Bund to Brooklyn

Episode 6: Dating and Masculinity in China with Caiwei Chen

Episode Summary

In Episode 6, writer Caiwei Chen joins us to talk about a topic we’ve all been waiting to discuss: dating in China! Specifically Caiwei helps us understand how the dating scene has evolved along with Chinese masculinity through her recent article on the subject in the sub stack newsletter Chaoyang Trap. Siyuan and Caiwei share their personal experiences on dating in the US vs China, family expectations, and how different types of foreigners are romantically perceived in China.

Episode Notes

Lucia and Siyuan share their own dating stories (3:03)

Caiwei joins the conversation (6:30)

The problem with Tinder in big cities (12:50)

Dating apps in China and who uses what (16:34)

Shanghai Marriage Market (18:06)

Stigma on dating apps, family pressure (20:59)

Difficulties of dating as a high achieving woman in China (24:48)

Chinese toxic masculinity (26:58)

Is there a casual dating phase in China? (28:45)

Changing perception of masculinity in China (34:03)

Desirability of ABCs (37:30)

English Teachers in China (43:08)


Chaoyang Trap is a newsletter about everyday life on the Chinese internet. It’s a regular, usually fortnightly, exploration of contemporary China, one important niche at a time. We’re interested in marginal subcultures, tiny obsessions, and unexpected connections. 

Caiwei's article on Chinese Masculinity: (Chinese) Dudes Rock

Caiwei's Website 

Caiwei's Twitter: @CaiweiC

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Questions? Requests? E-mail us @ b2b@1990institute.org

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Episode Transcription

This is an auto-generated transcript from Descript:


Episode 6 FINAL 

[00:00:00] Siyuan Meng: Hi guys, welcome to bump to Brooklyn. Episode six. This is again. 

[00:00:23] Lucia Liu: And I'm Lucia. 

[00:00:25] Siyuan Meng: This episode, we're going to talk about dating in China and how that is different compared to the us. We'll all have tie away. As our guest takeaway is a bilingual journalist writer and podcaster based in New York before joining Columbia. It's master a program in oral history. Salway was a freelance journalist covering culture tack and their intersections on Chinese internet. Her work has appear on publications such as south China morning, post sup China rolling stone. 

[00:00:57] Lucia Liu: Before we dive into our conversation with highway. We also want to acknowledge that this episode is coming out around Thanksgiving in the United States. And I wanted to chat with you con about, you know, your Thanksgiving experiences. Like, did you celebrate Thanksgiving prior to coming to the states? And do you currently celebrate Thanksgiving and Shanghai? 

[00:01:20] Siyuan Meng: Um, I don't think I'm Sarah writing this year in Shanghai, but I remember when I was the U S I L a Y was still school there of international student center at UCLA would invite international students to host families. And that's my first taste of Thanksgiving or U S and I really liked it, but that time I also really miss my family at the time. 

[00:01:44] So I'm glad I'm home here. So Lucia, do you celebrate. 

[00:01:51] Lucia Liu: Sort of in, in the kind of funny non-traditional way, because I am quite international and my husband's Canadian. So he celebrates Canadian things. In Canada, Canadian Thanksgiving happens in October. And so what we just do is just get together with our family and have a nice meal together. Uh, if we're in the states, sometimes we'll cook turkeys. 

[00:02:13] Sometimes we'll get a chicken because the two of us can't eat a Turkey together. Or we'll like have a friends giving. So we'll like go over to a friend's place and we'll have like a big Thanksgiving meal together. And then other times when I'm back visiting my parents in Shanghai, we don't really sell them. 

[00:02:30] Thanksgiving, so to speak, but again, like we'll kind of get together and like, I think my, my dad's favorite thing to do is just buy a duck for the day. And like, we'll have a, we'll have a duck and hang out together as a family. 

[00:02:45] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. Personally, I, I like the duck meat more than Turkey. I remember once I bought duck for Thanksgiving to. 

[00:02:54] Lucia Liu: Yeah. I think it's just, I dunno, I think it's tastier. 

[00:03:01] Siyuan Meng: So today's absolutely. We're going to talk about dating Lucia. I know you're married, but do you remember any phone or bad dating stories? 

[00:03:14] Lucia Liu: No, I've only dated my husband my entire life. So I don't remember. 

[00:03:22] Alright, now we're done here. So Steven, what about you? 

