On the Origin of WMAF
Why do Asian dudes get so butt hurt when they see their sisters with a white guy? It’s just a boring day , just like every other day you’ve gone out this week. Whether you live in an Asian enclave or not , you’re bound to see someone white. Your walking down the street in a lively suburban neighborhood , and suddenly you see this WMAF couple walking by. Your blood boils as the couple walks by , and your mental outrage is increasing by the second. You question if the couple is just like every other couple , but at the same time you see the visions of nefarious bullshit that the white dude did to be with the Asian girl. You question of the couple walking by is just another one of those fetish couples. But then they walk by , as you realize you can’t do anything , and the rage subsides.
A AMWF couple walks by as you cross that street. You look at the guy , and checkout the girl as you nod heads with the Asian guy. Deep in your heart , you got respect for the guy. The guy nods back , as both of you leave with a mutual sense of respect.
How can the reactions be so different between a AMWF couple and the WMAF couple?
WMAF is the third rail. There is probably no other issue that has acted as such a lightning rod for controversy within the Asian American community. There is no other issue that divides Asian Americans in the activism world , as well as the personal world. Theirs’s a ton of speculation as to why there exists such a comparatively high level of out-marriage among Asian women to whites versus any other minority group, but none that actually addresses how the disparity came to be. And in case you wanted some numbers to go with this , for those of you who are numbers inclined:
In the United States, there are 529,000 white male — Asian female married couples and just 219,000 Asian male — white female married couples, according to the 2010 U.S. census. http://cholakovv.com/en/blog/2450
That’s roughly DOUBLE the amount of WMAF couples then AMWF. If that’s not inequality , then I don’t know what is.
A Lil Bit of History
You should know by now that when Chinese immigrants first came to these American shores in the mid-19th century as underpaid laborers , at that time, they faced the same sort of discriminatory backlash that Hispanics face today from low-income, lower-class Whites who feared that they were gonna take “all their jobs”. These groups organized into political action bodies like the Asiatic Exclusion League and lobbied for laws to be passed that would limit immigration. Source: Asian American Masculinity: A Review of the Literature
One of these laws was the Page Act of 1875. Ostensibly designed to prevent the immigration of Chinese prostitutes and other “undesirable” elements, what the law effectively did was completely cut off the immigration of all Chinese women to this country.
Enforcement of the Page Act resulted not only in the reduction of prostitutes but also the “virtually complete exclusion of Chinese women from the United States”. In 1882 alone, during the few months before the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the beginning of its enforcement, 39,579 Chinese entered the U.S., and only 136 of them were women. Therefore, Chinese were unable to create families within the U.S. The Page Act was so successful in preventing Chinese women from immigration and consequently keeping the ratio of females to males low that the law “paradoxically encouraged the very vice it purported to be fighting: prostitution.” Not until after World War II was an appropriate gender balance established, because between 1946 and 1952 almost 90 percent of all Chinese immigrants were women. Source: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Page_Act_of_1875
What is this? This is basically a population control policy. So, of the approximately 40,000 Chinese immigrants that came to this country right before 1882 to break their backs doing the most menial jobs in this country (i.e., working railroads, washing clothes, and serving food to the White man), only 136 of them were women.
What happened to the rest of these men? They came over here and were turned into basically robotic farmhands and coolie labor, but were they at least able to find non-Chinese women to fall in love with and marry? NOPE.
Anti-miscegenation laws or miscegenation laws were laws that enforced racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage and sometimes also sex between members of different races. Such laws were first introduced in North America from the late seventeenth century onwards by several of the Thirteen Colonies, and subsequently by many US states and US territories and remained in force in many US states until 1967. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-miscegenation_laws
So not only were our Asian forefathers in this country forced to take on the lowest paid, most undesirable, most backbreaking manual labor jobs in the country, they were completely shut out of marriage and family life, and forced to die, childless and alone. That’s straight up genocide.
The definition of genocide is the systematic elimination of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious, or national group. Lemkin defined genocide as follows: genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation.
It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.
As you can see , genocide is not simply about just using artillery , guns , and bullets to wipe a group out of existence. It doesn’t have to be like the rwandan genocide in Africa. It is simply : The use of a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at destroying the cultural , language , feelings , and the dignity of individuals belonging to these groups. Laws such as the Page Act used to exclude Chinese woman from immigrating , and other anti-miscegenation laws used to forbade us from intermarrying with other races are major offences are a part of the coordinated strategies used to eliminate us.
There are actually 8 stages to genocide , as outlined by Gregory stanton, as presented to the United Sates Department of State. Asians have been divided into Us vs Them since we have first immigrated here. We have been symbolized and dehumanized with dehumanizing stereotypes that have denigrated us and made us out to be subhuman. Don’t believe this? The picture on the right , below is Micky Rooney playing yellow face of an Asian man. The character is not Asian anymore, but a dehumanizing image of the Asian ethnicity.
They have already organized against us , not in the form of special army units or militias , but in form of the law. What’s left? All that is left is for them to actually kill us. They already polarized propaganda against us , with the stereotypes of Asian men that they have been repeatedly used in Hollywood.
So what happened between 1946 and 1952? How did the gender ratios in the Asian American community become rebalanced, and why the hell were 90% of Asian American immigrants women? Well , World War 2 happened, and with it….. “war brides.”
During and immediately after World War II, more than 60,000 U.S, servicemen that married women overseas were promised that their wives and babies would receive free passage to the U.S. The US Army’s “Operation War Bride”, which eventually transported more than 70,000 women and children, began in Britain in early 1946. The first batch of war brides (455 British women and their 132 children) arrived in the US on 4 February 1946. By one estimate, 300,000 foreign war brides came to the United States following the passage of the War Brides Act of 1945, of which 51,747 were Filipino.
