During the past few months, several friends have started dating someone they met online. Sure, they’ve experienced some excruciating false-starts with people they weren’t that into, but they eventually found someone with similar interests (you’re a vegetarian, dog-loving Democrat addicted to Law and Order? Me, too!).I've posted before about this issue, about the need for my daughters to learn to recognize Asian Fetish Man. I thought it was interesting in this blog post that an Asian adoptee might not be "exotic enough" for Asian Fetish Man. Of course, at the first approach, he won't know she's a transracial adoptee. . . .
But for Asian American women, online dating can prove more frustrating than fruitful. Sites offer a smorgasbord for men suffering from “yellow fever” and surfing for a cure. All they need do is check “Asian” as their preference and up pop thousands of profiles. But where does that leave Asian American women?
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According to an OCMetro article, a UC Irvine study found Internet dating tends to reflect racial stereotypes, with white men preferring Asian or Latino women and white women preferring African American and Latino men. Cynthia Feliciano, researcher and assistant professor of sociology and Chicano/Latino studies, says negative portrayals of African-American women and Asian men on television and in other media could contribute to those preferences. She goes on to explain that “stereotypical images of masculinity and femininity shape dating choices and continue to be perpetuated in the mass media.”
A friend who is a Korean adoptee admits she’s apprehensive about online dating after her initial experiences. Many men were disappointed to learn she grew up with
Caucasian parents (not “exotic” enough). A couple of guys spent entire phone conversations enumerating the other Asians they’d dated. “I felt like I was part of a collection they had,” she later told me.
I can only imagine the similar experiences confronting Asian American women attempting to navigate the already stressful online dating scene. The thought of the annoying guy in the bar who wants to tell me all about his love for Asian culture being multiplied an infinite number of times in Cyberspace makes me cringe.
Still hoping for change
3 weeks ago