Asian Guys Like “Stupid” Girls

*WARNING: I do not think Asian men or women are stupid.  This is a satirical post mixed in with personal opinion, read it with a grain of salt*

I Like Stupid Girls (Chinese Version)

IMG_4171I like to believe that the majority of western men don’t date women for looks alone, and intelligence plays a small role in the selection of a partner.  Personality–most importantly, intelligence–plays a huge role in who we want to date or spend the rest of our lives with.

Not for Asia.

It was about two years ago when my friend got a new girlfriend.  He had been single for quite some time and, despite being 25, had never truly had a girlfriend.  When his friend set him up with a fellow girl from Hunan, he was elated to meet her.  On the first date they hit it off, and by the second date things were starting to get serious.  As his best friends, he wanted us to meet his new girl and give him some very important feedback.

She was small, petite, cute–a shy little figure that managed to glow in a pure, innocent kind of way; almost as if rainbows were shining out of her in all directions and smacking us with this dumbfound joy.  When I talked to her, she smiled and giggled and was squeezibly cute, and I couldn’t help but smile back.  It was like looking at a baby panda.

After sending her off home, all the dudes and myself exchanged opinions about my friend’s new gal.  He was blushing  pink;  everyone said she was gorgeous and sweet.  I patted him on the back with approval.

The next line from his friend’s mouth, however, threw me back a notch:

她有点笨笨的

That’s Chinese for

“She’s a bit stupid.”

Now if you’re surprised as I was, don’t worry, that’s normal.  I shook my head in disbelief and blurted out, “you shouldn’t say that, it’s rude!”

My friend laughed and said, “Mary, in Chinese, 笨笨的 may mean stupid, but it also denotes a feeling of being cute.  I mean, she’s just so unaware of what’s going on around her, like a lost little puppy.  You look at her big, beaming eyes and can’t help but think ‘awwwwwww.’”

“But, doesn’t it have a bad meaning as well?  To be called…. well, stupid?”

“Of course.  But in this situation with my girlfriend, it’s more of a cute stupid than a real stupid,” my friend added.

I wasn’t quite sure.  Either way, my final understanding of the conversation was that stupid=cute.

Chinese women seemed happy or completely fine with the fact that their boyfriends called them stupid.

“Well I wouldn’t be happy to be called 笨笨的,” I interjected.  “It’s kind of insulting in the USA.”

He went on his long ramble about how China and the USA are different, but the point remained the same:

As a woman in China, being called stupid was not only normal, it was a compliment, and it was something to strive for.

I’m doomed.

I Like Stupid Girls (Japanese Version)

 

IMG_2626I was having dinner with three Japanese dudes yesterday.  We talked about this and that and finally we veered onto the topic of girlfriends.

My best Japanese friend K has a Japanese girlfriend that is, well… super Japanese.  I really don’t know how else to describe her.  I bet if you open up ‘Japanese woman’ in the dictionary, her face pops up.  She’s shy, cute, and well mannered.  She is extremely polite, talks in a quiet voice and quivers  when any sort of attention or the conversation starts to focus on her (like a scared kitten).  She does her nails multiple times a week and dresses in long, billowing layers covered in floral patterns (like I said, very Japanese).

Like most Japanese women, she’s extremely cute.  Her manners make me look like a cave woman.  Whenever we go out to eat, she somehow manages to pour everyone’s water and refill the glasses right at the exact moment they become empty.  She distributes everyone’s food into separate bowls while I’m digging into the main dishes with my dirty chopsticks.  As soon as we sit down for dinner (no matter where, noodle shack or not) she will place a clean napkin on her lap, peck the corners of her lips when food smudges in the crevices, and cover her mouth when she laughs.

Mannerly, obedient, cute, giggly—she is the epitome of what every Japanese man wants.

So, I asked the dudes yesterday, “Have you met K’s girlfriend?”

“Yeah, she’s really polite,” said one.  “Very cute.”

“What do you think, TK?”  K said to friend no.2.

“ちょっと天然かな”

That’s Japanese for:

“Kind of an airhead.”

The word “天然” actually means natural.  Maybe I just took the meaning the wrong way?  Maybe they meant to say she’s very natural, very down to earth?

“No, it means kind of stupid,” TK confirmed for me.  “Just, you know, kind of in her own world.  Not really here.  Not really thinking.”

