When I was in my second year of university, a stranger approached a friend and me on the streets of Melbourne, asking to photograph us for his website about interracial couples. A little taken aback, we told him we weren't together but had friends that might fit the bill. He went on to explain that many of his friends were Asian men who thought Anglo-Australian women just weren't interested in dating them.

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How old am I: 37

Music: Reggae

Smoker: No

Asian American masculinity has been linked to the model minority myth and a hierarchy of racist stereotypes. I used to believe it myself. Until I moved to Korea when I was 23, visiting for the first time since my adoption at age two, I dated only white women. As an adoptee with white parents, whiteness was the model of desire I knew.

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We just date and have sex, same as my past relationships.


It is offensive because I am an individual and you have a preference for my race, not me. I really like this one! It is also available in Chinese. Then they casually made their way out of the store. I swiped right and messaged, Hiin the in-app messenger. A worm of irritation slinked into my chest. The article is part of a collaborative series by SBS Voices and Sweatshop : Western Sydney Literacy Movement which is devoted to empowering groups and individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds through training and employment in creative and critical writing initiatives.

Two Caucasian men were looking straight at me.

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I mean what are you? Next Show Grid. Next Hide Grid. Once again he made me feel sick.

Kellie chauvin and a history of asian women being judged for whom they marry

I have dated outside my ethnic background and navigated differences in culture, religion, class and family expectations. I remember being 12 and shopping on Oxford Street with my mum. I was determined to make this white man see.

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I loved the culture. First contact confirmed my preconceptions: He was eloquent, or as eloquent as someone can get on a dating app. I had been on this supposedly classier version of Tinder for about two weeks. Sweatshop is directed by Michael Mohammed Ahmad. I went to Vietnam two years ago.

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I messaged back. up to our newsletter. By Lieu-Chi Nguyen. Stay connected with Voices Stay connected with Voices. To my surprise, Justin responded to my last Bumble message about an hour later: I just prefer Asians. Furthermore, you used my language without knowing the connotations behind the words. Gai on its own has connotations of the sex industry.

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These men sprout pseudoscientific explanations for this image, claiming that we have higher oestrogen levels, meaning we also look younger and smaller and are biologically more desirable as a result. Tell me about yourself. I was shuffling through dresses at a discount clothing store. As a hijabi, my nudes tend to be from the neck up Dating apps have given us so much choice and so much power but no rules.

Justin was thirty-one and a corporate professional. As a junior doctor, it is rare that I stay in the same place for more than a couple of years and I was due to move in the next few months — Bumble was just my way of social profiling. Vertical Tabs Newsletter. He can write in full sentences! I thought to myself. You are gai dep. My first thoughts about Justin had been wrong. I was born in Canada and can speak French. He was white with curly black hair and grey eyes behind wire-framed glasses. I smelt the sickly-sweet smell of beer and looked up. The emotional toll of my secret dating life I have dated outside my ethnic background and navigated differences in culture, religion, class and family expectations.

All this and more, which was too complicated to explain to Justin via dating app.

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I was impressed. This fetish is a particularly sensitive subject for Vietnamese women which goes back to the Vietnam War: our mothers and grandmothers were visible to the West as prostitutes or mistresses to Allied soldiers, notably fictionalised in the musical, Miss Saigon.

I stared at him but said nothing.


In Social. He seemed like a gentleman. They both had crew cuts and sleeve tattoos that stretched up over their arms. Lovely to meet you, he wrote back. The shorter one had bloodshot blue eyes. I groaned as all the s I had ignored collided like pieces of Tetris and sank deep into my gut. The stereotype of a publicly docile woman who is a vixen in the bedroom enhances the idea that all Asian women are there for white male consumption. I suddenly felt cold and still. He was now scoring very highly on how to piss me off with the least of characters in the shortest amount of time.

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SBS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia. I put the phone down, tense. None of it was easy.

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Keep up to date with our latest stories. I can tell from the way the person talks to me, the topics they choose to speak about, the manner in which they treat me, the tone with which they discuss race, if they discuss it at all. Perhaps it was because Justin was well-educated and seemed eloquent, qualities I erroneously linked with being fair-minded — that is to say, not racist or sexist, that I kept trying to argue my case, even though it was past midnight.

Over the next few hours, in between my two lo of laundry and meal prepping, we messaged about the weekend, our careers and future plans. The flipside of the docile Asian stereotype is evident in the flashing dating that adorn the sides of these articles: East-Asian women smiling demurely at the camera, a contradictory message that Asian women are hypersexual objects: exotic, erotic, commodified.

'good-looking for an asian': how i shed white ideals of masculinity

It was a Saturday afternoon and I was sitting in bed browsing through Bumble. Where are you from? Next. I doubted that if I had been a white woman or a white man, he would have used the same description.

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He told me he had a Masters of Economics from a university in Canada. Being sweet and docile is an image that prevails about Asian women in Western culture. In Vietnam, men met gai in bars where they sat on their laps and sweet-talked them, unbeknownst to their wives at home.

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I knew I was safe inside the shop with its security cameras. My legs, bare under my cotton sundress were cold every time the store fan rotated towards me. I smiled.

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