My daughter and I were discussing a variety of subjects when the subject wandered to the way society treats women, especially Asian women in America. I’ve always known that Caucasian men are often quite attracted to Asian women but I never could figure out why. I also learned that social justice is more than legislating social equity. It’s about changing social attitudes towards social inequities.
My daughter set me straight by telling me that Caucasian men are at the top of the social ladder. This likely stems from the Christian evangelical missionary movement starting around the 1600 onwards with European nations going to other lands to spread Christianity often by force. The crusades in the Near East are a prime example of the Europeans trying to spread Christianity by force. This patriarchal culture extends to just about every aspect of western life and was and is prevalent in American. Until women’s suffrage gained women the right to vote in 1920 less than a century ago women, half our population, were consider mare property of their husbands. Today they are still not the equal of men but the gap is slowly closing.
Asians and other people of color are socially considered quite low on the social ladder. The Chinese Exclusion Act further lower Chinese social standing by restricting their rights when sizable numbers started immigrating to the US in the 1800’s. It was only repealed in 1943 during WWII because China was a close ally of the US. Socially Asians generally are lower on the social ladder than Caucasian women. That makes Asian women three steps lower in the social ladder than Caucasian men (Caucasian men at the top, Caucasian women one step lower, Asian men one step again lower, and Asian women at the very bottom rung). Caucasian men find Asian women especially attractive because they consider them culturally very submissive with physical features not that different from Caucasian women. In this country contemporary Caucasian women are slowly gaining parity with their male counterparts and are now only about a step below Caucasian men. But men want submissive women. Some Asian women feel that by marrying a Caucasian man it will raise them to a higher level on the social order. So this is often considered a mutually beneficial relationship. However not all male Caucasians like Asian women for this reason but many do and don’t even know why.
But an ever-increasing number of Asian women such as my daughter find this social outlook quite demeaning and a subject for social justice. In fact Asian women (sometimes refereed to as dragon women) are often very strong. Many American’s on the lower end of their particular social ladders are declaring equal rights and status in society, government offices, and jobs. The number of minorities high on their social ladder is relatively small and the number of minority women are even smaller. The number of college educated Asian women is higher than the general population yet they are often relegated to lower level jobs and political positions even in relationship to their racial male counterparts.
So for you Caucasian men out there who are looking for an Asian female companion, be forewarned. Find out where your perspective Asian date stands on this issue before asking her out. Even more importantly be aware of your own motives for preferring an Asian woman to a far more available Caucasian woman. Are you a chauvinistic male wanting a submissive partner?
I think you too easily make the jump from polite, classy, and thoughtful to submissive a bit too easily.
I think my daughter would have thought polite, classy, and thoughtful too moderate to warrant social justice. She actually did said ‘submissive’. Today there is much more sexual parity than historically when Caucasian males were clearly at the top of the social ladder. Many contemporary males still long to be clearly the dominant partner. They see this possible with the submissive Asian woman. That is why they go after the rare Asian woman instead of the abundance of Caucasian women in America.
OK then, let me rephrase that. I think your daughter too easily make the jump from polite, classy, and thoughtful to submissive.
White women in America tend – ah generalisms and trends – to be too brash these days and Black women are almost as bad. Many Asians, and by that I mean women raised as Asians, not merely Asian by genetics, are less so. That a man prefers that neither makes her submissive or him some form of sexist.
As for your myth of parity – Go for it I guess. Your gender is the losing yourself by trying to be men instead of striving to force society to accept the equal value of women.
Let me preface my daughter’s credentials and credibility by saying that she is an American born Asian woman and did her masters in Social Asian American Culture at Columbia U. So she speaks not only from first hand experience but with an academic background in the area of Asian American women in this country. She is addressing an issue that applies to both foreign born and native born Asian women of whom she knows many. So her first hand awareness of this subject, which she has discussed with many other Asian women, has credibility. This subject is of great interest to her and many of her Asian American women friends and associates. However this subject is rather new to me.
As for ‘parity’ I did not mean to imply that parity has been achieved. But compared to 10 years ago progress has slowly been made though we are a long ways from parity. I think I have expressed this in this post as will as an earlier post “Women’s Right to Equality Way Overdue“.
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dateinasian, you do not answer the question of why Asian women are more attractive than white women to you. Your post Why People Prefer Asian Girls for Dating…? reveals that you like submissive Asian women who cater to your needs. This is the point of this post. It is a chauvinistic white man’s point of view which is demeaning to some Asian women and is the reason why some white men are still attempting to remain at the top of their social ladder yet are unaware of the root cause why Asian women seem more attractive than white women.
nice post… indeed something to think about
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Honestly, this article did not go as I had expected.
I started reading this article thinking that it would be about how Asian American women need to consider their massive privilege in the dating world and to start dating Asian men with a mind toward social justice. It seems as if every Asian woman I know, see, and hear about has a white boyfriend. I work in a restaurant and it is not uncommon for the room to be half full of Asian women with white men.
I really think that it is straight up sexist for an Asian American woman to think she is a victim, when she clearly is up to her eyeballs in privilege.
Asian women are most certainly higher up the social ladder than Asian men, and it is sexist for a woman to disagree. I am shocked if an Asian woman does not have a white boyfriend, and I am shocked if an Asian man has a girlfriend of any kind.
Asians are often seen as “honorary whites.” This can make sense for Asian women who are often seen as “interchangeable” or slightly less desirable than white women. Asian men are without question NOT honorary whites in the dating scene.
Chivalry is not dead. It is not about pulling out chairs and opening car doors. It is about excessively caring about women’s feelings while ignoring men, and about not calling out women on their hypocrisy and blatant privilege.
Roger, in a way I can understand your point of view. I also felt somewhat this way as an Asian male when of dating age. But you and I at the time were viewing Asian women as perspective mates and as beautiful and sensual women as are Caucasian men who outnumber us 20 to 1 in this dating game.
When I use the word social order, it has nothing to do with etiquette or dating. It is more about social status and job opportunities and the right to be ambitions and strong instead of submissive and married with children. Society still views Asian women as submissive sex symbol. Yet there are lots of very strong, well educated, and very smart Asian women. In courtships Asian women often put up a submissive facade to attract dates since males in general do not like strong women. That is why we males are such willing players in treating them so royally during courtships. It isn’t just them, it is also us who willingly play this dating game role.
But there are many Asian women who want to be strong, even dominating and successful professionals in their jobs who are treated the equals of their male counterparts and given the same job and pay opportunities at all levels of their profession. But society is generally not ready for that yet. Society still views Asian women as very submissive sex symbols, more so than Caucasian women. And strong and attractive Asian women have a hard time changing that perception and expectation among their working peers.