8 Things White Guys Say To Asian Women

I’m going to repeat the disclaimer from Frankie’s piece last week here, obviously altered to apply to Asian women:

In efforts to befriend, date or sleep with us white men can have the tendency to bestow certain comments, questions and knowledge on to Asian women which they are curious about or deem to be important or even pressing. The following 8 comments/questions are nothing less than truth and here comes the disclaimer in order to save my arse from further comments, questions and hateration: this does not intend to represent every white man or imply that every white man has said these things. OK. Good.

1. “Konnichiwa”
My beef here is not with the Japanese greeting, nor the attempt to speak other languages. To the contrary, I think cultural and linguistic exchange can be totally awesome and underline a respectful understanding of other peoples’ heritage. No, the reason why I will blank this every time is due to the guaranteed smug weird triumphant look on the white male speaker’s face. Your assumptions that I (a) am Japanese, (b) want to pause my day and speak to you, and (c) will be excited that I heard ‘my language’, are all unacceptable. Stop it. No more sushi for you.

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2. “Where are you from?”
Never, never ever are you safe from the omnipresent question. Don’t get me wrong. I love where I’m from. Sometimes this is interesting to discuss. However, the other 95% of the time that white men demand my ethnic or racial life story I just can’t be bothered. If you aren’t able to substantially interact with me until you have located my people on the map and worked out if you have eaten my homeland’s cuisine then I’m probably just going to shut this one down early.
“From my mother’s uterus. Next question please.”

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3. “I hope this doesn’t sound racist but I just think that Asian women are better at taking care of their men.”
This is tough because as much as you desperately need to be socially reeducated, for the good of the planet, much less yourself. I know those layers of sexism, prejudice, racism and assumption run way deep, and I came here to have a good time.

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4. “I’ve been to Singapore. Well, actually, I went to the airport once for a stopover back in 2008. It was really clean.”
That is so interesting. Were you in Terminal 2 or 3?

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5. “I love Thailand. People there are so friendly.”
This is a similar complaint to point 3 above. The amount of investment required on my part to explain how mass tourism can bring about issues of national interdependency, fiscal self-sufficiency, and adverse sociocultural manifestations (of which that ‘friendliness’ you enjoy is just one symptom) is vast. VAST. I fear the task is too great. I am but one small Asian woman.

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6. “Oh my God, SHOW me that origami crane you made. That is so, so, so cute.”
Don’t f*** with me. My people know how to kill you with paper.

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7. You look like Lucy Liu.
You look like Jabba the Hutt.

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8. Special entry – Once naively spoken and never have I thought of my name the same way again. Thanks, white dude, thanks very much.
WM: “What’s your name?”
Me: “Kim”
WM: “As in Kim Jong Il? Oh my god, I thought you might be Korean.”
Me: “No, as in Kimberly. After the diamond mine in Africa.”
WM: “Oh. *Nervous laugh* That’s weird.”

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Kimberly Ai-Lin is a law practitioner and yoga instructor living in Shanghai. You really don’t want to piss her off. EVER.


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