Online dating Asian ladies: Why do creepy white guys only want to date them?

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Online dating Asian girls: Why do creepy white guys only want to date them?

Online dating is not online shopping. You can’t type in a list of what you think you want and simply find a ideal match, advises Dr Brooke Magnanti, who met her spouse online

By Dr Brooke Magnanti, formerly known as Belle de Jour

12:13PM GMT 22 Nov 2013

Data from the Facebook dating app, Are You Interested, has exposed strong and shocking trends in racial preferences of people using online dating.

Among guys, all races preferred a race different than their own. Hurrah for open mindedness, you might think? Think again – more like open season for racial objectification. Dudes across the board all preferred Asian women, apart from Asian boys, who preferred Latinas.

Groan. Cue a million stereotypes about how some groups of women are magically and uniformly “gentle” and “womanish”. Want to see this in activity? Go to Google, and begin typing in “[race] women are…,” and see what the autocomplete suggests as the most popular way of completing this statement. You get these gems:

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‘Asian women are gold diggers’

It’s pretty depressing stuff. Admittedly, the dating game is not equal and it is not kind. Dating site OK Cupid has carved out a nice little sideline in blogging about the statistics of their more successful users, to attempt to help people along the way, busting myths about what does and does constitute a good profile photo and whether eating oatmeal correlates with people you’ll like or drinking beer correlates with hookup on the very first date.

But noting trends is not the same as endorsing them – and some trends are simply disturbing. The sheer number of cack-handed replies women of Asian ancestry get on dating sites has even spawned its own dedicated tumblr, Creepy White Guys. Hilarious if you are simply an outside observer, and most likely pretty depressing if you’re someone getting these messages.

It seems the objectification is hardly limited to dating websites, tho’, as comedy movies like “What kind of Asian are you?” have achieved viral status.

It goes the other way as well, with women of all races preferring white boys, apart from black women who choose black fellows. Black boys get low response rates when they contact other races. The difference inbetween preference and prejudice may be a subtle one on the individual scale, but when you look at the trends, it’s clearly a problem.

This isn’t the very first time the phenomenon has been examined

Research from UC Davis by sociologist Kevin Lewis noted that apart from guys wanting to contact Asian women, people on the entire were less than keen to make contact outside their own race. According to his results, in some cases it may be fear of rejection playing a part in that reluctance. And that in its turn may be because some people online have had bad practices with feeling fetishised when someone contacts them: a real chicken-and-egg situation.

As well as race, online dating is famous for all kinds of social faux pas. When I was single and dating at least I didn’t have to contend with the horror of people fetishising my background, but that didn’t stop a breathtaking number of penis pics making their way to my inbox. (A peak: all penises look approximately the same. I know, I’ve done the hands-on research. A thoughtful online dater sends a pic of their face very first.) In fact my time on dating and hookup sites is notable for the fact that only one person ever indicated through his initial contact that he had in fact read to the end of my advert, and dear reader, I married him.

The impression that online dating is like online shopping, and lists of qualities add up to the ideal mate, goes against what we all know to be true in the real world: lists of stereotypes don’t work. If you are the sort of person who wonders why date after date goes badly wrong, could it be the stringent and frankly arbitrary rules – about race, or age, or income or whatever – that may be contributing to this?

We’d all like to think people would be attracted to us for our fascinating and sophisticated internal self, but it seems slew of folks are looking to tick a box. Fine if you’re surfing porn of a weeknight, less so if it’s a live human being you expect to interact with on anything more than a improvised basis.

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