'AMBW' is a growing internet-dating subculture with Facebook groups, meet-ups, and websites. Photo courtesy of Asian Men and Black Women Connections (NYC)

‘AMBW’ is a growing internet-dating subculture with Facebook groups, meet-ups, and websites. Photo courtesy of Asian Men and Black Women Connections (NYC)

Black women have been told for years that dating outside of our race is basically the only chance we have to beat the single odds and find a mate. We battle with the fact that black men are in prison at alarming rates — lessening the dating pool — but we also struggle with the notion that when it comes to attractiveness, we’re at the bottom of the totem pole. We won’t get into the nonsensical studies that came to that conclusion, but it seems the attacks launched at black women during this whole married and undesirable debacle have brought about an unlikely ally: Asian men.

In a piece on Vice, Zach Schwartz goes “Inside the ‘Asian Men Black Women’ Dating Scene” and uncovers some interesting parallels. He writes:

Recent statistics have shown that East Asian men…are viewed as the least desirable male partners in American society. In a 2007 speed-dating study by Columbia University, women said yes to an Asian man 50 percent less often, demonstrating a “significant preference against Asian males.” A 2008 Princeton dating study found that 93.4 percent of white women with a racial preference said they would never date an Asian or half-Asian.

The unattractiveness of Asian-American men can be linked to their perceived lack of masculinity. Masculinity in American culture is an idea often predicated on aggressiveness and promiscuity. In Asian culture, however, masculinity is generally tied to mental strength, being a provider, and accepting familial responsibility. Furthermore, Asian boys are taught deference to authority at home. …

The perceived passivity in Asian men can be interpreted through American eyes as femininity, and the consequences of this manifest in everything from Asian men’s near-exclusive representation as “bottoms” in gay porn, to the bamboo ceiling, a term for Asians’ lack of leadership representation in the workforce. Although Asians are five percent of the population, they only make up 0.3 percent of C-level executives. In society, the idea of an Asian being an alpha male can be a foreign one.

Perhaps the most insulting reminder of Western attitudes towards Asians is one of size. Western culture views penis size as a symbol of masculinity. Even though it’s been debunked numerous times, there remains a perception that Asians are less well-endowed. Combine that with society’s distaste for shorter-than-average height, and many Asian men are made to feel that they are lesser.

Sound familiar, in a roundabout sort of way? It should, as Schwartz concluded, after noting that most Asian women don’t prefer to date Asian men (we know that sounds familiar!):

In the way that Asian men have been distorted to reflect femininity, so too have black women become masculinized. …

As it stands today, many black women and Asian men have been left in the casual-dating corner. Which might explain why some have banded together to create the AMBW community, which includes websites, Meetup groups, and online forums.

It makes sense, two outcast groups cross each others’ paths and literally find out the other is the ying to their yang. It’s the stuff of movie (and statistic) magic when it’s not born out of fetishization, which subjects in the article admitted is a problem in some cases, though overall what the Asian Men Black Women (AMBW) community is really about is true desire.

Rhea Alexander, a black woman who runs AMBW for Life spoke to that authentic desire, telling Vice:

[The Asian man] is a domestic dad, that gentle soul. He is unmoved, he is unbothered… He understands his own struggle as an Asian man, and his pressure to conform to white standards. That is what I believe is the invisible magnet between Asian men and black women.”

Well alright.

Are you part of the AMBW community?

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  • madwmn

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Too many fucking family issues to deal with. I wanted kids that were loved by their paternal grandparents.

  • Danaija of the Orishas

    What world are you people living in? Obviously a fantasy.

    This article is embarrassing on more levels than one, and pathetic, and makes black women look pathetic, even though the majority of us are not apart of this alternate universe the rest of you live in.

    Please get off the internet.
    Seriously? Who the hell is having trouble dating? Then who the hell has trouble dating, then blames it on their race, rather than just themselves? Have you ever stop to consider that maybe YOU are the problem? Because if it were your race, then I’d be in the same boat as you and I’m certainly not.

    I have never had an issue with dating, and usually end up with mestizos and white men (because the majority of black men who hit on me Are rude and ghetto, and I don’t go for ghetto.)… If race were the issue, then I wouldn’t be able to date outside of my race. But clearly race isn’t an issue. So obviously you ladies are the issue, and are using your race as a scape goat.

    Second to black men, I get hit on the most by white men, even though I really prefer a Mestizo Latino. There are Few Asians in my area. Seeing one my age is like spotting a Unicorn. They are almost non existent, and the few you see are old. Usually in a resturant. I would date one, they are cute from what I’ve seen on the internet( because TV gives them a bad rep. I’m friends with a guy named Yoshi Sudarso on Facebook. He’s cute. He’s an actot), but they almost don’t exist in my Area, and so I date what is available.

    I think you pathetic and miserable women who feel the need to speak on behalf of the rest of us need to stop. You make us look bad. I’m so sorry that your love life sucks, but that has nothing to do with the rest of us. It’s not your race, trust me. It’s you.

    I have yet to meet a black woman as miserable as the pathetic black females I find on the internet who write articles like this. Even the ugliest women I have met, don’t struggle with men. So obviously you ladies need to hop off the internet and go ask yourselves what is wrong with YOU personally, as of to why you are so pathetic with men, then change it. Because I and most black women I know, don’t have an issue. We’re from a place called reality.