Sunday, August 1, 2004

asian american empowerment

i was listening to internet radio and came upon the song, "learn chinese" by jin. i had no idea who jin was or what the song was about, but i was fascinated enough to google him. with that, i came across a very interesting web site on "asian american empowerment."

as an asian american and one that some would argue is very "whitewashed" (a word that someone has used to describe me, to my face), i'm fascinated by asians in america. navigating around the web site, i came across the "dating" section. ALL of the articles in this section were on interracial dating. i don't know whether or not i should be surprised by this, but i was nonetheless. is it that a web site on asian american empowerment has nothing to say about asian american dating other than in relation to non-asians?

i have always been very tolerant of interracial dating and all of my relationships have been interracial. however, i've always been a little conflicted about it. am i, by saying that race doesn't matter in terms of who i date, perpetuating a stereotype when people see me on the street with a non-asian man? i mean, i can say that race doesn't matter, but that doesn't mean that it's true. people will still see asian female and white male. i admit, even when i see an asian female and white male on the street, i have my preconceptions of their relationship.

but i haven't even addressed the arguments over motivations and "asian fetishes." personally, i try and find out if the guy i'm dating has dated anyone else who is asian. if they have only dated asian women, then i assume asian fetish and can't date them. but then, if they haven't, then i wonder why. it's a doubled-edged sword in a way. but i guess someone could turn the same question on me and ask whether i have a "non-asian fetish" as i've never dated an asian man. i must be one of those asian women seeking a higher societal status by dating a non-asian man. no matter what the motivations or what the answers to questions is, couples in interracial relationships will always be doubted, always be judged.

in the end, i guess it doesn't matter what others think. if i am attracted to someone who isn't asian, it's wrong to deny it because of their race. but at the same time, i question myself when i see an asian male and feel as though i should be attracted to him, as though being asian gives him a few bonus points. society's pressures, however much we would like to ignore them, still invade my thoughts and it's hard to separate them from your own views.

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