Thursday, October 14, 2010

"No-One Loves Me!"

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies.

I once attended a seminar that claimed to have the key to prosperity. The promise was simple - cultivate the habit of positive self-talk, and "manifest" prosperity by focused visualizations of one's goals and dreams. Simply, think good thoughts and the world will be your oyster! Eventually, the prosperity I visualized didn't match the prosperity I actually achieved, but I wouldn't say that I'm too disappointed. What I learned and what I came to believe is that what a person believes about theirself and the self-talk that comes from it can have profound consequences in their life. For Asian men, this idea is all-important.

As readers may agree, Asian men are somewhat invisible in this society - and that's at the best of times. When we aren't invisible, restrictions on positive Asian male images means that we're generally negatively represented by mainstream culture. Understandably, this is a cause of concern within the Asian community and for Asian men in particular the weight of this negativity is a heavy burden that, for some, seems to affect many aspects of their lives. It is media mis-representations that are charged with causing a sense of emasculation and disempowerment amongst Asian men. In addition to this, there are others who point to the media's defamation of Asian men as a major contributing factor in the supposed relegation of Asian men in the dating pool. In fact, it has become almost an acceptable standard to point at the media as causing the value of Asian men to decrease in the love market to such an extent that partnering an Asian man is tantamount to scraping the bottom of the barrel.There's little doubt that Asian men have their detractors (who doesn't?), and it's not really uncommon to hear or read various women opining on their negative attraction for Asian men. But is this representative of a general truth? Are Asian men at a disadvantage when it comes to love? I don't think so.

Despite personal testimonials that support the notion that Asian men may encounter negative responses based upon racial characteristics, this in no way proves that Asian men are generally at a disadvantage when it comes to finding partners. Yet, many seem to accept this as a common truth and there is no shortage of cultural reinforcement of this "truth" through online and offline media sources alike. Worst of all is the fact that some Asian men themselves seem to buy into this idea that they are at the bottom of the romance ladder. My own personal experiences, those of my friends, as well as casual observation of Asian men around me leads me to believe that reports of Asian men's undesirability are greatly exaggerated.

Suffice it to say that I never felt intimidated to approach an attractive girl and have also been pursued by attractive girls. I've seen this happen to other Asian guys too. So why doesn't my experience and the experiences of many of those I see around me not fit the stereotype of romantic losers? Is it that I'm simply "good-looking for an Asian guy"? Much as I would like this to be true, I don't think it offers a good explanation!

In  reality, as individuals Asian men are neither more nor less desirable than other men. The fact that so many Asian men seem to believe that this is not the case is a result of the ongoing cultural terrorist campaign being waged against us by society. The undesirable Asian male archetype is as much a caricature as is Long Duk Dong - it isn't real. It is a stereotype just like all the other negative stereotypes of Asian men, the goal of which is to uphold the fragile sexual ego of frightened white men. We don't accept the truth of these other stereotypes, yet we seem to accept the idea that we aren't desirable and internalize it, and therein lies the problem. If Asian men believe that they are going to fail in the world of romance, then that's pretty much guaranteed to happen.

In short, I simply don't believe that Asian men are doomed to failure when it comes to dating, and I especially don't believe that Asian are at a romantic disadvantage. Asian men need to give themselves a fighting chance of romantic success by first changing their mindset and everything else will follow from that.

9 comments:

  1. you heard of a handicap in sports?

    you aren't talking about the same starting levels.

    for AM, the initial hurdle is much larger to overcome.

    besides, even if women find certain AM attractive, there are still stereotype issues to overcome.

    if you repeat a lie enough times, it eventually becomes true. that's the self-fulfilling prophecy.


    also, as far media role models and other AM 'community role models' you have to realize that in this day and age everybody is doing their own thing and don't have anybody else even within their families to look up to.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous...

    The handicap analogy cuts several ways. Who has the handicap? In sports the handicap is given to those entities deemed the most experienced, strongest and perhaps even the best (as previous records might imply).

    If Asian men have the handicap then what does that say about those who try to give it them? To my way of thinking, this simply reinforces the idea that Asian men's sexuality is feared, hence society gives us a handicap.

    I think that part of damaging thinking process for Asian men is that they think they need a group sexual identity, and upon realizing that they don't have one, they immediately believe that an individual sexual identity doesn't exist. This is an obvious fallacy.

    Besides, what's wrong with being your own role model?

    ReplyDelete
  4. you're only thinking of golf.

    like I said, people are on different starting levels.

    i'm all for self-empowerment and self-actualization, but the fact of the matter is when growing up people are socialized to look to group elders.

    even whites talk non-stop about role models and daddy issues.

    ReplyDelete
  5. urb4n has done some good research into this. Hear his podcast here:

    http://www.bigwowo.com/2009/05/podcast-urb4n-talks-about-ir/

    Also check out the body of the blog post and the comments. There's a lot of evidence, especially in the Tierney blog.

    That's not to say that failure is a foregone conclusion, but as anonymous says, there are still stereotype issues (and other issues) to overcome.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi bigWOWO

    NOOOO!! NOT IR!!!! :)

    I actually listened to that podcast when you first posted it last year! Very interesting and I appreciate URB4N's passion.

    I'm actually working on a post about what it means to overcome stereotypes, so it's interesting that you and anonymous would bring that up. Since I tend to work on several posts at the same time, it may be a while before this one get's finished and posted!

    Here's some interesting links that show comparative marriage rates of the various ethnicities from the last census.

    As you'll notice, Asian men seem to marry less frequently during their twenties yet by the time they reach their thirties and beyond they actually seem to have higher marriage rates than whites. That doesn't mean that there is more desirability, but it does indicate that Asian men are, in fact, desired (at least) as marriage partners in the "newly established" phase of a man's life.

    http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/marital-hist/2004/tab3-whitealonenonhisp.xls

    http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/marital-hist/2004/tab3-asianalone.xls

    Here's the main page.....

    http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/marr-div/2004detailed_tables.html

    Of course, there are several possible interpretations so I'm not saying that this is conclusive evidence of anything - it simply offers an alternative view.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'll also add that this post is also an allusion to the process of overcoming stereotypes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. LOL! everybody calls the IR issue "flogging the dead horse" except it's constantly the most discussed and contentious issue on all blogs.

    and that 2004 census doesn't reflect the newly completed 2010. we'll have to wait on the results.

    as for AM in their 30s getting married, if they won't mind taking in sloppy seconds that's been around the block with every race except Asian then that's their prerogative

    just keep in mind that AF has 4x the STDs rate as AM.

    ReplyDelete