White male – Asian female (WMAF) pairings are the third rail. There is probably no other issue that has acted as such a lightning rod for controversy within our community. I always see tons 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. Disciple888-sunbae is here to correct that. It’s time for a lesson in real Asian-American history here, folks.
As y’all know, 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 we were gonna take “all their jerbs”. These groups organized into political action bodies like the Asiatic Exclusion League and lobbied for laws to be passed that would limit immigration.
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: Wikipedia: Page Act of 1875
Holy fucking population control policies, Batman! 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.
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. Fuck population control, THAT’S STRAIGHT UP GENOCIDE.
Genocide is the systematic elimination of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious, or national group.
Source: Wikipedia: Genocide
So what happened between 1946 and 1952? How did gender ratios in the Asian American community become rebalanced, and why the hell were 90% of Asian American immigrants women? Well, a little thing called 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.
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.
Approximately 43,500 war brides went to Canada accompanied by some 21,000 children. The overwhelming majority of these brides (some 93%) were of British origins, because Canadian soldiers were mostly stationed in Britain, and had been there since 1939. Indeed, the first marriage between a Canadian serviceman and a British bride was registered at Farnborough Church in the Aldershot area just 43 days after the first Canadian soldiers arrived in December 1939.
Source: Wikipedia: War Bride
The birth of the WMAF pairing is rooted in American white GIs going off to kill our Asian brothers in our native countries, and carry home with them Asian sisters as trophies. 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.
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.
Now you see this FLOOD of Asian women coming into the country, but they’re all hitched to White guys that were participating 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 until 1967 in Loving v. Virginia, still a generation away. 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.
Still think Asian dudes are too bitter? That we’re too angry?
I can hear the protests 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!
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. I sometimes hear 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 I’M STILL FUCKING UPSET BECAUSE THAT REALITY IS RACIST AS SHIT. 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 pogroms 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, and emasculating stereotypes being propagated and reinforced through all media channels for new generations of Americans.
Still think we don’t have it “as bad” as other minority groups?
So, sisters, please, PLEASE understand that when we give you the stink-eye 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. That means, right or wrong, you’re always going to face questions from our 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.” Yes, it’s wrong, yes, we should all care more, but until YOU CARE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF YOUR PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY, you do not get to point fingers at us and blindly call us “misogynists” and “women haters”, okay? Deal?
Whew, glad I got that off my chest.