How a White Girl Won Over a Fobby Asian Tiger Mom

by Guest · 26 comments

Alice on how she won over a fobby tiger mom

Alice on how she won over a fobby tiger mom

Throughout the years of having brought Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, and every other shade of Asian to my Caucasian mother’s house to meet the family, she’s never once batted an eyelash or given me an odd look (although she did laugh the time the Cantonese guy jokingly asked if our dog was for dinner). She deliberately allowed me to grow up in a heavily Asian environment and openly embraced the romantic consequences of it.

I remember having to teach her how to say my first crush’s name (Fangzhou) when I was eight. But just because she has been a blessing in my life doesn’t mean that dating Asian guys has been easy. Far from it; the only more difficult task I will ever face in my life will be the day I give birth to my kids.

Once you get beyond the factor of actually finding an amazing Asian man who is open to interracial dating, that same Cantonese guy stood by and let his Asian mother tell him that he could “work off some steam” by taking me to bed if he wanted, but there was no way in Hell he was dating me. The Viet parents never knew about me.

And that’s the unfortunate reality for many white women who like Asian men. We are often little more than taboo.

So when I started dating my Chinese ex back in 2011, having had experience with Asian moms, I was terrified that she would hate me, especially since he told me that she harbored resentment at her born-in-Beijing son being so Americanized. I remember my heart pounding as he drove me up the driveway. The first few minutes were tense, and then he did the unthinkable: he said that he and his stepdad were going to go out and bring back a Philly and I was going to stay there with his mother, alone, until they came back.

I was terrified and wanted to gag him with his citizenship papers and strangle him because I knew from his own stories that his mother was a demon from Hell (his words, not mine), but now I’m grateful that he did that because it turned out that she was actually very sweet. In the time that they were gone, she took me into the kitchen where she was making our dinner and we had a woman-to-woman chat about China, Chinese people, Buddhism, and how awful she thought it was that her son was a Twinkie (again, her words, not mine); I later realized that she was testing the waters to see if I was as anti-China as her son.

She ended up telling me that she thought I was more Chinese than her son; she said that she always knew he would bring home a white girl, but that she could rest in peace knowing that he brought home “a white Chinese girl.” She told me, “You more Chinese than my son. He bad, very bad. You good girl, good Buddhist. You good Chinese. Okay, you date my son.”

I don’t mean to poke fun at her accent or manner of speaking, this was real; but even though she was so fobby she didn’t have the best English, she tried her best to make me feel welcome and to tell me that she hoped I’d help her son preserve what was left of his Chinese upbringing.

His mother wasn’t worried about him bringing home an Asian girl; she just wanted to make sure that he’d bring a girl home who wouldn’t stamp the Asian out of him, no matter her background.

Asian moms don’t necessarily want you to be of the same ethnicity; they’re just terrified that you’re going to take the Asia out of their sons. I’m not saying that you’ve got to convert religions or learn a new language to get them on your side, but I am saying that you’ve got to make an effort to show her that you have no intentions of stripping her precious boy of his heritage.

She’s terrified of you, not because you’re white, but because you’re different.

Put yourself in her shoes. Many (not all) immigrants came to this country to escape poverty and war. The things that they learned from their mothers and grandmothers don’t exist here. They have no idea where they are or what they’re doing. Their sons come home doing and saying strange things that they don’t understand.

You’re one of THEM, the others, the people who are making their sons neglect their heritage. If I were one of those moms, I’d be terrified to the point of wetting myself if you walked in the door. If you can cross that barrier, if you can show her that her boy’s not going to starve in your kitchen, if you can show her that you’re going to take care of him like she does, then you’ve just unlocked the biggest gate between you and acceptance.

That’s all that any mother wants for her son: to know that he’s being taken care of.

In my case, the Asian tiger mom was so enamored with me that she completely ignored my several tattoos (one of them very large), something that is notoriously perceived as negative in Asia. She also didn’t care that I was about to move to Thailand for a year to teach. All she was concerned with was the fact that both she and her son could be happy with me.

It’s a daunting task to gain the Asian tiger mom’s acceptance, but in the end you’ll thank yourself for it. If you don’t make her realize that you’re not some evil foreign devil come to steal her son, then you’ll only end up in one of two places: either shoved in the background as a forgotten and forbidden toy, or with a demon tiger of a mother-in-law from Hell who will never stop breathing down the back of your neck until she dies. Neither situation is terribly pleasant.

He and I ended up breaking things off several months later because even I grew tired of his insistence on stamping out his Chinese background, but I’ll never forget the sense of relief I felt when his mother realized that I was actually on her side.

