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My attempt to obtain a job teaching English overseas in Asia has been foiled.  I got shot down faster than William Hung’s singing career.  The reason?  According to Taiwan recruiters, I don’t carry the right “look.” This alleged “look” that they want, is very particular; white.  Essentially, some person with less experience and inferior education can teach English based solely on the color of their skin.

Sigh.

The Asian man just can’t win anywhere.  How flawed does Asia’s educational system have to be there for them to champion appearance over substance?  Do they care about providing their children with a solid education or do they just want to meet the PTA’s expectations of what an English teacher should look like?

To me, it seems like the latter.  I’m not bitter (ok maybe a little), but more so, I just find it amusing.  You would expect that being Asian you’d have at least a slight advantage in…well…Asia.  This, however, is far from the truth.  Asia is leaning heavily towards westernization.  Everything from clothing, to music, to stores are all derived from western culture.  Foreigners are perceived as rich and powerful and their extroverted personalities seem to be stand out among the sedated lifestyle and culture that most Asians have been raised with.  What really confuses me about Asian countries is that they’re are so advanced in technology but they lag far behind when it comes to out-dated traditions and social faux pas.

Although this is just an isolated incident, I have many more gripes about the disadvantages of Asian men.  For now I am going to just nip it in the bud.  I would hate to become that which I despise; the people that sulk about life being unfair.  Those are what I like to call vagina monologues.

To the Asian Americans that think they have it hard, they have no idea.  Just think.  Whatever hardships you are experiencing right now, your parents have experienced it in ten-fold.  Personally I have yet to hear them complain.  They bit the bullet and did what had to be done.  They traveled across the globe, battled through language and cultural barriers, dealt with a multitude of racism where even the laws are against them, and still they persevered.

I am truly humbled and forever grateful.

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7 Comments

  1. Hey the vagina monologues is full of ppl whinning about life being unfair.
    It is a little weird though cuz sometimes you get old women making orgasm noises…

    But why don’t you try applying to programs in China? They need more teachers and it’s a fun place to be right now.

  2. true article, us 1st/2nd generation kids have got it made compared to our parents’ experainces at our age. Btw i hear this white skinned spainyard is an english teacher at a japanese school, would he get the job in taiwan over u???????

  3. This is only a small bit of the true power of the gaijin smash!!!

  4. Of course in the grand scheme of things, 1st/2nd generation kids “have it made” compared to their ancestors/starving people in third world countries. But whenever we complain and compare ourselves to others, it is on a relative and rather myopic scale. Most of the time, this happens to be your peers and on a micro rather than macro level. Sure, it’s a true statement that 1st/2nd gen asians have it made, but you guys need to think about the context in which that statement is made. Though that statement would have merit in a unbiased objective overview of global social/racial dynamics, this article is clearly addressing the granular inequities experienced by asian americans growing up in the US. So yes, it is fair to complain in this context. Complain away! Compared to whites/blacks/ and even indians in our microcosm and generation, we do NOT “have it made.”

  5. That’s an excellent point. But if u consider the chinese exclusion act, the ridiculous racism that took place, the fact that it was illegal for an asian to marry a white girl. Top that off with being unable to find jobs despite having degrees. I’d say times were a little tougher. I definitely understand what your saying though in terms of the generation and its own set of problems. It’s all relative.

  6. Yes, my point exactly. Everything needs to be compared relatively and on an apples to apples basis. Otherwise, you can make a ridiculous chain of apples to oranges claims: asian americans today “have to made” compared to our parents who “have it made” compared to the starving children in Africa, who “have it made” compared to the modern day slaves in the Confederacy, who “have it made” compared to the slaves during king tutankhamun reign, who “have it made” compared to the Neanderthals who were concerned about survival everyday, who “have it made” compared to that annoying mosquito that you just killed last night because it was buzzing near your ear. On the grand scheme of things in all of history, just being able to live in the 20th and 21th century puts you in the top 99.999% of all people who have ever lived in all of time. Near before in history has the standard of living/life expectancy been so high.

  7. Sure I totally agree. It is definitely based on context. But now you are comparing quality of life instead of racial equality. What i was trying to say was the field has been leveled drastically in the past 2-3 decades. Not to say that today it’s perfect, but just the change has jumped exponentially if you compare our generation to our parents, and their generation with our grandparents. There is a world of difference in racial equality. Our generation is merely enjoying the fruits of their labor. That’s why I stress gratitude.

    On a completely irrelevant side note: in 1852, there were roughly 11,000 Asian Americans in California. Of that there were 7 females. roughly a 1600:1 ratio. -Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans

    Talk about sausage fests…


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