After reading Jenny An's brave article on why she wouldn't ever date an Asian man
and Clarissa Wei's equally heroic counterpoint
, I too have come to a deep, sobering conclusion on my dating life.
I'm an Asian male and I refuse to date myself.
There it is. The reasons are complex -- part philosophy debate, part self-loathing, part Star Trek episode. So I'll just come out and say it: I'm racist.
Well, not really. Sorta. Kinda. I mean I'm not so much racist as I am NOT an asexual reproducer. Nor do I prefer to engage in auto-sexual encounters with a version of myself from a separate but intersecting time loop. So I guess, from that point of view, as insofar as I am not interested in paradox-forming self-rendezvouses, I AM racist.
I wish it weren't so, but there it is.
Don't get me wrong. I think I'm awesome. I'm pretty tall for an Asian guy. For a Vietnamese guy I'm like Paul fucking Bunyan. I love Karaoke. I'm a decent wage earner, considering that I'm neither a doctor, lawyer, banker, nor YouTube sensation. I used to drive a Toyota.
But there's problems that make me a non-option for self-dating. Like the whole patriarchy thing. And my middle class striving. And my small hands. And my being from a country with a long history of colonization and rape from foreign powers that colors nearly every aspect of my socialization.
Also, dating myself would lead to a fissure in time, a scratch on the surface of the universe that would destroy all that is and ever will be.
If a future version of me were to approach me, say at a bar, things might start off just fine. We'd chat about our mutual likes. Discuss our past and if we've ever dated other other versions of ourselves. But inevitably I'd just be turned off by his passive attitude, lack of assertiveness, and the fact that I might inadvertently cause a time loop from which escape is all but impossible, dooming me and endless iterations of myself to a quantum cycle of repetition. Sigh. Love is complicated, no?
So you see, it has nothing to do with stereotypes, it has everything to do with the cold realities of general relativity.
Partly, it's because I CAN date people other than myself. I, like many others who are "racist" against myself, grew up and live in racially diverse areas. We attended liberal schools, with student bodies composed of individuals other than me, and allow for me to meet those who are not me. We have well-paying jobs, which just introduces us to even more people who are not me.
Suddenly, getting with myself just doesn't seem all that appealing. Let's be honest, who would you rather be with: a strong white guy figure whose hegemony dominates Western culture and, by extension, the world; or an effeminate, nerdy Asian guy version of yourself from the future whose very presence in the same room with you could potentially turn the Earth into a barren brown dwarf from the sheer forces of paradoxical gravity? It seems pretty obvious when I say it that way, right?
I realize that my reasoning is fucked up. Yes, I realize that I'm an Asian male. And that by making this choice I am actively giving myself and others like me the "thumbs down" from a dating and asexual reproduction standpoint. But as much as I'd love to, dating myself is just not a quantum state I could ever find myself accepting. Really, all I want to have is acceptance into mainstream culture. White culture.
And to not destroy all reality by presenting an unresolvable time paradox.