For years, I’ve had to hear Asian women complain about white men who have a romantic preference for Asian women. According to Asian women, these men have yellow fever, and they are so bad that there are articles on the internet dedicated to informing Asian women on how to spot these men.
While I don’t deny that the comments some Asian women receive from white men are indeed horrific, I have never sympathized with their plight. Because no matter how many times I would listen to Asian women complain about white men, there was always a Mark Zuckerberg to show that deep down, Asian women have always been attracted to white men.
As a half black, half Hispanic male who has a romantic preference for Asian women, I felt as though I was being left out of the conversation, which frustrated me initially. However, it wasn’t until I saw the the documentary Seeking Asian Female that my frustration turned into pure anger.
Seeking Asian Female is a documentary filmed by an Asian woman named Debbie Lum. Lum attempts to take a deeper look at yellow fever; she follows an old white man and a young Chinese woman who plan to get married throughout most of her documentary. As Lum demonizes the white man that she is following for having a preference to date Asian women, Lum briefly mentions that she is married to a white man herself. Furthermore, the young Chinese woman in Lum’s documentary eventually marries the old white man despite his romantic preference.
This idea that Asian women pursue white men despite their flaws is not limited to just a few Asian women. Data collected in 2013 from the Facebook app Are You Interested found that Asian women were most likely to respond to white men and least likely to respond to black men. An OKCupid study found that between the years 2009 and 2014 Asian women found white and Asian men to be the most attractive. Hispanic and black men? Not so much.
I was getting sick and tired of seeing Asian women judge white men for their romantic preferences only to flock to them anyway. So I took it upon myself to try and show the issues that black men face when pursuing and dating Asian women by making a short film. Despite the flaws of the film, I thought that the message would resonate with people.
The film got some interest, but it didn’t change the narrative of yellow fever or make Asian women question their own dating preferences. Everything stayed the same.
I figured that part of the reason things didn’t change was because no one knew who I was. Perhaps if someone famous came along and addressed this issue people would listen. If this person just so happened to be an Asian woman, then that would definitely cause some buzz.
Who would come forward to criticize Asian women for dating white men? Who would bring the pain that black and Hispanic men face into the spotlight?
No one stepped up, that is, until Natalie Tran made her documentary.
When I first heard that Tran was discussing white male and Asian female couples, I was elated. Finally, an Asian woman who is well known is going to set things straight. It was an early Christmas present for me, that is, until I found out that she is married to a white guy.
When I found out about her relationship status, I knew that I was going to be disappointed.
While Tran did acknowledge the hypocrisy of Asian women to an extent, the documentary portrayed Asian women as the victim of unwarranted hate from Asian men, specifically Tran herself. Overall, Tran’s documentary felt less like an investigative report on the issues surrounding Asian women who date white men exclusively, and more of an attempt by Tran to gain for acceptance from the Asian community. It seemed as though Tran didn’t want to be vilified for having a white husband, instead she wanted to explain to the audience that just because she is married to a white man, that doesn’t make her a part of the problem.
Tran didn’t understand that the anger that she and so many Asian women are receiving from Asian men has less to do with the individual choices that Asian women make when it comes to their romantic partners and more to do with their overall hypocrisy. Because Asian women have been so ruthless towards men who they claim to be objectifying them, men of color, specifically Asian men want to see Asian women be treated just as harshly not only for the horrific comments they make about Asian men, but for the choices that Asian women make in their romantic partners collectively. It seems as though Tran is trying to take away the right for Asian men to be angry at Asian women who will not hold themselves accountable for their actions, which is not okay. Asian men have every right to be angry at Asian women, and their voices should be heard.
But as much as I understand why Asian men are so angry at Asian women, what I really wanted Tran to do was to acknowledge black and Hispanic men. Whether it be through Seeking Asian Female, or a random blog post on the internet regarding yellow fever, Asian women almost always end the dating conversation at white and Asian men. Black and Hispanic men are almost never discussed.
Asian women never want to bring up the pain a Hispanic man feels when they’ve been rejected by an Asian woman who craves for a white man.
Asian women never want to discuss how their parents would hate to see them date a black man.
Just like Asian men, we are devalued by Asian women who have brainwashed to believe that white men are superior. But unlike Asian men, we must achieve higher levels of status in society to wash away the negative stereotypes associated with our race and ethnicity.
Our burden is greater, our pain is deeper. But no one wants to listen when we try to bring this up. However, when we become unapologetic about our pain and demand answers, we get to the real reason why black and Hispanic men find it so difficult to date Asian women. Blacks are too prone to crime, Hispanics are lazy, etc. Whites on the other hand are more likely to be financially stable and be better father figures to any potential children.
Really? Was Japanese singer Utada Hikaru thinking about the financial stability of Italian bartender Francesco Calliano when she married him? What was Lynette Rose, a woman of Chinese descent, thinking about when she saw her children being described as, “half English coal miner, half Chinese peasant, 100 percent American,” by her white supremacist husband John Derbyshire? Was she thinking about how great of a father figure Derbyshire will be to their children? Doubt it, and I don’t see Natalie Tran’s documentary talking about any of this.
Call me crazy, but it seems to me that whenever a black or Hispanic man doesn’t have their life together or does something wrong, that’s a justification for why Asian women stick to white men. But when a white man finds themselves down on their luck or just so happens to be a white supremacist, they can still find an Asian woman to marry them.
I wanted Tran to dig deeper and explain why Asian women date white men despite all of their flaws. I wanted her to show the Asian community that Asian women are contributing to white supremacy by valuing flawed white men who don’t have their lives together at a higher level than successful men of color. Tran didn’t do this, instead, she seemed perplexed by the anger and hatred she was receiving from Asian men and wanted to have a civil discussion on the issue of the dating preferences of Asian women, a civil discussion that Asian women were never willing to give to men when yellow fever was a part of the mainstream conversation.
I applaud Tran for making a documentary that started a conversation about why Asian women receive so much backlash for dating white men, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Until Asian women own their hypocrisy, more importantly, until they own the pain that they have inflicted on black and Hispanic men, this conversation is far from over.