[00:03:32] Siyuan Meng: I mean, I want to hear about yours first, but yeah, I do remember a really bad dating story. It was like two years ago. I was still in New York and I matched with this guy later. We had dinner at this noodle place in his footage, but at the entire dinner, Kept asking me about how to write things in Chinese, like how to write noodle in Chinese, how to write his name in Chinese, how to write New York in Chinese. 

[00:04:04] I was so annoyed. Like the thing he can only see about me is my Chinese-ness. It's like, I don't have any personality, so I just left the dinner. That's kind of a worst dating story. 

[00:04:19] Lucia Liu: You just got up halfway through dinner and just. 

[00:04:22] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. Like I cannot stand with it. But like, I mean, it's okay. Like to ask by my culture, my engine T and stuff, but that's should not be the only thing that he cares. He should at least ask me, what do I do or how long I be here or what can I, what school I went to, stuff like that. I found it not respectful. 

[00:04:45] Just keep asking about my Chinese-ness. 

[00:04:49] Lucia Liu: Yeah. I have other stories too, but that's for another time, that's for that's for your time outside this 

[00:04:55] Siyuan Meng: Give me the real dating stories. 

[00:04:59] Lucia Liu: the real story, dating stories where, you know, he got drunk on his birthday and I had to carry him home. 

[00:05:04] Yeah.  

[00:05:04] Siyuan Meng: my God. 

[00:05:10] Lucia Liu: Hopefully all of you guys are enjoying your Thanksgiving. A quick brief announcement about a upcoming event from the 1990 Institute. Before we dive into. Really fun topic and episode with Tideway. So the 1990 Institute is hosting a panel called beyond chain cheap masculinity, BD, and Asian-American representation happening December 15th, 2021. 

[00:05:36] Uh, it's from 10 to 11:00 AM Pacific standard time. So that's like one to two o'clock Eastern. So tune in for that event. And you can hear from guests like being Chen and, uh, One last quick thing, be sure to follow our social media accounts. Been to Brooklyn. That's B U N D T O B R O K L Y N on Instagram. 

[00:06:01] And you can also email us at B2B at, uh, 1990 institute.com. Be sure to find us on Spotify, apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. All right. 

[00:06:24] Music: Um,  

[00:06:30] Siyuan Meng: So we're thrilled to have Taiwan as our guest today. Two-way Isabel lingo, storyteller, journalists, writer, podcaster, and unsung Jupiter for the newsletter. How young chap this episode, we will talk about Eddie in China and how it related Chinese masculinity, a topic she recently wrote about for Tanya chap. 

[00:06:50] Hi, it's highway. 

[00:06:51] Caiwei Chen: Hi, I'm glad. 

[00:06:54] Siyuan Meng: Can you introduce yourself a little bit as well as the Italian chap? 

[00:06:57] Caiwei Chen: Uh, yeah, of course. So my name is highway chin. Uh, I'm currently in New York city getting my master's degree, uh, Columbia university, but I also freelance undecided as a writer. So try on trap is an experimental newsletter that me and my friends participate in and it started back in China on district Beijing. 

[00:07:19] And it's about like all the fun things on Chinese. 

[00:07:24] Siyuan Meng: Yeah, I I'm a big fan of Charlie on chop. And I think it has to become the most popular newsletter this days. Like almost anyone who is in the China focused English media space have subscribed to that. It's really impressive. 

[00:07:38] Caiwei Chen: Thank you. That's a high-conflict. 

[00:07:41] Siyuan Meng: Michelle, you also rate a tiny on chat, right? 

[00:07:44] Lucia Liu: So I was introduced to it. And I actually started reading it and I was just very sounded by the depth of all of the different articles and how nuanced all of the topics are. So I think I read the one on Asian male masculinity. I also read the one about choppy until or Dolby until, so like, um, what is it called? 

[00:08:06] Like. Yeah. So in English it's like boundary ball. Yeah. There you go. And I was surprised of like how you guys have. Comparing that to basically like Chinese people in media and like, it's usually a ping-pong term. Right. But you guys compared it to like how certain media is like choppy until, or like boundary ball. 

[00:08:30] And it's like pushing the boundaries a little bit or like it just kind of hits and then rolls off and you technically get a point. Ball and it kind of skirts government. Right. And it like skirts a lot of the different, I guess, sentiments of like Chinese people who want to be able to comment on things that are happening in China. 

