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Chinese American Male

Coming June I will be traveling to Ireland to attend a wedding for my niece. I am happy for her, yet it triggered reflections on my part on the Chinese male/female dynamic, male and female gender ratio imbalance in China, patriarchy and misogyny.
I have 2 nieces, both vivacious and outgoing, having various American boyfriends since high school through college, and good careers in Manhattan and California. They have white boyfriends, the older one was engaged to a Scotsman and now will wed an Irishman, yet neither ever have a Chinese American boyfriend. It’s not because Chinese American males were absent in NYC. I have nephews and knew other friends’ sons, yet they all seem to have difficulty engaging with females. I know most male Chinese Americans are in STEM fields, are introverted, and socially awkward, and I think they make exemplary husbands both in income and respect for women, but maybe not in Hollywood sense of romance. I am sure I am exaggerating to some extend, but I don’t think I am that off the mark. The sense of loneliness probably drove some over the cliff, such as shootings in Virginia Tech and Isla Vista. Though some will take issue with me that Cho was of Korean heritage and Rogers was only half Chinese, but it still holds.
There is no disagreement that human society is a patriarchy except maybe during cave man era. In China, the need for male heir still dominates even in the era of one child policy. Sex selective abortion and abandonment of female babies, which caused gender disparity in China and large adoption of female Chinese babies by Americans. Yet the sex disparity has perversely increased the status of females in China as much as Mao’s dictate of equality of sexes. Hong Kong billionaires may be able to scoop up Olympic female diving champions as their daughter in laws, but villagers short of females must resort to exchange their life saving for Vietnamese brides. In cities like Beijing or Shanghai, one must have an apartment and car ready before wedding bell tolls.
The enrollments in some elite universities has already tipped in favor of females, and that has caused backlashes from males. I suspect Trump’s triumph in the voting booths to some extend was due to misogyny. They disguise the reason for their dislike for Hillary’s Wall Street connection, but now we have a cabinet full of billionaires dismantling any remnants of Obama’s legacy and even some of Roosevelt’s New Deals.
As a male Chinese American, my advice for others is to break away somewhat from the cultural background of Confucian culture of very reserved indifference, be more open to the opposite sex and sexuality. you don’t have to embrace Dionysian carnality, but be open and flowers will help.

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  1. April 12th, 2017 at 10:40 | #1

    Roger has Caucasian father and Asian mother. The reason he shot and killed his full Asian roommates is because they seems to have no problem having dates but not him. So this pretty much invalidate your argument.

    As to why your nieces never dates Asian. It is most likely they grow up in such a racially charged society that their needs for acceptance dictates their dating decision. Check out the following video to see how most Asian females have to behave in a race theme dominated society:

    http://www.weibo.com/tv/v/EDorxeXRv?fid=1034:2c35d7f21fe9776cfdc6c5e5ea72cd79

  2. Shuike
    April 13th, 2017 at 04:54 | #2

    I think the past +100 years of indoctrination of white domination/superiority also played on the instinctive psychological attraction to seek a secure & strong mate. You can see this role reversal with the rise of China where there is a discernable increase of white women marrying Chinese men.

  3. N.M.Cheung
    April 13th, 2017 at 06:22 | #3

    @Shuike
    Actually Asian income is the highest in U.S., so it’s more than just the rise of China. I suggest you see the video of Wang Jia (TED talk), in which he discusses stereotype of Chinese, but also Chinese males tend to be shy, and they rarely take initiative when interact with females, and Chinese American females accept the stereotype and Hollywood typecasting, and avoid Asian males. Chinese in U.S. may not be the model minority, but I think they are model husbands, a good catch for females, high income, less divorce, family oriented, maybe that’s my stereotype, but both of my brother in laws went back to Hong Kong and Shanghai to find mates.

  4. April 13th, 2017 at 08:40 | #4

    I think we are missing the crux of the issue here. It is always wrong to require the minority to accommodate the needs of the majority. That’s why Mao is right in raising the issue of Han chauvinism. By right China belongs to every Chinese not just the Han Chinese. Be it history, culture or religion, each ethnicity’s legacy should be protected.

