Editor’s Note: This is a satirical response to Christine Ma-Kellams’ “K-dramas cured my prejudice against Asian men” op-ed and does not represent NextShark’s views. The opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author’s.
As a mixed white and Korean woman who saw Asian men being incredibly romantic in K-dramas on TV, it informed my dating practices.
*Warning: Sarcasm ahead.
Here’s a confession I’ll make unabashedly: In college, my friends would always say that I was the one who was most likely to hate on white men.
Honestly, hating on white men was just something that came naturally to me. As a kid who would watch K-dramas every night with my family, I just felt like white men weren’t for me. Our favorite K-dramas were “The Vietnamese Bride” and “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho,” and there was one thing that stuck out to me: Asian men were a different kind of man than what I was used to. Asian men would wait until they really fell in love before they would tell the woman. They didn’t use their words superfluously but would instead use their actions to demonstrate their feelings. And once in a relationship, they would show their love in all kinds of ways, similar to how any man on this planet shows their love but somehow better.
I would ask my white father why he wasn’t the heir to a conglomerate and why he didn’t shower my mother with expensive gifts. I didn’t understand why he would always go golfing instead of saving my mom from an inevitable car crash.
I tried to turn my father into the Asian men that I would see in K-dramas to no avail. I would teach him Korean words that would’ve brightened my mom’s face, but his accent was horrendous. I tried to teach him to be a stoic man who showed love through his actions, but my white dad’s love language is unfortunately words of affirmation. When I failed, I went to my room and vowed to never marry a white man who refuses to figure out if he is secretly from a rich family and can’t pronounce simple Korean words.
Plus, all white men look like my dad and cousins, so honestly, it would be like dating a family member. But it wasn’t until I watched a Hollywood romantic movie, like, “Titanic” or something that a lot of white people watch, did I realize that really all men are the same and Asian men aren’t actually superior. Leonardo DiCaprio letting Kate Winslet potentially throw herself off of the side of a boat? Peak romance.
Did I end up dating a white guy though? No — I am engaged to a Vietnamese guy but, you know, I did consider it.
On a serious note, while Christine Ma-Kellams is bringing up an experience that most Asian women go through in her op-ed, do we really need to continue with the narrative that Asian women refuse to date Asian men? While her journey to self-acceptance, because that’s honestly what it really is, is relatable, did it necessarily have to be documented and presented to the world to further show that Asian women don’t find Asian men desirable until confronted with their own internalized racism?
It isn’t an Asian woman’s fault for having self-hatred, of course. Western media has contributed to not only Asian women but women in general in believing that Asian men are unattractive and unmanly. But, the notion and idea that you refuse to date within your race because your dad acts one way and the men on TV act another is ridiculous because that’s the same for any race. As she mentions, Korean men don’t act like the characters in K-dramas, and white men aren’t Hollywood heartthrobs. You think Brad Pitt is as romantic as his character in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” where he loves one woman his whole life? No, as a reminder, he infamously cheated on his wife Jennifer Aniston with his co-star in the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” Angelina Jolie.
White people don’t think of the opposite gender as looking like their family members, but Asians do, particularly Asian women. Some Asian women talk the most about how they don’t find their counterparts attractive, and it definitely has to do with a larger issue of systemic racism, but can we all just stop now? There really is no need to document how much you hated Asian men to the point where you were voted to “Most Likely Bag on Asian Guys.” We don’t need to know that you hated them that much. Do we see white women writing op-eds about how much they hated white men in the past? Like, you could’ve kept it to yourself. You know those articles where white people are like, “I was racist, and now I’m not”? It’s very much giving that vibe.
The one thing that Ma-Kellams and I can agree on, though, is that representation matters. We do need more Asian men in lead romance roles, but Asian women also just need to come to the realization that Asian men are like every other man: as Doja Cat would say, ain’t sh*t. Stop preferring one sh*tty kind of man over the other.