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Pet Sins December 2001

Do White Women and White Men prefer Asian Women to Asian Men?

I am an Asian woman with friends of various ethnicities - black, Latino and white. And by friends I mean people whom you spend time with, who visit you and call you, not just acquaintances you say hi and bye to.

For a while, all of my black friends were women. Then one day, a white woman, in the course of casual conversation, brought up the number of friends of color an "ideal" American should have, and she said that I was "suspect" because I had black women friends but not black men friends. She said I should work on having more black male friends to make things "equal".

I thought it was weird to artificially select one's friends based on race. Why didn't I have black male friends? It was because I didn't meet quite as many black males as females in my daily interactions at that time. And I had very few male friends in general. For that time in my life, most of the people I spent significant personal time with were female. Then all my black women friends, who are unacquainted with one another, moved out of town, and I had no local black friends. So does this make me "racist" against blacks for that period of time?

Then I began working with a team which by chance, had black males and no black females. So now all my local black friends are male. By that white woman's standards, I have to start trying to deliberately meet black females to make things equal.

If I apply that white woman's standard to the white people I see around me, I notice that the whites I know, both male and female, have at least a few Asian female friends but NO Asian male friends. Unlike the situation with blacks, who are not populous in our area, there is a significant Asian population and I know that my white "friends" encounter an equal number of Asian men and Asian women on a daily basis. Yet when I go to their parties or private gatherings, I see only Asian women and not Asian men. This caused me to question, if I were of a different gender, would the same white people be friends with me? I have since decided to put their "friendship" with me on the status of "doubtful", not deciding either for them or against them, till there is definite proof.

I observed the interactions of these white "friends" with Asians they encounter. They are not mean to Asian men, they say hi and bye, but that's it. These white men and women don't make conversation with Asian men the same way they do with Asian women. This puzzles me. It seems they only bother to build friendships with Asian women. I have decided not to go to any white person's private gathering if there is no Asian man invited.I have never realized so strongly before that white society is biased against Asian men, and we Asian sisters have to stand with our brothers and demand equal respect for them.

2001