Empowering Asian Men, Part II

Rochelle graciously replied to my original article, which you can see on the post before this. You can find my reply to her reply here on Amped Asia. You can see her response to my original article here.

My Reply to Rochelle’s Reply to My Reply to Her Reply to that Guy Who Wrote That Letter About How Rochelle’s Racist

I love how this forum can facilitate reasoned discussion on this thorny topic.

First, the accolades. I am very grateful for Rochelle’s thoughts in these three articles. She is doing all Asian-American men a great service by listing what she perceives as weaknesses in Asian-American men. And she does this almost without any self-consciousness of how politically incorrect some of her claims are. For this, I applaud her. Too many people are afraid to speak their minds because of political correctness.

I truly enjoy how Rochelle lets loose, even though her arguments are in places heavily tainted by Eurocentric and especially American-centric assumptions and viewpoints.

She and I agree on most points regarding the current flaws in Asian-American men.

I’ve been telling Asian men for years informally, and over a year formally on my site, that they need to be more dominant, aggressive, adventurous, confident to the point of being almost cocky, and to stand tall and buff up.

Advice on what guys need to change about themselves is so much more powerful when it comes from an attractive girl. I have no idea how hot Rochelle is, but I’m imagining a hot girl, lol. I will point to Rochelle’s assessments as data and evidence for my claims and admonitions regarding the above points.

As for the disagreements: Clearly, Rochelle and I don’t have access to the facts that would settle our core disagreement here, which comes down to the physical features of the Asian race versus non-Asian races.

I admitted as much in my original article. And then I said that since all Rochelle offered were specific cases, I too would offer isolated cases, which is what I did systematically.

I’m not going to reiterate my cases and evidence, which you can find in my original article.

In her rejoinder, Rochelle seems to retract her original statement about ‘Asian men’ since she doesn’t want to make claims about Asian men everywhere in Asia or the world, and rightly so.

Also, she neglects to address the personal examples I cited about Chinese men in China and about Asians from the northern steppes, including Mongolians.

More tellingly, she did not speak to one of my main points, which is that for Asian-American men to get in touch with their Asian roots and discover the alphaness in their Asian heritage, they really need to spend an extended period living in Asia and hanging out with real Asian alpha males.

The solution is not as easy as saying to Asian-American men, ‘Hey, be like those white guys and black guys over there who are taking all your Asian women.’

For an Asian-American to go that route is already emasculating. The Asian-American male would have to admit that yes, my genes and heritage have let me down, white men are socially superior, and I aspire only to become like those white alpha males physically and socially. This is self-defeating, not to mention utterly demoralizing.

Rather, one of the secrets to turning the tide of Asian-American masculinity is a re-connection with the local or native Asian alpha male. At present, they are rarely found outside of Asia. After all, there is no good reason for the top dogs in their own country to immigrate to a completely foreign field. By the way, this applies to the most beautiful Asian women, as well. See my post on Is It Easier or Tougher for Foreign Guys in Asia?

The purpose is to see firsthand what a natural Asian alpha male is like and how different they can be from non-Asian alpha males. Admittedly, these native Asian alphas can be hard for the average foreigner to find.

But the example they set is empowering.

You don’t have to be like the alpha white guys. Don’t take Rochelle’s point as ‘Be more like those alpha white guys.’ Even if that was her intention, I’d like to think she had something nobler in mind.

Be the Asian alpha male. There are particular Asian ways of being alpha. One of the best ways to do this is to learn from native Asian alphas.

Make your genetics, your race, and your cultural heritage work FOR you.

Asian-American brothers, stand up for yourselves! Don’t make me be your Tyler Durden. Be your own Tyler Durden!

Okay, that sounds pretty funny, lol. But I’m trying to be serious, here.

Now to the rest of Rochelle’s rejoinder.

In most of these disagreements over the empirical evidence, we are talking past each other.

Part of the problem was that I may not have been clear enough in my earlier article, and for that, I accept all the blame. I will try to be clearer here.

With half the world’s population, Asia still couldn’t produce more than a handful of guys who could compete at the highest level of a sport that requires the traits that I’m talking about (strength, height, stature, etc).

I guess she’s referring to basketball. Yes, I readily acknowledge America’s domination and promotion of this sport and of how few Asians are competing at the top levels. There are, however, plenty of sociological, economic, historical, and even political reasons for this. This has hardly anything to do with whether there are enough tall Asians, LOL.

Even worse is American Football where there are barely any Asian players at all, much less a superstar.

Yes, America dominates American football, LOL. I don’t think any Asian country even cares about whether they field an American football team.

I personally love American football. But let’s face it. American football is not even an international sport. It wouldn’t matter if I were 6’5’, 230 lbs., and could run 40 yards in 5 seconds. I still wouldn’t have a clue where to get the equipment, find the right field, or even locate other players to play American football in, say, Beijing or Singapore.

Okay, so basketball and American football’¦ Hmm’¦ Can we say, ‘Team USA!’

Even in a sport like tennis where pure athleticism wins over strength and stature, there are very few Asian players that can compete with the Russians, Americans, and Europeans.

Tennis? Why tennis? Why not martial arts, like Tae Kwon-do or Judo? Or even boxing, in which China did win a gold medal at the recent Olympics.

I suppose now we’re going to go through the sports one by one and argue over whether Asians have the potential to compete at the highest level. But this would be futile.

My original point was that there is nothing inherent or genetic in the physical build or stature of Asian men that prevents them from getting to the highest levels in any major sport.

There are plenty of sociological, economic, political, and historical reasons why certain countries have dominated other countries in certain sports.

There is no human race that has any significant advantage genetically over any other human race in any international sport.

I am quite frankly shocked that I would even have to make this statement explicitly. Perhaps I’ve been too long in the ivory tower’¦

Of course China is going to train great gymnasts and ping pong players, but just because they have some great athletes in those sports doesn’t mean the whole race is athletic.

