{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Talked to a mutual contact today about a role I’m applying to in Asia. (We are both white Americans, he is an expat in Asia.) He warns me, unprompted, to think carefully about the decision to relocate because “white men can date the local women but white women can’t date the local men, so there’s a much smaller dating pool.” What do you think ladies? Well-intentioned advice or racist sexist BS?", "post_id": "5f8fb60c370bd4002981719c", "reply_count": 49, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting", "feed_type": "bowl" }
null

Talked to a mutual contact today about a role I’m applying to in Asia. (We are both white Americans, he is an expat in Asia.) He warns me, unprompted, to think carefully about the decision to relocate because “white men can date the local women but white women can’t date the local men, so there’s a much smaller dating pool.” What do you think ladies? Well-intentioned advice or racist sexist BS?

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I lived in Asia as a white women and it is unfortunately generally speaking true. Plus most of the white men there tend to be interested in Asian women which narrows the pool even more. At least you only need one though :)

likehelpful

A lot of things like this are in delivery and tone. Appropriate delivery: “I don’t know how much this will matter to you, but I do want to give you a heads up as you are considering this role that I’ve noticed American women often have a hard time dating here”. MAYBE they could add that the expat pool feels small and men seem more likely to be able to secure local dates. It sounds like this person failed to present this in a helpful sounding way and fell on a lot of stereotypes to describe something that could have been described more neutrally, and maybe worth giving them that feedback.

I don’t think it’s wrong to warn people about dating scenes and cultural norms when they are considering such a big move. But people need to learn to keep it a bit more objective.

likesmart

EY - I’ve spent time abroad too and I understand why you say this is reality. But people talking about it in this way reinforces those dynamics, not to mention that assuming that dating life will be a top priority for a job choice for a woman is inappropriate and annoying.

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Both. What he’s saying is true and is a good heads up. But it’s also sexist. But unfortunately, that’s just how it is.

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To clarify a bit, his comment rubbed me the wrong way because:

1. This person has no knowledge of my relationship status. So him bringing up dating prospects as a big factor to consider for my career came out of nowhere and clearly a gendered response. Could not imagine a man being told to reconsider an incredible career opportunity because of the dating prospects.

2. The racist views that Asian women are highly desirable and fetishized, especially by white men, whereas Asian men are undesirable feed into many people’s beliefs and dating behaviors. It seemed very weird for him to say white women just “can’t” date Asian men like it’s a law.

3. My boyfriend is Asian and planning to relocate with me if I get the job. I know plenty of non-Asian women in happy relationships with Asian men and vice versa (including in the country where this guy is based).

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1. It is pretty normal to assume someone is single unless they talk about a relationship or have a ring. Of course they could be wrong, but we would be paralyzed in life if we didn't make 1000s of assumptions everyday.

Did he tell you to reconsider based on this information or did he simply give you that information so you could make your own decision with as many details as he could provide?

And if he is a male thinking about this, obviously it is important to him. Why do you think he wouldn't give a male colleague the same information? Moreso if it was the reverse situation?

2. You seem to be inserting your own perspective on top of his. I think he could have worded it differently, but from what you shared, it just sounded like an observation to me. Not an opinion or judgement.

3. How would he know that? Did you openly share? Not saying that you should have or ever need to, but I feel like you're either not describing the interaction well or you reacted negatively and are grasping at things to paint the whole exchange in a negative light.

smarthelpful

That's how some Asian cultures are, it's just honest.

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There is a nuance between American Asian vs Asian as well. I don't think any of the folks in here were saying 100% of the time X is true but things happen enough for there to be some hard truths. When I was in Hong Kong, I definitely experienced discrimination for being a Mandarin and not Cantonese speaker. It didn't happen with everyone or all the time but enough for me to notice and local friends confirm this is a norm. Whether it's right or not is a separate discussion. Mindsets of Americans vs Asians or Asians vs Asian Americans are different and you can sometimes see as generational differences. To ignore this is the same as saying "I see no color."

likehelpful

I don’t understand though. I don’t think it’s a complete racist advice though because the person can be relating from personal experience

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I agree that it's not racist. But I don't see how it's not racist just because he directly experienced that. That doesn't really have anything to do with it

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Yes, it is sexist of him to bring up dating prospects as a factor in your decision making and quite shallow- “Boys won’t like you there!” It is offensive. However, it is true that in the parts of Asia I visited I observed white men were put up on a pedestal by Asian women bc they found them highly desirable even if they were significantly below average 🤷🏽‍♀️ I didn’t see too many white women with Asian men but it could have just been the places I visited in Asia.

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I can’t even keep track, but if you google it this is a real phenomenon. It’s not someone drawing broad strokes based off their experience. SA’s original comment as a fact may be racist if you say it is true for all, but if you look and do research there is certainly a trend that would suggest there is such a thinking in the current culture. Am Asian for what it’s worth.

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I would be appreciative of the unsolicited advice in this case. Maybe he could have presented it in a different way, but if I was planning to completely uproot my life, I would want people to "warn" me about things I might not have considered.

Maybe it's the can and can't that rubbed you the wrong way? Instead of a I noticed / I didn't see type of comment?

I don't see it as racist of it reflects what he experienced. But again, maybe this can/can't language put it in the context of implying some sort of racial code that he implemented or agreed with I stead of an observation on the local norms.

If the roles where reversed, I would want the same information if I was a heterosexual male.

But wrong of him to assume you were single or even heterosexual.

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It's the dynamic that plays out.

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BS. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Know of many couples in both situations.

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In my experience, true.

What did he mean by white women “can’t date the local men”? I don’t understand that comment

So he speaks for every Asian man in that area now?

I think it was helpful advice. As a black woman in America, when I look at expat roles I Google what dating there is like. I’m a single black woman in my 20s,so yes I want to date. And, there’s a lot of countries that hate Black people.

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