Did you REALLY just ask me 'Are Chinese girls easy?' - SupChina

Did you REALLY just ask me ‘Are Chinese girls easy?’

Editor’s note: A story we published last week on how Chinese internet users interpret the ugly stereotype of the Asian “easy girl” provoked a far-ranging and spirited discussion across our channels. Yajun Zhang, who previously wrote for us about Chinese journalism, offers the following response.


Fifteen years ago, when I started dating my American boyfriend (now husband), I realized that I was put into a category: a Chinese girl selling out, for either money or a passport. One of my aunts who thinks the same way tried to convince me I didn’t need to do it. According to her, as a graduate of a top Chinese university, I should be able to make a good living by myself. It was hard to explain to her that nobody marries a history teacher, even a foreign history teacher, for money.

Today, I enjoy a very happy marriage, plus I still hold a Chinese passport and earn a higher salary than my husband. Unfortunately, the stereotype hasn’t changed. On Zhihu, China’s equivalent of Quora, the question of the Chinese “easy girl” persists. For example, the question “Do a lot of white people consider Chinese girls ‘easy girl’?” (“easy girl” is written in English) has received more than 8 million views, 10,000 followers, and 1,600 responses, and is still going. Many of the replies were posted to prove that Chinese girls chase foreign guys purely due to skin color or money. But there are also female voices who argue, equally unfairly, that Chinese men are simply making excuses for their own inadequacies. You can see why this topic is incendiary.

Straight up: Why are we even talking about this? The very premise of the question is racist, sexist, and misogynist. We need to have a new conversation without insulting questions and crude stereotypes, and we need to have it with the subject of this question — Chinese women.

To my Chinese bros, I understand your frustration, and why you bring that frustration into the “easy girl” question. Global media constantly denies your masculinity and physicality while hyping Asian females as some sort of hyper-feminine ideal. That’s unfair and it profoundly sucks — and it’s something women hate, too. But don’t redirect your anger at us.

For my expatriate friends, every time some frat boys high-five one another over craft beers bragging about the so-called Chinese “easy girls” they “scored,” please know that they’re embarrassing themselves and perpetuating a stereotype. Don’t be that guy.

No doubt, there are girls who date foreign guys for their skin color or money, just like many girls marry Chinese husbands for houses and cars. But a few cases don’t represent all of us.

Digging a bit into this issue, overseas media and entertainment in the last several decades has complicated our understanding of masculinity and femininity in China, and with the rise of women’s social status, the balance of power between men and women has also shifted. The same sort of shift is happening in the U.S. and other countries as we speak — but you have to understand how much more radical this is in China.

Historically, Chinese men have had the final say in their women’s fates. Husbands were supposed to decide everything in the family (以夫为天 yǐfūwéitiān), and while men could take multiple wives, women were expected to be loyal to one man even after his death (从一而终 cóngyīérzhōng). A woman’s purity and reputation was considered more important than her own life. Because one’s family name could only be passed on by men, boys were much favored over girls (重男轻女 zhòngnánqīngnǚ). This is the historical baggage that Chinese women have always dealt with, and now on top of that, just as we’re embracing our relative freedom to choose whom to love, we have to deal with this “Are Chinese girls easy?” bullshit?

In modern China, the attitude shift actually began with the May Fourth Era. In contemporary society, the gender imbalance (there are about 115 males to 100 females) has given women more choice when it comes to dating. Guys have to work hard to woo the girls (and their families). In some urban areas, parents and grandparents celebrate when a new girl is born because that means they won’t need to spend their life savings to buy a house for their future daughter-in-law in 30 years. (Alas, gendered traditions die hard.)

Today’s China is much richer than 15 years ago when I first started dating. In first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, many Chinese hold a significant amount of wealth and are better off than foreigners. Yet the majority of interracial relationships involve a foreign man and a Chinese woman, rather than the reverse. When this reality seeps into the greater society’s collective unconscious, it’s no surprise that men will misdirect their frustration and it will be apparent on message boards, etc. Women have always been easy targets, especially for those who feel threatened by the idea of strong female voices.

I understand the backdrop with which “Are Chinese girls easy?” is being asked, but I still hate the question. Remember: We are not trophies to be won. Like everyone, we demand respect. Stop insulting us — and degrading yourselves, frankly — by asking such an irrelevant question.

Yajun Zhang

Yajun is a recovering journalist and current communications professional. Growing up in China put her front and center to one of the greatest transformations in history. Living in France for a couple of years taught her how to appreciate the good life. Check out the podcast she co-hosts, Wo Men Podcast.

18 Comments

  1. Still A Sell-Out Reply

    Whether you’re aware of it or not, it’s more of a status symbol for you. So many billions of people in China trying to set themselves apart and climb up the social economic ladder, this is just your step up. The problem with your choice is that it reinforces white superiority. But you can definitely believe what you want to help you sleep at night…

  2. Not a Sell-Out Reply

    There’s no problem with her choice. I have a white husband too and he will tell you that my choice of marrying him removed his white superiority. It opened his eyes to truth and made him a better person. The real problem is, why do you think the way you think?