Wow. I must be misreading here. Ignoring the American-centric bias towards certain sports here, I still can’t be interpreting this rightly.

Rochelle can’t possibly be claiming that the WHOLE RACE of ASIANS is inherently physically inferior.

She must mean, instead, that historically, non-Asian countries have been dominant in more international sports than Asian countries have.

I am happy to agree with that empirical claim, even if it is historically contingent.

Let’s conclude with a convergence.

If you notice I wrote about “Where in Asia can you find the charismatic and dominant equivalent of Brad Pitt in Fight Club” I didn’t say “Where in Asia can you find people who have a body like Brad Pitt.” The keyword here is the charismatic and dominant portrayal of Tyler Durden that Brad Pitt displayed that is really key’¦ The issue I wanted to address with the Brad Pitt example was that Asian men are simply not as dominant with their words or their actions as they could and should be.

This part I really like. I misunderstood her original point, thinking that she meant Brad Pitt’s physical appearance. What she really meant was that more Asian-American men should be like Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden.

Thank you, Rochelle, for saying this. I totally agree with you that Asian-American men in particular need to stand up for themselves and be more like the Tyler Durden character in Fight Club. In fact, that is a running theme in the PUA (pickup artist) movement.

I am Asian and I love my Asian heritage, but sometimes I’m just fed up with Asian guys that simply need to “man up” and ask me out on a date or I’m mad that some Asian guys don’t care enough about their body’¦ Instead of having Asian men whining that white guys are stealing their girls, why not go out and steal some white girls?

Here, here.

Dudes, quit your whining. Stand up straight. Keep your chin up. Speak loudly. Learn to be dominant. Step out from under your dad’s shadow, and stop being a momma’s boy. Be your own man.

For more on the basics, get my Dating 101 audio course, and check out the Best of the Blog articles on my site: www.asianrake.com I’m going to be churning out more material for you, so stay tuned.

Thanks, Rochelle, for the great discussion.

Play on, The Asian Rake.

Leave a Comment:

26 comments
Johnny says April 13, 2009

yo man, inspirational advice, dude!

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Cowboy says April 16, 2009

AR,
Reading a thoughtfully planned argument from a talented academic is truly a pleasure here. Love the way this series of articles ended – right on the money.

As a young, white guy who’s lived in China for almost half a decade, speaks/reads Chinese, & shares many of the same alpha-oriented pursuits you do, I can agree that China/Asia has plenty of badass, alpha dudes that deserve respect. However, I have to disagree with your initial argument & response to Rochelle. Seemed to me that her complaint was with the average Asian male, whereas you were using statistical outliers as contradictory evidence.

We know that Asia can (& does!) produce badass dudes – Takeshi Kaneshiro, Yang Wei, etc. The problem, it SEEMS to me, is that the AVERAGE Asian guy doesn’t aspire to those heights of alphaness, masculinity, and general kickassery, where your average American guy (let’s be honest, Rochelle was in actuality only talking about American guys) openly & affectionately aspires to be Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brad Pitt, Han Solo, Peyton Manning, George Clooney, Alex Rodriguez, or whoever else. It SEEMS to me that the real difference is a lack of hero worship in Asian culture. Particularly so here in China, where arguments always devolve into glorification of ancient history — lionization of the “descendants of the yellow emperor.” Chinese media reports on Hu Jintao beating little Japanese girls in ping pong; the US media reports that Barack Obama bench presses 200lbs, drains 3-pointers, and is an admitted smoker who just don’t give a f*ck. We love heroes. We want to be heroes. We think we can become heroes.

All in all, this leads me to two questions:
1) What, in parts of Asia, prevents the hero worship & need for physically masculine idols that pushes the average western boy to lift weights & dream of the big leagues? (Concept of “face?” Political culture? Less dominate media?)
2) When is the Asian Rake going to become a celebrity so Asian kids have an uber man to idolize? (Flattery is always the best way to end an argument)

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Asian Rake David says April 16, 2009

Hey Cowboy,
Great points here.

Yes, I was well aware I was using outliers to make my point. I would also agree with you that there currently are a higher percentage of alpha outliers in America than in most of Asia. But that doesn’t mean there are NO alpha outliers among Asian men. Since nobody really has any reliable stats on this, everyone is just using their tiny bit of anecdotal evidence.

However, as I made clear in the second piece, I took Rochelle as claiming that there was something biologically and intrinsically less alpha in Asian males than in American males. This just is just flat-out false, as my examples show. I trust that this point I really made clear in the second article.

There are all sorts of cultural, socio-economic, and even political reasons for the difference in alpha-ness, as you point out with your example of “role-models,” but I was specifically refuting the biological claim.

I do realize there are lots of skinny Chinese guys in China. But if you had looked around my gym in Beijing at the gigantor dudes comparing themselves to the Chinese gold medalists, I think you will admit that there are plenty of Chinese dudes who look up to the muscular and athletic Chinese males. It took me a while to find them myself.

Yes, the current movies and music videos don’t glorify them. One can only hope that things will begin to change.

You can also see the feminization of the Asian male in Asia’s history in many respects, as well as in Asia’s predominant philosophical traditions (which form part of my academic research).

But there is equally a valorization of martial culture in much of Asia, including not just the northern Asians (like Mongolians and Manchus), but also in Japan and southeast Asia.

Historically, though, the ladies’ men of Asian history have been the effeminate types (though that’s not all that different from courtier Europe). For example, see the Tale of Genji, the Dream of the Red Mansions, and the Golden Lotus.

So maybe the Asians just figured out early on that you don’t need to be muscle man to get the girls. In fact, being more feminine can often actually help you (see, for example, the success of Neil Strauss and Russell Brand).

Thanks for the flattery. Somebody’s been studying the social arts 😉

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David says April 17, 2009

Loved the articles. Very thought inspiring.

