It looks like the New York Times is hopping on our bandwagon of the interracial dating debate with their recent article about how Asian American couples are brought together by their shared cultural values. (You can yawn now.) While the article cites the increase in overall interracial marriages, it also brings up a new study that reveals how more Asian Americans are marrying people of the same race due to the growing number of immigrants from across the Pacific.
…A surge in immigration from Asia over the last three decades has greatly increased the number of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, giving young people many more options among Asian-Americans. It has also inspired a resurgence of interest in language and ancestral traditions among some newlyweds.
Yay! So the reason why all those Asian women hook up with white guys is not because of their disdain of Asian American masculinity but because that there weren’t enough of them around? Who knew! I kid. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.
It is interesting to see an article address the other side of the whole interracial dating debate (should I shorten this to IDD from now on?): yes, there are Asian people who date and marry other Asians and yes, in this case, it is the common, ancestral ground that brings these people together. So what if two of the four couples featured in the article are still cross-cultural, like the Vietnamese-American lawyer who married an Indian American colleague or the Taiwanese American lady who settled down with a Filipino American guy. ALL ROOK SAME, right? The article is careful to define “Asian” as “a broad group of people who trace their origins to the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent,” but I wonder how opponents of interracial dating in the APA community feel about these shared cultural sensibilities. Is being of any Asian background enough to share a cultural bond?
You don’t have to answer that. No, really. Because I don’t care. I’m only writing about this article so we can finally set some ground rules about the whole IDD issue and we can never argue about this again. Let’s agree on the following:
Fact #1: Asian American couples exist, as this New York Times article proves.
Fact #2: Interracial couples (between Asian Americans and non-Asian Americans) also exist, as numerous posts on 8Asians prove.
Fact #3: Sometimes (in fact, a lot of times), Asian Americans do both Fact #1 and Fact #2. (Haha, I almost wrote that they both do #1 and #2, which means something completely different. In fact, I hope they do both. Otherwise, they should see a doctor.)
Fact #4: All of the above is okay.
Now that we’ve cleared this up, let’s establish some rules.
Rule #1: Asian American women, please stop going around and saying you don’t date Asian men because of whatever reason. It’s stupid, offensive and there’s a 99% chance it doesn’t even apply to every Asian guy out there.
Rule #2: Asian American men, please stop going around and saying you don’t date Asian women because of whatever reason. It’s stupid and offensive because chances are, it doesn’t even apply to every Asian girl out there.
Rule #3: To everyone, please stop making assumptions about Asian Americans and their dating choices. No. Just stop. STOP.
Rule #4: All of the above is okay. (I don’t mean that it’s okay for narrow minded people to pass judgment on the opposite sex but that if you do encounter them, it’s okay. Let it go.)
Rule #5: You, as an Asian American man or woman, are awesome. Whatever insecurities you may have that stem from your culture, your family, being a minority in America, or dealing with the opposite sex (and trust me, I’ve experienced all of this and still do), does not define you as a human being.
Am I dismissing a lot of ingrained, super important gender issues that shape our APA community and future by establishing these rules? Yes. (See Fact #4.) But I feel like the interracial dating debate is just one of those angry conversation loops that get everyone riled up with no end in sight. Is it ironic that I’m bringing the subject up on my own? Yes. (At least, I think I know what irony is. What did Winona Ryder say in Reality Bites?)
But there is an end in sight. We can make an end, only if we can agree on the above–that basically, whoever people have sex with is a personal choice that really doesn’t affect your personal life (wait, unless said person is cheating on you or something?)–we can finally shut up and move on. So let’s hug it out. No, seriously. We are going to hug this out. Right. Now. Anyone? WHO WANTS A GODDAMN HUG?