Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Done with AMBW.

When I first told my best friend that there are Facebook groups dedicated to fostering relationships between Asian Men and Black Women (hence the acronym AMBW), she thought it was nuts.

I tried to clarify for her WHY groups like this existed the main reason being that there are many negative stereotypes going against both Black women and Asian men; when you see certain rich, Black athletes and especially rappers, you see them with non-Black women. (Wasn’t there even a rapper who went on a tirade against Black women?)

Asian men get stereotyped as being scrawny compared to strong men of other races, and are assumed to be lacking physically in certain areas, if you know what I mean.

So, wouldn’t it make sense for two groups who get a bad rep to come together and be able to relate to each other’s struggles?

…is how I explained it to my friend.

I understand the difficulty in being thought of as “undesirable.” And that’s why I like that there are groups encouraging this type of interracial, intercultural exchange.

But…recently I suddenly left an AMBW Facebook group that I was part of for a pretty long time. I saw one post, by a Korean guy taking a selfie, pretty much saying “What’s up?” and not much else.

It’s become so lame. Instead of having meaningful discussion, that particular group seems to have become a shallow place where people post pics of hot Asian models and celebrities, and where the Black women seem to flock to every post from a guy with an Asian last name, even if all he’s saying is “Yo.”

I can’t say that EVERY group is like that, because I wasn’t part of EVERY group; just that one and maybe another that I’ve forgotten about. But I didn’t sign up for “yellow fever,” nor would I want a guy specifically looking for an “exotic” woman.

So, I’m all for fostering relationships that would otherwise be unlikely to happen, but don’t make “getting a Japanese boyfriend” or “scoring a black girlfriend” a goal. There’s quite a few interracial relationships within my own family, and none of them had anything to do with one person TRYING to score a partner of a particular race. Successful interracial relationships come to be because both people decided to look PAST race, not because they looked FOR a certain race.


7 responses to “Done with AMBW.

  1. MooNB June 19, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I know what you mean. And if one goes to the online forums that claim AM&XF is for everyone, one figures quickly that is not indeed the case. To be honest, I think its best as of now to meet people off of the computer and naturally just meet someone in person through group of friends or meet ups. I used to think the same way in terms of what you told your friend “Asian guys are seen as scrawny and black females are either seen as being manly or less desired..lets procreate!” Now, I realize that feeling was really stupid since no one should get together due to them having it so bad. I totally vouch for people getting together because we don’t want to actually kill one another and not contemplate the consequences cause it’s not worth it =).

    • sooyong June 19, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      “Now, I realize that feeling was really stupid since no one should get together due to them having it so bad.”

      Hahaha, I really like how you worded this. It’s so true!

      As far as meeting people, I think both offline and online are perfectly fine. While it would be ideal for everyone to meet someone they like offline, it doesn’t happen for everyone. But at the same time, online dating is not for everyone either. I’ll get into that more in another post! Thank you for your comment!

  2. Dwayne June 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    So I find this post very interesting to be honest, I didn’t think there’d be such groups at all, I find it a bit strange really and a bit laughable. It’s unfortunate that there are certain stereotypes against both races and in general really, (albeit some I do find really funny). Truth be told there are (as far as my experiences go) some people that actually fit into those stereotypical roles. I’m a black male (I’m actually mixed but I refer to myself as black, I always have), I live in the Caribbean so most people here are black. I’ve actually had a conversation with some of my really good friends, 2 in particular that well..not that they hate black women or anything like that but they’ve had many experience with women that perfectly acted like those stereotypes and (according to them) they’ll never, ever date black women again. One prefers White women and the other only Asian women.

    My opinion, honestly I don’t really care. While I can understand that there’ll always be people with their preferences, but I think it becomes a problem when their race becomes the ONLY factor in choosing someone, that’s just plain foolish to me. Or like what you said about “getting a Japanese boyfriend” or “scoring a black girlfriend”, one shouldn’t do it just because, and another thing; it seems that people don’t really talk or have meaningful conversation anymore there is no way I can date a woman solely on her being a certain race or have a specific feature, I have to know her first!

