As an Asian girl growing up in the United States, I believe I was taught by the society to be attracted to just about everyone besides other Asian men. This marginalization of Asian men has occurred, in my view, for several reasons.
First, the media never portrays Asian men in a dominant role. They are always portrayed as nerdy, geeky, brainiacs, with no sense of themselves and no ability to attract women. In other words, the media portrays Asian men as incapable and undesirable.
Second, American society has many negative stereotypes towards Asian men. It has become a complete joke to think that an Asian man could ever “satisfy" a woman. Their “manlihood" is the constant subject of jokes and insults. For this reason, most women view Asian men as asexual and feminine.
For these reasons, Asian women, and women in general in American society are taught to view Asian men as undesirable and feeble. As you will see, this is the reason why Asian women are now up for grabs. . .
Asian women in our society, because of their conditioning, on the whole do not prefer to date Asian men. In one of the discussion classes I taught last year at Berkeley, half of the Asian girls in the room, stated that they do not prefer to date Asian men. Also, roughly every other girl in the class also agreed that they prefer not to date Asian men. So, if Asian women are on a trend of not dating Asian men, who are they dating?
Girls the class I taught generally gave me two answers to this question. The most obvious one being White men, as people around Berkeley and other cultural areas can most recognizably notice. The second most common answer from the girls was Indian men (South Asians). When I asked the girls why the preferred these two ethnic groups of men, their responses centered around two areas: economic status and physical attractiveness.
In terms of economic status, the Asian girls said that both white men and Indian men in our society (especially here at Berkeley), were viewed as successfull, intelligent, and confident. These are all qualities that the Asian community values.
Next, the girls said that they found these two groups of men to physically attractive. When I asked why, the responses I recieved were varied. My conjecture in this case would be that both groups tend to share the same sharp features (Greco-Roman noses/eyes) that the media tends to value.
So what is the end result of all this? Asian women are “up for grabs" and this has essentially devasted Asian men. Asian men are getting the axe on two levels here. First, they are only seen as being able to date their own kind (other Asian girls). At the same time, their own kind, at an increasing rate, tends not to prefer them sexually.
In conclusion, I have come to no conclusion. This is merely an observation of mine as a student and teacher here at Berkeley. However, I personally view this information as interesting and helpful. And, I, as an Asian-American woman, bring it in to my consideration when viewing Asian men.
Ashley Kim Song is fourth-year Political Science major at UC Berkeley.