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Josh says April 17, 2009

Hi Dave,

I’ve read through your post and I agree with you 100% that when attracting white girls,be more cocky, be more confident,more assertive and dominance.

Since I haven’t been following the debate with Rochelle,the smatter of what came across is that she represented the typical white arrogance- in our modern day and age,it’s cultural ethnocrity. Of course, not all whites are like that, but I digress.

What upsets me,saddens me, is that as Asians we despise our own ethnicity. Cultural white coloniasm pervades Singapore, and even amongst my friends we look down on anything that’s Asian- like we’re less cool, less achieved than the Westerners.

The truth of the matter is that we’ve lagged behind in the last 1000 years. Before Rome was built, Asia was a bristling hub of civilisation. Infact, the Westerns took a lot from us(Marco Polo was amazed by China’s prosperity) culturally and academically.

Yes, the West has produced alot of good ideas( democracy and meritocracy) but some of the more advanced minds have realised that such systems of governance does not work for everyone.

But looking at the current problems in the world today.. the West has done it’s fair share of damage. Some of it deliberate,some of it accidental. I turn to Africa to support my case, and to India and Pakistan(Western powers marking their territories, British policy of “divide and conquer”).

The reason why Asian guys put alot of emphasis on being “beta” is because of our culture: Asian culture is based on group achievement versus American culture places emphasis on individual achievement. We place values on being humble, conservative and respectable.

It’s such a shame that, dating game wise we have to compete with the Caucasians on their own turf of “being alpha”( and I note that even in your article you represented the “alpha” traits in accords with Western notions). To a certain extent we’re fighting a losing battle.

I sincerely do hope that China rises and we get more cultural infusion from that great power, for all Asians in the world.

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Asian Rake David says April 18, 2009

Hey David,
Thanks, man!

Josh,
Thanks for writing such a long comment.

I really don’t think it helps to bring in all the weight of history, as the historical record is multi-faceted and much more complex than the simple binaries you present. Your cultural points are also over-stated.

Your comments defending a “conservative” Asian culture lead me to guess that you are from Singapore 😉

Attraction arts is built on the foundation of evolutionary psychology, biology, and our evolutionary history. The fact that women are more attracted to “alpha” men has to do with their biology, survival of the fittest, and natural selection.

What “alpha” means in any given context can be culturally determined to some extent. My personal experience (and everything I’ve seen) and the empirical research on mate selection shows that most alpha traits (confidence, charisma, protector of loved ones, etc.) are universal.

Yes, that means that some of the by-products of “Asian culture” can actually hinder Asian men from generating more attraction.

Yes, in some cases, Asian culture tends to encourage universally beta traits. This is one of the reasons why white foreigners can land in an Asian country and dominate social dynamics; they were raised in a society that encourages more universally dominant, alpha traits.

But also, some aspects of Asian culture are very “alpha,” and there is every reason to be proud of our Asian heritage.

Of course, this is a controversial statement, and I’m helping to further the already burgeoning academic research on this issue.

This whole thing about Asians being about “group achievement” is an unfortunate and inaccurate stereotype. All the movers and shakers in Asian history have stood out because of their individualism. That was my point in citing the case studies of the alpha males in China. There are proportionally fewer of them. But they are there. And they are cleaning up like no one else because there is relatively less competition.

I would argue that two of the traits you adduce–being humble and conservative–are NOT universally attractive. They may be attractive to a small, niche minority of women. Modesty is a good strategic move (and almost always in Asian societies, it is the false modesty of “nali nali, mama huhu”). But I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to claim that they aren’t universally attractive traits.

Much more universally attractive are the traits of confidence (all over the world, including Singapore, women react to confident men), charisma, and being indifferent to arbitrary social norms. Daring and adventurous men willing to take risks for the greater good and to protect their loved ones–these are much more powerful and universally attractive than being humble and conservative, lol.

Being respectable could be a universally attractive trait depending on what is meant by the term. If it means conveying higher status, than yes, it is universal, as our evolutionary history as proven.

Thanks again for your thoughtful comments!

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Josh says April 18, 2009

Beyond the scope of this discussion, I am quite annoyed that famous Asian stars like Jet Li,Jacky chan and Chow Yan Fat continually accept roles that typecast all asian men into silly kongfu masters who dispense fortune-cookie wisdom.

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Wayne says April 19, 2009

Amazing set of articles, AR! Keep them coming!

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Cowboy says April 19, 2009

AR,

Phenomenally interesting points. It annoys me that I didn’t think of the feminized rake being a respected character over here. It is, after all, the androgynous, girly rich boys landing the hottest broads over & over at the clubs in this town….

Do you think that there’s a still-extant cultural tilt toward avoiding physical/masculine traits, as in the way that rural Chinese folks/migrant workers still rock the 3-inch pinky nail to show that they don’t do manual labor? Or is that just an expat legend? The most “alpha” Chinese businessmen I know all show a complete disregard for their health…& I’ve often heard Chinese women claim to be happy when their husbands start growing a gut, as it means they’re living well & being successful.

I’d go on about this all day if I could. Anyway, parting thought: that Korean guy in that FastFuriousTokyoDrift movie….100% badass.

Cowboy

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Asian Rake David says April 19, 2009

Josh,
Yeah, I feel ya on that one. Takeshi Kaneshiro in an interview in a recent edition of August magazine said he has refused all Hollywood roles to do stereotypical Asian male characters, e.g., martial artists or triad gangsters.

Wayne,
Thanks dude. Will do!

Josh again,
In another long message reiterating most of his points already mentioned above, Josh contends that individualism was definitely Western and cited the example of Achilles vs. the group-oriented heroes in the Chinese Red Cliff (based on the Three Kingdoms literature).

On the individualism being a Western ideal and holism being an Eastern one, there is a TON of very good scholarship on this in Chinese philosophy, social psychology, and in Chinese and Asian studies in general. The comments section is certainly not the place to rehash this or engage with it all.

