Culture Blocks: Asian shy is not American shy

"Oh, Kinate, it makes me blush when your slave looks at me like that! Can I sit on his face?"

“Oh, Kinate, it makes me blush when your slave looks at me like that! Can I sit on his face?”

Asian stereotypes are funny; especially when they are so very wrong. The funniest stereotype that I have heard so far is that Asian women are submissive… What?

At first I assumed that this was simply a lie that got very far out of hand, but when you ask people their reason for this way of thinking, they will almost always explain something along the lines of Eastern Asian women are submissive because they have so many shy characteristics.

I was talking to a Caucasian friend of mine when I finally realized that this was simply a false correlation. Because in American culture, woman + shy = submissive.

In America, shy is “having or showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people.” American shy is afraid to be in a leader position. American shy is docile and submissive to anyone who is more ‘outgoing’ than them. American shy is a bad thing, and there are even classes that you can take to get rid of shyness.

Asian shyness is not the same kind of shyness. We will use Japanese for an example of Asian shyness. In Japan, shy is not timid, shy is polite. Shy is being conservative in manner until you are more acquainted with the person. Shy is thinking about what you are going to say before you say it instead of rudely talking over other people in a conversation. Asian shy is not American shy.

A Japanese mans online dating profile may include that he is looking for a shy woman. He will say that shy women are more desirable because shy is a sign that the woman is very educated, sophisticated, and intelligent. This is not at all what an American man would mean if he said the same thing.

Now I am not saying that every Asian woman is not shy, because i do not now every Asian woman, but if i were doing the stereo typing, you would be surprised at what i would say.

First of all i would say that Asian women are dominant by tradition. I would proceed to explain a traditional set up of a Japanese marriage.

On the outside what you would see is that the man makes the most money in the household. But if you were ever able to see the inside of a Japanese marriage, you would see that the mans money goes into one bank account that the woman controls. The woman manages all of the finances and gives her husband an allowance to go out drinking with his friends after a hard day of work. The woman decides how the children are raised, where the children go to school and what they will study. The woman of the house control the household. It is humorously matriarchal in a country that is supposed to be a patriarchy.

Keep in mind that these women are all considered ‘shy’. It may resemble the type of shyness that we so despise here in America but it is not the same at all.

American shy is looked down upon and seen as submissive. Asian shy is classy and dominant.

–Miss Ari ^_^