[00:08:50] So I thought it was, it was fascinating and it really gave me an interesting lens into how you guys are seeing the world. Uh, and, and your lens of, of China. 

[00:09:00] Caiwei Chen: Yeah. Like we, we, we strive to provide a narrative of China. That's like outside of the Wasserman media game. And like, just to have fun, you know, to write about things we enjoy doing, we enjoy seeing and like things we find joy in. 

[00:09:20] Lucia Liu: I like how you talk about like the Chinese media gays, and it's kind of related to our topic today of like dating, um, because the common term is like the male gaze right around like the perception of femininity and like women in media. So there's lots to talk about, especially in like Asian beauty standards versus American beauty standards and so many different things that we're going to touch on. 

[00:09:44] Siyuan Meng: Yeah, let's talk about dating in China. I think dating is so hard this days. I have been single for myself for a few years by now, and I don't even know if I really need a boyfriend actually like tie away. What's your favorite dating app in China? 

[00:09:59] Caiwei Chen: Wow. Like where is starting strong? Um, Favorite dating app. Oh, well, like I wasn't like second the sentiment student has, which is like dating is really hard these days. I find that to be not just a Chinese, but like global phenomenon, especially for like the, maybe like younger millennial older gen Z generation that were like vaguely in that late, come off age with this. 

[00:10:30] Growing wealth gap. And like this shattered dream of social mobility cannot afford a home. Like having problems, adulting. Yeah. Like that. This is like definitely a common theme. That's like reappearing, not just liking our real life, but like in, in TV and literature too, like in our twenties feeling like a child and like cannot, Garrish got our shit together. 

[00:10:59] Lucia Liu: I do have to tell you potentially gets better in your thirties, But I hear you guys on, I can't imagine like having to date in this day and age with COVID and also just, I guess like plethora of choices and dating apps and like just having to churn through meeting new people and kind of also then trying to like stay afloat. If for both of you guys you're like freelance writers. 

[00:11:27] So it's tough to kind of balance the energy and effort that you need to take in order to like, go and. And then also like Excel in your career. And then I always hear from CNN sometimes she's like, Ugh, I just want to like focus on my career. 

[00:11:41] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. It's so, energy consuming. Like you need to swipe and the. Do you need to casually talk for a few rounds before initiating a drink somewhere, but it just cost so much time and I'm so tired. 

[00:11:58] Caiwei Chen: Exactly. Yeah. And like speaking of dating app, which I realize, I didn't answer your question just now. Um, I assume we were talking about Tinder now. Cause like the swipe Iconix white feature, right? Like, uh, some other dating apps does not work this way. I think 

[00:12:15] Lucia Liu: I didn't know that by the way, I was not of the age of Tinder. So I was like, oh, all the dating apps have this light feature. 

[00:12:22] Caiwei Chen: Okay. So we got the dating app, Virgin. 

[00:12:27] Lucia Liu: Uh, I don't know about a Virgin, but I'm definitely a Tinder Virgin. 

[00:12:30] Siyuan Meng: What what'd you do use back in the days? Lucia? 

[00:12:33] Lucia Liu: They only had OkCupid back in the day. Like that was it. 

[00:12:37] Siyuan Meng: was like 10 years ago. Something. 

[00:12:39] Lucia Liu: Yeah. So talk about, 

[00:12:42] Siyuan Meng: No, because I'm sorry, but I never 

[00:12:45] Lucia Liu: thanks for dating me. Sad. No pun intended. Yeah. Sorry. What were you going to say? 

[00:12:50] Caiwei Chen: yeah, I was going to say like, the problem was Tinder and like a series of like other dating apps. The problem is like, especially when you're in a. Very urban space, big cities like Beijing Shanghai, and like New York city. The problem is that a dating app will make you feel like you have infinite choices and people are inherently disposable. 

[00:13:16] And I find that to be like the biggest challenge, like talking with someone like you, you, you swipe and like you end up getting matches. And if you're like a. Women Asia woman, you could like pretty easily got a bunch of different batches. And at some point they will all like initiate some kind of conversation. 

[00:13:39] And to me, like the first day, or like the, at least like the, the knowing each other face, like what you say is like very repetitive. There are some like generic questions that like, people usually ask you, like, even patterns, like how you present yourself. Do you have siblings? Where did you go to school with her past relationship? 

