Generally, the pressure to split up comes from the family since, after all, in China, marriage is a family affair.There was one Chinese boyfriend who told me, flat out, that his parents would never accept me.You’ve been called midget, Tiny Tim, Grumpy and all the other names.You watch women – even women who’re around pass you by to date taller men. But you know what’s unattractive on aspect of your life.The thing is, as with many other masculine insecurities, this is predominantly in our heads. Worse, I’m the shortest of all my friends who range from 5’1o” on the short side, to 6’7″ on the tall side.
CFL is like a tidal wave of American men in love with Chinese women, with only a rare American woman/Chinese husband surfacing to break the monotony. Several years ago, when my husband enrolled in a New Oriental class in Shanghai for GRE prep, the instructor warned all of the Chinese men: “If you’re going to study abroad, prepare for four lonely years.” The underlying message was, don’t expect to fall in love — but be pleasantly surprised if it happens.Fortunately, their ideas changed when they met me in person!On the other hand, there are Chinese men — and their families — who would be happy to have a foreign woman in the family. For example, my good friend in Hangzhou, Xiao Yu, once told me that some Chinese men cannot overcome their feeling of inferiority — that being an American girl, a citizen of one of the most powerful countries in the world, made my presence somewhat intimidating.I don’t doubt he loved me in the beginning — but once his family knew, I suspect they made it clear that there was no future in what we had.Even my own husband was first told by his parents that he could be friends with a foreign girl, but not date her.Of course, short is relative; what we consider “average” height varies depending on geographic locale and someone who’s 5’6″ would consider someone who’s 5’9″ (the average for American men) to be lucky.But hey, that’s cold comfort when women are putting “six feet tall, minimum” in their dating profiles and your friends all call you “Short Round”.Rarely have they been depicted with traditionally masculine traits.With a few exceptions, Asian men on screen have been small, sneaky and threatening — or spineless, emasculated wimps, or incompetents who may well be technically proficient in martial arts, but impotent when faced with white man’s superior strength or firepower. Even today, Asian American men complain that action heroes such as Chow Yun Fat and Jackie Chan rarely get the girl.Of course, some of it has its roots in the usual stereotypes — stereotypes in the Western World.According to Sheridan Prasso’s book, The Asian Mystique: Dragon Ladies, Geisha Girls, & Our Fantasies of the Exotic Orient, Asian men in general have long been losers in the world of mainstream American media: If there are some admirable aspects of the portrayals of Asian women in Hollywood and on TV, it’s hard to say the same of the portrayals of Asian men.