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Pet Sins November 2002

Profiles of Asian Women who abandoned their Asian husbands for white men

There are many stories of Asian women who abandon their husbands for European men or men of European descent. Anecdotes - like the tale of a Filipina worker in Europe who claims to be a widow in order to marry a European, when her husband and children are still alive in the Philippines - are passed around Asian communities but seldom known to Europeans/European Americans.

White men, especially self-styled liberals, naively celebrate their interracial relationships with Asian women as "the triumph of personal choice over society's censure" - they tend to ignore the fact that Asian woman-white man unions are the least censured of America's interracial couples, and the most represented in print and media. Getting an Asian girlfriend or wife hardly challenges the status quo.

Films like Come See the Paradise and Ten Thousand Pieces of Gold show white men as an Asian woman's life-changing alternative to a loveless life with Asian men. Mainstream America media has consistently failed to see how some women who made choices to be with white men are also making choices to hurt men of color. We will present the profiles of 3 Asian women who deliberately and callously betrayed their fellow Asians who happened to be in the way of their marriages to white men. This is, by no means, an indictment of all white man-Asian woman unions. Our intent is to present images that are under-represented in mainstream media, to tell the stories that haven't been told.

Woman 1:

Woman 1 was born in China, moved to the US, where she quickly found a white American whom she wanted to marry. There was one problem - her Chinese husband in China. She asked her husband to come to the US, on the pretext of reuniting with him. She picked him up from the airport with a cab, gave the shocked man divorce papers to sign there and then, and then drove him to Chinatown where she pushed him out of the car. Acquaintances say she did that to get her green card. Numerous such stories of Chinese women, even those with children, abound. Many Chinese women in the US try to think up ways to abandon their husbands who are still in China.

Woman 2:

Woman 2 was a Malaysian-born Chinese. Her Chinese Malaysian husband was imprisoned during the 1960s for agitating for equal rights for Chinese citizens of Malaysia. While he was serving his 5 year term on behalf of the Chinese people, she divorced him and abandoned their daughter to be raised by his relatives while she tried to get married to a white man in England. After she married a white man and established herself in Europe, she then sent for her daughter.

Woman 3:

Woman 3 met her Chinese American husband in China. He was there on business when he met Woman 3, a divorcee with a son. He and she had an understanding that their marriage was not a love marriage, but that she wanted an opportunity to come to the US for a better material life, and he could do with some help with his business.

According to family members, the Chinese American treated both her and her son well. Then one day, she met a white man, a petty drug dealer, while working in her husband's restaurant in America, and ran off with him.

At that time, she had not been married to her Chinese American husband long enough to get her green card. But she chose to abandon a stable financial situation and a pending green card to shack up with a petty criminal. She was too ashamed to tell her husband of her choice, and made her young son call home to tell him she wasn't coming back.

A few days later, the white drug dealer was picked up by the police for his crimes, dashing her hopes that he would marry her and help her get her green card. Now our romantic leading lady gets her young son to call her husband to take her back. As proof that her husband isn't the monster that white men like to imagine yellow men to be, he actually wants to take her back out of sympathy, and out of respect for "their long relationship", much to the consternation of his relatives who think the woman should be divorced and then turned over to the INS for deportation.

Lest white guys claim that this marital infidelity manifesting itself in the preference for a white criminal over a honest Chinese businessman is a "triumph of love over materialism", and not plain betrayal, they should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Even in an unromantic marriage, albeit one of the lady's own choice, shouldn't one still keep their side of the bargain? How would you feel if your wife (of any race) betrays you?
  • If the races of the men involved were reversed, e.g. an Asian woman betrays a white husband for an Asian, would they find the situation as 'romantic', forgivable or excusable?
  • A defense lawyer arguing the case for a white man who murdered his Filipina ex-wife in Seattle brought up the fact that she had gotten pregnant with a Filipino man (never mind that this happened AFTER the white man had annulled his marriage with her). So if an Asian woman 'cheats' on a white man with a fellow Asian, that justifies her murder, while Asian women who cheat on Asian husbands with white men are not viewed in the same harsh light by white society.