Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz

Interracial Dating: Fetish from the woman’s side?

Posted by chinesecanuck on August 8, 2008

Ethnic/race sites like Racialicious often talk about IRR (Interracial Relationships) and fetish. Almost always, the posts deal with fetish from men. It’s almost as if, especially when dealing with Asian Female/White Male relationships, only the guy could ever have fetish. What about the women? Aren’t the women fetishing something too? And it isn’t necessarily perceived ideal beauty, but maybe a lifestyle? Growing up, many immigrant kids watch television, read books, etc and dream of that “perfect,” what we now call “Martha Stewart” life. They want the perfect place settings, the perfect kitchen, the perfect house. It’s not that you can’t have those if you marry an Asian guy, but it’s more of the image. With an Asian guy, you may still be expected to do Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner the Chinese way – that is if you grew up doing it at all – you know, a turkey marinated in soy sauce and stuffed with sticky rice (some people don’t like it – I do), bok choy , etc. Or they don’t want to be criticized by a prospective MIL because she feels that they aren’t “fill-in-the-blank-culture enough” (can happen…moms seem to have higher expectations of Asianness when their kids’ significant others are of the same ethnicity). Perhaps the “fetish,” isn’t physical (at least from the woman’s side), but a lifestyle. Of course, this lifestyle really only exists in the pages of Martha Stewart Living and at displays at Williams-Sonoma, but a girl can want to make it as close to that as possible. Trust me, if I lived on my own, I would (and I don’t think I need a guy to do it). However, I don’t think I can with my parents around, for various reasons.

Of course, that kind of lifestyle also comes with a bit of preppiness. True preppiness is mostly white, in my experience. There are preppy Asian guys, but they’re usually first generation preppy (I really don’t get the unattractive factor here. No Asian guy I know is completely unattractive/geeky/insert Asian stereotype. Some are even high maintenance/metro!) True preps aren’t too brandwhorish or materialistic. They like the good life. They also like to look well-groomed, but it’s not all about displaying labels. That’s not hot, after all. Sadly, many first gen preppies have parents who are the complete opposite. It’s about getting the luxury car, wearing and displaying the logos and so forth. Sure, I’m generalizing here, but it happens. Second, third gen preppies and beyond are more subdued. Perhaps some women want that.

It’s interesting that the typical male Asiaphile does not fall into this ideal. Most Asiaphiles are unattractive nerds or middle age, overweight men. These guys, at least in the extreme, are more likely to want the opposite of what the woman mentioned above wants. They want a more Asian lifestyle. Perhaps that’s why they prefer foreign women. They’re easier to mold and not to mention, they probably see these guys as arm candy as well (even if they don’t LOOK LIKE arm candy -heh). These women probably don’t want the Martha Stewart lifestyle, at least not the way a North American raised Asian woman sees it. They may want that “ideal American life” but probably won’t go into details such as place settings, food, social stationary and the like, especially if they’re from a developing country.

Of course, I’m probably generalizing, especially with foreign Asian women. I’m not foreign, so what am I supposed to know? In addition, many people would probably disagree with me, especially when it comes to the western-raised Asian and her wanting the “ideal lifestyle.” But it’s something that is rarely discussed in ethnic message boards regarding IRRs. Maybe it’s time for that to change. After all, a lifestyle can be a fetish too.


6 Responses to “Interracial Dating: Fetish from the woman’s side?”

  1. ubuntucat said

    I think you bring up a good point, but since criticism of White male/Asian female couples often come from within the Asian-American community, any questioning of the female’s potential fetish is generally viewed as an affront to AA unity (“We’re attacking our sisters” or whatever).

    I used to get all worked up about WM/AF couples. I’ve gotten over it, though. We all make choices affected by our sociological demographics and cultural upbringings. And almost all humans have some kind of weird fetish. Besides, if they decide to have kids, that’ll just mean more Hapa kids. Who doesn’t love a Hapa? Oh, wait… is that Hapa fetishism?

  2. ubuntucat said

    That should read: I think you bring up a good point, but since criticism of White male/Asian female couples often comes from within the Asian-American community

  3. prometheustherebel said

    I think you definitely bring up a good point. I think the very idea that we look at it as if the White man has some sort of Asian women fetish is indicative of our belief that White people harness power and that ethnic minorities couldn’t have such a fetish because they don’t really have the option. Sounds like we still have a lot of work to do on all fronts. Good post.

  4. Steve said

    Foreign women are “easier to mold?”

    Your ignorance and pure banana-ness is revealed.

    It’s all about the individual personality.

    btw I’m white and my wife is asian, and none of your above stereotypes apply. More than that, I resent the “unattractive nerds” comment, as I most certainly am neither.

  5. Steve said

    ps – by banana-ness, I mean your obvious negative bias towards non-banana asian women.

  6. Scapegoat said

    We are always being asked why we like to be in inter-racial relationships. But the question that is never asked is why don’t Asian guys also date other races as often as Asian women do??

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