender, only it takes a far less provocative tone when physical appearance preferences are not jammed into a hyper vigilance for racism.”
Versus "hyper denial of racism?" Look people, a man just got legally acquitted in the name of self-defense for shooting an African American teenager in Florida who could only defend himself with a pack of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea. Post-racial America my ass. Now, the Asian fetish seems a stretch from the senseless death of Trayvon Martin but if we're going to work towards a more racially just world, hyper-vigilance against racism will get us there faster than hyper-denial.
18. “You are more racist for pointing out my racism!”
I believe the precedent in matters such as these was set in the case of Rubber v. Glue.
19. “What about the reverse discrimination us white guys face from Asian men who want to protect their women from being taken away from them?”
No Asian woman (or ANY woman for that matter) “belongs” to anybody but herself. Never fear, discriminated White Man! The world will stand in solidarity to your dating oppressors. Until then, have a latte, process your feelings with a therapist, or go to a writing retreat. You shall overcome.
There. Less snappy, but hopefully, easier to understand. Now don’t make me write a follow-up essay to this follow-up essay! Because that will inevitably lead to a follow-up essay to the follow-up essay on the follow-up essay.
By the way, here were two other names for this essay that I decided not to use:
“30 Reasons You're A Racist For Waking Up In The Morning”
“20 Reasons To Make Your Own List Of At Least 10 Reasons To Never Date ANYBODY Of Any Race EVER Again”