However, just to show you how much more complex the historical record can be, let’s take your example of Achilles. Anyone who has studied the Iliad knows about the juxtaposition between the (anti-)hero Achilles and the hero Hector. Hector is certainly as much a Greek ideal hero type as Achilles.

As far as the Chinese tradition goes, there are also plenty of examples of the lone wanderer hero figure, particularly those connected to Daoism and Buddhism.

Actually, these bring to mind two types of universally attractive characters that Robert Greene does not address: The Wanderer-Nomad and the King of Men. I’ve been planning for months to write on this but have never gotten around to it. Maybe I will soon.

In any case, I do agree that modern Singaporean society is group-oriented and under Orwellian group-think to a much greater degree than, say, America, France, or even China. But I do not think that this means that Singaporean society is being truer to their Chinese heritage in this regard. Chinese history and Greco-Roman history are rich enough to provide examples and counter-examples to just about any broad, sweeping generalization. This is what I meant about the historical record being too complex to deal with in these short spaces.

I also agree that social group orientation can be evolutionarily advantageous. But somebody still needs to step up to be the Leader (like Hector). That’s what I meant by “individualism,” not that people just desert the group for their own ends (like Achilles). Stepping up in any way will be attractive, so both Achilles and Hector are alpha males. Notice that Hector’s in-group is just larger than Achilles. Achilles still triggers plenty of Protector of Loved Ones attraction switches. You can see this in his fierce love for his family and his own men.

What is not attractive universally is the Follower. The unreasonable taxi queues and other such anecdotal cases are immediately evident to just about any Western visitor to Singapore. It is unfortunate that the Singaporean government chose in the seventies and eighties to promote a particularly conformist strain of Confucianism. It does, however, make a more docile people, more easily governed.

If you want to be universally attractive to women, don’t be the Follower. Be the Leader. Being the Leader involves sticking your neck out and stepping up. It also usually involves challenging the status quo.

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Will says April 19, 2009

Dave,

Your intellect and connectedness to the world truly shines in your original post and responses to your readers. Keep in mind that as your audience grows, so will the bullshit (nonsensical) responses with pathetic backings. I’m glad you responded to Rochelle’s post to empower Asian men. But I don’t think you needed that 2nd response at all. You had already won. 🙂

Keep ’em coming!

Will.

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Josh says April 19, 2009

I like your post, and I agree with you 100% on it. Self-individualism, or submissive collectivism, is not attractive or even advantageous to living.

Thanks again!

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Asian Rake David says April 20, 2009

This comment from Mestizo at Amped Asia seemed both personal and pertinent:

I’m half Filipino, half white but I look 100%. I’m not what the media portrays the stereotypical Asian male looks like either; I’m 5”11, 190 lbs with a muscular frame. I spent my whole life around white people. I was raised white and taught very little about my Asian heritage, now I have to learn everything on my own through my grandparents, books, internet, other Asians, etc. All of my uncles are white and so is my father. I grew up hearing them and my Asian aunts and mother mock Asian males and denounce their heritage because when they grew up in the ‘70’s on the east coast being white was the best thing to be, those who were different were discriminated against. I too fell into this belief that Asians are inferior and that I was white even though I was known as the “Chinese kid” growing up and mocked about my Asian appearance. I never understood why they associated me with Asians because I thought I was white. As a result I hated all Asians and steered away from Asian women because I didn’t want to be associated with them and validate any stereotypes that Asian guys can only get Asian women. Today, I’m smarter now and proud of my Asian side, I can no longer deny the beauty of Asian women either. I’m disgusted by my previous beliefs and actions but find it understandable because everywhere I looked I was being told that white people are better people and more attractive. I try to educate my younger cousins and sister who are all half Asian and white to be proud of their Asian heritage unfortunately they are allowing the stigmas of society to cloud their judgment and many of them denounce their Asian side as I once did. My aunts and mother have no idea why I am proud to be Asian either, I can no longer discuss these issues with them because their ignorance just makes me sick to my stomach. My story is an example of how detrimental stereotypes and stigmas created by westernized beliefs can have disastrous effects on ethnic groups. They all derived from preconceived notions that one race is superior to another whether it’s physically, mentally, sociably, etc. Now that I witness other Asian women fall for the same ignorant westernized beliefs portrayed by the American media I feel that maybe we haven’t come that far since my aunts’ and mother’s time. At times I feel helpless and uncertain of how I can permanently expel these negative beliefs. Asian guys need to step up too; I’ve seen a lot of stereotype Asian males that due nothing but set the rest of us back. They need to expand there horizons as well and date not only white women but Latinas, black girls, Indians, middle easterners, etc. America is the melting pot of the world so why limit yourself to one race, we are all beautiful. As Asian guys it is our jobs to eradicate these negative Asian male stereotypes just remember to be confident, we are the biggest underdogs of all the ethnic men out there but you should use that to fuel your commitment to end these stigmas as I do.

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Asian Rake David says April 20, 2009

Another interesting comment from Amped Asia:

Rochelle,

I am an Asian male currently serving in Afghanistan. I read your article and was really dissapointed in the way you portray your dad, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, or any male cousins and friends you may have. I’m pretty sure they wouldnt appreicate your negative comments.

Dont be so quick to stereotype and generalize a group of people based on what YOU have seen or experienced. In your reply you mentioned, “I’m willing to bet that if there was some kind of universally fair physical test that was given to every American man and every Asian -American man, the Americans would get more points.” First off I want to begin by saying “American” isnt a race. I’m Korean but im also an American. As a matter of fact, I like to consider myself an American-Korean instead of vice versa because of the fact that I fight for this country and would never find the same kind of pride as i would if i were to serve in Korea’s military. In regards to the physical fitness part….there are universal and fair physical tests that every man can take to test their strength and endurance. They’re called Special Forces physical fitness tests. Every military branch has them. I dont mean to brag but i’ve maxed out points for each test (Army SF, Air Force Pararescue, and Navy Seals)…not to mention that I was the only one to do so. Each test consists of running, swimming, and strength portions that would make the average person have a heart attack while trying to perform. I also hold the record for most pushups in a minute for many military installations. Try and find anyone that can do 118 military pushups in 60 seconds.

