|Delving into the minds of Asian fetishers and their unhealthy interracial relationships|
An article entitled 'Deconstructing Asian Fetish,' pulls together some of the ideas I have discussed before...but from a Personality Psychology perspective. Their website does not allow comments, so it is pasted below for discussion.
Asiaphiles, both male and female (i.e although its predominately White men with an Asian fetish that date or marry or befriend oriental women) are typically characterised by one or more of the following personality traits
Sensitive nature or fragile ego
In East Asian/Southeast Asian cultures, people are less likely to criticize others openly. This cultural trait of masking potential disagreements makes sensitive people feel more at ease. One of my Asian sources mentioned meeting a black professional who could not handle anyone disagreeing with him or suggesting something contrary to what he wants even in an amicable, constructive way. This ultra-sensitive man happened to be married to a Korean woman.
A common expression of the 'ego-in-need-of-boosting' is the kindly condescending non-Asian (usually white) person who tries to attach himself to Asian immigrant circles so he could take on a 'teaching role' and show them the 'American way'. In some cases, these people give helpful practical advice to new immigrants, but it should also be noted that more often than not, they come to teach and not to learn. They have little or no interest in learning about the immigrant culture beyond superficial things like food and celebrations. The underlying assumption is that while they have something valuable to teach the immigrants, the immigrants have nothing as valuable to teach them. Their 'helpfulness' is ultimately self-serving. They need to place themselves in the position of 'expert' and 'guide' to shore up their fragile egos, they use East Asian/Southeast Asian immigrants as tools to serve this purpose.
"Know-it-all" behavior, which maybe an expression of the "fragile ego", also occurs quite often among non-Asians who gravitate towards Asian friends. I have observed among non-Asians who date/befriend Asians at least five instances of the kind of person who always acts like s/he is an expert on every topic s/he is talking about and rarely, if ever, admits ignorance. In the worst case, the individual is ignorant and arrogant; he tries to put down everyone who happens to know more than him on any random topic. He is an insecure middle-age white man who happens to have married a Thai woman. Most Americans would have called him on his crap, but he has cleverly sought the company of people from a very forgiving culture.
In another case, the 'know-it-all' white boy was somewhat less obnoxious, but he had to pass himself off as knowledgeable about every conversation topic, framing phrases in big words and complex phraseology, he got away with this highfalutin by surrounding himself with Asian immigrants whose command of English was below his. He happened to be dating a Chinese woman who was competent in English but not to the point where she could meet him on his level of discussion. She put up with his bad behavior and clung on to him even though she was upset he openly cheated on her on an ongoing basis because she was dazzled by his 'knowledge' and 'scholarly demeanor'.
Friends who are highly literate in Chinese have told me that a regrettable aspect of their culture is that people emphasize academic success to the point that they sometimes value brains over character. The Imperial-era satire titled "The Scholars" (available in English translation) provides a glimpse into a centuries-old values system that has men rushing to marry their daughters to cruel, cowardly, selfish young men just because the potential son-in-law aced the Imperial Examination.
Verbally competitive, always has to win the argument
Some East Asian/Southeast Asian cultures emphasize conflict avoidance. I know of a few rather verbally combative women who happened to marry/date East Asian men. But just because the examples given here happen to be women does not mean that the verbally competitive, "I'm always right" type of person is always female.
In the examples I came across, when the non-Asian women start an argument, the East Asian men often take the initiative to apologize to the women before things really get 'out of hand'. This does not mean that the men really think they are wrong. For the East Asian men, who is 'right' in a disagreement is less important than harmony in a relationship. So they back off. (The Chinese have a saying, "take a step back and the sea will become wide and the sky will become empty.") For one of the women, such exchanges with her boyfriend were more of a cultural misunderstanding.
In another case, the woman was cynical and liked cutting others to shreds. Her basic approach boils down to "if you don't think like me, you're a bad person and you should change." She had a tendency to largely limit herself to people of the same gender when it comes to telling people off. Perhaps her spouse's East Asian trait of preferring 'tolerance' over 'truth' in conflict situations is what preserved her marriage so far. The New Scientist article Westerners and Easterners see the world differently provides some insight into this cultural difference.
|Don't you wonder which of these personality traits Asiaphile Tory MP Jeremy Hunt has?|
The "selfish type" is based on the idea that she will do all the housework and he would not have to do a thing. A Thai woman told me about how her black male friend wanted to date her because he had seen his brother's Korean wife take care of *everything* (he emphasized *everything*) around the house without troubling his brother. Now why would a man want a wife who does *everything* around the house unless he is a lazy, selfish person who wants to do *nothing* at home?
These non-Asians-who-love-Asian-culture-and-people may have spent years dabbling in Eastern religions, typically utilizing Buddhist meditation to get the physiological "feel good" benefits. Yet they picked up none of the Buddhist values of understanding, tolerance, compassion and consideration for others. They remain very selfish and unable to see beyond their own interests. Indeed, their whole interest in Eastern religions (and people) is all about "me, me, me", e.g. using meditation to feel good about themselves instead of actually transcending the self.
Even more extreme is the individual who thinks the whole world should keep him happy. One example is a white boy who rips his company off and neglects his work. His lack of integrity also extends to his personal life - he takes things from friends without returning them. When people point out his specific acts of dishonesty and irresponsibility, the white boy turns around and call his accusers 'evil' and 'cruel' for 'persecuting' him, i.e. for holding him accountable, instead of admitting the damage and harm he caused to others. Often, such individuals do not fare well with many East Asians, as East Asian cultures highly prize reciprocity in personal relations, i.e., "if you take, you better darn well be ready to give back".
On the topic of tolerating 'non-crucial' flaws in others, I had an interesting discussion with a Japanese friend who could not understand why many Westerners are so quick to cut ties with people who have negative traits. For example, a few women I knew got angry with their families of origin for making racist comments about their birth children from a mixed marriage or their adopted children. They cut off contact with their families rather than put their children in a hostile environment. Another woman told a long-time friend who insulted her parents to never call her again. The Japanese woman could not understand why these people made such 'radical breaks' with their families and associates. Part of this difference in attitude can probably be attributed to a difference in East Asian vs Western views on social interdependence. The BBC article Different view for East and West describes this idea much better than I can.
Tendency to externalize problems
Another recurring trait among some folks who are drawn to East/Southeast Asians is a tendency to blame others for their problems. Very often, these people are social misfits in some way. They blame Western society for not accepting them and they have an escapist fantasy about finding acceptance in Eastern cultures. There are usually two components to their misfit status. One is society's unforgiving attitude towards certain neutral traits a person might have, e.g. American culture tends to devalue quiet, shy types with intellectual interests. The other component is the person's own bad character and poor behavior. Typically a white boy who possesses the character flaws mentioned in the previous sections blames white America for 'rejecting' him, but he never really asks himself if it is because of any bad behavior on his part. He claims he likes Asian people better, presumably because they 'accept' him. But do they really? It is easy for him to fantasize about an idealized East where he is accepted and honored.
Article in full: http://www.colorq.org/articles/article.aspx?d=2005&x=deconstruct