Since I documented my experience with real Asian women in my previous post, I felt it only fair to document my experience with real Asian men. While the trope of a strong Asian woman (Dragon Lady) does actually exist, there is no such male counterpart--instead, Asian males are seen as nerdy, unathletic, and, in their own way, submissive. But rather than be submissive to the opposite gender, they are instead submissive to the Caucasian and White American members of its own, that Asian men underperform, are socially inept, and are irreparably geeky. While this trend has seen a welcome reversal in recent months with the “discovery” of sexy Asian men, there are still misperceptions that should be corrected. After all, most Asian men are not singularly in either the nerdy or sexy category--as with every other race, there is no need to fit in one particular box. All humans fall along a spectrum scale, and Asians are no less deserving of this same distinction. A real Asian man is a son, a father, a brother, a grandfather, a best friend, a boyfriend. Like every other man, Asian men are strong, ambitious, creative and heartfelt, caring and sometimes a little thick-skulled. Without any further ado, here are my experiences with real, brilliant Asian men, within my family and my own inner circle.
My father has been my inspiration for most of the decisions I’ve made in my life. The only one among his siblings to come to and stay in America, he has successfully made a life for himself as well as for the rest of his family. Plowing ahead despite the challenges, his steadfast and headstrong manner is something I’m proud to say I have gotten from him.
My brother is, in a word, persistent. Exercising excellent discipline and demonstrating iron will, he has shown maturity much greater than his teenage years. He is both tough and sensitive, with an innate tendency towards leadership and befriending shyer classmates.
My grandfather is a youthful spirit in a wise, old body. He learned how to type after he was already a grandfather, teaching himself even later how to use the computer, navigate the web, and effectively utilize a smartphone. Our home is filled with countless of his inventions and ingenious devices--I still have the board game he made up for us out of bottle caps and an old piece of cardboard. He weaved a wire fence by hand for his balcony to keep the pigeons from the potted plants he nurtured from near-death with his miraculous green thumb.
I am lucky enough to be able to also call my best friend my boyfriend. His sense of humor and patience have pulled me out of many a dark mood, and he never ceases to surprise me with how affectionate and thoughtful he can be. He is passionate about the things he loves and full of new ideas.
It is not enough to look at the outer shell of a person and presume to place him or her in a category without delving further. Physical appearance may be the first thing you see, but there is so much more to Asian men than the worn-out tropes and well-trodden stereotypes, as there is to any man, and to any member of any race. I am blessed to have these people in my life--these are the real, genuine Asian men, free from airbrushing and crude caricatures.
Reflect on the Asian men you know and consider again whether there is any truth to the stereotype set forth by Hollywood and Western netizen culture. It’s easy to see that, when compared to real life, the clichés simply hold no water.