The important thing to remember is this: she’s terrified that you’ve come with a bucket of whitewash in hand, and only YOU can prove to her that her son is in safe hands.

  • Mike_jickain

    Seriously? You label her as a “fobby Asian tiger mom”?! And that’s the title of your article? WTF. I find that so disrespectful. That’s your bf’s mom and that’s how you describe her? You’re no better than those who stereotype and label AMWF relationships. A person is a person. No labels. And If you really cared about your bf, you would care about his family and would not disrespect his mom by entitling your article as this. Have some respect for your elders: a virtue Asians highly esteem, which you obviously lack. And this article is ridiculously shallow.

    • Ilyas_S

      Are you for real?!!

      First of all that’s my mother she’s talking about! Second of all I stand by her article and I know she has meant absolutely no offense to what she wrote. Third of all you have no clue how much she respects my mother. Asians also disrespect a behavior, prejudice. If she posted this and I of all people did NOT object, you need to get off your moral high horse and don’t prejudge people.

  • Whitewash

    As a white women engaged to an Asian man, I found this article to not only be ridiculous, but also offensive.  Basically, what I took away from it was that if you’re white and act like your Asian then you’re in, no problem.  And since when does a mother not have enough confidence in her own son to believe that he would carry on their family/cultural traditions and beliefs on his own regardless of whom he marries?  We’re talking about adults here and it seems to me that this whole “White Devil is going to take away my precious son and his values” idea is simply a lame excuse to take away any sort of personal responsibility from Asian children that have grown up American and now have American values.  That’s not the “White Devil’s” doing, it’s simply a product of their children’s American upbringing and a sad realization that many of these Asian families need to eventually accept. Stop blaming the “Round Eye” and start understanding that maybe a little more acceptance and understanding rather that forced change would bring about a much more positive result and stop reeking havoc on healthy, happy, relationships.

    • Ilyas_S

      She wrote about my mother, and I didn’t find this offensive but quite accurate. So, I don’t see where the offense is.

    • roger

      dear Yellow Fever !

      i have observed for quite a while that MOSLTY White, but also other non white non Asian women have this yellow fever or Asian fetish ! think about it ? do you really love the man or the culture of the man ? ! This is a RHETORICAL question !

      There are 3 areas that white women seem to share regards to dating/ marrying asian men:

      1) they are SELF HATING White women (self explanatory)

      2) are RACIST (why is is that almost 99 % of white women who are attracted to asian men, are repulsed by their own white men and becuase of racism haven’t dated the other four major races of men : i.e, Black, Latino, indian & Arab.
      Actually, real/ Heterosexual white women mostly go for black men, but your kind being either Bisexual or Near Bisexual are attracted to the least of all masculine races of men, i.e, asians. (Nearbi=attracted to Oestrogen filled Feminine featured asian men with small penises !)

      3) are GOLD DIGGERS ! (going after asian men for Status & money)

      As I said, overwhelmingly, when one ANALYSES the REASON(S) ’WHY’ white women go for asian men it is a mixture of loving the culture and Feminine featured men with small penises !

      IF I’M WRONG LET ME KNOW ! If not stay in DENIAL like the rest of the 99.99 % of white women who are attracted to asian men ! (just to let you know there are also Black, Indian, Latino women who have this same feitsh, but few and far between unlike white women !) SO , THESE OTHER RACES OF NON-WHITE, NON ASIAN WOMEN ARE FAR MORE HETEROSEXUAL THAN WHITE FEMALES ! Why is that ?

      If you have the guts to not live in denial but accept that, you like the 99.99 % of other white women have Yellow Fever, then pls. get back to me !

      LIKE TO HEAR YOUR POINT(S) OF VIEW – if U have any !

        

      • Producer

        I’m an attractive white female dating and asian and what a shock but non of those options you provided apply to me . My boyfriend is amazing, tall, and very good looking. (Oh… and he’s got a big dick). I make my own money as a television producer and am very self confident and independent. I’ll date any person/race as long as i’m attracted to them and there personality. (Shocker that i’d just never date a person like yourself.)

        It sounds like you just serious cases of being a racist and a sexist.

        Amazing to see there are still guys out there like yourself with still such low opinions of females.

        I wish you luck.

  • nonbeliever

    I can’t believe this blog is still going.  It is an awfully harmful for asian men. You are actually hurting our chances with white women.  Please stop writing. 

    • Ilyas_S.

      Look, she is talking about my mother. I didn’t find this offensive, neither should you.

  • Ilyas_S.

    LOOK PEOPLE! Stop with the damn negative comments, Alice wrote about my mother, who is VERY racist and prejudicial against white girls. My mother hated the fact that I’ve only dated white girls and she made no secret about her hatred of that in a her very colorful racial-profanity laden comments about that fact with me. 

