26/01/2014

Response to Jenny An's "I Refuse to Date An Asian Man" Post

Yes, I know I have been slacking off in my blog post lately, but that is because Chinese New Year is just around the corner. In the time that I disappeared on my blog, I had: Applied for my annual leave, booked air tickets, bought currencies, new clothes, new shoes, and prepared Steven to spend the cultural holiday with my family FOR THE FIRST TIME. When I said "prepared," I meant imparting some knowledge about Chinese New Year do's and don'ts on my Greek Australian boyfriend.

Being equally anxious about the trip, I turned to internet for tips on how my non-Asian boyfriend can impress my very Asian parents. I chanced upon an article by Jenny An on xojane, titled "I'm An Asian Woman And I Refuse To Ever Date An Asian Man". As a seasoned internet user, I am used to bloggers trying to elevate their digital presence and internet fame via probing controversial topics. Judging from Jenny's brash statements and the various "fuck" words littered throughout the blog post, I am guessing she was trying to be heard in an already saturated platform. So, while I view that particular blog post as white noise, the message that she is sending is unsettling.

... or maybe I am being a little oversensitive as I am in a relationship with a non-Asian. The point is, Jenny's outlandish post will certainly skew the perception of Asian women in the eyes of Western men and women that we are a bunch of gold-digging, Green Card/ PR mongering harlots and home wreckers. So many times men and women, Asian and non-Asian gave a side-way glance, a disapproving or curious look when Steven and I are just casually strolling down the streets.

The situation was way worse when we were holidaying in Thailand back in 2011:

Us at Bangla Road, a famous night spot in Phuket, where I was mistaken as a prostitute for multiple times.

Throughout the trip, almost all tour guides and stall vendors spoke to me in Thai before apologising after I gave them a blank look to indicate I could not understand them. In fact, the Australian couple whom I asked to take the photo above was a little apprehensive when I walked towards them. I swear they breathed a sigh of relief after I spoke English to them and explained that we are holidaying and we live in Melbourne. 

In Bangkok, we stayed at a family friendly 5 star hotel that had a strict policy against letting the street walkers go to the guest rooms. After a day of touring the magnificent grand palace, I was asked to show my passport and the room key card before the bell boy would let me enter the lift, Steven in tow. That was definitely an experience for me, as I never had to show any identification when I stayed at the hotel with my family last time. 

The point is: Most of us Asian women are respectable ladies. We do not set out to date "the white guy". The ones who ended up dating non-Asians did it because...we fell in love with that person. Believe me, dating an Asian who shares the same values and cultural holidays is so much easier. Being in an inter-racial relationship requires extra tolerance, compromise, trust and love. 

For example: I do not understand the need to gather at every extended family's birthday get-together (it's always on a Sunday), while he doesn't understand why he can't wear black or grey during his Chinese New Year stay in Malaysia. But we do it for the love we bear for each other, because he is a humble, loving, hardworking, thoughtful, respectful young man with a saving account - the very thing that Jenny despises. 

There has been lots of this over the past couple of weeks...

So, while I am teaching Steven the correct way to address my dad's sisters and my mum's sisters (can't I just call them "Aunty"?), I guess what I am trying to say here is that the issue that Jenny raised goes way deeper and intimate, yet simpler than skin colour, Ivy League schools, penises or even white supremacy - it is about a connection between two human beings. 

I'm a big believer that women should not hate on other women, but I can also be a hypocrite at times and I really have to let it off my chest: That photo with an open mouth and that out-of-focus photo of Jenny in bed looking dazed while hugging a phallic shaped towel...that just set us back a couple of decades, putting Asian women back on that mail order bride, provocative home wrecker and sex slave/ worker train. WHAT WOULD YOUR ASIAN MUM SAY, JENNY?

2 comments:

  1. Hey Sam! Long time :)
    I totally see where you're coming from. I'm from an immigrant family and I married an American. But believe it or not, I got my own greencard (american visa) waaaaaay before we even met. I feel bad for women who say they will only marry a guy that does/has A, B, and C. They will never be able to fall in love, because love doesn't believe in classes, races and such things
    You and your boyfriend look adorable together! Wishing you many more holidays together and a Happy Chinese New Year! :)
    Irina
    www.brandnamesus.com/blog.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Irina, long time! Hope you had a fab time on your cruise holiday :) Totally agree with you. Sadly a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch for all of us. Thank you!

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