A vile article from Ying Chu in women’s magazine Marie Claire, The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women, features the salacious teaser: “Rupert Murdoch has one. So do financiers Vivi Nevo and Bruce Wasserstein. Why are the West’s most powerful men coupling up with younger Asian women?” Chu claims that a “curious cultural ripple” has been created by celebrity marriages between western men and Asian women:
Were these tycoons consciously courting Asian babes? Do any of them qualify for the unnerving “yellow fever” or “rice king” moniker? It’s unsavory to think so. But after two or three failed attempts at domestic bliss with women of like background and age, these heavy hitters sought out something different. Something they had likely fetishized.
Like almost all classic racism, the author exhibits her own prejudices prima facie. I’ll attempt to list them here:
- Women are objects to “have” or “collect”
- Asian women are exclusively objects of fetishism
- Asian women are a “more valuable” commodity than American women
We can attribute most of the tastelessness to the author’s own perception of what it’s like to be an Asian woman in America. It seems that the men she’s dated have reinforced the “omnipresent and often entertaining” sexual stereotyping of Asian women:
Sure, I’m petite and was in fact born in Shanghai, but — to the shock of more than one guy I’ve gone out with — I’d rather down an icy beer and burger than nurse bubble tea and eat dumplings while massaging his back with my toes.
The point of globalism and the 21st century is that our generation is a new fresh generation. We have internet, we’ve seen people of all races and cultural backgrounds. Many of us have attended college and learned about far away places that a mere hundred years ago would have been a page in the encyclopedia, and impossible to travel to. We can throw off stereotype and challenge it, discarding labels like “Asian Trophy Wife”. An interracial couple is just two people in love.
Update: Check out the comments on the original article, some are really quite amazing:
Dear Editor: I applaud you for publishing ads with Asian models and running an article highlighting the attributes of Asian cosmetics and culture in an attempt to balance out the derogatory assertions and stereotypes made in “Trophy Wives”. Maybe next time, you can have an African writer address the topic of Educated African Americans with the header “Uncle Toms”. I’m sure your talented staff will find a way to rationalize it, and pass it off as not so bad.
Why? Why go through all the trouble of going to Japan, learning a very difficult language, and hooking up with an Asian girl? Why not just marry Mary Anne from the back hills? Because some people just like something different is why. Most people may love their iPods, but there are a few renegades who love their Zunes.
Marie Claire, This article is not edgy, it is not bold, and most importantly, it is not based on facts. This article is a racist tirade aimed at inter-racial relationships and loaded with ignorance. How could you publish this? What kind of editor would let this article enter the pages of your magazine? I’ve noticed there are many “high powered men” that have brunette wives, does that mean that men have a “fetish” for brunettes?
Is this all we can expect from a supposedly urbane NYC-dwelling educated woman? Ying, you’ve revealed too much of your personal identity issues here. This piece sounds like it came from your diary. Editors, this is the kind of drivel you publish under “Sex and Relationship Advice”? If these things were said in real-life conversation, it would induce silent stares and ridicule amongst the uncomfortable parties.
The popular US sport of sexting is becoming illegal in China, with Henan province instituting harsh penalties of 10 days in jail and a fine of 500 yuan. According to Penalties ordered for dirty texting in China Daily, the new law is to curb text message spam, banning “sending an erotic, insulting or threatening messages, which interrupt receivers’ normal lives.” Zhang Kai, 26, was quoted as being pro the measure:
“I’m totally for the rules. It’s uncomfortable to get dirty text messages from male friends and even more gross when they are from strangers. But I’ll take them as jokes and reply if they are from my female friends.”
Members of the communist party in Shenze country in Hebei have been diligent in stamping out ‘inappropriate’ text messages:
“Obscene information not only harms the people’s soul but harms the people’s morality as well,” it quoted the party rule as saying. Since July 10, Shenze party officials have held 480 meetings to discuss the harmful effects of obscene messages.
In the United States of America, sexual harassment via text message (or any other method) is already illegal, because it’s harassment. So, a law specific to the deliver of the harassment is not necessary. However, if in China text message spam is growing problem (as say MSN spam is here), then something like this would be useful in shutting down mass spam enterprises.
Someone paid me to take a look at Japanese Friend Finder and write a review. I was initially going to reject the request, but after looking at the site, I feel writing a review is justified. For, as you will soon see, Japanese Friend Finder is not affiliated with the famous Various Inc. Adult Friend Finder brand, but rather is simply a copycat site with a similar name.
There are a few things which immediately spark warning bells:
- The title tag reads “Japanese Women for Chat Dating …”
- It’s powered by “WorldFriends Networks” not “FriendFinder Network, Inc.”
- It boasts a dithered 8-bit image in its header
- The “featured members” don’t change on refresh (just once a day)
However, I can’t find anything bad about it online. And, it features convincing personal endorsements that suggest that it’s legit, even if it’s a second-rate dating site. Looking at the CEO Dominic Penaloza’s LinkedIn profile adds either legitimacy or caution, depending on how you look at it. After graduating from the University of Ontario in 1992, he worked a brief 8-month smith for Smith Barney IBD in 1994, spent a year at Greenwich Street Capital Partners, then 4 years at Prudential Asset Management Asia. To me, this sounds like the quest of a relatively young man to find his passion–although my cynical side wonders about his two short stints on wall street. Now he’s been managing Meta4 Group for 8 years now, lending strength to the legitimacy of Japanese Friend Finder.
Technically, they boast “1 million members” and their profile asks you to register your racial preferences. Do you like Thai girls, or Vietnamese? Chinese or Korean? The question is appalling, but central to Japanese Friend Finder’s mission–hooking you up with the girl from the country of your fancy. I like the language preferences section better, as learning Urdu or Tagalog appeals to me.
But somehow, I think sites like this are more for casual hookups or the desperate. I’d rather meet women serendipitously. And introduction from a friend, a drink bought at a bar, or picking up something she dropped in the street are all more romantic, satisfying ways to get to know someone. Or a dating site that tried to align your interests with other members’ interests holistically, comparing preferences in body type, nationality, language, and interests.
The difference between America and Vietnam is summarized by the public reaction to Hoang Thuy Linh and Paris Hilton’s sex tapes. While Paris’s film shot the young American heiress to instant celebrity and cemented her hold on the American public, Hoang Thuy Linh’s television show was canceled. She gave an apology on national TV for violating her good-girl image:
“I made a mistake, a terrible mistake. I apologize to you, my parents, my teachers and my friends.”
An Associated Press article Vietnam Is Having Paris Hilton Moment quotes a few interesting Vietnamese on the issue:
- “A good girl must keep herself clean until she is married,” Khanh said. “Thuy Linh should be condemned.”
- charges of “spreading depraved cultural items”
- “People will forgive him, but not her”
- “it’s OK for a boy to have sex at that age, but not for a girl”
- the episode underscored the “dark side of globalization” and warned that a flood of foreign influences “threaten Vietnam’s cultural foundation.”
In the 21st century, like all previous centuries, the morality police and gender double-standards live on. How long is it going to be before global morality becomes fully modernized?
For some reason, Phizer decided to run this Viagra advertisement in China, emphasizing vitality:
I feel sorry for the child that’s produced by these Viagra-powered sperm, because the female-genome of that poor egg looks like it’s being completely pummeled. The ad is almost like Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex, that hilarious thought-experiment of a Superman-Lana union.