    She also hates that I’m not a Buddhist when I started believing in God in 2005. She used to taunted me about how I’m not Chinese because I left Buddhism for a whole year before finally making peace with it in 2011. She objected my choice to serve in US Navy in 2004. For her I’m too Americanized because I make my own choices regardless of her objection, I stand up for my beliefs and she DOES have a fear that I will lose my culture because of that.

    I’ve described my mother as “demon from hell”, which is a nickname both (white) my stepfather and I use sometimes when she doesn’t know when not to offer her non-welcomed racial and religious opinions, and we say that to her face. Alice put certain phrases in quotes for a reason, she quoted me. I gave her permission to write this article. You all can go **** yourselves if you got an issue with a girl being real about her fear and this very accurate experience. Wanna hate? Hate me! If I give less than two-sh** about my own mother’s negative opinions you think I’d give a crap about yours? 

  • Shin

    I dont understand why you people write such a negative comments O.O…
    Wow I think this article was great and also very useful. I love asian
    men but unfortunately Ive never had a chance to date one. I am aware of
    fact that probably most of asian moms are very caring and affraid when
    it comes to their sons. (Also quite strict) So knowing how to deal with
    it calms me down a little =) I really dont think this article was
    offensive or anything. It actually made me feel better because I want to
    be a part of an asian culture ^^ Thank you very much for writing this
    <3

  • BMAN

    I do agree with u that asian female tends to be like a tiger :D who call them 母老虎 in chinese :D

  • Alice

     Guys, first off, I didn’t title this article. I sent it in without a title and the magazine made this one up for me. I also don’t think that a woman acting “Asian” is an automatic ticket to win over the parents. I was fortunate enough to be raised in a heavily Chinese community. I was heavily absorbed into the community for many years, so in essence it is what I lived and breathed. I wasn’t “acting” any particular way; that is just how I was raised. The whole point of this article is that many, many Asian moms are terrified of their sons dating white girls because white girls are unknown, taboo. If a woman from ANY culture is able to show a mother from ANY other culture that she has no intentions of erasing the culture of the guy in question, then she has a greater chance of being accepted. This isn’t limited to AMWF relationships.

  • Elisya

    I’m an eastern european girl. 26 yrs old, where do I find asian men to date? let me explain..I was attracted to them since high school, cuz as a foreigner in canada I was only accepted by them! thats right, I used to be friends with asian girls hence developed an attraction to the guys. But my fear is that they won’t give me a chance, because of the stereo typical BS. I’m a good person, meaning no head games, I know what I’m looking for and am loyal, but not a doormat. So basically I’d love to meet a guy and find out if we are for each other.

    • Ilyas_S.

      Привет! Меня зовут Ильяс, oчень приятно! Hi, Eastern Europe is a big place, so I used Russian, sorry lol it’s funny because my friends in Canada (when I was there) were mostly Southern Slavs (Serbs and Bosniaks) and Albanians. The good thing about Asians is that we are everywhere :) IF truly they have stereotypes simply because of skin color, then we know ignorance is a two way street. Plenty of open minded Asian men out there that won’t judge you because of skin color. My mother was very impressed with Alice, she will be now a standard bearer for my future ladies. Anything can hapen

      • Elisya

        Thanks for your reply! How did you two meet? if you don’t mind me asking. Im glad to hear there are open minded Asian men, plz don’t get me wrong I don’t have any of this ridiculous “yellow fever” thing going on that I see in some posts. I just think they deserve a chance too, no? Oh btw, I’m hungarian lol I can’t read cyrilic

        • Ilyas_S

          Believe or not? Facebook, I’m covered in tattoos of different languages, she was a mutual friend of my facebook friend. I added her in a message saying “hey nice ink” lol. Are you still in Canada? I mean Canada is filled with Asian people, should be easy to meet some lol

          • Elysia

            Yep still in Canada. Wow facebook, I never thought of that!. Actually Im around a lot of Asian people because of badminton/kung fu lol most of them are middle aged though and are probably married. Oh well I’ll stay positive, maybe someday there’ll be someone who’s interested in me

          • Ilyas_S

            Oh by the way, I don’t think Hungary is Eastern Europe lol, Central Europe is more like it :) . Yeah, keep your heart open. Believe me if they have their stereotype about white girls (or any race for that fact) you don’t want them anyway. If you want, find me on FB (Tk Stark) maybe I’ll point ya to the right direction… well, depends on where in Canada you are too. I only know East side Canada well

          • Ilyas_S

            Eh, I guess email is more effective for searching, ilyas.stark@va.gov

    • Anonymous

      Hey, Elisya. I just want to give you some encouragement. I am an Asian man who grew up largely in the US. I have had girlfriends who are Taiwanese, Italian (by way of Italy, not NJ), and Mexican. My last girlfriend is from Ukraine. The common thread here is that they are all bi-cultural. Makes sense because I am too. I find that I don’t share the same outlook as all-American girls and I relate best to people who are both assimilated into the American culture and at the same time bring something “else” to the table. This goes for my choice in friends too.

