Multiracial Relationships and Asian American Identity

A few days ago, I read a fantastic article on The Toast, called, “You left your culture at the door”: Relationships, Misogyny, and Asian American Inside Baseball,” which is a conversation about the racial implications of an Asian American with a non-Asian partner (by the way, if you’re not doing so already, you need to follow Nicole Chung on Twitter, because she is a fantastic writer and advocate for Asian Americans and also really funny and inspirational).

This is a topic I think about a lot (being married to a white guy), and I think it’s really important to examine the complications of blending two cultures, especially when one culture is marginalized and the other isn’t, as well as how multiracial children will deal with that facet of their identity.

Here are my favorite quotes from the article:

  • “I actually wonder/worry a lot about my kids over-identifying with their non-Asian heritage, because it would be easier in so many ways. They’re already getting plenty of not-at-all-subtle societal messages about whose culture matters most.”
  • “[In response her tweet that read: My biracial Asian American kids have never seen a single kids’ movie or show starring girls who look like them] The most common derailing response to this was “WHAT ABOUT MULAN???” (Everyone needs to just stop with Mulan. I enjoyed it, but it was made like 20 years ago, it’s not without its issues, and my kids are neither Chinese nor monoracial.)”
  • “I can’t deny that I do sometimes have reactions to seeing white men with Asian women. I worry that there’s some kind of fetishism at play, and sometimes I also reflexively internalize it as “why do they think Asian men are ugly?” — which is completely irrational. However, I can acknowledge that this comes from a) my own deep insecurities about everything physical about myself, and b) my anger about actual fetishism, none of which makes me think I have the right to police individual Asian women for their choices.”
  • “And there are times when I do feel a twinge of discomfort over the fact that my relationship plays into that white guy/Asian girl trope at all, even though I know that’s not what it really is. Of course I don’t like thinking about my marriage, the central relationship of my life, as a stereotype — but at the same time, I’m not oblivious to how the world works.”

But really, go and read the whole article.


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