“Isn’t that, uh, not a good thing?”

“Depends on the context,” the other friend (we’ll call him Kuma) said. “In Japan it kind of has this cute connotation.”

Oh god, I thought.  Here it comes again.

“Most Japanese women don’t mind being called this.  It means they’re cute.  It isn’t necessarily bad, it just depends on the situation.”

So it wasn’t just a Chinese thing, I thought to myself.  I guess most Asian men just want someone that stares blankly, nods their head when spoken to and looks like a fluffy puppy.  I mean, who needs intelligence when you have someone with big, round eyes smiling at you and giggling at everything you say?

My conclusion just adds to the evidence as to why western women just don’t get Asian men very often.  Us American are straightforward and loud and we don’t (well, most of us) wear cute floral pattern dresses with hair bands decorated in butterflies and rainbows while giggling at every single thing.  Compared to a Japanese woman, us westerners are rough, tough, mean, loud, bossy and annoying.  I mean, why date a woman who’s going to argue with you about Chinese and Japanese governmental policies when you could just have someone that smiles, laughs and brightens your day with her clothing–all without challenging your ideals?  I kind of see the appeal.  Maybe.

11 thoughts on “Asian Guys Like “Stupid” Girls

  1. another eurasian woman says:

    tsk tsk tsk. Just like you I too am eurasian. But how dare you connote what japanese and Chinese men like to say the whole of asia is like this? its these types of sweeping statements that form racist and stereotypes. As a fellow eurasian you should pride yourself of learning both of your heritages and not just say you look more white (honey I grew up in a eurasian community trust me u look more asian then the rest of us but its besides the point) Be proud to be eurasian and learn about asia. Since you are traveling through asia you too should know that selecting a handful of japanese and chinese men and getting their opinion not only is NOT a good way to generalize the entire nation of china or japan let alone speak for the whole continent of ASIA. I am highly offended as a Eurasian woman that you would say such a think. I realize that the tone of this comment is very harsh and it is not my intention to “attack” you. I just hope that you would stop spreading comments such as “Asian men like stupid women” to the new people you meet that could be influenced by your sayings. It is hard enough to grow up eurasian in europe trying to teach my european friends that NOT all of us eat dogs and that Asia doesn’t just consist of China -.- now I have to defend such dumb statements from a fellow eurasian? Im just disappointed and i know i cant blame you for your ignorance as your mom chose to not teach you about your heritage. But you are lucky enough to travel and experience this continent (ASIA) first hand. So please do not generalize an entire nation, country or continent based on the select handful of men you have the pleasure of coming across.

    sincerely,
    your fellow eurasian woman

    • rubymary says:
      Profile photo of rubymary

      Hey always great to meet other biracials on here, it’s exciting to share views.

      This post was supposed to be written with a flare of satire, but I know that some people might take it seriously. I wanted to exemplify my shock at the fact that the word for ‘airhead’ and ‘stupid’ were both used to denote the term ‘cute’ for women in Asia, put a spin on it and tried to write a funny blog post (but I must admit, I may have went a bit too far). It would be silly of me to seriously proclaim that all Asian men like stupid women. This simply is not true. Like most men in the world, they like all types of women–funny, smart, kind, and sometimes the not-so-smart. I love Asian men and 90% of all the men I have dated are Asian (and if I were to take my on blog post seriously, that means I’m dissing myself hardcore here). Asian men are wonderful: they’re loyal, loving, and hard working.

      As you saw in my biracial post, I grew up in a tiny white community where I constantly had to stick up for the Asian community. I know how it feels to be called slanty eyed, dog-eater, and ching chong wong. Believe me, I got it a lot, the last thing I would want to do is reinforce those stereotypes. I didn’t write this post to tell the world Asian men are stupid, but rather, wrote it as satirical humor so I could mix in some cultural clashes with some fun.

      Unfortunately my mother didn’t teach me a lot about Vietnam, but since I’m very proud to be Asian I studied about the country extensively and even traveled to Saigon and Hanoi solo so I could see the home of my mother. If you read my Vietnam post you can see how it was such a life changing event for me. If I didn’t love Asia as much as I do, I wouldn’t have spent nearly a decade there trying to understand China, Japan, and the entire continent in general. As for me claiming to look more white than Asian–well, that’s just what I’ve been told. Some people say I look Latina, French, even Icelandic. But deep in my heart I know that I’m equally Vietnamese, Irish, and Mary first and foremost.

