Not what we mean when we say no marriage.

I know I shouldn’t give this any light, but I just had to because sometimes things–so perfectly– capture some of the darkest corners of Western patriarchy. A friend just sent me a link she found with the search terms “Vietnamese women.” It is attached to a bigger site called No Marriage, a site for why men should not get married. Let’s just say the reasons offered are not because marriage is an inequitable, homophobic and sexist tradition.
It is because American women are aggressive (raceless?) bitches and Vietnamese women are quiet, subservient and, you know, stay in their place.

An American woman has several fundamental problems that will never go away and that will get much worse a few years after she is married:
1. Her inherent anti-male bias and pre-occupation with fairness that was drilled into her at high school, college, and through the media. Her constant confrontations and trying to prove herself and to make a point.
2. Her self-centeredness, her ridiculously high expectations, her sense of entitlement, her high-maintenance, superficial, and stuck up attitude, her snootiness and her sense of superiority. This “princess” syndrome means that she will always think that she is better than you, and that she deserves and she is entitled to whatever she wants from you.
3. Her general mental instability and psychological disorders.
4. Her using sex as a weapon and reward to get things.
Vietnamese women generally don’t have any of these problems. Marrying an American woman simply does not make sense. The ONLY reason men stay with American women is because they did not have enough exposure to Vietnamese women. Any man who spent a few months in Asia will not even look at American women again.

I will not state the obvious and give anymore credence to the specific arguments. What is amazing is that this sounds ridiculous to us, but in some circles this is an acceptable narrative (in fact in a lot of circles). A type of racism that just falls between the cracks and outside of dominant racial discourse, aka, the seemingly harmless “desires” of the Asiophile (white boy with the Asian fetish usually found saying things like, “if you want to get laid, Thailand is the place to go!”).
I would like to thank this idiot for giving me the opportunity to talk about one of my biggest peeves.

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135 Comments

  1. dinogirl
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Itazura in the interests of giving you the benefit of the doubt I have to say that your idea of humour is really off. The “satire” you just posted in the Brownback/abortion thread squicked me out so completely I couldn’t manage to comment (I hope someone else will give voice to my thoughts more eloquently).
    Here’s a tip: stop trying to be funny, or witty, or whatever. Stop making glib stereotypical remarks. If you want to debate, please you make your point simply and honestly. Your idea of humour is not cool and your flippant remarks have a hint of troll.

  2. Itazura
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    My apologies!
    But I can’t really argue from the point of a woman.
    Still I hope I gave women reason to want to be more pro-choice.

  3. dinogirl
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I’m not saying pretend to be a woman, I’m saying stop trying to be clever or whatever and just be HONEST and make your point simply and clearly. It’s much more enjoyable for all concerned.
    You know, I don’t think my previous post was that difficult to understand. I could appreciate you disagreeing with me or whatever, but the misunderstanding what I wrote as suggesting you should pretend you’re a woman seems WILLFUL. And that seems troll-like.

  4. bornskeptic
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    “Therefore,… many of you will never marry or have children… you will end up like one of your own, Maria Cantwell – old, un-married, completely childless, living with mommy… ”
    Methinks this sounds much more appealing than marrying the person that wrote this.
    I have resigned myself to such a fate if it is indeed the cost of, you know, dignity and respect and all that stuff that us selfish Western Women demand.

  5. Itazura
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Bornskeptic
    I keep looking at your comment, and I can’t figure out what you are trying to say.
    Do you like Senator Cantwell or not? She is a role model to a lot of us, and we love her.
    This time I am not making a joke or being satirical.

  6. Posted June 15, 2007 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Wow! I have to take double-offense at this!
    First, I am offended by this horrible, racist asshole who puts out crap like this about women.
    Second, I have to say I’m mad that you would wrap everything about marriage in this guy’s horrible racist rantings. Are you really trying to say that marriage is horrible because guys like this are around spewing hate? That seems really unfair!
    I’m a feminist and I’m married. My partner and I have tried to make our marriage about the things that are important to us regardless of society’s stereotypes about gender roles. When we had our wedding, we did it DIY and on our own terms. We kept traditions we liked and threw the rest out. And I would argue that anyone can do that.
    I don’t think that you can say that marriage is about inequality and sexism simply because this one guy has a racist website. That’s like saying all feminists are angry lesbians with hairy legs. Everybody knows that’s a stupid over-generalization and filled with stereotypes.
    I love reading Feministing every day. But please consider thinking twice before you become haters of marriage as a whole. While I do believe it’s wrong that same-sex couples don’t have the same rights as hetero couples, I’ve poured my passion into trying to change the laws and systems that oppress them, rather than rail against marriage as a whole.
    We can reclaim marriage with a feminist agenda! And those of us who are married don’t deserve to be bad-mouthed for our choices anymore than those of us who are child-free by choice or who have had abortions deserve to be bad-mouthed.

