21 May 2012

Martians and Venusians - Part 1 火星人水與星人-上卷

When New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin led his team on a seven-game winning streak in the 2012 NBA season, he started something he didn’t expect. The so-called “Linsanity” phenomenon catapulted the 23-year-old Taiwanese-American into the national consciousness and captured the imagination of the entire Chinese speaking world. At the same time, Lin’s meteoric rise from zero to hero touched off a torrent of public debate on a subject that has hitherto received little attention: the image deficit of the Asian Male.

Lin overcame great odds to be on the court

When asked to comment on Lin’s sudden fame, NBA royalty Kobe Bryant said, “His skill level was there from the beginning. It probably just went unnoticed.” Kobe was spot on. Until his accidental NBA debut, Lin was underestimated and overlooked. Despite having led his high school team to the California state title, he was routinely snubbed by college recruiters and NBA scouts. Unlike Yao Ming...


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Read the rest of this article in No City for Slow Men, published by Blacksmith Books, available at major bookstores in in Hong Kong and at Blacksmith Books.


12 comments:

  1. Hong Kong men are pathetic. They are laid back animals. In retirement, men just watch TV and read newspapers while women are busy around to have more interesting life. Because women exercise their brains and so they have longer lives than men.

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  2. Anonymous,

    Your comment has just confirmed my point about Hong Kong men's "image deficit"!

    Cheers,

    Jason

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  3. Hi Jason,
    Just found your blog recently and have been reading the first few chapters from your book "Hong Kong State of Mind" (picked up from Amazon) - really interesting stories, viewpoints and gives me an insight into/better understanding of HK life (I was born in the UK to HK parents)

    Re: Asian Men's Blues, completely agree with the first half of the entry. Not sure about the 2nd half cos despite the poor image of the HK man, hearsay informs me that they have less problems finding a partner compared to the average HK woman......I know I've gone a little off-topic but thought I would put it out there....

    Keep up the good work :)

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  4. Thanks, Chan, for your comment. Indeed, the gender gap in Hong Kong is staggering: there are now only 750 men for every 1,000 women. But the fact that it's easier for HK men to find the other half than vice versa has little to do with the main point of my article, namely the image deficit facing the Hong Kong male. It just means than Hong Kong women are increasingly learning to settle for someone less than what they would consider ideal.

    Cheers,

    Jason

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  5. Dear Jason,

    Thank you again for sharing with us your very insightful article on Asian men. Being an Asian American male myself, I completely agree with your statement that Asian men often does not get the appropriate credit and attention we deserve in the US. Having said that, I wonder if this is also the case in Europe as well, where there is less of an Anglo male ego's flying around.

    As for your comment on HK men, I agree with you to a certain extent but I do feel that men taking up various hobbies also applies to the men in the US and other countries as well. In the US for example, instead of hobbies, men would simply be closely following certain sports on television.

    Please keep the good writings coming!

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  6. There aren't as many Asian immigrants in Europe as there are in North America, but I am certain the image deficit is much of the same, if not worse.

    Cheers,

    Jason

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  7. This may be the answer!
    "[Hollywood is] to find ways of working heroic or positive Chinese characters into their movies.."

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/no-more-mr-chinese-bad-guy-chinas-censors-have-hollywood-running-scared/story-e6frfmvr-1226395386352

    Cheers,
    Christina

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  8. Somehow I was rather taken aback from your comments in this article… it never struck me that Asian men are not faring well nor getting ahead in the States. Maybe we only hear about the success stories and especially how well the Mainland intellectuals are doing at the Universities and the research centres. We have totally overlooked the other 99.999% of them struggling to get ahead or even just to stay afloat in the States. No offence, but that was not the reason why you left New York for Hong Kong, was it? No one who knows you would believe that you are anything but a Renaissance man who can get ahead and do brilliantly anywhere.

    Still, not sure whether it’s because I mix with females as well. But I thought the females have all the more reason to be blue in that males in Hong Kong are by far out-numbered by females and every female is desperate to snatch up a male partner, whether or not he is an apartment male or not. And this is aggravated by the fact that it is in every mother’s genetic programming to marry their daughter off (as you mentioned before) !

    It is true though, to shake off the apartment male stereotype, most men go out of their way to take up a full range of hobbies and interests (certainly more than they are able to master well in every area). It is in the human psyche, is it not, that we try to do and “be” more than what we are or capable of to overcome our self-abasement, or rather, to deceive ourselves while at the same time trying to deceive others. Sometimes I do question whether I am doing that myself too, when one knows that verbally putting oneself down is hardly ever a true sign of humility. Or we are just comparing ourselves with others too much instead of valuing ourselves for what we are. Though there are times when I do honestly see myself and my skills inferior to others' (that’s the Asian Women’s Blues for you).

    As for your closing comments, is that happy balance easily struck? How many of us honestly believe in, and actually have, the inner strength? Hope I don’t sound like putting down people here, but how much self-deception is being tossed to and fro? I wonder what my elder brother lives through sometimes. He is OK but certainly is not the cream of the crop. He practices martial arts and photography. He loves his wine but certainly is not into oenology – does that say anything at all about how badly he, or anyone, is trying to hide from reality and project a sharper image for himself before others, and maybe himself as well. Speaking of photography, I have to say the pictures he took of one of the most important occasions in my life, (my admission as a solicitor in Hong Kong) all those taken in the CJ’s private chambers were out of focus…….. obviously his Nikon (unlike yours) doesn’t help…….

    Christine

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  9. Hahha..I agreed most 'apartment male', or in fact many males, wish they had rich girlfriends!

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  10. I married to a British guy and had friends from different countries. Honestly, Asian males aren't bad. They're responsible and a lot of them are family men.They don't sleep around or get pissed all the time.

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  12. Asian men have it a lot better in today's world than they did twenty years ago. It wasn't long ago that people might have been quoting lines from Long Duk Dong's mouth at you. Things have changed. There's Jeremy Lin showing the country that Asian men can be successful athletes, there's Steve Yeun showing the country that they can be successful actors (in romantic roles, no less). Can't forget HSJ. Things are great. Unfortunately there's still a long way to go in the realm of DATING success in the US; I cannot comment on Hong Kong specifically, though I will say that having lived in Asia in the past, the most successful men in that regards were, predictably, hapas or with the natural facial features of a hapa (like... Wang Leehom, I guess). While things have changed in sports and the media, this is still relatively recent and this success has yet to smash typical Asian male dating stereotypes. In other words, dating is still very much a white man's world in the United States. Fortunately, we don't have to wait for Jeremy Lin's successor to change that:

    http://www.abcsofattraction.com/blog/white-male-privilege-in-dating-the-asian-mans-guide-to-winning-an-unfair-game/

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