I'm in a relationship now, and my partner is white. Talking to her about the anxieties I experienced around dating, it's easy to feel like my concerns were caused by internalised racism and problematic stereotypes that I projected onto the world around me. So, I decided to start a long overdue conversation with other Asian men, to find out if I was alone in my anxieties.
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Chris Quyen, a university student, photographer and creative director from Sydney, says his early interest in dating was influenced by a desire to fit in. For Melbourne-based hip-hop artist Jay Kim, this approach to dating is understandable, but not without its problems. Dating coach Iona Yeung says Asian men are represented largely through "nerdy stereotypes" in the media, with few positive role models to draw confidence from when it comes to dating.
Chris agrees, saying the media plays an "important role in informing who we are attracted to". When it comes to Asian men, they're often depicted as "the bread shop boy or the computer genius who helps the white male protagonist get the girl," he says, if they're represented at all. An interaction with a female partner who called him "exotic" similarly affected his sense of self.
Having these conversations has helped me realise that although my anxieties around dating come from my experience with sex and relationships — they're also connected to how I value my culture. It's fitting that some of the people I spoke to have embraced their backgrounds as they negotiate the challenges that come with dating as Asian Australian men. For Jay, "practising a lot self-love, practising a lot of empathy for others, and being around the right people" has allowed him to appreciate moments of intimacy for what they are, and feel real confidence.
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Dating coach Iona says finding role models and references to bolster your confidence is key to overcoming concerns or anxieties you might have around dating. My advice would be not to wait seven years until you talk to someone about your feelings or concerns, and certainly not to wait until a stranger on a street approaches you for a suspicious-sounding website you later can't find to have this conversation with yourself.
ABC Life helps you navigate life's challenges and choices so you can stay on top of the things that matter to you. Posted Wed Wednesday 13 Mar March at 2: Think online dating is hard?
Try being a woman of colour. Online dating: Should single parents disclose the existence of their kids? Some writers told me they shied away from writing about race, relationships, or identity.
Some quit altogether. Although the messages come from many users, one particular subgroup on Reddit seems to be the root for most of this harassment. Derogatory and misogynistic language is common: The men harassing Asian women about their interracial relationships may not all know each other, but they are linked by a common ideology: The worst scarcity, they believe, is in the dating pool: The problem is that even legitimate concerns end up entwined with these more extreme views.
However, most speak not about cultural representation and activism, but about what they perceive as a dearth of dating opportunities for Asian men. The most toxic posts come from men who argue for racial purity and refer to Asian women as if they are commodities rather than people.
I know this all too well myself. They have a valid complaint here: My tweet fed into those stereotypes that Asian men are unsexy, and when people pointed this out, I rethought my own biases.
Growing up, the only Asians I knew were my cousins — so, as I admitted, when I see Asian men, my first instinctive feeling is often kinship rather than sexual attraction. They send a screenshot of that tweet repeatedly at me and anyone who tries to support me, passing the.
Can Asian Guys Attract White Girls? - LifeOS
But for the women I interviewed, the opposite was true. Nearly every woman acknowledged how hard it was to be an Asian man. Several women had hesitated to speak publicly about the harassment, fearing it would make Asian men look bad. I worry, too: The instinct to close ranks is incredibly strong, instilled in me since childhood by my proudly Chinese-American parents, and by generations of cultural tradition that says: But though these women still felt some solidarity with their harassers — family matters — that feeling is one-way.
Even women who explicitly support Asian men can be targeted by this group if their support is deemed insufficient.
Nancy Wang Yuen, a professor of sociology at Biola University, was harassed because she advocated for others in addition to Asian men. Few Asian men speak out, knowing that the harassers turn on anyone who displeases them.
Can Asian Guys Attract White Girls?
One woman said a prominent Asian man privately gave her advice about harassment, but he said he would get heat if he got involved directly. In another case, when an Asian man tweeted against the harassment of an Asian woman, the harassers contacted his workplace and asked to have him fired. Still others refuse to believe that the harassment is real: After I shared examples of harassment, some people tried to convince me that a white person sent the message to stir up intra-Asian infighting.