  7. Surfedby
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Came by here via another site. I abhor the ideology that underlies Asian fetishists’ thinking but from my perspective as an Asian male, something comes to mind after reading these posts. If fetishist behaviour is categorized as being racist — meaning their desires are based on racist perceptions — then isn’t it also racist for non-asian women to, as a group, NOT desire asian men?

  8. Roni
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Itazura,
    The problem with joking on a forum like this is that it’s difficult to tell satire from something that is genuinely thoughtless and offensive without having knowledge of the person saying it. For instance, I could joke that I fell for my husband for his swarthy good looks and his commanding presence. If you don’t know my husband is pale and geeky that’s not much of a joke. As I don’t know you, I have to take your comments at face value.
    We do get trolls on here so genuinely offensive comments aren’t out of the ordinary. Also, some trolls will say something offensive then claim it’s just a joke so they don’t get called out. We can’t tell your comments from theirs on words alone. Furthermore, randomly talking about your sexual…tastes, the numerous mail order brides you know, and your objectifying, fetishizing co-workers really red-flags you as a troll because it’s incongruent for someone with such a misogynist social circle and to be posting on a feminist website.
    To be clear, I’m not saying you are a troll, or a misogynist, but the sum or your comments is really weird and off-putting. You may be a really progressive guy in real life, I don’t know, but the macho, de-humanizing stereotypes you’re commenting with are making a bad impression.

  9. Roni
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Surfed by – Absolutely, thought I’m not sure why you would lump all non-asian women together like that. But yes, if a non-asian woman refused to date any men simply based on stereotypes about asian men, that would indeed be racism. I don’t think anyone is arguing otherwise.

  10. Roni
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    As for the main post itself, I don’t know why men with various notions about “foreign” women being more feminine and less demanding don’t drop the pretense and get to the point:
    Yes, if you find a person who has been abused or oppressed* and offer them less abuse and oppression they will probably be grateful and happy. That way, you can abuse and oppress people and have it seem like they’re ok with that. You CAN do it, but it makes you a vile person. Also, if your victim ever realizes it’s possible to live with even less abuse and oppression than you’re offering, they’ll leave you in a hot minute, but hate you for the rest of their lives. Interestingly enough, people with less abuse and oppression aren’t willing to suffer your own special brand.
    This holds true for women and men both foreign and domestic.
    *Which should not be interpreted that all non-Americans are abused or oppressed more. However, I don’t think progressive, independent women from first world nations are what these yahoos are talking about.
    And yes, Itazura, I agree that women can theoretically better their situation by offering themselves as a mail order bride IF they can get out of a bad situation and use it as a stepping stone to get to a better one when they have no other option. However, while being expected to eat 1 lb. of feces is objectively better than being expected to eat 5 lbs. of feces, neither situation is objectively good. I would not call that feminist option because having to sell yourself to get out of a bad situation does not put you on equal footing as the man that bought you. Less unequal is a long, long way from equality, particularly in the framework of such a massively disproportionate power dynamic.

  11. ShifterCat
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like you haven’t been here very long, Sin City Siren. Plenty of us are married.

  12. onesong
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    That website made me sad. Not angry, not hysterical, just sad. I felt sick looking at all the anger and hatred that this person (these people?) have arrived at by what looks like years of bad experiences. I truly feel for these men who think that a “foreign” woman is the key to rebuilding their lives which are quite obviously crumbling all around them. Obviously, this sort of stereotyping and racism is awful and we SHOULD protest, but truly, did no one else feel sad?

  13. Itazura
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    “I would not call that feminist option because having to sell yourself to get out of a bad situation does not put you on equal footing as the man that bought you.”
    Actually if the mail order bride obtains US citizenship and the right to vote, then she does put herself on equal footing with the man who “purchased” her marriage vows. The different between sex workers from developing country’s and mail order brides from developing countries, is that MOBs can obtain rights through their marriage.
    My comment on MOBs from developing countries being good for feminism was based on the long term potential. But in general I think inter-racial marriage (and by extension biracial children) is good for feminism (but I may be wrong, as I have done no formal research on the topic).
    All my comments are designed to provoke thought, rather than provide facts. If I imply anything that is wrong, I apologize, and I will quickly admit that I had provided no sources.

