ASIAN AMERICAN ISSUES
Relations between Asian and Non-Asian Women
veryone has an opinion on how Asian women are perceived by men. Reflecting those stereotypes across the gender line, we might assume that non-Asian women would see Asian women either as sexual threats (the exotic temptresses/sexual predators stereotype) or objects of pity and condescension (the passive victims of sexist cultures stereotype). Or, inside the halls of academe and of corporate America, perhaps as superhuman competitors for grades and promotions (the grinds-with-no-lives stereotype).
Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 05:03:16 PM)
Friend or foe?
In actual social encounters such preconceptions translate into a plethora of mostly subtle but detectible responses -- hostility, wariness or exaggerated solicitude. In extended dealings these attitudes might subject Asian women to excessive amounts of malicious gossip, campaigns of isolation, or an effort at taking under the wing or even outright domination.
These types of negative interactions are common enough that, in an effort to neutralize them, Asian American women seem to have evolved distinctive personal styles. Many AAF make a point of being unusually aggressive and outspoken in social interactions. Others flaunt their educational or economic status. Still others take a take-no-prisoners tack and play the ultra-feminine siren capable of punishing rival females by turning their mates into yo-yos. Some manage to adopt all these tactics and become alpha females against whom resistance is futile.
But of course not all interactions between Asian American women and non-Asian women are of the arms-length variety. At times these women also do relate to one another as best friends, sisters-, daughters- and mothers-in-law, collaborators, teachers, doctors, students, attorneys, fellow soccer moms. Each such relationship introduces aspects of Asian women that defy easy stereotypes but may nevertheless reveal the peculiar role they seem forced to accept in American society.
Not that all non-Asian women start with a negative impression of Asian women. We kick off the reader comments with a post from a woman with good reason to want to see warm relatioins between AF and non-Asian females.
We invite women of all perspectives to air their perceptions, concerns and observations on relations between Asian and non-Asian women. Men are prohibited from posting here.
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WHAT YOU SAY
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Sad and Torn;
Vietnamese people have this problem with saying sorry. I'm Viet, but of the younger generation, so this is not a problem for me. I've noticed this for a long time; my parents actually never said sorry to me, ever (even when i was small, and accidents happened, like a car door slammed on my finger or something, they would just look at it then say it's fine, nothing's missing)!
If his parents suddenly become nice to you, i guess that would be because they're trying to say sorry. If it smooths over, just let it, don't get cranky over words. Viets don't go too much on words, they show. If they love you they show it. If they really hate you, they show it (if they slightly hate you, you wouldn't know it). Well this is for the older generation. I've actually asked my mother if my father ever said anything cheesy to her (as in love poems), she said she didn't need anything from him; true love is felt, not said. From this you can see i guess, it's in the actions and feelings more than words (i guess they learned that words could be lies).
At the end, i guess they're just looking out for their son. I have friends in similar situations. I doubt your husbands father meant submissive, although he might have used that word. The women in Viet society have a lot of power. My mother actually runs most of the household, and also most of my father's assets. And this is true for most families i know; this is due mostly to heroines in Vietnamese history who gathered a lot of respect for women over the years.
I think your father in law is actually threatened by you. You're successful, meaning, if your husband was to ever become succesful, rumors would say that the only reason he succeeded was because of you. And in turn, this threatens them. If you can show that you're not a threat, you're fine.
Again, this is only a theory...
I think polygot's suggestions are better... Use mine only as a last resort... Don't trust me unless necessary ;D
Monday, March 31, 2003 at 23:16:45 (PST)
Sad and Torn,
A nice sorry from his parents would be nice. But i think they have difficulty expressing it. There's a bit of pride, a lack of english to complicate things. This is where your husband should step in and tell his parents how YOU feel, that you want good relations with them and harbour no ill feeling. I think people from both sides should open up their feelings a bit, and get it out. Don't expect to win them over overnight, it takes time. In the mean time, i don't think you should lose any sleep over them.
