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The experience was so traumatic that he never sought another foreign girlfriend again.On the flip side, I suspect that some foreign women might be unwilling to give Chinese men a chance because of money.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.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.

For now, though, I’m just happy to have John, my Chinese husband, in my life.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.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.

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