  14. Itazura
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    “but truly, did no one else feel sad?”
    Sad for the men yes, but let forgive them, for they know not what they do.
    And lets work with the Mail Order Brides to ensure they get all their rights.

  15. Surfedby
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Roni, I mention it because, for the most part, it is the present situation here in North America. As a member of the Asian community, it’s a topic that’s been discussed to death and accepted as fact. Asian men fall to the bottom for all non-Asian groups when talking about dating, marriage, sex appeal, attractiveness, etc. fyi: http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/04/13/single-female-seeking-same-race-male/
    What’s odd, to me, is the amount of outrage directed at Asian fetishists, coupled with a complete lack of internal examination of our own racist attitudes when it comes to physical attraction. Pot calling the kettle black?

  16. Itazura
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    My son’s only 7, but he’s already got all the girls crazy about him, but he’s only half Asian.
    Here’s a short list of hot Asian Men
    Hyun-kyoon Lee; watch the movie “3 iron”
    Byung-hun Lee; Watch “addicted”
    Tony Leung; Watch “2046″, and “In The Mood For Love.
    Yôsuke Kubozuka; Watch “Laundry”, and “Go”.
    Kôji Yakusho; too many movies he has been in, but my favorite is “Warm Water Under a Red Bridge”.
    I’ll give more names later.

  17. Peepers
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get it, Surfedby. Nobody’s arguing against your point that it is equally unsavory to base a lack of atttraction on racist, stereotypic assumptions as it is to base attraction on those assumptions. Roni agreed with you on that. I agree with you on that. Am I missing something?

  18. Posted June 15, 2007 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Surfed by,
    You seem to be making a few assumptions there. I can’t speak for the validity of the article you linked. However, assuming that it’s accurate, the percentage of women who would avoid dating an asian man on racist assumptions aren’t likely to be the same ones commenting on a liberal progressive website. It’s not terribly fair-minded to infer I’m a hypocrite for opinions I don’t personally hold.
    When I was teenager, I covered the majority of my room with Brandon Lee posters, so I’m REALLY not the person to answer your question about women avoiding asian men.

  19. Surfedby
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Peepers, no, not missing anything. Roni’s post below yours is bang-on. I am in fact making some assumptions and I apologize to those who felt I grouped them all together. Didn’t mean to personalize it that way, it certainly wasn’t my intent.

  20. Jane Minty
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Surfedby, I understand it might seem that way but it’s like saying, “all American men are only attracted to big boobs, blond hair, and tan skin.” Sure, maybe the vociferously dull, dimwitted ones feel this way, but in my particular social circle at the moment I happen to have more non-Asian female friends dating, hooking up with, etc. Asian males than the other way around.
    To be fair, it took a long time for any “unconventionally hot” females to be fairly recognized for our awesomeness.
    Remember, it’s all about quality vs. quantity. :)

  21. Surfedby
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Ms. Minty, happy to hear about your social circle, hope the word spreads :)
    And trust me, I realize these are attitudes not held by everyone. The reality is that my own dating history only involves non-Asian women…not a choice, just circumstances and the mysteries of ‘chemistry’.

  22. Jane Minty
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I should clarify I’m not using “unconventional” to mean “imperfect” (because clearly race doesn’t determine whether or not a guy is hot). I was just trying to draw a parallel to the plight of another group that doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

  23. Itazura
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    “Furthermore, randomly talking about your sexual…tastes, the numerous mail order brides you know, and your objectifying, fetishizing co-workers really red-flags you as a troll because it’s incongruent for someone with such a misogynist social circle and to be posting on a feminist website.”
    Can I really be held accountable for the people I work with? Note that I did not claim that they were my friends. Had I known what kind of people I would be working with, I would have chosen a different career path. But for now I have to make do with what I got (I have a family to support ya know). Please don’t hate me because I know and work with conservative misogynistic men (and I will admit that a lot of them fit that bill).

  24. Jane Minty
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh Surfed, if you’re still following, I wanted to mention one more thing on the subject…some of my “western” friends have been treated brutally upon meeting their (Korean, Chinese) boyfriends’ moms. Comments about weight and wrinkles and not uncommon. Just sayin, this might have something to do with the whole issue (and yes, the thought I might be meeting my dude’s mom at some point also terrifies me slightly).