Saturday, March 29, 2003 at 07:05:34 (PST)
The way they've treated you is BS, plain and simple. It's tough when your parents feel a certain way, b/c you have little control over that. All we can really control is our own attitudes and behavior, and we're simply born with our parents. On the bright side, I think if you hold your ground, your happiness will help allay their fears and things should get better with time. Frankly, it's their problem, not yours..
Friday, March 28, 2003 at 14:24:47 (PST)
I have never visited this site before today. I am a WF married to an AM. He is the nicest man I know. The problem I am having is with his family. I'll give you a little background. We had been together for about four years (living together for 3). I am divorced and have a daughter. Whenever we would go to his family's house they were always nice to me and my daughter, but then his father would take him to the side and tell him he needed a submissive (vietnamese) woman like his mother. I, on the other hand owned a business and had been on my own for about 6 years. So, even though his father was nice to me, he didn't want us to be together.
His mother was very nice to me, but her english is terrible and she would always speak in Vietnamese. Some of his cousins would tell her that was rude, but she would do it anyway. I know it was just easier for her.
Now comes the engagement...they were all shocked. Why? We had lived together for 3 years. When it came time to get married we decided to go out of state and have a small wedding. We invited both of our families to join us. My husband was very hesitant on inviting his parents. I didn't understand. Well, when he asked them to join us they were so mad. They blamed it on us not having a Catholic wedding. They tried to make him have one. I'm not a Catholic, nor do I plan on becoming one.
We get married. No one from his family was allowed to come. They forbid even his grown brother and sister to come. My whole family was there. He went for months without speaking to them. They actually disowned him. Until Christmas time rolled around. Did they actually think we would come? Oh, I missed a part. In between the wedding an Christmas, I had a miscarriage. They knew about it and never called us. I was actually pretty sick and in the hospital. They never called.
Now comes the present. I am 9 mounths pregnant. He has been going to visit every now and then. Doing some shopping for his mother who does not drive. I stay at home. Now, I am almost due and she is trying so hard to buy us things for the baby. I honestly don't need anything. She is buying anyway. I'm sure I'll have some returns. The hard part is my husband is wanting to take the baby and share it with his parents and I don't think they deserve it. He loves his mother a lot and it does make me feel bad, but on the other hand look at everything that has happened. I am at a loss for what to do. She never has told me she was sorry and that was mostly what I was looking for. Now, I feel it is too little, too late.
I'm sorry for rambling. I guess I'm just emotional right now.
Sad and Torn
Friday, March 28, 2003 at 05:21:37 (PST)
I did forget to mention something very important that I need to acknowledge. I did have the wonderful opportunity of being in one interracial relationship group. I was there very briefly and I was very quiet though. I have always been kinda shy, and plus with all of this I have been feeling...its been tough to say much. Well, much positive stuff. I can ramble on and on lately but its tough to be uplifting. So anways, the name of the group is Elitusnubiusjadus. Tazhiker was sweet and so was some other people too. Her relationship is very inspiring. I just need to take a break right now from the PC and sort everything out. I just had to mention that to show that there are some welcoming groups out there...even though I have encountered a few some that were not as open and welcoming or friendly. Okay, once again. Everyone take care. If anything positive happens from this whole thing...I will be singing my heart out like a bluebird! LOL!
Once again everyone, take care...
Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 18:23:13 (PST)
"Thanks" and the "Editor" is right. This is a discussion board for women. I still really really appreciate the wonderful supportive words from "ITMFL" and "Vietguy in Houston". I wish there were more discussion here between all women on issues of interracial relationships, regardless of their colors. I still strongly believe there is one thing that all of us as women on this board share...we are all in interracial relationships, and deal with the struggles of it along with the joys. I wish there was more regular talk about it. I really would like to hear experiences from women here. I know that my situation kinda sucks. Alot of interracial relationships go really smoothly, and some don't have as many bumps in the road. I read some relationships that seem to be very successful...like for instance Happy Clam, and that wonderful lady that I never had the chance to know "Hannybunbun", and there are many others like them too...like Cali girl, curious girl, and Joy. I can't remember all of them, my memory is very bad right now. I have a headache, and I am feeling very down. I have tried joining a few groups that deal with interracial relationships. I don't know what it is, but all of them are a certain way....well, I am not complaining really but its like you have to fit in. You have to be a certain way, and fit in. Whether its color, age, current relationship sitation, family status etc. There is somewhat of a strict criterior that some of us just never will meet. It really kinda sucks. I don't really fit into any of them I guess. And believe me, its not that I haven't tried because I really have. I won't say specifically what it is...but I think I am not imagining things. I am sure everyone that has tried knows what I am speaking of...and its sad. I hate to sound like I am whining, because I am not trying to come off in such a way. I just know that its so freaking divided and I don't understand that. I don't understand why? We all have in common this thing right? And should'nt that go way beyond whether someone is Asian or Black or White or Hispanic or Racially mixed? Well, I won't ramble on anymore. Someone name "apple pie" mentioned here once that we all can have gripes about other cultures...but we should talk about it and learn from it, or something like that she was saying. Alot of people took what she said in a negative way. They didn't see what she was trying to get across about how we should try to communicate and talk things out. I see what she meant by that now. It really does make alot of sense. I think I am gonna lay off the PC for a while and take a rest. I am really tired and need the rest. I have so much on my mind lately and need to take a break and sort things out in my life. I really hope that someday there will be a place where "ALL" women, no matter what race or background or social financial status...can all get together peacefully and maybe talk about the joys and sadness of their interracial relationships together. Because when it really is out in the open...all in all...we are all women. Call me crazy for feeling this way, but its just how I feel. Silly divisions mean nothing when you really think about it. Love is love. I really love this man with all my heart and I can't seem to see past it right now. It is so hard to put into the right words. What attracted me to this place? I thought we all shared the common thing of being in interracial relationships...marriages, boyfriends etc. or whatever. I also came here to learn from everyone else and hear their experiences and how they are coping...or what made their relationship successful. I thought we all as women could maybe talk about it. Instead it seems to be a place where everyone just wants to divide and pick each other to pieces...like its a big game. Some of us here have true feelings, and people like me tend to wear them on their sleeves. I guess that is just how this world is, and there is nothing we can really do about it. Its life. Hopefully it will change someday. If not here, then maybe somewhere else. Everyone take good care of yourselves. We are women. And when it comes to the heart there is no color. For those of you who are in relationships with men of a different culture, and maybe even have kids with him?...I wish you the very best blessings to absolutely all of you and to your families.
And I want to especially acknowledge and send my condolences and heart out to Hannybunbun's family. I know that she and her baby are bright and beautiful angels in heaven....
I know that I didn't have the chance to get to know her. But I still have a heart that feels. And I feel deeply for people. I wish many warm blessings her family & most importantly to her sweet little boy.
Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 09:38:56 (PST)
I have a friend that is living in South Korea. I didn't really tell her what happened during that past week. I know that shes my good friend, and we share alot together. I felt a little uncomfortable telling her all that depressing stuff that happened. She was already depressed about some things with her boyfriend lately. So, I didn't want to make her feel any worse than she already did. I wish she lived here in the states, because I don't really have any close female friends here. Most people already have established close friends from their childhood. So making new ones is usually out of the question. And then when you do try to make friends with some women, they gossip and talk behind your back...or say hurtful things to you. Its hard to be friends with women. I have one friend in Korea, one in Senegal, one in England. And I live in the USA.
I guess I have to look at it like this... he and I are friends, so maybe hes all the friend I need. I trust him with absolutely everything. I feel that I am still open to making friendships with women...I am just more skeptical now. I feel like I have to be less free with myself. Some people just want to take advantage. That makes it really difficult.
still hoping and praying.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 14:31:51 (PST)
"Viet guy in Houston's comments were kind, however isn't this a forum only for women?
Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 10:23:15 (PST)
[Yes, it is. We made an exception because he was responding to a post that seemed to seek male as well as female responses. --Ed]
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