Seeking Asian Female

Gross white man seeks Asian female. Ends up with a real human being. Drama ensues.

The movie does look pretty fascinating, and it’s going on my “Things to Watch” list. The filmmaker, Debbie Lum, is a Chinese-American woman who found Steven, a 60-year-old white man who is looking for a “young Asian bride” (Steven is a really great guy, obviously). She documents his quest.

Steven was, Lum says, her worst nightmare — the kind of guy she’d spent most of her life trying to avoid. But he was also an irresistible character, and, she thought, a perfect subject to illustrate the deeply dubious nature of the “yellow fever” phenomenon. “He seems to have a broken filter,” she says — freely giving Lum unabashed access to thoughts that others might discreetly choose to keep in the vault.

“I’m an old guy now, I’m 60,” he says, grinning at the camera. “So I’m trying to figure it out! Do I want the farm girl to take care of me? Do I want an intelligent business woman to help me grow? What do I want? There’s this Vietnamese movie called ‘Scent of the Green Papaya,’ with a beautiful servant girl who cooks these idyllic meals. Gee, would it be like that?”

But, soon after the film begins, Steven makes his decision: His future young Asian bride would need to be Chinese. “China is just amazing right now, the vitality, the growth, and there’s an endless supply of women over there! These are the different girls I’ve written to,” he says, flipping through an endless series of online images. “Oh, they’re all just so beautiful!”

Steven finds his bride, and it turns out that she actually has thoughts and opinions and she sometimes gives him hell. She is, in fact, a real person and not a subservient animated China doll! We are all shocked, I am sure. I haven’t seen the movie and don’t know how it turns out, but I kind of hope he sees how she wields that meat cleaver and takes the hint. (Realistically, though, he probably just goes on OK Cupid and turns into one of these guys).

7 comments for “Seeking Asian Female

  1. igglanova
    March 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Can you say ewwww?

  2. Falcon
    March 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm


  3. Kristen J.
    March 16, 2012 at 11:00 pm Did any one else read the comments? I have to vomit now. A lot.

  4. Bitter Scribe
    March 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

    For some reason, this brought to mind the last book I read: “Nothing to Envy,” by Barbara Demick, an account of the famine in North Korea. A lot of North Korean women who escape to China end up married to Chinese men for many of the same reasons this guy wanted a Chinese wife: They’re seen as desperate, eager to please, subservient, etc.

    So what’s the point? Men will take advantage of women wherever and whenever they can, I guess.

    (BTW, I highly recommend that book.)

  5. Athenia
    March 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I totally want to see it now! It would be interesting to see how the filmmaker’s own history comes to complicate the film (she married a white Irish dude).

  6. Sarah
    March 20, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Ack! I don’t think that I could watch the film without getting irrationally angry. I once had an older man who had a crush on me and he told my friends that he wanted a “traditional asian woman”. My friends told him that I was by no means what he thought I was, and that I actually was born and raised in the United States, that my mother is Caucasian and that I was also very opinionated about many things. He refused to believe them and said that deep down I really was subservient. Unfortunately, I live in the south, where many people are not familiar with Asian American culture. I hate having that image imposed upon me and then I hate the rejection that I feel when people learn that that is not who I am. I hate it so much that I try to alter my appearance with piercings and a tattoo in the hope that people will know not to expect me to be that stereotype. Sorry for the ranting.

  7. OfSpartax3
    March 20, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Yup. Let’s get some geriatric creep in a midlife crisis to order himself a young bride from China.

    I can’t even tell what I find worse: the exoticism he seems to have or the fact that he seems so shocked about her not being some mindless servant. Just from watching that 3 minute video, it seems like he was truly hoping to obtain some roy that would blink and do as told.

    You know as old as he is, you would think he would have enough sense to know that Chinese women have thoughts and are not all submissive, as the media seems to showcase them as.

    Jesus. Epic fail.

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