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I will make you to take off your shoes in my house. And never, ever try to get on the bed with your shoes on. I like to use chopsticks in new and interesting ways. If you pour tea for yourself before my Yeh Yeh, you will be judged accordingly. Having been taught to use chopsticks before I learned to speak, I consider them to be the best utensils. But while I set up my own profile, my skepticism returned, as soon as I marked my ethnicity as "Chinese." I imagined my own face in a sea of Asian faces, lumped together because of what is essentially a meaningless distinction.Wasn't that exactly the kind of racial reduction that I'd spent my entire life working to avoid? awesome," one Taiwanese-American friend said, before she threw her head back laughing, interpreting the ads, instead, as in-jokes.From their tidy desks, the team, almost all of whom identify as Asian-American, had long been deploying social media memes that riff off of a range of Asian-American stereotypes. When I showed that last image to an informal range of non-Asian-American friends, many of them mirrored my shock and bemusement. Yamazaki added that the feedback was especially aggressive when Asian women were featured in their advertisements.An attractive East Asian woman in a bikini poses in front of a palm tree: "When you meet an attractive Asian girl, no ' Sorry I only date white guys.' " A selfie of another smiling East Asian woman in front of a lake is splashed with the words "Just like Dim Sum...choose what you like." A dapper Asian man leans into a wall, with the words "Asian Dating app? When I showed my Asian-American pals, a brief pause of incredulousness was sometimes followed by a kind of ebullient recognition of the absurdity. "Like we have to share Asian women as if they are property," Yamazaki said, rolling his eyes.
I'd originally asked for a visit, because I wanted to know who was behind the "That's not Racist" billboard and why, but I quickly learned that the billboard was just one corner of a peculiar and inscrutable (at least to me) branding universe. I asked East Meet East's CEO Mariko Tokioka about the "That's not Racist" billboard and she and Kenji Yamazaki, her cofounder, explained that it was meant to be a response to their online critics, whom they described as non-Asians who call the app racist, for catering exclusively to Asians.
But I'll expect you to say it right if we start dating each other. My mom and other family members paid really close attention to my appearance. Not gonna lie, there's a tiny dork-nerd in every Asian. Don't cross me when I'm mad because something like the kimchi slap will happen to you.
I'm used to people butchering the pronunciation and spelling of my name. I blame the Asian-language TV soaps I was weaned on. Which is why I always ask for hot sauce and have an emergency bottle of Tabasco in every purse.
If you are ethnically Chinese and looking for other ethnic Chinese, there's Two Red Beans.
(Take a small half turn in the wrong direction, and there are dark places on the Internet like WASP Love, a website tagged with terms like "trump dating," "alt-right," "confederate," and "white nationalism.") All of these dating sites skirt around questions of identity—what does it mean to be "Jewish"?