[00:14:01] What are you seeking here is 

[00:14:03] Lucia Liu: Wait people ask you about your past relationship. That's awkward. 

[00:14:06] Caiwei Chen: sometimes, sometimes they do, or you just like start outing yourself out of like pure embarrassment. 

[00:14:15] Lucia Liu: That, that I do. I recall a bit of that. It's so funny. Cause like I used to talk to a lot of my guy, friends who are single and like a lot of times, like everyone always says that like dating is a numbers game and I, I always liken it to a sales funnel. Right. You're just like, you have to meet a whole bunch of people and then like, You're like, okay, are these people qualified buyers? 

[00:14:39] And then like, you have to be like, okay, well of the qualified buyers, which ones are likely to like be a good fit. Everything I think in life is like dating. It's like finding a job. It's like finding an apartment to rent in a city. It's just about like opening up the top of the funnel and then working your way up. 

[00:14:58] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. I was wondering before the era of dating apps, how did people usually meet? 

[00:15:06] Lucia Liu: At work 

[00:15:07] Caiwei Chen: And the bar. 

[00:15:08] Lucia Liu: at the bar. Yeah. I have had some people like on subways. Talk to me. I've had, yeah. At the bar, usually friends of friends, friend parties, college. 

[00:15:21] Siyuan Meng: that's more like real life connections, right? 

[00:15:25] Lucia Liu: Yeah. 

[00:15:26] Siyuan Meng: Actually sounds more exciting than the dating apps. 

[00:15:30] Caiwei Chen: I like I personally differs the first two weeks. I, I got New York, I got three guys asking my number on subway and coffee shops, random public spaces. And 

[00:15:45] Lucia Liu: humblebrag. 

[00:15:48] Caiwei Chen: that houses. 

[00:15:51] Lucia Liu: So it's highway, that's it? This is like, by the end of this podcast, I'm going to set you up with a friend. Like that's, that's the premise of this podcast, right? Like we've established that. 

[00:15:59] Caiwei Chen: Wow. Yeah, that's a 

[00:16:01] Lucia Liu: So there you go. There's another one 

[00:16:03] Caiwei Chen: reality 

[00:16:04] Lucia Liu: Hawaii. 

[00:16:05] Caiwei Chen: show. 

[00:16:06] Lucia Liu: Yeah. It's like this Chinese saying, right? They say it's old Hawaii. It's like, you have a lot of peach blossoms. And that means that you have a lot of like people pursuing you. 

[00:16:16] Caiwei Chen: Yeah. I also like a fun. 

[00:16:21] Lucia Liu: Please don't categorize my friend as a Len hall before meet Leno wise, like a rotten future. Bless him. Usually characterizes like not ideal candidates. 

[00:16:33] Siyuan Meng: so sideways. What are you think of the dating scene in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing in China? Like are Chinese young people using more dating apps or just the international community here? 

[00:16:46] Caiwei Chen: So can we, I think like, well, of course I cannot speak for most or all Chinese, but I personally use mostly Tinder and I used Bumble for a while. Uh, when I was in Beijing and I was at is definitely so a very niche thing. That's mainly popular with it. Like the more international, progressive communities that are like, Ellie's somewhat westernized and they're thinking, 

[00:17:16] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. How about 10, 10? Well more. 

[00:17:19] Caiwei Chen: I would say, like, I know off these two apps, they are known to be the more Chinese dating apps for like, not to international. 

[00:17:31] People. So like, if you're on Tinder, you are almost assumed to like, at least know a little bit of English, like that's the same goes for Bumbo and coffee meets bagel. And do we use hinge in China? 

[00:17:45] Siyuan Meng: I cannot open it. It doesn't work here. 

[00:17:47] Caiwei Chen: Oh, it doesn't 

[00:17:48] Siyuan Meng: it. 

[00:17:48] Lucia Liu: We talk about dating resumes for a second, right? Like, I guess like, So just like the difference in like Chinese dating resumes versus like American dating resumes, right. Like you said, in hinge, like you can put it in like all these different things. It's like probably like, oh, what's your like favorite pastime? 

[00:18:06] Or like, what's your favorite hobby or some of those things versus like in Shanghai or. Right. Like people square, there's this like massive meat market for parents. Who've basically listed their kids. And like, when I went, this was like a few years back, but we went to see, and basically it's just like this white sheet of paper with like Excel spaces or like Excel grids of like that person's name, the person's salary, their profession, their age, their height. 