What also disturbed me was the fact that you implied that Brad Pitt’s body is too difficult for many men to acheive. You’ve got to be kidding me! I dont mean to brag but his body isnt very muscular or cut. He’s just slim. As a matter of fact, his body is trash…compared to mine. Again, I dont mean to show off but rather making a point out of my confidence that anyone would agree that I have a more muscular and toned frame that Brad Pitt. If you dont believe me then I’d be more than happy to send you a picture. I’ve been contacted by and also referred to many fitness modeling agencies by my girlfriend (who just so happens to be Causcasian), but sadly had to turn down offers because I am a military officer. There would be alot of backlash towards my career if i were to do so.

I’ve played soccer ever since I was a kid and ended up playing in high school and college my freshman year. Sadly, I dropped out of the team because it was too difficult to juggle soccer, studies, and ROTC at the same time. I also enjoy baseball and football. Back at my base I take time to mentor and teach kids how to play soccer and how to surf ( for free of course). Nothing is more fulfilling then investing my effort in the future of our country. It’s been extrememly rewarding.

Regards.

Lieutenant K

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Asian Rake David says April 20, 2009

Cowboy,
MIssed your second comment.

Haha, yeah, it’s funny when a big, burly Westerner tries to bully a with-it skinny, fashionable, and witty Chinese guy. The Chinese girls tend to side with the effeminate Chinese guy just because the contrast is so huge that it looks like the big guy is a big bully, lol.

I don’t think, though, that a beer belly is part of the effeminate rake’s image. He’s trying to go under the gay-dar, not look like a slob. Rather, think metrosexual. I can recall several very good Shanghainese naturals who really pulled off the metrosexual look very well.

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Asian Rake David says April 20, 2009

Hey Will and Josh,
Thanks for your comments and kudos!

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Hoho says May 13, 2009

Hey Mr.AsianRake,

What do you expect for someone who grew up in White dominated society? Many of them fell to the trap and become victim of White Men’s bull shit, or WMBS. It’s the term I come up with to summarize the negative social pressure our Asian brothers and sisters are facing. I don’t mean to be racist, but it’s the fact that there are many not-so-friendly force out there trying to protrait us in a negative way and putting down our self-esteem despite Asian’s great achievement in general.

For someone who grew up in North America, you know what I am talking about. As for our Asian brothers, don’t let this WMBS gets to you. Be proud of yourselves and be strong to fight against it. As for our Asian sisters, don’t get your mind washed.

HL

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bob says November 8, 2009

As a Chinese-Canadian growing up in a Caucasian-majority society, as the “odd one out”, this issue has always been sensitive to me. I readily agree that, for social, historical reasons, Chinese have, in the past, not produced athletes for obvious reasons. On the other hand, I would add that Chinese civilization long ago made certain decisions in the direction of our culture in that culture heroes and scholars ie learned men were the “alpha male” while the more martial physical men were seen as secondary, as bestial, as less civilized. While some martial heroes legends still exist (e.g. Romance of 3 Kingdoms), it is the Odysseus-like heroes that are supreme. I would ascribe this to the influence, power and ascendency of the Confucian scholar-bureaucracy.

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Jake says November 18, 2009

Great responses, David.

The exchange has turned into a discussion about the genetics and resulting physiques in different races of men, but I believe the issue to boil down the following: History.

There is no genetic potential to what any race of man can achieve in both athletic feats and stature/build – provided they have the optimal nutritional, social, economic, cultural, and political conditions for such endeavors.

If Asians had invaded Europe, plundered its resources and colonized its natives to set up a base for natural resource extraction, then shipped all those resources (timber, coal, spices, diamonds, gold, silver, tea, other commodities) back to Asia to strengthen and shore up its burdgeoning industrial base – Asia would have eventually created a market economy that generated enough individual prosperity to maximize every Asian’s access to sufficient quantities of highly nutritious food and exercise regimins (this includes institutions for athletics and sport) – AT THE ULTIMATE EXPENSE OF EUROPEANS – and we would see the EXACT MIRROR of the current situation.

Let me illustrate what I wrote above further by pointing out some hypothetical results of this “Reverse-history” of Asians “raping” Europe.

– Due to Asia’s economic/political/social advantage, we would see Caucasian men all over the world about 2 inches shorter than Asian men, on average.

– We would have witnessed Asians invading the Americas, exterminating the Natives and setting up a continent-wide nations in the image of their Asian homeland.

– This emergent ‘Asian nation’ of the New World would one day grow to surpass the Asian motherland and become a superpower that would dominate the entire world – politically, militarily, and even culturally (the United States of Asia?).

– We would see poor European and North American immigrants trying to make their way to Asia and the “other USA” in search of opportunity.

– We would see Asian men taking advantage of the vulnerable position of these white immigrants to systematically oppress the males with negative rumors and stereotypes, while enticing the white females with promises of wealth and social status-by-proxy. The end result would be the extreme skew between Asian man/white female relationships and the opposite – all in the distinct favor of the Asian Man.

– We would see a global media empire (built on the back of an Asian industrial powerhouse) that exports images of ALL Asian males as sexy, dynamic, interesting, masculine, and dominant. Almost all the women ‘left behind’ in Europe and other parts of the world will succumb to subliminal media brainwashing and clutch their VHS tapes and pirated DVDs of these ‘Asian Gods’, and pray that one of them will appear in their country, and whisk them away from all the ‘white losers’ they see outside their apartment window – all “broke, white, and impotent”.

