When people think of “Rice Chasers” the common thought is of non-Asian men chasing Asian women. In fact, it’s often believed that Asian men are the most discriminated against by white women (dating wise). No one ever really thinks about crazed non-asian girls chasing after Asian men. I guess those people have never been to an Anime (multimedia) convention. While it’s not very common now to see a laowai girl with a Chinese guy in China, it’s becoming more common and all those old stereotypes about Asian men seem to be disappearing and fangirls are appearing.
The fanaticism with Asian men probably started with the increased availability of Asian media in America. It may have all started with Bruce Lee. Now attractive Asian men are common on American TVs and computers with boy bands, dramas, and Kung Fu movies.
After I studied abroad in Japan in high school, I brought back tons of Jpop that turned several of my girl friends into crazed fangirls who kissed their posters of male Jpop stars before bed and ordered cds and plush dolls off of ebay (high school girls are always the biggest fanatics). Need I even mention the popularity of Rain or even Jay Chow? I know many girls who weren’t alone as non-asian screaming girls at their concerts.
For those girls who don’t follow boy bands, there are always the (Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese) dramas. I made my American college roommate watch Meteor Garden (Taiwanese live-action drama of the Japanese Manga Boys over Flowers) once and she ooo-ed and ah-ed at the pretty boys and then vowed to learn Chinese and get a Chinese boyfriend (she eventually gave up on the Chinese language and now lives in Korea).
With more and more kung fu movies coming to America with male Chinese actors with martial artist-toned bodies, the idea of the male Asia sex symbol is more accepted. Now, not all western girls are Asian-crazed (most probably are not) but there is quite a large group of them and I don’t know a single girl who discriminates against dating an attractive Asian man – sex appeal is fairly universal (though preferences do differ). For the fanatics at least, a trip to China most likely includes dating; for the other girls, there’s not much taboo about it.
In China everyone is very surprised that a western girl would choose an Asian man, but in truth, there isn’t as much of a stigma about it as everyone seems to think there is. Of course, relationships are complicated (even more complicated when international/multicultural) and I’ve only discussed a surface issue of physical attraction, but I only want to break the stereotype that western woman aren’t interested in Chinese men (many are).
I know western women married to Chinese men and many more who are or have dated some. I know some western girls who have only ever dated Asian men. Then I’ve met some Asian-crazed fanatics. As China modernizes and more women actually visit and live in China, I’m sure more women will date Chinese men and there won’t be anything to be shocked about.