Asian Girl Problem #110: Goodness or White Savior Complex

My friends tried to set me up a couple months ago–which I consider the highest honor–and I’m still getting shit for it because I was incredibly disinterested and trippin’ over another dude that night.

“You just took one look and was like ‘Nope!’ Geez, sorry he was wearing his work clothes because he had to come straight from helping underprivileged families.

In fairness, I didn’t know I was being set up with the 30-year-old social justice attorney from Harvard. Not usually a type that pops up on my relationship-stunted radar. Rather than a blind date, this was just a case where I was left the in the dark. I found out months later that my well-meaning friends had showed this guy a photo of me and convinced him to make an appearance at their party after a long day of work to meet me because they thought we’d make high-achieving mixed babies together.

I still hear about him once in a while.

“He’s awesome, not stuck up like some other Ivy leaguers at all, he helps families stay in America, he’s tall, and lezbehonest, he’s easy on the eyes. He has an amazing smile.”

Oops, maybe I was too caught up with other things to see the amazing person in front of me.

“Oh I think he started dating some other Asian girl last month.”

So long, ladyboner.

It shouldn’t matter, but it does. It should matter why white people are trying to do a righteous thing for other communities, but it does—one of my friends spent the better half of the past year wondering if her ex-boyfriend, a social justice law student with a penchant for wooing women of color (and I say “woo” because he didn’t always want them, just wanted to confirm they would bang him) had White Savior Complex.

Her ex was staunchly against the accusations and meant well, so I tried to see it from his point of view and often defended him. But I knew how hard it was not to entertain the possibility and ask the questions. If even the slightest behaviors suggest someone has a complex or fetish, we conscious types can’t help but ring the alarm, and it takes a huge toll on relationships—because unlike in a courtroom, a dubious person in a relationship is usually going to be guilty until proven innocent.

We try as best we can to see each person’s path and pathology as an individual case. But nothing can be completely isolated from the structures and systems that raised them. We all have different pain points and limits—I don’t know mine until I feel them pushed. But I never get tired of hearing about others’ experiences and approaches.


On a side note, while I’ve read a dozen articles on the Ferguson tragedy, I’m uncomfortable taking an emotional/prescriptive stance on it. But this article helped me get a little closer to it.

In regards to my discomfort—I want to get over it.

Nothing makes white people more uncomfortable than black anger. But nothing is more threatening to black people on a systemic level than white anger


One thought on “Asian Girl Problem #110: Goodness or White Savior Complex

  1. I’ve taken an emotional stance on the Ferguson thing so far.. there isn’t much known yet, but I feel like I have to react to things like the Ferguson Police Department stop-and-search statistics… I can’t wait for more facts to come out, in a way, so that some people (with opinions I may not agree with) can just be plain wrong. blahhh knee jerk blah. We need changes in policy now!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s