When I first came across the Thought Catalog post by Anne Gus titled, “Asian Women Need to Stop Dating White Men” I was enraged. I was enraged for the White men that Ms. Gus described as submitting to their “illness” of Yellow Fever by “pouncing on unsuspecting Asian women.” I was enraged for the Asian women who all “kind of look similar” and needed to be “saved” by this article. I was enraged for the Asian men who touted as “kinda short and nerdy and not very hot.”
However, now, I just feel sorry for Ms. Gus because it dawned on me that she may not have experienced real love.
No form of racism should be published under a disguise of feminism. Feminism is about establishing and promoting equal rights for all women — no matter what race, ethnicity, or culture. Ms. Gus frames her article as addressing a phenomenon entirely based on patriarchal values. However, after rereading the post numerous times, it became clear to me that Ms. Gus’ article completely goes against true feminism by passing judgment against Asian women who happen to find love with a Caucasian counterpart.
Ms. Gus’ post does not encourage empowering discussions or an open dialogue. It only comes across as racist and ignorant.
We have all heard and read about stereotypes of Western men craving dominance and masculinity within a relationship and seeking Asian women for their submissive nature. I understand that Western culture may value independence and power and I can concede that that traditional Eastern culture may often teach familial harmony. However, dehumanizing real relationships to mere stereotypes only prevents mutual respect among differing cultures.
It is currently 2014. You would think that negative stigma surrounding interracial dating would be something of the past by now. Why is it so hard to believe that two people may fall in love, mutually respect each other, and be attracted to each other no matter their race? Why is it so hard to accept that each individual is attracted to different characteristics—whether that is a physical trait or a personality trait shaped by race, ethnicity, or culture?
Now, let me disclose the fact that I am a 24-year-old Asian American woman, currently dating a White male. I do not purport to be more intelligent or more cultured than Ms. Gus. [Although, my beliefs stated here are not based on watching kung-fu movies.] I was born and raised in San Francisco with a petty traditional Chinese family. My thoughts are based on understanding traditional Chinese culture and growing up within American culture.
Have I been hit on at a bar because of my ethnicity? Yes.
Have I heard jokes about my boyfriends having yellow fever? Yes. But, do I genuinely believe that my boyfriend loves me for who I am? Yes.
Sure, I have those moments sitting in restaurants where I get worried for being nothing but a statistic. I feel conflicted that others may see my boyfriend and me at dinner and think that I am being used or that my boyfriend is somehow manipulating me.
However, at the end of the day, I know that what I feel is real. I know that my relationship is a result of two people bonding over mutual interests, common societal views, and silly sense of humors. He is not interested in controlling me. In fact, if that were the case, he would be shoved out the door so fast that he wouldn’t even be able to say, “Sorry.”
He understands that successful relationships involve compromise. He loves me for who I am because I laugh when he squeezes my nose, because I get just as passionate (and angry) about watching House of Cards as I do when reading articles like Ms. Gus’, and because at the end of the day, we both respect each other.
Articles like Ms. Gus’ only taint real relationships founded on love and respect. I truly believe that Ms. Gus cannot understand this sentiment until she, herself, falls in love and sees firsthand that race has nothing to do with it. Her article is only evidence that she has yet to experience true love.