I first noticed this a few years after working at an Asian company. All of my Asian women co-workers were/are married to non-Asian men, but all my Asian men co-workers were/are married to Asian women. I found it quite surprising, and being pretty close with several of my Asian co-workers, I decided to ask them why it was so. That said, I also know when to stop prying, as the reaction I got from my co-workers made me feel just as uncomfortable as they must have felt. You see, I’ve made pacts with my co-workers to be open and ask me anything about my culture, and in turn, I would be able to ask them anything about theirs. I can’t say I blame them. I guess if they asked me a question like, “why do so many black men marry white women” or “why are so many black women single?” I would be slightly uncomfortable. However, I’d do my best to answer the question, and I have because I have been asked it occasionally. Actually, I’m so used to reciting it, that it just sort of comes out sporadically even if the conversation is even barely touching on the subject. I guess I’ve just come to accept reality 🙂
Still, answers from my co-workers like, “hmm, I haven’t really noticed that,” or “I’m not sure” weren’t/aren’t very satisfying me. So I will attempt to answer that question from what I’ve observed. That said, I can be wrong as two left shoes, but honestly speaking, I think I’m on the right track.
My office is full of Asian men, and their particular culture is notorious for workaholism. These guys work tirelessly from dawn til past dusk. A regular day for these men is coming in the office at 8 a.m., and working 8 hours, not excluding regular duties and breaks like everyone else. But when people like me are leaving the office at 5:30 p.m., these guys are just getting started. Matter of fact, they go out for dinner, and come back to the office, to spend another 3 or 4 hours working (usually corresponding with our overseas parent company office). One young man I know in particular seems like he lives in the office. And if you can believe it, he’s married. I could just imagine the emotional and physical alienation that he and his wife must experience in their marriage. I don’t know how many times I’ve (somewhat) jokingly urged these guys to go home and be with their families, but they just smile and go back to work. Its a really difficult concept for me, an American, to understand. But in their culture, any less than what they do, would be shameful. I can understand suffering shame, so I try to keep that in mind when I get an urge to scold one of them for working so late. Still, it can’t be easy for wifey.
That is just the culture though. Another factor that has driven a wedge between Asian men and women in the States is the fact that Asian men are more likely not to change their ways, so when Asian women living in the States discover non-Asian men who work regular hours, can take them out on dates regularly, compliment them, introduce them to their friends and co-workers (as that doesn’t really happen in this particular Asian culture), and basically make them feel like they matter, they are much more likely to go with choice B. Case in point: when I visited this particular country, I was out having dinner with all of my friends, a good number of them married men around my age, I found out that one of their anniversaries was fast approaching. When I asked my friend what he’d gotten his wife for a present, he said hadn’t, and when I tried to help him think of something to buy for her, he just stared blankly and stated that he had no idea what she liked or what she wanted because they never talked. 😯 I couldn’t believe it, but I was later told by another friend that saw my surprised reaction that it is normal in their culture not to talk to each other.
That’s not to say that there are not couples from there that are not in love and don’t converse. You will always have lovebirds anywhere you go, but on the whole, marriage in that country seems to be more of a mechanical necessity devoid of any real emotional attachment. No wonder the birthrate is so low. When people aren’t in love, they’re not having sex. When people don’t have sex, they don’t have babies.
So yeah, my theory is that many Asian women probably feel that the grass in greener in dating/marrying non-Asian men. So where does that leave black women, who are also being “picked over” by black men? I don’t think black women would be any more happy being in a relationship with an Asian man who doesn’t seem to cherish her. Perhaps the key market for us sistas is Americanized /Westernized Asian men? Yep, I’m thinkin’ so…