I’m always amused whenever a middle-aged white guy writes to me asking me if I’m single, which, in the last couple of years, has been happening fairly regularly. For reasons I have yet to determine, it appears I give out “Asian mail order bride” vibes. At times, I don’t know whether to remove all my pictures from the web or simply say, “Hey mate. I’m not the right type of Asian girl for you.”
Not just because I’m married.
I think it is a white male fantasy fuelled by Hollywood depictions of us, Asian chicks, (Cue: Suzy Wong, the Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha) that we are all docile and subservient. That may be true of Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino women – and even among them I’m sure there are many exceptions – but Chinese women in general are renown for being tigers, not just as mothers but as spouses.
Ask any modern Chinese mother-in-law and she’ll tell you that her son listens to his wife just a bit too much for her liking. Aside from bringing home the bacon, many of our men cook, care for children and contrary to all the studies done on male participation at home, help around the house. If at all they do none of these things, it’s likely that we, as tiger spouses, have failed to train them. Either that or we must have been stupid to have picked someone who resists training. It does seem harsh but yes, you read correctly: stupid.
Comparing notes, we say to each other, “That stupid so and so, working like a dog for her good for nothing beep beep beep.”
Nodding, the most probable rejoinder to this would be, “Yes and she should just kick him to the curb.”
While our other Asian sisters take immense pride in how few hours of sleep they get catering to the various tastes and needs of family members, we get a thrill every time someone turns to us and says, “Wow. Your husband can not only make money, but he cooks and cleans too?”
One of my friend’s husbands not only makes enough for his wife to stay home reading magazines all day, he calls when he is about to leave the office to ask what she’d like him to buy home for their dinner. Another cooks and cares for his children on his off-work days so his wife can have some time to herself. Defying gender stereotypes, many are so hands on with their children, you’d think they don’t have day jobs.
I’m not a white guy but I’m betting the Chinese tiger is not the type of girl one hopes to land when one goes searching for an Asian woman online. At any rate, should I return as a male in my next lifetime, I will probably go for a Vietnamese, Thai or Filipino girl. Why? Because in my next lifetime, I’ll still need someone who brings home the bacon and cooks it too! Don’t you notice how hardworking Vietnamese, Thai and Filipino women are?
The typical Vietnamese woman is expected to help support the family, cook for all her husband’s relatives while her man goes out drinking with his buddies. In Australia, she typically owns a bread shop, a nail salon or perhaps one of those $10 a hair cut places. Filipino women will help their men by running a highly successful take-away shop. Thai women I’ve observed have jobs as masseurs, hotel cleaners or restaurant operators. If I marry any one of them in my next lifetime, I’ll be at the back of the shop, sitting next to the till, counting money. No fierce, controlling, ball-breaking, Chinese woman for me.
Even HRH likes to joke about wanting me to be a good “Japanese wife” just to rile me up. He’s says I’m cute when I’m angry.
“What is that?” I bark.
“Someone who makes a nice warm meal for breakfast, bento boxes for lunch, washes my feet when I come home…”
“And?” I eye him with one raised eyebrow.
“And nothing,” he smiles. “I love you just the way you are.”
Now there’s a smart guy who knows it’s best not to piss off someone you have to sleep next to for the next forty years.