  25. Mina
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    “If fetishist behaviour is categorized as being racist — meaning their desires are based on racist perceptions — then isn’t it also racist for non-asian women to, as a group, NOT desire asian men?”
    Non-Asian women, as a group, includes lesbians who don’t desire Asian men because they don’t desire any men.
    It also includes many a monogamous straight or bi woman in a couple who doesn’t desire Asian men because she just desires the one partner she already has. For example, being thrilled enough with her one Asian husband to not want a whole harem of hunks of his hue. ;)

  26. Linnaeus
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    How about this–take away…the guys with small penises (ANYTHING less than 7 inches is UNACCEPTABLE)
    Uh-oh… :)
    Seriously, I knew this kind of thing existed in the abstract, but I got to see it personally when an office mate of mine displayed his “preference” in such an unethical way – which I’m not at liberty to divulge except to say that it wasn’t criminal – that I just didn’t want to be around him anymore.
    I changed offices and had an office mate who was an Asian woman and she mentioned she and others she knew had been recipients of his behavior. So he’d been getting around, it seems.

  27. Itazura
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    The first time I stated my preference (that I am an Asiophile, with a fetish for anything that is Japanese, Korean, Chinese; movies, comics, art, TV dramas, etc) was in this string. I have had the preference since I was 13 years old ( though in those days it was the accent, long dark silky hair, coffee colored skin, and dainty petite features that made my heart race). But the way you described your coworker and the way he expressed his “preference,” it sounds like he was sexually harassing you Linnaeus (and your female coworkers). I have seen a lot of sexual harassment at my work, and I have always put men in their place when I saw them act inappropriate toward women.
    I never really thought satirical blog post could be a form of sexual harassment. Sorry about that, if I caused anyone to feel sexually harassed, I deeply apologize.

  28. Michael u.a.n.
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Itazura, I guess we’ll chock it up to having very different senses of humour. Very, very different.
    Anorak! Cool that’s there are a couple of us from Aotearoa here. Keep fighting the good fight down here! Also, I don’t think you should have apologize to Itazura for not getting his “joke” about meeting me. Jokes are usually funny.
    I’d just like to state one last time that people should treat other people as individuals, not fetishes. Studying Japanese in university and working as a chef and manager at a sushi restaurant here in Auckland I encounter quite a few people (men and women) who interact with asian cultures on really disturbing, shallow or self-serving levels.
    Throughout uni men wouldn’t constantly talk about how easy it was to go to Japan and how popular all white guys were there. It was pretty discouraging to be studying a language and be surrounded by people who informed themselves of a culture primarily through anime and manga. The equivalent of wanting to know more about America and reading Marvel comics and watching Disney cartoons, there’s might be some good stuff there but it’s cursory at best. Mostly it provides people with a skewed version of cultural and gender identities.
    Japan has a tendency to popular among “geek culture” which isn’t all bad I suppose but unfortunately that has lead to a focus on sex, partially informed by imported media that’s not even that popular in Japan and partially informed by stereotypes developed from World War 2 and before. If we all just faced up to our ignorance of each other from the get go we’d probably be a lot better off.

  29. Linnaeus
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    But the way you described your coworker and the way he expressed his “preference,” it sounds like he was sexually harassing you Linnaeus (and your female coworkers).
    I should clarify, since I phrased my comment rather poorly now that I re-read it. My colleague didn’t do anything to me. I saw him interacting with someone else in our shared office; I suspect what was happening was borderline sexual harrassment, but I couldn’t tell for sure, if for no other reason than half the conversation took place in Chinese, which I don’t speak.
    This suspicion of mine was reinforced somewhat by my conversations with my later office mate. Basically, he’d hit on every Asian woman in his academic program. Was that sexual harrassment? Probably not, but his actions were rooted in some stereotypes about Asian women.