The birth of the WMAF pairing is rooted in American white GIs heading off to Asia to kill our Asian brothers in our motherlands, and carrying home with them Asian sisters as trophies. Not people , but trophies. Spoils of war. This was the first significant wave of immigration of Asian women into the US after the Page Act of 1875, and almost all of them were married to White men.
About 650 Japanese war brides migrated to Australia after the ban on Japanese migration, imposed at the outbreak of the Pacific War, was lifted in 1952 when the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into force. They had married Australian soldiers involved in the Occupation of Japan.
Now, consider the situation of the Asian man living in America at that time. For decades, you have endured in this country, working demeaning jobs while dealing with constant racism, vilification in the popular press, and outbursts of violence from angry white mobs. You were unable to bring your wife over from Asia thanks to the Page Act, and laws prevented you from even thinking about marrying with any Whites. You’ve consigned yourself to a lonely, hard life, but at least it’s a life.
Chinese men hurt white men’s ability to earn money, “while Chinese women caused disease and immorality among white men”
But now you see this flood of Asian women coming into the country, but they’re all hitched to white guys that participated in the killing of your brothers, fathers, and uncles abroad. You can’t touch any of them, and you still can’t find any love or happiness outside your race, because anti-miscegenation laws would not be repealed for another generation until 1967 in Loving v. Virginia. Meanwhile, you’re still confronted with daily images and media propaganda that you’re fundamentally a vile human being, alternately sexually deviant and asexual, who no woman in her right mind should consider marrying because society has considered you subhuman. They want to eliminate you.
Still think Asian dudes are too bitter? That we’re too angry? The sound of protesting can be heard already. But it’s different now, you say! Anti-miscegenation laws have been repealed, new waves of Asian immigrants were allowed into the country, and American society is totally a post-racial utopia! Funny!
The Truth is we are scarcely two generations removed from an era when openly racist laws were put into place to systematically wipe out Asian men, and World War II, where many of our existing brothers and sisters were thrown into concentration camps, regardless of whether they were Japanese or not, or born here. Meanwhile, the only Asian women coming into this country were the wives of American servicemen from wars conducted in Asia, in numbers that would forever have drastic inter-generational impacts on their ethnic communities.
When the Korean War ended in 1953, small numbers of students and professionals entered the United States. A larger group of immigrants included Western princesses married with U.S. servicemen. As many as one in four Korean immigrants in the United States can trace their immigration to the wife of a serviceman.
Meanwhile, we still face the same sort of media representation and emasculating stereotypes that came into being during the anti-miscegenation era to discourage intermarriage with Asian men. WMAF, on the other hand, has become totally normalized in media and Hollywood.
There are many , many , many more. Theirs enough enough space here to show them all , but you get the point.
You can argue that we shouldn’t be upset about the latter, because the pairing is merely a reflection of reality. Sure, I don’t argue that it’s reflective, but that reality is formed on the basis of racism. The Civil Rights Movement is not ancient history, many of our parents were ALIVE for Loving v. Virginia. The fallout from racist media campaigns and legal programs to cleanse Asian men is still reflected in the structure of a 21st century society that still mirrors the openly racist society of the late 19th/early 20th century — Asian men at the bottom (now entry level management), Asian women with White men, quotas to suppress our numbers in school based on fears of an Asian horde invading classrooms( Affirmative Action), and emasculating stereotypes being propagated and reinforced through all media channels for new generations of Americans.
The other issue that explodes when WMAF couples are discussed is the way that AF act towards AM. Although both genders have a lack of well known, positive role models in the media, Asian guys are far more stigmatized in everyday life with horrible stereotypes that Asian women do not get stigmatized with. However , the blasphemy behind WMAF couples are the Asian girls that reinforce and even encourage the stereotypes , the racism directed at asian men , even though AFs should be the most understanding of AMs.
Why do Asian Males react with anger every time their is WMAF?
Interestingly, some participants were most bothered when they saw Asian American women of the same ethnicity as theirs date white American men more than they were bothered to see the women date, say, African American men.
The stronger reaction to white American interracial dating is most likely a response to the very skewed numbers, meaning the white American males represent their main source of “competition” for Asian American women to date. What is more likely, however, is that white American males represent the privileges of hegemonic masculinity that place Asian American men as sexually unattractive.
However, participants were careful to explain that they were not racist, which reveals a complex attitude toward out-group dating. Participants upheld the individual freedom for people to date whom they wanted and also emphasized that racial harmony is an ideal. Their frustration, however, was with the skewed direction of out-group dating and, presumably, a frustration with being socially marginalized based on social identities outside of their control so that hegemonic white American males could enjoy more privileges.(Chen, 1999; Cheng, 1999; Connell, 2005).Source: “Being An Asian Male is really hard actually”
So to the Asian women who are also reading this: Please understand that when you see that Asian Man on the street give you the stinkeye for walking down the street holding a white dude’s hand, it’s not because YOU don’t have the right to choose who you date or fall in love with, but because your relationship is a painful reminder of a NOT TOO DISTANT PAST when Asian men were specifically targeted for slow genocide through institutional and cultural means in this country. WMAF couples are simply a symbol of oppression. That means, right or wrong, you’re always going to face questions from the Asian Male community over the nature of the relationship, and if you can’t empathize or understand where we’re coming from, don’t be surprised when we don’t seem too sympathetic about so-called “yellow fever” and “fetishism.”