Here's a scenario I encountered recently. Two male ALTs sat down uninvited with a female teacher and quizzed her about her love life. When she said that she didn't have a boyfriend, they launched into a tag-team speech about the benefits of a "foreign" (which I think was unambiguously code for "white") boyfriend. A Japanese man wouldn't respect her, they said. Foreign men loved cooking and would help with house work, they said. This scene is one I have witnessed over and over in endless variations. It's the "a white man will sweep in and save you from marrying an evil Asian man" line. Because, you know, ALL white men do half the house work and no Japanese man has ever respected his wife's career.
Nowhere do racist and sexist stereotypes crop up as quickly as in discussions on international relationships. Listen to this gem:
Still, there is a quality about the typical young Japanese woman that, even today, sets her apart and makes her attractive both as a lover and as a wife. This quality includes a clear perception of herself as a woman who has her own place in the world and does not have to compete directly with men.; along with a heightened sense of femininity and sensuality.
Among the things foreign men should keep in mind when contemplating the attractions of young Japanese women is that: (1) they tend to change more than American or European women do after they get married; (2) that if they are removed from the Japanese environment they tend to very rapidly lose some or all of the "Japanese" qualities that made them different in the first place; and (3) that long exposure to foreigners even in Japan has the same effect on a reduced scale.
Of course, these changes are not necessarily bad or undesirable. The more "Japanese" a girl is the more she must change if she is going to keep company with a foreign man, anywhere. The foreigner is not going to start acting Japanese [...]Have you finished barfing? How much does that Orientalist rant sound like the kind of thing you read when choosing a dog breed? The quote comes from a book I inherited along with a box of others from another ALT. After reading some of it I assumed that it dated back to the 1970s or '80s, but in fact it was published in 2006. 2006. If you would like to express any thoughts on that (I should also mention that it contains a chapter titled "Happy Hunting Grounds") please feel free to contact the otherwise excellent Tuttle Publishing or better yet leave a review on amazon. The book is "Sex and the Japanese" by Boye Lafayette De Mente.
One of my teacher-friends recently took a year off to care for his baby son full-time while his wife went back to work. Guess no one gave him the "evil Asian husband" memo.