  30. Itazura
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    主人ã?¯ã‚ªã‚¿ã‚¯ã?§ã?¯ã?‚ã‚Šã?¾ã?›ã‚“。ã?©ã?†ã?žã??ã?£ã?¨ã?—ã?¦ã?Šã?„ã?¦ä¸‹ã?•ã?„。

  31. peachtree
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The NoMarriage site that is the original reason for this topic is mentioned in a press release from 2004. The PR was issued about one week before Sen. Maria Cantwell’s congressional testimony on the first IMBRA bill. In a bizzare twisted way, there is some sort of connection.
    http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2004/7/emw138739.htm
    Promoters of the INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER REGULATION ACT strategically link international matchmaking organizations with human trafficking rings in effort to gain bipartisan support.
    Strategic linking of marriage brokers with human trafficking rings aids in gaining bipartisan support for law intent on eliminating international matchmaking companies and websites.
    (PRWEB) July 4, 2004 — To gain bipartisan support for the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, we endorse the strategies of (1) using “womens’ protection” as the main theme of the law; and (2) claiming that American-based marriage brokers are part of global human trafficking rings, however unfounded.
    We also support provisions of the Act that will require brokers to conduct large quantities of consent verifications and background checks before American men can write love letters or make any contact with foreign women. These provisions will make it very difficult for American-based marriage brokers to organize those disgusting overseas introduction “parties” where women outnumber men 100 to 1. These provisions will also drive up costs to the point of putting most brokers out of business. In addition, this law effectively places “warning labels” on American men thus decreasing demand for them among foreign women over time.
    Although this law is long overdue (and hopefully not too late), we welcome the Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2003 as a means to regulating the often arrogant and brazen international marriage broker industry. This industry has gone from the fringe to the mainstream. The American male population is now overly exposed to the message that it is acceptable to desire and actually marry women “unspoiled” by American materialism and most troubling, “uninfected” by American feminism. This message may impede the progress of feminism here at home and give American men the idea that it is acceptable to not respect feminist principles that took so long to instill upon them.
    The marriage broker websites promulgate the “message” that American men are highly desirable outside the U.S. and can have access to women not intent on upholding over 30 years of hard won womens’ rights. These sites also offensively elaborate on the reasons for rejecting American women as part of a campaign to promote the desirablity of foreign women. We find this to be most appalling.
    Certainly, the existence of this industry is indicative of the sad state of romantic relationships between men and women in North America; however, it by no means should be allowed to continue unregulated. Sites such as http://www.americanwomensuck.com and http://www.nomarriage.com are problematic enough.

  32. Mina
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    “Actually if the mail order bride obtains US citizenship and the right to vote, then she does put herself on equal footing with the man who ‘purchased’ her marriage vows.”
    OTOH, how easy or difficult would it be for her to apply for citizenship. How easy or difficult would it be for her husband and her family to keep her isolated?
    I mean, I’ve heard of some cases where imported brides were isolated from local customs and freedoms even after being brought to the West.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/magazine/04berlin.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5090&en=2a16b54522cbc21d&ex=1291352400
    “…According to Necla Kelek’s research, they are mostly under-age girls who have been bought – often for a handsome payment – in the Turkish heartland villages of Anatolia by mothers whose sons in Germany are ready to marry. The girls are then flown to Germany, and ‘with every new imported bride,’ Kelek says, ‘the parallel society grows.’ Meanwhile, Ates summarizes, ‘Turkish men who wish to marry and live by Shariah can do so with far less impediment in Berlin than in Istanbul.’…”

  33. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Not to mention the financial situation, Mina. I bet financial equality would be difficult to obtain as a MOB.

  34. Itazura
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Just to be perfectly clear. I think marriage brokers and sex worker trafficers should be convicted of crimes against humanity, and thrown in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prisons for a long time.
    And if any desperate white men want native born Asian wives or girlfriends, then I recommend you go about getting one the way I did. Get a job that sends you to an Asian nation, date Asian women there, find one you like, establish a relationship with her that last for at least a year or 2 (or more), make an effort to learn her language, and then ask her to spend the rest of her life with you.
    It worked for me, and I am pretty sure it will work for anyone else.

  35. Michael u.a.n.
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure if Itazura’s Japanese comment was actually written by his wife or not. “My husband is not a geek. Please be nice to him.”
    I guess the only difference it makes is whether it’s cringworthy or eye-roll-inducing.
    Mail Order Brides and such are wrong because it hurts people who are actually in love and trying to immigrate into a new country. There are people who work incredibly hard to immigrate to other countries, obtaining qualifications that are needed and waiting long periods of time to immigrate. When someone skips ahead under false pretenses of a relationship they take a place of someone who actually is qualified to obtain citizenship.
    Finally: “if desperate white men want native born Asian wives or girlfriends”, then I recommend you reassess your priorities and attitudes towards human beings. Work on improving yourself and develop an ounce of self-awareness. Eventually you’ll find someone who will surprise you and your relationship will be better off because you didn’t search your partner out based upon some pre-held conceptions of beauty and race.

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