Members of interracial marriages or partnerships often tell a different story, though. The assumption that I was rescuing a slave from a rice paddy is offensive, and reveals that many people in the US still look at China as being filled with peasants in mud huts.
Steven Bolstad, the man whose marriage was showcased in Seeking Asian Female, addressed the assumptions he felt had been made about his relationship in an interview with China Daily. The reality is that every relationship is different." Director Debbie Lum admitted that as someone who had been pursued aggressively by white men in her own dating life she went into filming with some pre-conceived notions about the nature of their relationship.
Long-standing stereotypes and assumptions continue to create barriers and complications for interracial couples, even as a growing Asian American population and a resurgence in heritage pride movements have led to an uptick in Asians marrying other Asians, according to C. Le, director of the Asian and Asian American studies certificate program in the sociology department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
In 1980, Asian Americans were marrying foreign-born Asians at a rate of 7 percent; by 2008, that percentage had jumped to 21.
Among women who specified a racial preference, the majority of Asian women picked men of the same race but 34 percent indicated a preference for Caucasian men.
The numbers would seem to indicate that dating patterns between interracial couples in which the woman is Asian are most often dictated by female preference.
"It is not okay for a person of color to be objectified based on their race in any context.
It's dehumanizing, and it means you're making generalizations about what kind of partner a person will be based on the color of their skin." Chen said that she does make a distinction between the experience of Asian American females and Asian females living in Asia or newly living in the US.
The film is as much about the couple's story as it is Lum's own process of coming to see them as more than the sum of their stereotypes.
In the end, she rooted for the success of the marriage, she said. Asian women Pairings between Asian women and Caucasian men are twice as common as matches between Caucasian women and Asian men, a gap that has often been attributed to the hypersexualization of Asian women and the emasculation of Asian men in US pop culture.
The nuances and repercussions of that discussion extend farther than the way in which Caucasians view Asians, with many Asian Americans citing those same stereotypes as having shaped their own sexual preferences and the confidence in which they pursue or don't pursue partners of other races.