      Case in point, my best friend, Il’ya, is a Ukrainian-born Jew. He came when Ukraine was still a part of the USSR. We bonded over our common and decidedly American taste in music, but we find ourselves comparing all the time how things are in America to how they were “back in the old country.” It’s remarkable how similar life was in two formerly-communist countries, even though they are also so disparate. We get along so well because we understand what it is like to grow up in the US as an outsider, to be neither American nor Chinese/Russian but some hybrid that is neither fish nor fowl, and to have values shaped by another culture and sociopolitical system. We are different than our peers, yet don’t identify with our parents either. These are the same qualities I look for in a romantic partner.

      So know that there are culturally open-minded Asian guys out there who will click with you. You just have to find them. And you can do that by just doing the things you do. If you enjoy a certain band, go to a show and look for an Asian guy there who shares your musical interest. If you play, I dunno, tennis, look around the tennis courts and see who’s also there. And if you have Asian girlfriends, why not ask them if they know a guy who might be a good fit with you? My point is to not look for where the Asian guys are so much as to just look for people who share your interests. Good luck to ya!

      • Anonymous

        And BTW, I am particularly attracted to Eastern European women. I don’t have any reason why, I just find them aesthetically pleasing. Something about their features I just like. So there are definitely Asian guys out there who would be into you as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/princezhou Larry Zhou

    i am sorry alice but i have to say that you are wack as hell… i personally only date white girls…and i have to say… even though you are decently attractive… just the fact that you are a Buddhist would be a deal breaker…plus the fact you basically made fun of the way his mother spoke (not all Asian people came to america to escape poverty… and MANY Asian parents speak PERFECT English… probably better than you..) and also going to Thailand to teach… if my gf told me that they were even remotely planning to do that… it would be over right there… a white girl trapped in an asian girls body??? The whole point of dating a white girl is because I LIKE white girls….not just how they look… but how they are….. i am surprised that well to do Asian guys would even date you and that you have dated multiple Asian guys…

    • Erika

      You might want to read some of the comments from the boyfriend in the story before you make such a judgment against her. The boyfriend never judged her for for her religion or her upbringing. He liked her for her. I know her. She’s my friend. And she WAS raised in a Chinese and Buddhist community. That isn’t an act. You might also want to read the boyfriends comments about his mother. They’re in here. Alice wasn’t making fun of her and you really should not be so quick to judge.

    • Ilyas_S.

      As one of the Asians, this level of plain old bigotry is f&^%ed up. Alice is one of the most honest, integral and wonderful woman I’ve ever met. She didn’t make fun of anything, she spoke the truth that my mother spoke the way she spoke – which is more respectable than most of the Chinese folks I’ve ever met who only care about their “face” or how much money people made. She is what she is, and she was what she was – no need for act, deeply cultured, and amazing. Anyone would be a lucky man if one had a woman like her. Her loveliness wasn’t skin just deep – if you know her heart like some of us do, you’d see the pure foolishness of your idiotic judgmental f*&%ing comments. My only regret is by the time I learned what she was worth, she had moved on and seem to think less of me than I do her. However, regardless, she remains one of the most wonderful person I know and I will always defend her no matter what her stance is about me.

  • Anonymous

    As an Asian man (Chinese), I didn’t find this article offensive at all.
    This writer isn’t making fun of the broken English. My mother speaks EXACTLY the same way. I immigrated to the US when I was 5, so I assimilated the language without effort. My mother, who immigrated at the age of 34, still speaks broken English. My father, on the other hand, was even older than my mother when he immigrated yet speaks very good English, although he retains an accent. Some people are just bad with languages. To ignore this fact and to ignore the individual differences among us, THAT’S racist. Not all Asians speak broken English, and not all speak like a native either. My mother speaks in broken English. If I quoted her, I would have to quote her broken English and all if I cared about authenticity and verisimilitude. So STFU already, haters. I think you’re the ones being racist by projecting your own internalized inferiority onto someone who actually sees the person, not the race.

    • Anonymous

      Also, I would totally date Alice. She’s really cute, and we probably share a lot of common values.