Recently I was forwarded this op-ed piece and parody guide about dating for an Asian-American girl in the US. And 5 months ago Mark Zuckerberg’s marriage with Priscilla Chan caused a storm of uniformed racist comments on the Internet.
I think it’s high time we address the pink (Ooh probably Asian!) elephant in the room: I’m an Asian American young woman living in United States, which means I get hit on VERY often with racial pick up lines. I also live in San Francisco, where it seems like I can never not see at least one interracial couple with the female being East Asian walking down Valencia Street.
Allow me to share some choice words that have been bestowed upon me or my fellow Asian American lady friends by men who were attracted to us:
- “Hey! Do you like fried rice?”
- “Do you know why I like Asian girls? Because they’re tighter.” (Please do not ask me to explain that one to you)
- “You’re a very pretty Asian girl. Have you ever made out with a white guy before?…Would you like to?”
You get the idea.
Once upon a time I complained to an ex about this, he said he totally understood where I’m coming from but explained to me that these guys are just sleazy creepers who will say dumbass things to any woman. I responded with “No, you’re missing the point.”
When I see a particularly attractive pale man with blonde hair and blue eyes, I do not approach him with “Were you grandparents Nazis? Because you look really German. Or Swedish maybe. And just letting you know, I’m just really into super white guys.”
I have lost count of how many strangers have walked up to me and say “You know, my ex was Asian” thinking that would just really turn me on. I am curious to know how many and how often non-Asian women receive similar lines.
The thing is, racism is never okay. There is no appropriate time or occasion for it, not even when trying to pick up a hot chick on Friday night at a bar.
A lot of you reading this right now might assume that I heard such ignorance only from white American guys. Wrong. Some “people of my kind” who are males don’t necessarily come up with anything less stupid.
A few weekends ago, an Asian guy catcalled me on the street and yelled “Ni hao ma?” His friend had the courtesy to elaborate, “It’s hi in Chinese!” I hear this all the time from males who think my response would be immediate heart-pouring in an exotic language (This unrealistic fantasy is realized in the 2012 Fiat Superbowl Commercial). I just expected Asian guys to know better than that, but that stereotype was proven wrong on my part.
Digital pick-ups were just as bad as in-person come-on’s. When I was on an online dating site, I received messages from Asian guys very similar to this paraphrased one- “Hey, just wanted to drop you a line because you seem like a really nice conservative girl with traditional values, and I personally think family is really important too.” I thought I composed my profile to let my fun and quirky personality show through, but they arrived to that conclusion from descriptions such as “I grew up playing video games with my brother” and “My alter ego is a blend of Beyonce and Tina Fey” naturally because my pictures convey that I am indeed East Asian.
To be fair, here’s a sample line from a non-Asian man: “Hi hello kitty! ^o^ You’re so kawaii! >;;_<;;” Good rhyming and usage of Asian emoticons though!
And based on personal experience so far, more Asian guys than non-Asian men are unsatisfied with my answer of “San Francisco” to their question of “Where are you from?” There are follow-ups like “No, where are you REALLY from? I mean, are you Korean? Japanese? Chinese? Vietnamese?” Across the board, some men apparently think nailing down the specific category of Asian I am might help them advance on the path into my pants.
Anyway, back to The Point- So, say I’m a girl whom you don’t know at all but you would like to get to. I completely understand that your options of opening lines are limited to a very superficial level, but men frequently choose to connect with me through my race. And that is not okay, nor is it effective!
Don’t get me wrong. I like being Asian. I am proud of it. And I also enjoy being hit on when it’s done properly. I just wish guys would stop trying to get my attention and affection through that one single aspect of my individuality, which I have no control over nor have I worked hard to achieve.
So here are my general guidelines for straight single men trying to talk to ANY WOMAN you’re physically and or psychologically drawn to:
- Compliment her on her looks or outfit but be specific without being creepy. The words “You’re so hot/gorgeous/beautiful” are so overused and trite, but you might be the first guy to tell her “I really like your modern haircut” or “Your necklace is really cool” this month. Just don’t cross the line over to sexual like “Your ass/cleavage looks amazing in that dress.”
- Smile and say something along the line of “Hey, how’s it going? My name is _______.”
- Observe her behavior for a while and try to find something relevant to say or ask or joke about. For example, if she’s watching a sports game, ask for her predictions of how it will turn out. If she’s waiting to order a drink at your neighborhood bar, ask her if she has had your favorite drink there yet. Joking around is always good provided that she shares your sense of humor.
Of course, the circumstances have to be right: If she also thinks you’re attractive and seem worthy of her time just from your mannerism, then you have your foot in the door. If she doesn’t, then you’ll get a polite rejection or obviously snubbed, but you’ll know to move on. It’s a pretty simple gamble with potential high payoff.
When it all boils down, aren’t we all just unique human beings trying to find some love in this world with another special person?