"I'll just stare at them for hours, as if I was Chinese and had never seen a foreign man before in my life." At least that woman wasn't as blunt as another colleague, who used to bicycle with me through the streets of Zhengzhou.
As we stopped on the corner of a side street and watched the mostly-male populous pedaling past us through the intersection, she grimaced. they just aren't." She sounded too casual for a woman who just dismissed the entire male population in China.
It seemed natural and normal to do the same in China.
I didn't know much about China back then -- a time when I could only communicate in Mandarin with a dictionary and lots of patience, and where my entire cultural knowledge was amassed from the library books on China I borrowed during the summer.
(So do black women, which is one reason why Viola Davis has repeatedly celebrated her protagonist's sexual desirability and prowess.) Short of personally evaluating enough members of a single race to form a statistically significant judgment on their sexual viability, we tend to rely on popular culture to shape popular opinion.
In September 1999 -- my first month in China -- I had a huge crush on a guy.
The audience laughed at the latter book in anticipation as Harvey took 15 seconds to gather himself. Not even a full 12 months ago, I wondered why an ostensibly “sorry about #Oscars So White” Academy Awards ceremony thought it would be funny to include a couple of jokes about Asians being good at math and sweatshop labor, plus an off-script gag from presenter Sacha Baron Cohen confusing the tiny dongs of ’s Minions for Asian men. It’s tired — so tired, in fact, that its origins can be traced all the way to the mid-1800s.
When I thought about my burgeoning crush for Tian, I figured it was no different from that college semester when I studied in Spain.
At the time I was only beginning to learn about negative stereotypes of Asian men that American TV, movies and the media had perpetuated over the years: effeminate, weak, nerdy and, worst of all, sexless and less endowed in a (ahem) certain department.
The woman who wrote that post never specifically said any of these things about local men in China, but she didn't have to. Then again, her post appears downright classy in comparison to what I've read in the free-for-all world of anonymous expat forums across China.
In the still, he's locked in an awkward slow-dance embrace with a girl an entire head taller than him, but that's not even the worst of it.
While she leans her head on his in perfect contentment, he has his cheek buried in her bosom while staring at it with a prurient curiosity that surely would have snapped the girl out of her reverie.