  3. Not good enough Reply

    Asian women marrying white men affects Aasian men. Whether intentionally or not. There is not enough introspection in this article about how women in this situation can be a positive force for improving perceptions of race. Instead, it is just about how asian women should be allowed to make their own choices. An admirable position, but it is irresponsible to assert choices without taking responsibility for the wider ramifications. Especially when it might be true that those women’s choices are in any way taking away choices for asian men, or negatively affecting the ability of asian men to make choices.

  4. Fernando Munoz Bernal Reply

    How to find a girlfriend in China and getting what is known as Yellow Fever plus How I met my wife

    In this episode I talk about how I went from not being attracted to Chinese women to marrying one.

    I also talk about how complicated it is to have a serious relationship (not flings) with a Chinese woman and I point out the main points to consider, from my perspective, when you feel ready to take the next step.

    In addition, I discuss some of the challenges of dating or having a relationship with foreign girls in China.

    Towards the end, I also discuss how I met my wife and how the relationship took a leap forward due to a huge leap of faith!

    The question of the day: Do you find Chinese women attractive? If you came to China not liking them, how did you cope with that?

    I hope you find this video informative and if you know someone who may benefit from this information, don’t hesitate to SHARE it with them.

    See you Wednesday with another video!

    https://youtu.be/8GvUAgDLiKI

  5. Eddie123 Reply

    Almost all western men being able to date hundreds of Chinese girls is a fact. I always see Chinese women defending this to level the playing field but it can never be leveled. Ask any western man who resides in China. They will attest to it. The only questions is – when will the Chinese women acknowledge it bravely.

  6. catherine Reply

    ok, first of all, this question is very amusing , are Chinese girls easy? I mean are western guys easy should be the real question here? So far as I know it, western men are super easy.

  7. wells Reply

    由于中国的历史原因,长久以来中国都没有给予女性平等的来了给你;但是随着中国女权的发展;这一现象正在改观;甚至矫正过剩;部分女孩选择中国男孩是要求有房有车;选择外国男孩的时候标准却是爱我就好;这种双标才是让人觉得部分中国女孩是“easy girl”的根本原因;个人认为。easy girl在中国一直存在;我见过太多白人朋友;一个月睡好几个不同的女孩,这种男人在中国被称之为人渣;

  8. jixiang Reply

    As a foreign man in China, I find the question insulting too, because it implies that I have some sort of prejudicial view of local girls. I do not see Chinese girls as “easy” anymore than girls elsewhere. I think that if you want to date an attractive and intelligent Chinese girl, you have to work hard on it, just like anywhere else.

    There may be a certain kind of Chinese girl who goes out with foreign men because she thinks they are more fun to hang out with, or just to try something new, but it’s a small minority of the total, and these are usually not serious relationships anyway. And the idea of Chinese girls going out with Westerners for money or passports is just out of date.

  9. Brodude Reply

    LOL. She dated and married a white guy because she thinks it makes her superior than other Chinese people. Because in her mind, being Chinese is bad. She’s not much better than a white supremacist.

  10. Still horses after more stupid excuses Reply

    In Chinese people minds, there is only one thing, money along with related social status. In her article, “not marrying my husband for money” is something seemingly legitimize her choice, which somehow proves that it is the issues of Chinese guys.

    However, exceptions or minority cases do not define the nature of an issue. For many, sleeping with foreigners is something worths bragging about and makes girls proud of themselves, which makes China a pussy paradise for foreigners.

  11. Still a Sell Out Reply

    I see it all the time. It’s like the only thing I see Asian women with White men. What is disgusting about this pairing is when the woman thinks she is so important because she is with some Beta White male, upholding white supremacy. There’s a reason white men turn to Asian women…they don’t have to work hard to get them.

  12. Darcy Scholte Reply

    Western Men don’t date Asian women because they are easy
    They date them because they find them more beautiful and respectful with better family beliefs than western women
    I am Australian dating an Asian women

  13. Jason Li Reply

    Stop kidding yourself.

    You, and people like you are absolutely to blame for the over-saturation of white men asian woman phenomenon thats plaguing asian lives globally.

    This has nothing to do with traditional asian values oppressing asian women. I am surrounded by single asian men everyday with full on westernized values yet asian women dont even seriously consider us when theres a white man on the table.

    Simple truth is: every other ethnicity of women prefer men of their own race, with the exception of asian women. Its a sad fact, and thats your problem and your problem alone!

    Writing a blog here trying to justify how you are compatible with your white husband is laughable. Yeah, true love just happens to exist way more often between wmaf. What a joke.

  14. MD/PHD Reply

    I won’t say Chinese girls are “easy”. They are truly not. They are just gold diggers who you cannot hook up when you are poor or cannot offer green card to them. That’s it.

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