– And indeed, we would see this happen: rich and politically/socially/culturally empowered men from Asian nations (that benefitted from the historical colonization of European and ‘white’ nations) will come to the shores of ‘poor’ white countries, using the favorable exchange rate to live a life of luxury in these economic backwaters. White women everywhere will step over each other to get with these Asian men, and the native white men will grumble helplessly as these Asian men exploit this imbalance to their sexual advantage.

^ The above is all hypothetical – but it clearly illustrates the total amateurism of Rochelle’s so-called “journalism”, and her hopeless gaps in knowledge about how the legacy of Colonialism shapes her very existence in this modern world.

Someone astutely pointed out that due to the way history unfolded (with Europeans taking the initiative in colonial expansion), Asian cultures have generally ended up not emphasized athletic achievement as western ones, since most Asian nations were developing and hate comparatively fewer resources and time to devote to such recreational matters.

Take that cultural bias against athletic endeavors – and add it to the political, social, technological, economic, and cultural dominance of the West in the past 300 years (which is actually just an blip and an anomaly in an otherwise uninterrupted upward trajectory of Eastern dominance) – and you have a recipe for the conditions that Rochelle of AmpedAsia.com failed to account for in her assessment of the supposedly inferior genetic potential of Asian men.

In her follow-ups she readily admits her lack of foresight in only looking at the phenomenon (of white men being larger and more “masculine” than Asian men) from an America-centric perspective, and then goes onto slyly downplay that – but in reality that is the FATAL FLAW in her whole argument, right from the beginning.

She basically didn’t do her homework (Gee, and I thought all of us Asians were academically-include ‘due to our genes’!).

If she was merely stating an observation that Asian-American males were smaller than Caucasian-American males – and stated the DEEPER (as in historical, sociological) reasons why this might be – when we could have called it a day at that point.

But by failing to add a disclaimer that she was suggesting any kind of genetic deficiency on the part of Asian males – she made what was essentially a eugenist’s argument.

So that’s it? Asian men are inferior? Why doncha just ride off into the sunset with your White Knight, already?

That we Asian-American men today are the children of a generation of parents who grew up in Asia under the relative poverty of the 1940s to the 1960s (compared to the US at the time) is an extremely relevant point insofar as how we may not have lived up to our full genetic potential for athletic excellent, but I saw nary a mention of that fact by Rochelle.

That these parents responded to their formative poverty by emphasizing academic achievement above all else was not mentioned, either.

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Jake says November 18, 2009

Now, onto my corollary points.

Having a loudmouth like her yakking disrespectfully on our soapbox without any shame also says something about our ‘State of the (Asian-American) Union’.

See, here’s the problem that Asian-America finds itself in, as a community:

We (Asians in America) live in a white patriarchy that is ruled, more or less, by white men. They will calibrate social norms as they see fit, and enforce it on all people via cultural apparatus such as the media.

But on those occasions when they do allow minorities to have a say – they will usually give the WOMAN of the minority racial group the chance to stand on his soapbox.

And predictably, the pre-condition of her hopping on the White Man’s soapbox is of course that she must, more or less, echo his own sentiments and buy into his ideologies. Otherwise, the White Man keeps her at bay, along with all the other “Chinamen”.

(Note that due to the prominence of black men as the ‘poster-boy’ for Anti-Racism, white men cannot either brazenly or silently do this with the African-American community. He must make a public display of giving him some deferential treatment – hence the relatively heavy representation of black men in media and other highly public platforms.)

The above social/sexual niche is what the Asian woman fits into, and as a consequence many of them have become emboldened by the tacit approval of the White Man’s entry into his inner circle.

I kind of understand where Rochelle was coming from, from an editorial perspective – in order to create some mildly controversial editorial, she took that tone of a female drill-sargeant, or a femme-fatale with a leather whip. I get it. Controversy attracts attention, and with any luck will breed discussion.

But I also believe that that approach is a mistake and weakens her position as the defender of her own writings, due to the history of the Asian woman’s complicity with the white man in his White Male Patriarchy.

Now, not even mentioning the previous points I made in the post above – she just decreased the effectiveness of her message (which I believe was well-intentioned – she wanted to push AMs to improve themselves) by being a rude and obnoxious idiot. Her faintly eugenist standpoint coupled with her glaring internalization of the notions of white male supremacism didn’t exactly add any extra credibility, either. Talk about a massive, colossal failure in communication.

But okay. It’s 2009, right? We could let this one slide, perhaps?

We could – but perhaps we shouldn’t. We shouldn’t lampoon ALL Asian-American women (cos god dammit, I love em!), but maybe we should let Rochelle’s piece stand as a monument.

It’s one thing to let bygones be bygones, but an Asian-American woman as a group need to understand that they can’t expect to compare Asian men to white men in such an ignorant, brusque manner – and without any respect to the racist neo-colonial dynamics in her gender’s complicity with White Men – and not expect to hear an earful. That’s just basic manners, and common sense.

And there she was, thinking that she was just being “sassy” in that Tyra Banks Show way – and found that she stepped on quite a few toes.

And finally:

One could dryly assert that history or no history – facts are facts and that due to the advantageous legacy of white/European males, they ended up larger in size and are therefore “more masculine” by culturally American metrics of masculinity (read: ‘roided muscles, copious body hair, and aggressive behavior).

That’s fine. History is history, and there’s nothing I can do about the way it turned out. I can only hope to improve my lot in the PRESENT. I can accept that – but still I cannot accept the ignorance of women like Rochelle to fail to do the research to realize WHY it’s like that.

So in short – I think it’s abundantly clear what a moronic impression of herself she gave to the readers of AmpedAsia by writing that ill-conceived article. And if she’s eating crow right now – I’d suggest her to eat it cold.

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Jake says November 18, 2009

Forgive my typos people, but there’s no ‘edit’ function on this website. But I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to make sense of almost all of my two posts anyway. Cheers.

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Stevie Lad says September 18, 2010

I have to say Jake lad, that was really, really well written.

