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at least, not until I started receiving comments whenever I mentioned that David’s previous girlfriend was also Korean American. Each time, I instinctively became defensive, and I would hasten to add, “Well, he’s dated white and Latina women too …” Even as I said that, I got annoyed at having to respond to such comments.But I can’t deny that these interactions always left me with a strong distaste—the sort that clenched my stomach and shrunk my heart. I understood why I would get irritated when people imply that a man would find me attractive simply because I’m Asian. So I’m in love with a white guy—what’s fearful and shameful about that?You’re the least submissive and most stubborn person I know!” When I try to discuss more complex racial issues, he gets uncomfortable, and I get it: In today’s “woke” culture, a white, straight male can never say anything right, and that’s not good.The third article was written by a Latino man who felt pressured by today’s “woke” society to stop dating white women.The basic idea is that “racial dating preferences” is just a code word for racial stereotypes and prejudices, such as the degradation of black women, the criminalization of black and Latino men, and the feminization of Asian men in Hollywood and the media, trends that sociologists trace back to colonialism.Nowhere in that interview did I hear her talk about being equally yoked or seeking commitment, mutual respect and trust, sacrificial love, and open communication.
The fact that David happens to be white didn’t bother me ... Another friend said, “Well, he’s got a type.” Yet another acquaintance said, “Yeah, you’re the type white boys will go for.” These reactions all came from fellow Asian folks.
These are confusing times when it comes to racial issues, and I’d like to address one subtopic that’s gained attention: interracial couples—or more specifically, the increasingly criticized trend of Asian women dating white men.
It’s a divisive issue fraught with emotion and misunderstanding, and weighed down with historical, cultural, and social baggage.
I grew up as a missionary kid in Singapore; David grew up in a middle-class suburban home with a pool in the Midwest.
My served me homemade kimchi and chili-laden noodles; he dined on Cap’n Crunch and Mom’s buttered knepfle and can’t eat anything mildly spicy without hyperventilating.