      I’m not offended at all, by the way. I love hearing about different views and ideals and I hope you can share more of them. Thanks for your comment and apologies for the late reply!

  2. James T. says:

    Perhaps you meant to write your post as satire, but from the structure and diction I don’t quite see it. Anyway, it’s really rather ironic that you didn’t realize “笨笨” is what you meant, as opposed to “本本,” which given your claims about intelligence and education are really rather amusing. In fact, anyone with basic training in Chinese can see that the latter means “book” or a few other things like “root” or “origin,” none of which come close at all to “stupid. But no offense intended.

    There are an extremely large number of indicators that people of East Asian descent are highly intelligent and the most highly educated, just one of which is the international standardized PISA test, in which the East Asian (CJK) nations score a full standard deviation above the OECD nations (wealthy (for the most part) European nations). For instance, Shanghai or Singapore scored 100 more points (one standard deviation) above France in the mathematics section. Statistically speaking, that means that at the level of 3 standard deviations above the mean, Shanghai or Singapore (or South Korea etc. etc.) have about 10 times as many individuals per capita. Factor in the fact that East Asia has more people, and you have about 20 times as many high-performing individuals in East Asia than America or Europe. At the level of 4 standard deviations above the mean, this number increases to about 100 times as many individuals (a natural consequence of the fact that the normal distribution approaches zero at its tails).

    I wrote the above paragraph because of the following points that I wish to make:

    The solution to most of your misunderstandings can be found in the following sentences that you yourself wrote: “Most Japanese women don’t mind being called this. It means they’re cute. It isn’t necessarily bad.” That’s exactly it. You’ve missed the phenomenon of moe / aegyo completely. Despite having encountered it face-on, you didn’t quite figure it out. That sort of behavior is seen as desirable and hence women put themselves in that sort of mold / behavior / mindset. Simply because women there behave that way, it doesn’t at all indicate that they’re unintelligent. In fact, I have a hard time believing that any of the women you observed did poorer in mathematics or in general academics than you.

    Moreover, just because one appears “out of it” does not in the least imply that one is unintelligent. Mathematicians and other academics often appear “out of it” because they are thinking about something, but they are not unintelligent at all. Much of it is social or behavioral conditioning that is goal-directed. It’s unrigorous and dangerous to directly link behavior in a purely social setting with intelligence. Nobody is demanding that you prove your intelligence while out on a shopping trip. Why would a woman secure in her intelligence go about arguing policies all day long?

    It was rather shocking to see: “My conclusion just adds to the evidence as to why western women just don’t get Asian men very often. Us American women value education and intelligence, we’re straightforward and loud, and we don’t (well, most of us) wear cute floral pattern dresses with hair bands decorated in butterflies and rainbows while giggling at every single thing.” In fact, to the contrary, I think that it is probably very accurate to state that Asian women value education and intelligence much more highly than American women. All sorts of facts and statistics demonstrate this knowledge.

    I suspect that the real root of the problem stems from you feeling romantically displaced or out of place in Asia amongst Asian men because you felt that you did not possess certain qualities, and while you were attempting to pinpoint those qualities, you got confused. The simple fact of the matter is that cuteness is value a lot by men in East Asia for better or worse, and so women like to act that way. That’s it.

    “I mean, why date a woman who’s going to argue with you about Chinese and Japanese governmental policies when you could just have someone that smiles, laughs and brightens your day with her clothing–all without challenging your ideals?”
    -> I think East Asian women don’t challenge East Asian males’ ideals because they were brought up in the same culture and so think in a more homogeneous and culturally unified way. It’s as simple as that.

    • rubymary says:
      Profile photo of rubymary

      James, thank you for your comment–it’s always great to hear your thoughts and I enjoy exchanging opinions.

      I wrote this *ages* ago, and it shows. I really do need to give this post a makeover and republish it, and also post a warning about how this is highly satirical and was not written with the aim of badmouthing Asian men and woman.