    Being thought of as “undesirable” is something that nobody should experience. It would make me sad if that had been the case for you or people you know. When I do see a woman that I deem “exotic”, I will say that something about that is for some reason attracting to me, BUT if that’s all that’s attracting me to her then that’s really shallow.

    But Sooyong, what if someone initially sees you only as an “exotic”, “hot mixed black woman” (apologies for that) but actually grows to strongly like (even love) you because of your personality (the things that aren’t seen with the eyes) etc How’d you react to that?

    In closing, I think you did a good thing leaving that kind of group, I think some people are trying way to hard trying to find a boyfriend or girlfriend and are looking in some very strange places too.

    I look forward to the next one, you really hit me as an insightful, and VERY smart person.

    • sooyong June 19, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks for the comment! In regards to your friends with all that experience with black women, while I can understand, of course it’s important to treat people as they are on the inside, not what they look like on the outside. I once had a terrible experience with being attracted to a Korean guy in high school. He was a prideful nationalist, and although we were friends, ultimately he was not attracted to me because I’m not “pure Korean.” That angered and hurt me to the point that I couldn’t even find myself attracted to Korean men anymore, for fear that I would be rejected again for having “tainted blood.” It wasn’t until I visited my family in Korea that I really felt better about it. I have a cousin who is a few years older than me, and when we met for the first time he commented on how beautiful I was. Maybe he was biased because we’re family of course, haha. But I thought, if HE could see that, then there must be other Korean men out there who also don’t care about a woman’s ethnic background.

      It’s also acceptable to have preferences, just so as long as the person finds themselves denying their attraction and rejecting perfectly good people solely because of their race. I have a few friends with whom I shared a common interest in Asian men years ago; one of them is dating a Hispanic man, another is engaged to a white man, and another is dating a Black man. Even though they all found Asian men to be attractive, in the end it wasn’t a priority.

      While I don’t really like being considered “exotic,” I don’t mind if someone initially sees me as “hot” or otherwise physically attractive. Physical appearance is almost always the first thing we see, right? So of course it’s fine. But what isn’t okay is if the person only cares about appearance and cares nothing about the other parts of me. I actually wanted to elaborate on that in a future post when I have time.

  3. Momo June 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I plan to move to Japan when I got older. I’m hoping to get into one of their universities though. Is being a English teacher a good paying job? I also want to know if you would give me advice on what I might encounter in Japan and learning the language. I’m currently looking for a Japanese teacher but in the mean time I was going to start on my own but I don’t know where. Some people say speaking is the first thing I should learn and then someone else said writing. I have a lot of questions but I don’t want to give them to you all at one time. Hahah it would be a lot.

    • sooyong June 27, 2014 at 1:04 am

      To answer your questions:

      1. The pay for teaching English varies depending on the company and the cost of living. If you’re in the countryside, it might be easier when your rent is cheaper and you may not be tempted to buy lots of things. The city is much more expensive, but on the positive side, there’s many people around to talk to and the city is more accommodating for people who don’t speak a lot of Japanese.

      2. “What you might encounter in Japan” is a broad question. Different people have had different experiences and have taken different approaches to things. Some people find it easy to make friends, some don’t. Some people might experience culture shock in one area whereas it may not faze someone else at all. As far as the language, Japanese pronunciation is relatively easy, because there are fewer sounds compared to English. Learning to read and write may take some time, so if you want to do that you’ll have to practice everyday.

      3. Sometimes I wonder why people like to separate speaking from writing…it’s entirely possible to do both at the same time. But you need to figure out how your brain works as far as learning. Some people, especially those who talk a lot and aren’t shy, tend to have no problems speaking but have a lot of trouble reading and often don’t even bother writing. People like me, who start out very shy, have problems with speaking but are much better at reading and writing. You should learn both, but focus more on what’s more difficult for you. Writing down words and sentences might help you remember them better for speaking, and speaking is important for communicating with people on the spot.

  4. Jacquinn October 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Thank you thank you so much for this. This is a voice that isn’t being said in that groups. Besides, no matter how much some people in that group try to be not shallow, it doesn’t work because the acronym ambw is sooo limiting. There’s only so much you can talk about when it comes to race.

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