[00:18:37] And then like if they have a car. Yeah, property. Isn't that crazy? Like that's like the pro that's the dating profile in China. So like, compared to like a hinge or you kind of have to like, even leave a voice memo and like, talk about like, what's your favorite cocktail? 

[00:18:56] Siyuan Meng: Yeah, the Shanghai marriage, mark has still exists this day. Swell my friends one the other day. She is from Canada and she was amazed like how direct all those parents can 

[00:19:07] Caiwei Chen: Yeah, Tracy, people can be super, super dark rock, like super realistic when it comes to these things like Chinese parents are no joke. And like, um, there there's a show like Indian matchmaking, right? Like there was like quite popular. Um, there, there should be a Chinese matchmaking ALA it will be. 

[00:19:28] Lucia Liu: I thought that was like, 

[00:19:30] Caiwei Chen: Oh, there, there actually is a 

[00:19:32] Lucia Liu: the dating 

[00:19:33] Caiwei Chen: by, um, the, the TV station that may choose a song TV. 

[00:19:37] I believe that made facial where they had a new show called turn washer, sensing, which is like basically trying to smash making and how that works is that like the candidate halfway go through a parents screening. Before, like actually speaking to the candidate themselves, like in parents, like basically care about like the very transactional aspect of a marriage. 

[00:20:02] Like how much do you make, what kind of degree do you have? Like your height and like your age, do you have a car? Do you have a whole goal? Um, 

[00:20:13] Lucia Liu: And a whole call is like a place of residence, right? Like proof of residence. 

[00:20:16] Caiwei Chen: Yes, like household registration that you have in the city that determines a lot of things that will essentially need in our future life, including like, whether you can get a license plate in the city or like whether you can like send your kids to public schools in the city. So super transactional. 

[00:20:34] Siyuan Meng: I will never want to get on those. One of those shows I will feel so 

[00:20:39] Lucia Liu: why not? I feel like you'd be really popular 

[00:20:42] Siyuan Meng: No, it's just so Bruto like, I feel like I'm just going to go a mistake and everybody's going to judge. 

[00:20:48] Caiwei Chen: It's brutal out here, 

[00:20:49] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. 

[00:20:52] Lucia Liu: or everybody's going to be like, oh, like we need to go fight for 

[00:20:57] Siyuan Meng: Uh, I 

[00:20:58] Lucia Liu: Um, 

[00:20:59] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. I was also wondering the reason why the marriage market and also dating shows are so popular in China. Does that has to do the stigma around dating apps, especially among the older generation. 

[00:21:14] Caiwei Chen: I will say, so there definitely is like a very strong stigma that's attached to dating apps, honestly, like trainees people in like the mainstream culture, they don't even call it like dating up like real queer rent. It is mostly like very stigmatized as like you have hall, which is like, there's like booty call apps, like, 

[00:21:38] um,  

[00:21:38] Lucia Liu: basically Dendur. 

[00:21:41] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. 

[00:21:43] Caiwei Chen: Yeah. There's like this stigma that like anyone on dating app is like purely looking for socks, which isn't necessarily a stigma when you like get down to it. Cause I, why is like looking for a Sox, a bath thing. 

[00:21:57] Siyuan Meng: yeah, but I w I will never tell my parents I'm own dating app. They will 

[00:22:01] Lucia Liu: you're on a booty call app. 

[00:22:03] Siyuan Meng: yeah, there was think I'm crazy or boot denting. Right? Not normal. 

[00:22:09] Caiwei Chen: Yeah. 

[00:22:09] Lucia Liu: Yeah, I bet you, your mom's like you'll play all them. Like, do you have a boyfriend yet? Do you have a boyfriend yet? Like my grandparents back in the day, I think it was like 10 years ago. They used, they used to always be like, oh, you'll pay all by Alma. Like, do you have a boyfriend yet? Do you have a boyfriend yet? 

[00:22:25] And then after like I had a boyfriend they're like, are you married yet? Are you married yet? And then now they're just like, do you have kids? Do you have kids? 

[00:22:31] Siyuan Meng: You'll never stop. 

[00:22:32] Lucia Liu: Yeah. 