      Both of the women I mentioned in this article (the girlfriends of my Chinese and Japanese friends) are extremely intelligent. One is a designer and the other is an artist and they both went to college and achieved a higher education. These women could definitely outsmart me in terms of mathematics and other subjects and are thirsty for knowledge. In this post I wasn’t aiming to point out that Asian women are stupid, but merely stating my opinion that Asian women, more often than not, play dumb to snare a man. The whole reason I wrote this post (almost two years ago) was because I was simply blown away by the fact that the word “stupid” (the literal meaning of ‘benben’ and ‘tennen’) is a compliment. I know when Asian men call their girlfriends ‘stupid,’ they don’t mean it in a literal sense, but rather, use it endearingly almost like a pet name.

      It was rather shocking to see: “My conclusion just adds to the evidence as to why western women just don’t get Asian men very often. Us American women value education and intelligence, we’re straightforward and loud, and we don’t (well, most of us) wear cute floral pattern dresses with hair bands decorated in butterflies and rainbows while giggling at every single thing.” In fact, to the contrary, I think that it is probably very accurate to state that Asian women value education and intelligence much more highly than American women. All sorts of facts and statistics demonstrate this knowledge.

      I agree that American women are not very cultured, and I’m betting many of my fellow Americans can barely point South Korea out on a map. Still, I think American women would never take the word ‘stupid’ as a compliment under any circumstances, and while some us play dumb I feel like it’s not the go-to action that many western women take to snare a man.

      I think when I wrote this I was drawing more upon my experiences in Japan, since I noticed Japanese women (although very intelligent) focused more on being cute, agreeable, and well-mannered. I noticed they purposely avoided difficult and controversial topics in order to keep the peace and to not seem domineering. From my limited time abroad in China, I realized that Chinese women are very different–they’re quick to speak their mind and aren’t afraid to challenge the ideas of men. I know it came off wrong, but American women are not more educated than Asian women–they just tend to be more opinionated, straightforward and loud (which is not necessarily a good thing).

      I suspect that the real root of the problem stems from you feeling romantically displaced or out of place in Asia amongst Asian men because you felt that you did not possess certain qualities, and while you were attempting to pinpoint those qualities, you got confused. The simple fact of the matter is that cuteness is value a lot by men in East Asia for better or worse, and so women like to act that way. That’s it.

      Amen alleluia, I totally agree, haha. I think I did become frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, mold myself into the female ‘norm’ of what Asian men wanted in a woman.

      You opinions were super, super interesting and I really appreciate how you wrote it up in a nice way! Thanks James!

  3. autumnashbough says:

    I think being a “deliberate airhead” is just as appealing to many Caucasian men. Sadly, I saw plenty of girls in my high school AP classes in the US pretend to be air-headed. The valedictorian, for example, routinely hid her calculus book behind magazines. Airhead playacting resulted in more male attention (and more female eye-rolling). This may have also been exacerbated by the school’s location — far enough outside Washington D.C. to have a more socially conservative (i.e., “redneck”) influence, though.

    Sadly, by the end of senior year, the helpless airhead act no longer seemed like it was an act for some of those women.

    I did ask my Chinese-American boyfriend what attracted him to an opinionated, judgmental, and verbose woman like myself. He said, “You listened to me. Oh, and you were hot.” Maybe we are sometimes so determined to make our long-suppressed viewpoints heard that we forget to listen. Or maybe some frail male egos can’t handle being challenged by a less differential female personality.

    Or maybe he just watched too many reruns of “Dynasty” growing up.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the post.

    • rubymary says:
      Profile photo of rubymary

      Haha! Oh man you always make me laugh.

      Hey, you’re right! If you watch high school dramas like “Mean Girls,” the main character gets teased etc.. because she’s good at math and wants to be in the math championship or whatever (I don’t quite remember the movie to be honest). I also think that men that go after those types are kind of questionable as well… it’s one reason I never even considered dating my friend K written in this story (although we were close friends, I knew as a girlfriend he would expect me to make his lunchbox everyday or something).

      Listening is important! I think my boyfriend would probably say something similar. And being hot helps a little too 😉

      Thanks for the comment! 😀

  4. Anonymous says:

    笨basically means a few things,translated literally,笨 has the meaning of stupid,but in context it means she is innocent(如果直接翻译的话就是天然呆) or has the innocent look(不是充满心机的人)and not someone who is manipulative. As a Chinese, you can hear your friends call their boyfriend or girlfriend 笨,傻,呆 and so on.

