Back in my undergrad days, I once found some members of an Asian-American Students Association having noodles in one of the dorm kitchens. All of the guys were sitting down waiting to be served, while all of the women were working in the kitchen cooking. “Why aren’t you helping?” I asked the guys. “Ssh! They might hear you!” was their reply.
Some Asian-American men complain that many Asian-American women won’t have anything to do with them. They cite media stereotypes as a cause, and yes, I’d say those are definitely one cause. But another reason, not often admitted, is Asian-American men behaving badly. It can be like the opening example, or it can be during a date, such as this one reenacted by NDtitanLady.
Those are relatively mild examples of bad behavior. As a comparison, let’s look at Jon Gosselin, from Jon and Kate plus 8, the reality show on TLC about a couple and their eight kids. The tabloids have been all over him, accusing of him of having an affair with a third grade teacher. Here is a picture of him was some young college students in a bar whose parties he crashed. Jon doesn’t admit to cheating on his wife, but cites “bad judgment” on his part. Looks like Jon doesn’t have the problem of white girls not having anything to do with him, but he does seem to have the problem of turning red when he drinks.
Jon isn’t alone in cheating. I know a number of Asian husbands who have cheated on their wives. I have heard how a cheating husband infected his wife with diseases picked up on a tryst. In the Philippines, there is a tradition of men having mistresses and even maintaining separate households of those mistresses and their children.
One of my ex-girlfriends had to get a restraining order against her former Asian boyfriend. I know a fair amount of of Asian-American women who end up with white guys after getting treated like dirt by former Asian boyfriends. “I’ll never date an Asian again.” said The Daughter’s Asian friend. She went on to describe a bad date with an Asian guy. I wonder if it was one bad date that lead her to want to avoid Asian guys, or perhaps her father’s multiple infidelities that lead to her parents divorce that contributed to that statement.
While these examples do break the stereotype of meek, studious, traditional Asian-American that this woman in particular seems to like, it is not a positive development. I am not saying that all Asian-American males are scum either. I am saying that while we as Asian-American males may not have control over media stereotypes affecting how women look at us, one thing we can do that is in our control is to make sure we are not behaving badly.
(Hat tips to John, Moye, and Tim for pointers and ideas.)