Reasons why Chinese wives are better than American wives, according to a flabby expat teacher with a mustache that looked like a strip torn from a mouse pelt:
- “American wives wouldn’t let us get away with half the shit Chinese wives let us get away with.”
End of list.
Reasons why I think the guy is an idiot who said this right in front of me and my husband:
- Neither American wives nor Chinese wives are a homogeneous group. Even my sister and I, raised by the same woman, are very different wives to our husbands.
- Unless you are small and furry, nobody wants to clean up after your shit. Nobody is perfect, but you have no respect for your life partner if you aren’t even trying to be a good spouse. You get zero points for admitting you’re an asshole.
- So an American wife wouldn’t put up with him drinking, doing recreational drugs, and carrying on in whatever ways, but a Chinese wife will, so he can?
- There are American and Chinese wives who enjoy drinking, doing drugs, and carrying on, right alongside their husbands. But this guy would rather do these things with his buddies while his wife sits at home alone, but he still wants her to be friendly when he gets in?
- We’d literally just met this guy. I have no doubt that he was intentionally being incendiary.
- It’s weird and gross to compare American women and Chinese women like breeds of dogs, especially if you are married to a unique Chinese woman and not a shih tzu.
- Chinese women and American women are not in competition for a limited resource, especially a resource that looks like a boiled potato with a mouse-fur mustache.
Sounds like this American husband has some unresolved American-mommy issues.
I don’t know any wife who enjoys negotiating her partner’s behavior, either begging or demanding that they conduct themselves like an adult who respects their wife and their bond.
I didn’t call him out. I let him get away with this because he was a stranger, because we’d all been drinking in a little, because he was a friend of a friend, because I wouldn’t want to cause a scene or make a fuss.
Because I get shit for being “American,” an adjective that in these contexts means being argumentative and opinionated, even though I keep my mouth shut to keep the peace a lot more often than I get credit for.
Because as mouthy and demanding as some people think all American women are, we are still restricted by expectations about how women should behave.
I suspect that the fact of my being in Taiwan, married to a fellow American and domestically satisfied in pretty conventional ways was threatening to Mickey Mouse-stache. Seeing an American woman here interrupts his white-dude fantasy of being a small-time celebrity pursued by “docile” Taiwanese women who in line to put up with his shit. Seeing a happy American woman who isn’t in that line just reminds him of being neglected back home.
Because the other side of the stories about awkward, misogynistic, condescending, unattractive American guys being blasted into the dimension of desirability just by switching hemispheres is that American women rejected them.
Because American women can figure out and pass judgment on English-speaking assholes within the first ten minutes of meeting them.
Maybe this guy hasn’t been here long enough to meet the guys who are stuck here after the party has ended, after the divorce, paying their salaries in child support so they can see their kids. I don’t wish an unhappy ending on anyone, but you haven’t left the Midwest and landed in Stepford, Taiwan.
In the end, though, shit like this shouldn’t bother me at all. What ugly, drunk, white dudes say at the bar when they can get away with it shouldn’t ruin my night. I pity his wife, especially if she is an awesome person, because her husband is an asshole, but I don’t know her. I think it’s a bummer for all women everywhere that some men still think and behave like this, like women and wives are commodities or conveniences that they can choose like they choose an appliance.
In the end, I married a good American man. Thankfully, American men aren’t all the same.