Myths About Asian Women That Make Dating Difficult

April 22nd 2016

Dating can present many challenges, but Asian women often face unique difficulties when it comes to meeting someone because of stereotypes and myths surrounding their ethnicity in popular culture and media.

There are many misconceptions about how Asian women conduct relationships and their own lives, a subject many Asian women have confronted, including comedian Margaret Cho and YouTube star Anna Akana, who is mentioned below. Here are some myths about Asian women that are perpetuated in the media.

1. She's submissive.

As ATTN: noted before in a recent video, many people subscribe to the myth that Asian women are all submissive and subservient. Akana confronted the absurdity of this notion in a 2014 video titled, "Why Guys Like Asian Girls," jokingly showing off her toned arms to contrast the idea that Asian women aren't strong:

The 2012 documentary "Seeking Asian Female" also debunks the myth that Asian women are all submissive. The film follows an older white man named Steven, who sought to marry an Asian woman after seeing Vietnamese women depicted as subservient in film over the years. He met a young Chinese woman, Sandy, and quickly learned that the submissive stereotype did not apply to her.

"At the end of his 10-year search, he found Sandy, from Anhui, China, who was half his age," Debbie Lum, the director of "Seeking Asian Female," wrote in a 2013 piece for The Huffington Post. "After moving to America on the K-1 fiancée visa, her youthful, innocent exterior gave way. For Steven, the real-life experience of Sandy's emotional, controlling and fiery temperament was still quite biting."

2. She's sex-crazed and better at sex than women of other races.

It's well-known that some people have fetishes around Asian women. In fact, "Asian" was one of the top search terms worldwide among porn consumers, according to Pornhub's 2015 Year in Review report. Sheridan Prasso, who penned the book "The Asian Mystique, Dragon Ladies, Geisha Girls and Our Fantasies of the Exotic Orient," told Lum for her Huffington Post story that Asian women are "fetishized more than any other fetish."

These fetishes, however, are partially tied to a sad reality for many Asian women. Lum wrote that some of these ideas seem to stem from Asia's large sex trafficking business. Lum stressed the importance of remembering that "not all Asian women are prostitutes."

3. She wants you to speak to her in only her Asian language.

Akana highlighted this nuisance in her viral YouTube video:

Other Asian women have expressed a distaste in being addressed this way as well. Last year, writer Jackie Hong explained in a VICE column that she wishes people would stop greeting her with the phrase "Ni Hao" simply because she is Asian:

"I'd understand if this happened to me somewhere where Mandarin is an official language, but every single time, it's been in the streets of a North American or European city. Is it so novel to see an Asian person in the flesh for some people that they desperately wrack their brains, think, 'Fuck it dog, life's a risk,' and blurt out the first Asian-language phrase they can think of? Do they think that I'll be impressed by their poorly pronounced two syllables in language spoken fluently by millions of other people? What makes you think I can't speak English?"

She added that anyone wishing to practice a language they're learning ought to take a class rather than make assumptions about another person's background based on that individual's appearance.

4. She's smart and obsessed with school.

Asian women might be appealing to some because of the stereotype that Asians are intelligent. While it's not typically viewed as a bad thing to be considered smart, some Asian people are fed up with this stereotype. In 2014, UC Berkeley student Hailey Yook wrote a piece for the independent student-run publication, The Daily Californian arguing that the "Asians are smart" stereotype feels incredibly "limiting and oppressive" to her as an Asian woman:

"I feel as though I, along with others, am boxed in by this stereotype because even though it’s easy to just ignore assumptions that I’m as smart as I’m 'supposed' to be, it’s hard to ignore that I’m regarded as smart only because I am Asian. And it’s even harder to ignore that I’m not 'Asian enough' if I struggle academically. Stereotypes are inevitable, but something like intelligence can be so important to a person’s life that attributing it merely to race and disguising it as a compliment is more than a stereotype — it’s an outright insult."

Moving beyond the myths

Akana put it best in her YouTube video. She said that men who only want to date Asian women are only interested in the idea of dating an Asian woman and probably aren't interested in getting to know who she really is.

"Yellow fever is when the only prerequisite for me to become your potential partner is the color of my skin," she said. "That's cheap. That's offensive. You're an asshole. Go away."

Check out ATTN:'s video below about the unfair portrayal of Asian women in pop culture:

RELATED: The Racial Stigma of "Asian Eyes"

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