    • rubymary says:
      Profile photo of rubymary

      Yeah I get it, but would you be happy being called 笨? In Japanese it’s the same as well. Maybe it has a different context, but either way the underlying meaning is the same: it means stupid. I don’t care how cultural it is, I would never want to be called that and I would never date a woman (if I were a man) that had those traits.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know man, I won’t mind,most Asians are not very positive about themselves,perhaps we are immune to being called “stupid” from almost everybody?

  6. Snoozon says:

    Actually it’s true. I’m a Chinese girl in HK, graduating University next year to become a doctor, and well-intentioned people all around me -mostly other women -keep telling me I need to pretend to be stupid, to protect the males’, well, male ego. Men need to be respected and validated, smart women know when to pretend to be stupid. Like, pretend to be clueless about fixing electronics, maths, and be indecisive and dependent. This is the brand of stupid (笨) they are looking for, no kidding. It’s not a direct translation for “non-manipulative” which is (天真), meaning “innocence” or “naivete”, which I hardly think is a thing Asian men should advertise looking for either. Don’t see many stating they want kind, non-manipulative (善良,無機心) though. But I suppose Stupidity covers that.

    HK forums are overflowing with idealistic goddess descriptions, a nice personality with traits like “innocent, naive, sweet, submissive, dependent, childlike, needs taking care of, cheerful” combined with detailed gigantic boob size descriptions, leggy, and preferably a virgin, please. (Or else she’s a slut. Public toilet. Her cunt stinks. No one would rape her even if she begs to be fucked.) These are insults they hurl at underage girls who are less than pretty but under the public eye for getting pristine public exam scores. Female politicians whom they don’t agree with apparently have black, stinky cunts that no one would fuck too. Actually the wording about the high-achieving 15 years-old kid was something like “No one who knows how to fuck would fuck the cheap cargo/goods/property/stock (貨).” 貨?

    And then of course there are some more peculiar specifications like “I want her to wear dorky glasses in private, but wear contacts normally.” “Short, stands on tiptoes straining to reach the top shelves, almost toppling over.” “Gets adorably angry when I deliberately annoy her. Won’t make her cry of course, I hate seeing women cry. It’s very ungentleman behavior.” “Yielding but chaste. Gets flustered and cutely uncomfortable when teased sexually, can’t look you in the eye and can’t stop blushing.” “Simple and silly, eagerly believes everything. Easily flustered.” “Always does a lot of supportive things for you, but silently and shyly, just hoping you would notice her. Loyal.” “Concerned about her appearance, but not overly. Dons makeup, but should be barely noticeable of course.”
    But really this one takes the cake. “Personality is most important. I just want a happy sweet kind girl-next-door. Like slim and a bit short, likes wearing simple skirts above knee length, not too revealing but stylish, B-sized breasts, long hair reaching her breasts, pale complexion, no hair dye or perming, just natural will be fine. Always smiling and optimistic, can see her white teeth and her dimples. Reads girl manga in secret. No myopia (if myopic, then just barely myopic, or she wears contacts not glasses.)”

    At first I didn’t know whether to be appalled or amused, but when I reached the bottom of the page I just felt plain sad. Apologies to many commenters above, but this is what I see. This is what I live. I wish to chalk it up to bias and sampling errors and racism too. But last time I checked non-Asian forums are definitely not overflowing with such comments. Really, what the fuck. (Then they told me I as a female I shouldn’t say WTF. The Chinese swear for “Fuck” is “Penetration”, so no, I as a female, can’t fuck. I can only be fucked by men. What a revelation. Or am I gagging for it?)

    If that’s the definition of “femininity”, maybe I am not feminine. If being a doctor intimidates every man within 10mile radius and I turn out to be the cargo that no one who fuck, then so be it. I won’t apologize for self-respect.

    I must say fortunately many Asian guys I met are great people, respectful and mature, although frankly they appear to be quite the minority, comparatively speaking.

    I don’t think men of my culture inherently suffer from such crippling insecurity that they need a weaker woman to glorify their manliness and shelter their so very fragile “male” ego. I expect them to be no less than men of other ethnicities. I expect them to see that Men deserve respect support and recognition, love and sensitivity. No less so for Women.

  7. a says:

    Umm… as an Asian girl who lives in Asia for a long time. There are looooots of Asian guys treats women badly. Good guys in Asia not many enough.

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