    By contrast, with the election of Trump it is pretty obvious many of the voters believe that WASP culture should be the predominant one. Chinese American is almost negligible in term of numbers in the equation. Any Chinese American who want to continue their Chinese legacy would face an uphill battle in such a society. Even sizable minority groups such as African American or Hispanic American face such a problem. Should one completely forget one’s forebears’ legacy to conform with the majority in the so-called melting pot?

    I have to disagree again with your positive stereotype of Chinese males. This is just your perception. To others, the perception of Chinese American male is mostly negative. Of course, many are able to break the glass ceiling and achieved great success in the US. However, “Chineseness” is usually perceived negatively in the West. Let’s face it, it is a legacy of so-called orientalism. If your brother etc wants their descendent to continue being Chinese American, their choice would be extremely limited. That’s would probably limit their spousal choices to a minute percentage of the population, because even if that person has outstanding personality, physique, career many women have no interest in having Chinese American children. Many Asian women who grow up in such an environment thought the same too and would not marry other Asian.

    The problem lies in the fact that, in the US. One is pressured to become American first and foremost but the American is not African American, Hispanic American, Arab American or Korean American. It has to be the mainstream WASP American. However, those women usually would face the same problem when their children grow up because to the majority, they would still be considered Asian. And usually their kids would grow up mentally traumatized by such a society, the male off springs more than the female ones. Of course, the other side of the argument is that if you want to stay Chinese or Asian, don’t come to America. And if we twist the argument again, it is that more Asian should come to America to make things better.

  5. N.M.Cheung
    April 13th, 2017 at 09:11 | #5

    @Ray
    I do not disagree with your point. I was just making an observation, and I admit it’s biased and my stereotype. Asian actors have long protested the lack of chances even if the character calls for an Asian role. Witness the recent movie of Scarlett Johansson playing an Asian role in Japanese manga movie. Certainly American movies portracted Asians in negative stereotypes, as passive, submissive, or communist anti-Christ. In today’s social self promotion, Asians’ self effacing, shyness, and intelligence are a major disadvantage in the competition for mates in U.S..

  6. pug_ster
    April 15th, 2017 at 06:25 | #6

    Personally for me, I am going to have a talk with my daughter about dating white guys. One major disadvantage of white guys is that they don’t share about Chinese values. Chinese guys tends to be more stable than a white guy. I think most Chinese families raising raising their kids don’t teach them about what kind of values they should be raised up, girls brainwashed in the hollywood about how romantic non Chinese guys are. As for Chinese boys growing up an in American world, they are realizing this and I do see some of them dating outside their pack. We should be teaching them that not all Chinese ladies are interested in Chinese guys and they have to look elsewhere if they are interested in Marriage.

  7. berrypi
    April 28th, 2017 at 18:07 | #7

    Sounds like good advice. May I please point out that the all-american stereotypes work both ways. I have two brothers who both married caucasian women, and male cousins who also married caucasian women. I think that the women are fine, except that sort of like a cultural bond is broken because cultural codes become subordinate. However, when families only value things like materialism, status, and success, then deep cultural values are left to rot no matter which country you are originally from. This is a good entry because it also relates to the problem of human trafficking, and the desperation of women and girls.

  8. N.M.Cheung
    April 28th, 2017 at 20:28 | #8

    @berrypi
    I have no problem on interracial marriages. I was just pointing out the disparity, The Chinese male to Caucasian female is 1/3 of the Chinese female to Caucasian male. And of course we also suffer from the racial biases of this country that I didn’t mention with African Americans which is much less. As a result of this, some chooses females mates from China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong, which may cause more resentment from there where there might already be a sexual disparity.