It embarrasses me as a former lawyer and (presently) Master’s student, with a desire to write,, that I could not have drawn so many aspects together so cogently. It was a pleasure reading your analysis. Typical clever Asian hehe!

Actually I would rather spend my time with my (taller) Alpha male English mates in Ellesmere Port, singing obscenities in pubs, having fights, hugging other men, rolling thier shoulders as they waddle around town in their trackies with their little Staffies that haven’t been snipped and, and showing off their pink over-sized beer guts. So what if they have bigger penises. You can’t see them anyway. For a bit of white supremacist propoganda just watch “Shameless” (laughs). Macho/street toughness is for chavs who are on disability benefits, not people who want to contribute to society.

If you’re Asian, just be Asian. Just make sure that you are better than everyone else at what you do. If you can’t play soccer, just buy the club. But I do concede that while you are at it, make sure you can box.

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Asian Rake David says September 21, 2010

Hey Hoho, Bob, and Stevie,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, guys! I’m sure you can tell I’m definitely sympathetic to your causes.

A special thanks to Jake for the two long comments. It’s clear you put a lot of thought into those. While I don’t agree with everything you’ve written, I do appreciate your sentiments.

Play on, David.

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PK says November 18, 2010

Saying asians are less masculine than white people are not correct. There are many attributes that people consider masculine. White people are usually taller, hairy, have more prominent noses etc. But then asians have prominent cheekbones and eyebrowbridges. This might suprise many people, but black hair is actually considered most masculine, and blond hair the least masculine. Whites tend to be more bulky build than asians (or more fat), but we must remmember there are both slow and fast twitch muscles, so it’s possible a bulkier person has more absolute power compared to a slimmer asian, but the asian might have more fast twitch muscles, hence he has more explosive power. so it depends how you define masculinity.

Now to the asian personality. Many asian women complain about asian men being too traditional, on the other hand these same women complain that asian men are less masculine (less alphamale personaly). That is funny, because usually traditonal minded asian men are more or less dominant. Asian men need to man up? Maybe asian american men. Because if you look at for instance men from Japan, Their mentality is much more masculine than most western countries. And how about South Korea, I heard every male has to complete two years of military training, now that is a very masculine society. In the western world, women are gaining more and more power, which is actually a good thing, but it is also a sign of their mens loss of some masculinity.

I think one of the main problem for asian men in america, is that they try to hard to become american, even though asians in america has never been accepted as real american, like black people has. At the same time, they make fun of real asians, by calling them FOBS, making fun of any trends, hairstyle, clothing, personalities real asians are associated with. So now they are caught in the middle. The western world and their media has excluded asian men for all time, but what the western world can’t do is to control asian media. There are suprisingly many white people who are into the asian entertainment industry and youth trends, just take a look at the korean wave. So next time you make fun of another FOB, consider he might actually get more girls than you can, in his homeland and propably in the USA too. Conclusion, Asian american males, and other asians like myself who live outside of asia: You couldn’t be part of their society, so instead find your asian roots, act like one and be proud of it. That way you might still not be part of their society, but at least you have dignity and stand proud.

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Asian Rake David says May 12, 2011

So a random reader wrote a snarky message saying that I hadn’t responded to Jake’s super long comments. Seems like Jake has himself a fan base that keeps pestering me.

At the time that Jake joined the discussion (a couple of years ago now), I was tired of this whole thing and didn’t want to dwell on it. So I just ignored all the glaring over-generalizations and the triumphalism and just gave a nice, polite answer.

But I’m up late tonight and thought I’d give it a quick stab.

Agreeing with PK’s opening idea–that Asians are less masculine (physically and emotionally) is just bullcrap–let me reiterate:

That was the whole point of my two articles on this subject.

It seems so very difficult for Asian-Americans to understand this.

Why are they so obstinate in their ignorance? After living in China and now Singapore for the past 7 years, I’ve been able to distance myself enough to objectively say that it’s because:

ASIAN-AMERICANS IN GENERAL KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT ASIA, including its history, culture, literature, philosophy, religion, sociology, anthropology, and dare I say, even languages, both modern and especially classical. But more insidiously, they THINK they know something about Asia.

Whenever I hear them use the word “Asian,” as a Ph.D. in Asian Culture, I just cringe. They use it with so much license, it becomes almost meaningless.

Basically, Asian-Americans (Americans of Asian descent, raised in America) mean by “Asian” whatever their narrow slice of experience with Asia exposes them to. But oh how narrow that is.

This has become painfully obvious to me over the years, having had to decipher for Singaporeans what all this nonsense is that Asian-Americans are going on about whenever they use the term “Asia.” Yeah, Asian-Americans have a very peculiar and parochial understanding of “Asia.”

Basically, their view of Asia is limited to the 2-3 million Asians in their area, which is mainly Chinatowns and Koreatowns (if they’re in a big city like LA or NYC). Among the more well-traveled, this might extend to the 10-15 million Asians resident in America.

This is a far cry from understanding the FOUR BILLION Asians in the rest of the world, who make up over 60% of the world’s population.

Yeah, of the other 3.9 billion Asians, well, Asian-Americans are generally clueless. They know about as much about the people of Iceland as they do about Asians in the rest of the world.

Even worse, is their appalling lack of knowledge of Asian history, which leaves out many more billions of Asians throughout the millenia.

How many Asian-Americans have visited the rough and tough environments of Mongolia or Central Asia?
How many of them understand the great diversity of the term “Asian”?
When they say that Asians aren’t hairy, why on earth are they excluding those well-known hirsute men in India?

They almost always mean ONLY the Chinese they see in Chinatown, the Koreans they see in Koreatown, and the Japanese they see… in the movies. They usually exclude the South Asians and many Southeast Asians, who each greatly outnumber the Japanese population and even the Korean.

