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Whenever anyone dared to broach the subject, usually someone would quickly pounce on the thread and sully it with some juvenile comment about Chinese men that wasn't all that different from that Long Duk Dong movie still.The worst of these threads generally devolved into a low-brow, expletive-laden conversation more appropriate for a bathroom stall.In September 1999 -- my first month in China -- I had a huge crush on a guy.My heart melted at that first sight of his big sesame-oil brown eyes.Curious to know about this from current TSR members.
But some of my most fascinating and educative encounters with this idea of "Chinese men as undateable" happened online, when I came face-to-face with these opinions distilled into the cold, black-and-white reality of blog posts and expat forums.
"Whenever I arrive at the airport in America, the first thing I notice is our men, how handsome and how tall they are," one of my white female colleagues mentioned over lunch.
"I'll just stare at them for hours, as if I was Chinese and had never seen a foreign man before in my life." At least that woman wasn't as blunt as another colleague, who used to bicycle with me through the streets of Zhengzhou.
The woman who wrote that post never specifically said any of these things about local men in China, but she didn't have to. Then again, her post appears downright classy in comparison to what I've read in the free-for-all world of anonymous expat forums across China.
There was a brief time when I tried combing these forums in search of discussions about dating Chinese men, hoping to gain some insights, but I soon gave that up.
I didn't know much about China back then -- a time when I could only communicate in Mandarin with a dictionary and lots of patience, and where my entire cultural knowledge was amassed from the library books on China I borrowed during the summer.