  9. danielxu
    April 30th, 2017 at 22:32 | #9

    Be yourself and always be respectful, let the nature take its course.
    If one cannot find in the West for whatever reason it is nothing wrong to go abroad to find one who still appreciate your beauty and charm (not for the green card though).
    The last thing you don’t want to do is trying to be other who you are not; it is taxing and won’t last long. Btw. those Hollywood style of marriage based on love isn’t the preferable either.
    As far as that Confucius respects to the elderly are concerned I’ve seen Caucasian who care their parents beyond some Chinese’s superficiality. Deep down we are the same, the characters not the skin-colours count.

  10. May 9th, 2017 at 08:32 | #10

    I think we should never use casual observation to come to a conclusion. Study actually shows 77.6 Chinese American males marry other Chinese while the figures for Chinese American females is 72.9 so it is not that much of a disparity.

    http://imdiversity.com/villages/asian/by-the-numbers-dating-marriage-and-race-in-asian-america/

    Chinese Americans
    Husbands
    Chinese 77.6
    Other Asians 13.0
    Whites 8.3
    Blacks 0.3
    Hispanics/Latinos 0.8

    Wives
    Chinese 72.9
    Other Asians 11.9
    Whites 14.1
    Blacks 0.1
    Hispanics/Latinos 1.0

  11. N.M.Cheung
    May 9th, 2017 at 09:32 | #11

    @Ray
    Ray, statistic can be twisted to suit any purpose. What I said maybe casual observation, but it contain truth which can’t be denied. I’ll use your link to illustrate my observation. Note that your link doesn’t distinguish American born spouses with those who marry from old countries, which is overwhelmingly male and negligible female.
    married to white married with other Asian ratio male/female outside
    Chinese male 8.3 90.6
    Chinese female 14.1 84.8 8.3/14.1=59.2% or 2 to 3
    Filipino male 11.9 85.0
    Filipino female 32.0 62.5 11.9/32=37.2% or 1 to 3
    Japanese male 13.7 83.2
    Japanese female 33.0 64.6 13.7/33=41.5% or 2 to 3
    Vietnamese male 2.6 97.4
    Vietnamese female 8.6 91.0 2.6/8.6=30.2% or 1 to 2
    Korean male 4.0 95.6
    Korean female 28.2 69.5 2.0/ 28.2=7.1% or 1 to 14

    As you can see from the data from your link, Chinese Americans actually is the lowest, but probably due to incomplete data as more Chinese male get their female spouses from Asia.

  12. May 10th, 2017 at 10:12 | #12

    @N.M.Cheung
    Yes, I agree that statistic can be twisted to present a false narrative. However, I believe in depth study of the statistic will eradicate any incorrect assumption. To be honest, I am not quite sure where your misgiving about Chinese American male is coming from.

    Now that we have some figure to work with, we can go from here. As you narrow down the statistic to reinforce your observation you also pull out a can of worms. For example, you do find that Chinese American are actually among the least to marry outside. So would your advice to Chinese American male apply to other Asian males? Because you imply that the reason Chinese American males not marrying outside is because of “cultural background of Confucian culture of very reserved indifference”.

    What troubled me the most is your focus on Asian/White marriage. As I have clearly point out despite the increase of non-European WASP minority. The US is still overwhelmingly WASP dominated not just in culture but in numbers, even more so twenty or ten years ago. So it is common for minority to have outside marriage foremost with people of European descent. The Chinese is lucky in a sense that they are the largest Asian group in US, so they technically would have a better chance of marrying another Chinese descent person.
    It is not my intention to attack you but rather to get your attention on other matter. For example, since African American and Hispanic American easily made up over a quarter of American why isn’t Asian American marrying them in proportion? And in White/African marriage why is it so overwhelmingly common that it is African male/white female pairing?

    You see, the issue that you raise here is simply more complex than just a few paragraphs of writing can explain. I know I am guilty of making simple observation too, but my advice is not to give over simplified suggestion on a very complex issue. I remember you once said that you are a Han Chinese chauvinist and I myself is a Chinese chauvinist. However, my chauvinist applies only to culture. I don’t mind my children marrying people of other ethnicities, but I make sure that my children know Chinese language, culture and custom. Well, in fact I have cousins who can’t write the language and I feel bad for them especially seeing how Donald Trump’s grand daughter can recite Chinese poems at such a young age.

  13. May 11th, 2017 at 07:21 | #13

    Jeremy Lin – Breaking Stereotypes and de-masculinisation
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paSH0Ip9pcU

  14. N.M.Cheung
    May 11th, 2017 at 08:24 | #14

    @Ray
    Jeremy Lin is the exception that proves the rule. I might have used anecdotal of my acquaintances and relatives to illustrate a point, but even Jeremy Lin who’s my idol doesn’t have flashy girl friends as far as his fans are aware. Most male Chinese Americans are introverted, shy, and lack social skills as much as females who can swim along any situations. The fact that most Chinese marry other Chinese does not disprove my thesis of 3 to 1 ratio of female to male intermarriages, just the fact there exist almost inexhaustible pool of female Chinese in China. The reason I used white is most Chinese accepted the racial bias and few intermarriage of blacks compare to whites. I personally have no problem with intermarriage and consider humanity eventually should blend together.

  15. May 11th, 2017 at 13:41 | #15

    I think we are still discussing apples and oranges. I realized you use mainly Asian/White marriage as a yardstick. Earlier I try to point out that this is because the US is a WASP dominated society hence you use this as a reference point to compare the male/female outside marriage. That’s why I want to point out why Asian have so little intermarriage with the two largest minority groups. Have you ever thought about the reason?

    Also the ratio is 8.3/14.1 which is 2 to 3, not 1 to 3. For Korean American it is a whopping 4/28.2 which is 1 to 14. I doubt the reason is because Korean American male is so much more “introverted, shy, and lack social skills” than other Asian.

  16. May 11th, 2017 at 13:48 | #16

    Anyway, I want to add that not all marriages are created equal. The divorce rate is also vastly different.

    “Black women and white men are 44% LESS likely to divorce than same race white couples. This means that black women and white men do better together in marriage and last longer than when two whites marry each other, making them the interracial power couple(black women do better married to white men, than white women do married to their own men). THEN there are Asian females. Asian females and white men are 4% more likely to divorce compared to same race white couples. That’s kind of bad, but you know what? That’s reasonable, and still good compared to the other IR couples. Then there is Asian men and white women. Their divorce rates are 59% more likely to divorce compared to same race white couples! That is REALLY bad, but not compared to the pairing that came in last. Then there is the absolute WORST pairing in our country. This pairing is more likely to tie the knot with each other, but less likely to actually keep the knot tied. Within a marriage span of 10 years(in which these statistics were taken) white women and black men have the HIGHEST divorce rates in the country. Not only compared to same race white couples, being 200% more likely to divorce, but just everyone period. This is by far the worst pairing in the country.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/health/families.html?_r=0

  17. N.M.Cheung
    May 12th, 2017 at 13:15 | #17

    Ray, why are you obsessed with the ratio? When I listed 3 to 1 ration I was probably understating it. When I totaled my acquaintances and their off springs or the NYT Style section on engagements, the trend is obvious. Let me try to explain why your link gives 5-3 ratio. When I was in college in the 60s, I knew many Chinese students from Hong Kong, Taiwan, even Malaysia. They were all male studying STEM. Also my father’s generation who jumped ship to stay in U.S. after liberation some will marry white or Puerto Ricans to gain residency. If you make a survey then the chance would be Chinese male marrying white probably will skew very much more then Chinese female marrying white. Now skip to today, with Chinese from China of both sexes, plus all the female adoptions by Americans from China marrying at my 3-1 ratio, the total ratio will gradually change from overwhelming other direction toward the 5-3 ratio you have today. As for the Korean it was due to the American military forces station in Korea marrying local women.

  18. pug_ster
    May 19th, 2017 at 07:43 | #18

    Just to give my 2 cents. I don’t think it is that high for the Chinese because many of the Chinese are probably first or 1.5 generations who are not Americanized, so chances are that they are married to another Chinese.

    As for South Korea, it has gotten so bad that there is a “Gender Wars” in there. Not to mention that South Koreans are in America longer than the Chinese.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy4oFVuNPkg

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