Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz

Posts Tagged ‘white’

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.

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Posted in Asian, culture, ethnicity, interracial, interracial relationships, minorities | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

OMG, Stereotypes!

Posted by chinesecanuck on July 16, 2008

This is really bad.  I was on the subway the other day and sat next to a girl who had not one, but TWO designer bags (she was *THIS CLOSE* to being a label whore).  I didn’t get a look at her face at first, so I assumed she was one of those Asian girls who highlight their hair and shop at high end stores.  Turned out she was white.  In Toronto and Vancouver, one can find some Asian women (or more specifically, Hong Kong women) who shop at these stores, and sometimes, they’re head-to-toe label.  And these brands have to be big names to them.  For many, Tory Burch isn’t a big enough name.  It has to be Prada, Gucci, LV, Hermes, etc…

Readers, have you mistaken someone for another race/culture/ethnicity based on what he/she was wearing, or what accessories he/she had?

Posted in Asian, Chinese Canadian, culture, ethnicity, fashion, Hong Kong, minorities, shopping, social class | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Interracial/Intercultural Dating – Staring? Other Issues?

Posted by chinesecanuck on May 7, 2008

Why is it that certain interracial pairings are stared more often than others? Over at Racialicious, Latoya Peterson writes about living with her then-boyfriend and his roommate a few years ago.  Often, roommate and Latoya would run errands as the former Mr. Latoya was working.  According to Latoya, people would often stare at them as ran errands, and after one incident, the roommate told Latoya that he didn’t want to go anymore.  So for those of you who’ve been in interracial relationships, have you had any issues yourself?  What do you think of such relationships?

I’ve gone out with a many non-Chinese/non-East Asian men.  Most guys I’ve dated have been white and Jewish (don’t know why…do Jewish guys have a thing for Asian women (and vice versa) or something?  I’ve dated other cultures, but none really lasted long).  People generally don’t stare at us.  Not even Asians who think of see us as the decent-looking Chinese girl dating not-so-attractive white guy (Mr. CC falls along the lines of Harry Goldenblatt from Sex and the City) couple.  I guess people don’t have as many issues if one half of the couple is not conventionally attractive, or at least aren’t open about it.  People would probably have more issues if Mr. CC looked more like Brad Pitt or George Clooney. I am sure, however, that people talk about us behind our backs.  I mean, without knowing him, people won’t realize that he’s a sweet, caring person who loves to joke around, right?

I have had some issues with my relationship with Mr. CC, but it falls more along the lines of upbringing and religion than ethnicity.  Mr. CC doesn’t feel comfortable in anything that is even remotely Christian-related, unless it’s more commercial (e.g. Santa Claus or Easter eggs).  I took him to my high school’s annual holiday concert and he looked uncomfortable, almost as if he didn’t want to be there.  At least that’s the vibe I got from him.  We generally stay away from religiously-related topics because of this.  I don’t know what’s going to happen if we decide to get married, because religion WILL come up.  While we’re both fine with a civil ceremony (as are our parents), the reception may be an issue.  He’s suggested that we have a cross-cultural reception, with foods from both Chinese and Jewish cultures.  Yet, he thinks we need a kosher caterer, because some of his family members are observant.  Sorry, but unless the catering service is focuses on the predominantly Muslim part of China, Chinese food is NOT kosher-kosher.  You can get SIMULATED kosher (i.e. not mixing dairy with meat, no shellfish, no pork, etc but foods MAY have been in contact with the above), however.  Anyway, we’ll talk about this more seriously if and when the time comes.

What I really don’t like is when people go on and on about how interracial/interfaith relationships don’t work out because of cultural differences.  As I said in an earlier post, cultural differences can often be greater in an INTRAracial relationship!  But lots of people just don’t get it and probably never will.  And kids having cultural identity issues?  Adopted kids have them, second generation kids have them and TCKs (Third Culture Kids….kids who have grown up all over the world, generally children of diplomats or military personnel) do too.  As for dating Mr. CC, I don’t think either of us has some sort of fetish.  I’m the first Asian girl he’s ever gone out with.  In fact, I’m the first non-Jewish girl he’s dated.  He didn’t even know all that much about Chinese culture when we first started to go out (he still doesn’t, but I don’t know much either, to be perfectly honest).

Posted in Asian, China, Chinese Canadian, culture, ethnicity, interracial relationships, Jewish, minorities | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »