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Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 02:15 pm
YouTube as a way of thinking (about, in this instance, dating)

Steven Levitt, that freakonomic correlator of unexpected variables, tells us that in America (where dating correlates, apparently, to income and therefore allows the racial hierarchy to be quantified numerically), Asian males have to make $247,000 more than Caucasian males to get level with them as prospective dates for Caucasian females. (The income advantages necessary for black males and hispanic males to be as attractive as whites in the eyes of white American females canvassed in the dating study cited were $154,000 and $77,000 respectively.)

Recently I've become fascinated by the way YouTube "thinks through" this perceived inequality (the relationship of race to what Professor Robert Sapolsky would call "sexual attractivity, proceptivity, and receptivity in female mammals"). Because YouTube is, apart from everything else, a way of thinking about things. It's not necessarily the way I think about things (it tends to be a specifically American take), but I find it sort of fascinating. Let's start with a slick, semi-professional spoof film on the topic, Yellow Fever:



The explanations for their dating problems the Chinese-American males in this film mull (that white guys are tall, have more body hair, have good bottoms, etc) are echoed in this video of interviews with Asian-American female students, filmed on the Berkeley campus:



Reasons cited by Asian females in this vid for why they prefer white males: to go up a class, because white guys are tall, because Asian girls want to experience new things, and because Asian guys are too shy, too short, too feminine, too metrosexual. What nobody says, naturally, is: "Because there's a racial hierarchy in America and I've been socialized to internalize its values, thereby attributing all sorts of attractiveness to secondary characteristics which could be arbitrarily shuffled and rearranged should the pecking order change."

Now here's a view from a black woman annoyed by all the attractive Asian females scraping the bottom of the barrel for "homeless-ass-looking white guys" when they could do much better:



She thinks it's all based on a tragic misunderstanding: "All the Asian guys I talk to say that they want white girls because Asian girls want white guys. But I don't think that's true, because a lot of Asian people say that Asian people are bitter because Asian men want white women. So I think there's a little miscommunication going on in that." All we need, then, is a mediator to step in (perhaps this woman herself) and explain the misunderstanding to both parties. She seems a little frank and direct to be an ideal mediator or diplomat, though; she tells us at the end of the vid that when she visits a bubble pearl tea cafe where lots of whites-who-think-they're-asians and asians-who-think-they're-whites hang out in couples, she's like: "Please choke on your tapioca balls, please die!"

There are lots of fairly unhelpful videos, like this white-girl-dating-Asian-guy who doesn't see the problem, or this British Asian (ie Indian subcontinental) guy who puts the imbalance down to racism, but doesn't look at the problem of why racism doesn't impact the white-male-with-Asian-female combination as much. The person who answers this best, I think, is this girl, who sounds East European:



She sees it as being to do not with race but with gender; men are socially less intelligent and flexible than women, and therefore men can't date so well outside their culture, and outside their comfort zones. Women can also be successful in dating without being active; they just have to wait for approaches and select from candidates. And cultural differences (like Asians' less touchy-feely personal space conventions) disadvantage Asian males. The young, she thinks, can overcome these things better than older generations.



YouTube's "way of thinking" about these problems is a "folk" way of thinking because, although it can range from crass stereotyping to citation of academic studies, it generally doesn't stretch to any theoretical models, and at a certain point those models are necessary. For instance, I think the issue we've looked at today can more or less entirely be explained by the fact that the US is a society transitioning between figure 12.3 and figure 12.2 above, but still closer to 12.3.

65CommentReply

imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)

The study cited in the first para (and reported by Levitt in his book) is here.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)

Some more stats from the study, cited on this blog:

"White men did also tend to be at a disadvantage for dating minority women. A white man needed to make $220,000 more per year to be on a par with black men in dating black women, and $59,000 more per year to be on a par with hispanic men in dating hispanic women. When it came to asian women though, they needed $-24,000 to be on a par with asian men."

Some other attractiveness-to-income correlations:

"The ugliest 10% of guys would need $186,000 more income per year than the median income (around $62,500) in order to receive as many replies as the top 10% most attractive men. A man who is 5'8" would need around $138,000 more per year to be on a par with the average man who is 3.5 inches taller."

Intriguingly, it would be possible to work out a "Gini Co-efficient of Ugliness" based on these figures, giving each male a rating between zero (totally ugly) and one (totally not ugly).


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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
cerulicante
cerulicante
cerulicante
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)

As a half-Jap that gets plenty of dates with asians ranging from Japs to Chinese to Thai to Pinoy and enough girlfriends to keep him happy, I can say that nothing I offer here would do anything but smack of anecdotal experience. I must therefore recuse myself from the discussion.

(I can say, though, that since asian traditional families are much more homogenous in values and indoctrination, dating a white or black guy is a good way to get release from the bonds of asian social ties. An asian girl doesn't have to worry about the boy's parents judging her in an asian fashion and she can take a breather from her oppressive cultural environment that still expects her to be a wife at 28, a replacement mother to her husband and a slave to her mother-in-law for the rest of her life. Having a white man means being free of all of that. Whereas for white girls, there is no real benefit to dating asian, unless curiosity can trump the burdens of obligation. Asian men benefit more from their culture than asian women, as far as personal freedom and servitude/marital duties and roles go, so they have nothing to run from. Asian women have plenty to run from.)


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cerulicante
cerulicante
cerulicante
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)

I will state for data-gathering purposes that when I meet asian girls, I get the most success from not revealing my asian half and dumbing down my Japanese. If they know I'm half and hear me speak normally, I'm usually passed over in favor of a hairy, white US Marine gorilla with no care of Japanese culture or language.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand





pulled-up.blogspot.com
pulled-up.blogspot.com
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)

My fave asian crush is Guitar Brother in Funky Forest. I wonder how much money he has?


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pulled-up.blogspot.com
pulled-up.blogspot.com
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)

Mind you, I guess even he ends up at the Singles Picnic with only other guys...


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foucaultonacid
foucaultonacid
foucaultonacid
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)

manhunt profiles offer up an interesting point of comparison - not fats, femmes or asians is often repeated as some mantra of anti-desire - though some are polite enough to say, no offense but...

it's presented as personal, an expression of that which is individual and internalised and unchangeable.... but rarely do we see something oppositional, no whites, euros or butch muscle men, for example, that might speak to a plurality....


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niemandsrose
niemandsrose
Niemandsrose
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)

Betcha if there were a gay search site that operated in, say, French, for a non-Western clientele (North African, West African, Caribbean, etc.), you might find that "no whites, euros or butch muscle men" trope you're looking for.

Hey, wait-- does such a site exist? I confess I have no idea.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
veggiecircles
veggiecircles
Veggie Circles
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)

In the spirit of folk analysis:

Her head:body ratio seems larger than the average person.

My theory:
Her attractiveness might be the result the head ratio. Children also have high head:body ratios, and don't have big breasts. So she is an outlet for latent pedophilia -- you subconsciously see a child while consciously seeing an adult.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Rapeman or useless fruitcake?

Most women avoid Asian men for the same reason they universally insist on 'tall' on dating websites. They see themselves as passive territory and a trophy that men compete for. They want a dominant winner, threatening, and as arrogant, mouthy and brutish as possible.

In my experience, men who use almost-rape tactics get the girls. I'd include fame in that, for example. If you push a woman against a wall on a first date, and try to pull her bra off, you are more likely to get a return phonecall than a useless fruitcake running around like some hearts'n'flowers puppy.

The VAST majority of mixed race straight couples are:

Black male - White female
or
White male - Asian female

GOD HELP THE BLACK GAL who wants to get her DNA around a bit.


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georgesdelatour
georgesdelatour
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)

I'd love to know why most black-white relationships involve a black male and a white woman. Why this asymmetrical pluralism? Is there any society anywhere on earth that truly resembles 12.2?


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)

Women, understandably, want a masculine partner. The reason why Asian men can't date outside their race is because they're the least masculine. Short, low muscle mass, etc. Black men are the most masculine but are problematic in many other areas which keeps them from completely taking over. White men are a healthy balance.

Men, understandably, want a feminine partner. Black women don't date outside their race because they're the the least feminine. Too much mass, coarse hair, often coarse social manner. Definitely WAY too masculine for Asian males to even consider. Asian females are the most feminine, so can appeal to white males. But of course don't exactly fit our conception of beauty, so have not completely dominated.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)

ha ha I don't think things are so simple. Masculine and feminine are cultural constructs - you're seeing this through a very specific cultural lens. (A lens I am not much interested in and consider myself on the fringe of, if not outside of.)


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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand




brigitte_godot
brigitte_godot
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Momus is wrong again!

What nobody says, naturally, is: "Because there's a racial hierarchy in America and I've been socialized to internalize its values, thereby attributing all sorts of attractiveness to secondary characteristics which could be arbitrarily shuffled and rearranged should the pecking order change."

Because you know better than these women what turns them on, right, Momo? And if they don't, you (or Levitt), will make sure they toe the correct racial party line, right? Bask in all the self-loathing you want , white boy, but don't presume to speak for Asian women; to tell them why they feel the way the do, and why they are wrong to do so. That's not only a condescendingly racist claim in itself (the kind only white liberal professional anti-racists like you can muster), it's just more misogynist sexism. Yet another smug penis-equipped smart guy telling women why they don't know anything, even their own feelings and desires.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Momus is wrong again!

You're quite right, Brigitte, away with my former quisling relativism! From now on I shall simply assert that the white male is objectively, immutably superior, and that adoration of him -- of ME! -- has the force of nature. Women are sure to love me for being entirely unguilty, un-condescending, and not-at-all-misogynist. But mostly for being an utterly unapologetic WHITE MALE!


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robotmummies
robotmummies
ad reinhardt
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)

i want to date wuyiman, she is so cute
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
i'm curious about "folk ways of thinking" and youtube


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niemandsrose
niemandsrose
Niemandsrose
Sun, Apr. 19th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)

wow, she's so reconstructed, her cranium is larger than her pelvis.


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rogerlodge
rogerlodge
I'm A Vocoder
Mon, Apr. 20th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)

was this entry in any way prompted by the hipster grifter and the nyc media's semi-racist treatment of the story?


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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand






blogisblog
blogisblog
blogisblog
Mon, Apr. 20th, 2009 08:43 am (UTC)

I think the argument comes apart in your reasoning here of "attributing all sorts of attractiveness to secondary characteristics which could be arbitrarily shuffled and rearranged should the pecking order change".

I think the non-arbitrary character that is ignored in the argument is penis size.


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sidsmit
sidsmit
Mon, Apr. 20th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC)
Round-eyes besotted with Japanese women

I'm a white Brit married for 10 years to a Japanese woman.

I think the previous poster was correct: some races conform to sexual stereotypes (actually, archetypes) more than others. Issues such as tallness and non-hairiness are hard-wired, I suspect, and are particularly noticeable across the Oriental/Occidental frontier.

In fact I wrote a (published) novel about it. It's here, under 'China Dreams': http://sidsmith.co.uk/

(Brilliant blog, Momus.)


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krskrft
krskrft
Mon, Apr. 20th, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)

I think it's also important to remember that whites exoticize each other all the time, too, especially in America. Asking "what's your nationality?" (a fairly common practice in the US) is not unlike Koreans or Japanese asking each other "what's your blood type?" These intracultural data constitute fetishes of their own. And for white people of certain cultural backgrounds, forming relationships with outsiders is a risky proposition. Italians are often encouraged to date/marry other Italians. The same goes for Jews in a large number of cases, for Greeks, and even for the Irish. That a white male dating an East Asian woman somehow constitutes a more serious form of racial fetishization/escape/tourism/whatever doesn't really make much sense.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 20th, 2009 11:47 am (UTC)

I think another element of this issue is the history of an ethnic group within the larger historical narrative of the country.

Asians and tallness are a case in point. Anyone who has travelled to the Dongbei region in China or Hokkaido cannot fail to have noticed that the people in these areas aren't especially short, in fact they are often taller than here (Southern Europe).

However, early Asian immigration to Europe and the Sates was predominantly from South East China, where people are naturally short and this has shaped popular conception of what Asians look like.

Another case in point is Afro-american men who are eroticised in part because of all the bad boy clichés connected to them. Here, most black people are from the Carribbean and West Africa and the stereotype is that they are laidback and somewhat philandering (it is the Arabs who get typecast as the bad boys and there is a definite dating fetish among white girls who only date North Africans).


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krskrft
krskrft
Mon, Apr. 20th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)

Hmm, I'm not sure about "natural shortness" per se. Heights are increasing steadily as more and more of East Asia becomes industrialized--hence prosperous--and children receive more nutrition during their formative years.

The very elderly people in Korea are almost universally tiny. Just ridiculously short. These are the people who fought in the Korean War, and grew up during a time when the country was very poor. (A teacher told me that, when he was young, friends would ask one another "Did you eat breakfast?" as a common "How ya' doin?" kind of question. Now, they ask "Did you eat a lot for breakfast?"). People in their 40s and 50s are markedly taller, though still short by western standards, from growing up just as Korea began its steady climb to industrialized status. And a good many of the kids I teach at my high school are average height. Against my expectations, at 6'2" I am not even the tallest person at my school.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand

(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 20th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
as many euphemisms as I can cram in there

Well...there's the elephant in the room as well. In this case, the white man's elephantine member (as compared to the asian man's supposedly smaller wiener - I can only vouch for my own experience here and sadly I haven't seen them engorged). But again, it's the happy middle, although the black man's legendary pancreatic tickler shadows the white man's, it is simply too much for the dainty heart of the Asian female.
If I remember correctly, Momus, you seemed to be packing a handsome haggis in that naked picture you posted on Click Opera a while back.

My upper lip perspired just writing that.


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