stupid “smart” men

February 8, 2010

“I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing” – socrates
it took me a long time to get over my biggest pet peeve about online dating. a lot of introspection, guilt, rewinding, and confusion.
you see, i like to think that intelligence comes from various sources and can be measured in numerous ways. just because i have two masters degrees doesn’t mean i’m inherently more intelligent than someone who didn’t finish high school (case study: my dad completed only 3d grade and one of my favourite wise persons). my masters mean something, some where, and to me. and to you, mr. online dater, it may mean something entirely different.
so you lie and click the “masters degree” box in your profile.
i tried to understand, in this world of class, gender, and race relations why you would. why women play “dumb”. why “graduate degree” means something very different than “professional degree”, in different countries… in the end, it doesn’t matter to me on a personal level*.

you’re so “stupid” to lie that you’re “smart”. it’s all too apparent in conversation. whereas body shape may be subjective (e.g. average/thin/fat/normal/tall/short), you clearly embraced an objective measure (e.g. 6’2″/post-grad degree/car) for yourself. in what dream land did you earn your masters degree? at the same time, you devalue and insult those who strive toward whatever that objective measure means to her/him.
save us all some time and manage expectations. if you can critically converse, in the manner of some one who may have pursued a masters degree, then tell me and provide a great explanation why you think “that box” is a sham. fine, i may agree.
but being “smart” will reveal you as stupid if you want to lie about it.

* on a societal level, women! what do you think you’re getting out of pretending to be stupid? and really, i know, poor guys have gendered expectations. be a (wo)man about it.

i was recently asked by a black man in Chicago: “do asian women like black men or not?

he continued, “if so, how do you know?” and then quite confidently stated that he knew when white, latina, and black women were interested. (we didn’t get to his reasoning though)

i had a million things to say and to ask, since i’d been wondering something similar myself (i have a good hunch that black men are checking, but not approaching me. causing me to wonder if maybe they think i’m off bounds?).

given that i find race relations to be different in Chicago, as opposed to where i’ve recently lived in toronto, my answer below is very open to others’ opinions – so please, your input is welcome!first, i warned him that the things i told him were based on my own observations – not necessarily local, and certainly generalized. i also cautioned him to be considerate of variation and focus on the individual. then, i told him in no particular order, the following:

  • “asian women” covers a whole wide range of females from many countries – in the UK, “asian” refers to southeast asian (e.g. indian, pakistani, etc.)
    • he said meant “oriental” – i said: NEVER refer to asian women as oriental. an educated AW (from anywhere over there, or born here) will at the very least know about orientalism, the west made up the orient to “other” us. 
      • some AW will take offense too (i don’t, but i will roll my eyes and you’ve revealed yourself as ‘likely someone who has an asian fetish’).
  • general groups of AW:
    • group a: – these AW have ethnic origins in 1 of 3 countries (Korea, Japan, and China (and arguably singapore))
      • they are especially good at sneaking peeks at the opposite sex (it’s partly the eyes, but partly just b/c they’re just good at being inconspicuous)
      • most of these AW are not looking at black men, they tend to date intraracially (amongst these countries) or white men
        • there’s actually studies about this. they consider it “dating up the racial hierarchy” based on stereotypes, fear, ignorance, culture, etc.
      • a few of them are open to black men, but know that you are expected to talk to them, a holla will not work!
      • group b: – these AW have ethnic origins in the phillipines, malaysia, laos, etc.
        • these AW that like black men fashion themselves to give cues
        • garish presentation of economic wealth and social prestige works for all men
        • i’m not sure a holla works here, or if it works anywhere actually
      • he asked: “OK, aside from the AW wearing baby phat and such, how do i know?”
        • eeep! this one is tough, very tough.
        • consider the above, plus: AW and asian men often have seriously platonic relationships that appear as though they are dating (e.g. they eat out together, go to movies, etc). Two AW may also do this – no they are not necessarily lesbian though they’re holding hands.
        • your best bet, and this may sound bizarre, but just talk to her!
          • you should know immediately if she’s scared (i would caution you away from this one).
          • if she’s open to convo, take it slow. during this time you can figure out her as a person and not just an AW and hopefully find out if she’s ‘involved’ with someone (can’t promise this one, you may have to just come out and ask)
      • NEVER say: “i always wanted to date an AW”
        • it may be true and you may be genuinely interested in learning all about asian culture blah blah blah, BUT! for most AW’s it’s the equivalent of saying ‘i always wanted to dominate a quiet, exotic, insert stereotype here’
        • to which he said, “but what if i really am interested in learning – it doesn’t matter if it’s a guy or a girl, i just want to learn?!”
          • first, make some asian dude friends – they might help your game
          • second, i don’t care! pretend if you must! you have to make her believe it’s HER as an individual that matters and not her asian-ness
      • and finally (for now), i recommended that he should watch or read “the Joy Luck Club”, by Amy Tan
        • sure the acting is terrible
        • but the stories within are representative of many of the issues AW face in north america