CULTURAL PAROCHIALISM. That’s the biggest problem. And it’s a major problem even among Asians raised in America.

As a 1.5-generation Chinese-Canadian, now having lived and worked in Asia for the past 7 years and having spent almost half my life in Asia, I’ve always felt sympathetic toward the plight of the ignorant Asian-American. I was one before I started my undergrad studies. I was just as ignorant.

But now that you add arrogance and presumptuousness into the mix, well, my sympathy dissipates.

Get with the program, people.

Now let’s turn to Jake’s comments.

Here are just a few of the problems.

1. “Someone astutely pointed out that due to the way history unfolded (with Europeans taking the initiative in colonial expansion), Asian cultures have generally ended up not emphasized athletic achievement as western ones, since most Asian nations were developing and hate comparatively fewer resources and time to devote to such recreational matters. ”

WTF? I guess you have NOT read up on your history. This is just plainly false. I’m also not sure you realize you are directly contradicting the main point of my two articles without addressing the evidence or arguments I brought up.

“Asian cultures”?
Are you including all the peoples of the Asian steppes here, including the great Mongolian tribes, as well as the Manchus, who conquered and ruled China from 1644-1911? I could go on, but this is already getting too long.

“Not emphasizing athletic achievement”? “Cultural bias against athletic endeavors”?
Huh? You’re also conveniently forgetting all the martial traditions stretching all the way through Asia, from India all the way to Japan. Not to mention the great armies and military rulers of Asian history.

“Fewer resources and time to devote to such matters”?
Are you kidding me? Anyone who’s taken any respectable survey course in Asian Civilizations should be able to disabuse you of this one.

*How monolithic is your vision of “Asia.” How totalizing is your narrative. How deeply complicit you are in sick Self-Orientalism.

Ugh, no wonder Asians are such easy targets for anti-Asian racism in America. They spread the ignorance directly themselves.

2. “That we Asian-American men today are the children of a generation of parents who grew up in Asia under the relative poverty of the 1940s to the 1960s (compared to the US at the time) is an extremely relevant point insofar as how we may not have lived up to our full genetic potential for athletic excellent.”

Who do you think you’re speaking for? Haha. Here is a great example of the IGNORANCE combined with the ARROGANCE.

My parents arrived in Kansas from Taiwan in the early 80s, not the 40s and 60s. My dad was a hand-to-hand combat instructor and officer in the Taiwan Army. He could kick some serious ass. And even now, turning almost 70, he picks up trees with his bare hands and plants them in his backyard.

Don’t use your own limited life experience to speak on behalf of all the 15 million Asian-Americans.

And whose fault is it that you haven’t lived up to your “full potential for athletic excellent (sic)”? Quit making excuses, buddy boy. And don’t presume you represent the Asian race.

Go read my post here on how to get fit in 3 months for a start: http://www.doctorasianrake.com/2010/05/how-to-get-fit-in-3-months-physical-fitness-as-universally-attractive/

Do P90X, or hire a good personal trainer, or do Occam’s Protocol from Ferriss’s book, if you don’t have much time to spare.

Quit blaming your problems on how you were raised!

If you want to resign yourself to your limitations and problems and deficiencies, go ahead. But don’t presume to tell me or your more courageous, self-actualized, empowered Asian brothers what they are or are not capable of doing.

Quit imposing your limiting beliefs on others.

3. “One could dryly assert that history or no history – facts are facts and that due to the advantageous legacy of white/European males, they ended up larger in size and are therefore “more masculine” by culturally American metrics of masculinity (read: ‘roided muscles, copious body hair, and aggressive behavior).”

Well, there you go again. Defeatist language. Whining about how you’re smaller than the white boys.

Man up. Grow some balls. You’re embarrassing, not as an Asian, but as a MAN.

4. “That’s fine. History is history, and there’s nothing I can do about the way it turned out. I can only hope to improve my lot in the PRESENT. I can accept that – but still I cannot accept the ignorance of women like Rochelle to fail to do the research to realize WHY it’s like that.”

Who gives a damn WHY? Everybody starts off with some advantages and some disadvantages in life. Learn from the past and use it to improve yourself in the present.

Who cares if you’re understood? Just get out there and kick ass. The greatest revenge is success.

And yes, Rochelle was being sensationalist in her article. And yes, Rochelle stepped on some toes. But what’s that got to do with you? Quit whining and complaining about other people. And instead, fix your own problems.

Go make yourself stronger. Get “‘roided out,” become more “aggressive,” and grow some body hair, haha (well, just kidding on that last one).

Hey, tons of your Asian forefathers were very aggressive, big, strong men with copious body hair. And plenty of modern Asian men are that way now. Too bad your limited life experience has not brought you into contact with them.

Just the fact that you’d even set up these false dichotomies just proves your ignorance of Asian history.

*I’ve come increasingly to realize that the lack of Asian pride in their own Asian heritage is due largely to their lack of knowledge of their Asian heritage.*

I agree with PK’s last point for Asian-Americans: “next time you make fun of another FOB, consider he might actually get more girls than you can, in his homeland and propably in the USA too.”

Yeah, because he’s not suffering from ignorance of the power of his Asian heritage like Asian-Americans do and hasn’t had all these limiting beliefs forced on him yet.

Until you learn more about Asia–its history, culture, philosophies, etc.–don’t even come to the table. Go back to school and read some books. Then travel, a LOT. Not just for a couple weeks to visit the grandparents. Spend a few years living in Asia and traveling all around–including India, Southeast Asia, and rural China. And befriend as many local Asian men as you can, including the bodybuilders, wrestlers, and bad boys, not to mention the billionaires. Only then should you presume to speak about what Asian men are capable of.

Peace,
David

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Empowering Asian Men : Asian Dating Coach in Singapore: Dr. Asian Rake David says February 9, 2012

[…] To read the follow-up sequel to this post on Empowering Asian Men, including my response to Rochelle’s response to this article, click here… […]

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