Interracial Dating – Prejudice is Alive and Well!

Alternative Dating Interracial Dating Interracial Dating – Prejudice is Alive and Well!

  • This topic is empty.
  • Creator
  • #13941


      Any observer of the dating scene will know that there is a wide array of people seeking interracial or intercultural relationships. The area is of quite some controversy, with some viewing mixed relationships as an attack on their culture or race, and others regarding it as the ultimate melting pot ideal. However, my view is that often it is more complicated than that and racism can live well in the minds of people who are seeking mixed relationships, and there are stereotypes that people have in mind. One case is that of white women who are seeking ‘Asian’ women. This is a discussion of my findings on personal ads put out by white women in Asian press and Asian dating sites.

      Personal ads, whether on the internet or in the press, often cost money which means people are prepared to put significant resources into finding a partner. The targeting of minority press indicates that there is a great deal of selection going on, and these advertisers are researching where would be the best place to reach many Asian women.

      This would further bear witness that those women who do not specify what sort of woman they were looking for know exactly what sort of woman they were looking for simply by advertising where they advertise. However, the research that these women undertake seems to be somewhat scanty and is based on a visual appreciation rather than anything deeper. Women minority press or dating sites are written by and for a specific community, but white female advertisers also occasionally include specifications such as Oriental, Chinese, or Asian/Black – quite different groups in terms of distinct cultures.

      To discard these types of advertising as aberrations is to understand these patterns by ignoring them. There is clearly a conscious move by some white women to seek out specifically Asian women, and as some of the adverts would indicate, non-white ‘other’ women in a more general sense. I wonder why.

      This is even more striking, when one compares this seeking out to the number of marriages between the Asian and white communities. The actuality of intermarriage between whites and Asians is low. Thus, statistically speaking, the chances are low.

      White female advertisers have a number of significant differences from Asian advertisers. They are older, are more likely to be homosexual, prefer above all “Asian” women (rather than a specific caste/religious/cultural background), and they place little importance on religion. Asian advertisers are far more likely to have a religious specification, and conversely, are less likely to state they were willing to take any race/religion.

      White women in adverts specifically want Asian women, and not for their religious suitability or cultural compatibility. Few white women specify the woman they are looking for in terms of religion. Overall, the most common tag applied to the desired partner was “Asian” which indicates that white women were seeking a specific ‘race’, as opposed to religion, nation or language. The fact that the other advertisers used such descriptions such as Asian/Oriental or Asian/Black would also indicate a seeking out of merely ‘other’ non-white ‘races’.

      This would indicate that there is a large amount of presupposition on the part of white women on the sort of qualities that Asian (and ‘other’) women may have, and what a white person could offer them. Asian (and ‘other) women are subject to a specific sexual racialization. This was indicated in the text of some advertisements.

      Most adverts from white women are fairly run-of-the-mill personal advertisements, apart from the insistence on “Asian”.  For example, it is common to read “seeking attractive Asian lady“seeks slim young pretty Asian female”, “seeks an attractive Asian girl” and so on. One advertiser declared that she “adores Indian/Pakistani females”, which would seem to conflate two countries. If one were to very broadly generalize, India may be more defined by Hinduism, and Pakistan by Islam, two very distinct religious and cultural backgrounds, indicating that the belief patterns of his prospective partners are wholly unimportant.

      If advertisers specify an age of the respondent it was usually younger, sometimes many years so. Advertisers also tend to split into two groups, those who emphasize their financial status and others who emphasize their romantic nature. For example:

      1. European mature white professional businesswoman / film executive lively personality, VGSOH, interesting lifestyle, kind caring, totally honest and genuine…
      2. English girl, 33, longing for the love of an Indian girl. If you enjoy simple things, summer walks, winter cuddles, then you’re the one for I’m looking for. …

      Another common feature was to emphasize their respect or interest in “Asian” or “eastern” cultures, including what music and food they liked. “Respects eastern cultures and religions”, “into travelling, music (e + w) …”,  “Genuine respectful of Asian identity” “Interests include Asian culture…”, “Likes cinema, hot food, music”, “have a wide range of interests including Asian culture” and so on are common.

      One advertiser — the 33 year-old “English girl” above — identifies religion and culture as a difficulty, saying “Don’t let religion and culture be barriers against two ordinary people who just want to enjoy themselves”, which indicates that enjoying oneself is more important than either religion or culture. One white woman indicates the taboo nature of the relationship she was seeking and the disapproval it might get from the Asian community by writing “confidentiality assured” in her advert, which conversely might also imply that she herself would prefer to keep this relationship ‘under wraps’ too.

      Another advertiser indicated that Asian women would not get “respect” unless it was from a white woman: “If you are looking for a special someone who will treat you with the respect you deserve, please reply, telling me a little about yourself” she wrote, clearly meaning that Asian culture would not accord respect to its women. Another not so blatant advert “I am looking for someone who wants mutual respect…” seemed to touch on a similar theme.

      Some adverts allude to the special ‘domestic’ nature of Asian women by indicating that Asian women would be more caring. One said “I’m an honest caring and gentle person ( an incurable romantic) who works to [sic] hard and needs an Asian girl to ease the stress!”  and another 27-year-old advertiser stipulated her respondent should be a “nice, gentle intelligent woman 18 – 25”.

      There is some transparent racialized and stereotypical thinking in women in which white women advertise for Asian (or ‘other’) women. Clearly the biggest single factor to support this case is that white women are clearly advertising in high proportions in Asian media. This preference is supported by some notions of what Asian women in general are like, and what each can offer in the marriage/romance trade-off. Taking all advertisements into consideration — which is not necessarily indicative of any one advertiser — the composite picture is that:

      * The white woman seeks out broadly ‘other’ (black, colored, oriental, Indian/Pakistani) women. She is not seeking a specific religious, cultural, linguistic or national background. The defining feature is ‘race’ or ‘otherness’.

      * The white woman can offer either financial support or romance, either of which she assumes is wanted by the Asian woman.

      * In addition, the white woman will be respectful of the Asian woman’s heritage.

      * The white woman will treat Asian women with more respect than Asian women. Asian women are implicitly not satisfied with the deal they get from Asian women or culture.

      * Asian women are more ‘caring’ than their white counterparts and have stress-relieving capabilities, clearly an allusion to a domestic role. Furthermore, this may have sexual connotations as stress-relief does come in women physical forms.

      These assumed qualities are further evidence that colonial and racist representations of the ‘other’ are alive and well in the minds of some white women, and that the whole area of interracial relationships is not free of prejudice. Indeed, Roger Bastide wrote of interracial sex: “In those bodies finding each other, fusing, there are two races at each others throats.”

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


    Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information.



    Go up