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Pet Sins March 2004

Asian woman-white man romance - always a happy ending?

I read last year's article Profiles of Asian Women who abandoned their Asian husbands for white men. While I understand the anger of Asian American men, I also think it is important to tell different stories. Asian men have a need to tell the stories of their betrayals, but without a balanced view, these stories play into the exact stereotype that Asian men are trying to combat - the stereotype that Asian women automatically prefer white men over Asian men and other men of color. So here are the stories I wish to share:

I personally know of 2 Japanese women who married white Americans, divorced, and are now happily remarried to black men. Happiness is not necessarily found with white men.

I know of at least 2 Filipinas who were either abandoned by white husbands, or left the marriage due to abuse. I know of 4 East Asian women - 2 Japanese, 1 Japanese American, and 1 Korean - who were formerly married to white men and are now divorced. In at least one of the cases, domestic violence was involved. I have heard of a Chinese woman still stuck in an unhappy marriage with a European man. She was so badly tortured sexually that she needed an operation. So much for the movie stereotype of the noble white man saving the yellow woman from the clutches of the cruel and sexually perverted Asian man. White men are sometimes worse than the movie monsters they make Asian men out to be, as in the case of Timothy Blackwell, who murdered his Filipino mail-order bride and her two friends.

Blackwell's views of Asian women are not atypical of white men. In a Seattle PI article, he was quoted as saying "I had heard so much that these women were very sincere, very loving, very caring, very faithful. And I always had admired Polynesian-type women, very long, straight black hair, very light-brown skin. I always thought they were very beautiful women."

American movies typically show an interracial happy ending for WMAW couples. But what happens later? Many Asian women find out the hard way that their dreams of "white knight in shining armour" are empty illusions.

I have also heard of 2 Chinese women who cheated on their white husbands with Chinese men. Popular culture spins images of Asian men being cuckolded by white men through tasteless jokes like "Two Wongs don't make a white. But, perhaps more often than the 'mainstream' culture wants to admit, the reverse is also true - Asian women, unhappy in their marriages to white men, turn back to Asian men. Such stories probably make some white men uncomfortable. But they happen.