[00:22:34] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. Like, uh, whenever I go home these days, my grandma, my parents. Keep asking me, like, don't focus too much on work, like put stating as one of the top priorities. 

[00:22:47] Caiwei Chen: That that is a problem. That's non-existent in my family. Um, 

[00:22:51] Siyuan Meng: Wow. That's so lucky. 

[00:22:53] Lucia Liu: I will tell you why that's cause you're like, right. Like, all you do is just, 

[00:22:58] Siyuan Meng: You don't have to worry about 

[00:22:59] Lucia Liu: yeah. Like their parents see this and they're just like, dude, like I got nothing to worry about. 

[00:23:04] Caiwei Chen: I I'm not like I'm literally not. I just, like, I made it very clear. It was my parents that I like my dating life is none of their business. And I would never seek their approval for any guy that I day or be with. And I will not update them on like my dating life. And like, if I decide to get married someday, I will let them know. That's. 

[00:23:32] Lucia Liu: you'll just, you'll just send them a wedding invitation or be like, Hey mom, dad, I'm getting married. Welcome. 

[00:23:38] Caiwei Chen: That's that's what I told them. It also, I think like, cause like my, my dad is slightly older than like the usual that age. He, my dad was like 74 now. And my, my, my brothers, my brother is like 40, 40 something, 45. Now I already had like two kids. So like no pressure on me. 

[00:23:59] Siyuan Meng: that's nice. 

[00:24:01] Lucia Liu: Yeah, so like the, no, no pressure on being like a leftover woman or like a shouldn't you, which apparently, so you, and you said is not a thing anymore. 

[00:24:09] Siyuan Meng: I mean it, people realize it's not a really respectful term these days, but I'm sure the phenomena sticks is like, people are still pretty judgmental for women who are in their thirties. If they're not married yet. 

[00:24:26] Lucia Liu: I always see. So again, back to the Shanghai meat market, right? Like I remember seeing these, like, they have one piece of paper for men and then they have another piece of paper for women. And like all the women ones were like 34 woman PhD in like physics or something like PhD and something, something, and yeah, like. 

[00:24:48] I feel like for those types of women, it must be difficult to like find someone who they like, you know, feel like either jive with, or like, feel comfortable with. So it's tough. 

[00:24:59] Caiwei Chen: Yeah, it's definitely hard to be a high achieving women these days that think there's like a running joke on weight bull a few years ago. About how, like, if you're like a second tier woman, you go for first year men for third tier women, you go for a second tier man. And if you're like first year women, you go for the lowest tier men. 

[00:25:22] Of course like this tier division is based on like your. Career achievement, like your intelligence, et cetera. Like those qualities that are conventionally perceived to be essential merits in like males instead of females. And that like circles back to the masculinity problem. How like to satisfy guys egos, like girls always have to like play into that trope of like the guy being more. Yeah, like successful, but also like protective. And you had to like, not just like work to make yourself better, but you have to like do the work to make your guy feel like he is doing more for you. So that's like an 

[00:26:13] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. 

[00:26:13] Caiwei Chen: more than female dilemma. 

[00:26:15] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. 

[00:26:16] Lucia Liu: Do you guys feel that link for it? I guess like, do you feel that for Chinese men versus like, I don't know if you guys have dated men from like other countries, right? Like, does it feel different? It's like, what can I say, 

[00:26:33] Siyuan Meng: I'm  

[00:26:33] Lucia Liu: what am I allowed to say? 

[00:26:37] Siyuan Meng: trying to think here, 

[00:26:41] Lucia Liu: I haven't dated anyone else on my husband. So, you know, it's, 

[00:26:44] Caiwei Chen: Wow. 

[00:26:45] Siyuan Meng: That's a lie. Is that a lie? It's alive. 

[00:26:50] Lucia Liu: don't know. Nobody knows. 

[00:26:52] Siyuan Meng: It's alive. 

[00:26:53] Lucia Liu: Anyway, back to you too. 

[00:26:57] Siyuan Meng: Yes. How are you first? 

[00:26:58] Caiwei Chen: I would say, like, it's definitely a problem in masculinity assault, like more toxic manifestation of it that is like, or evident all guys like in different countries and cultures, but from my personal experiences, there's definitely. A lack of awareness of it in a lot of Chinese guys in there, like behavior there's like loss, glossing over it in Chinese guys due to the very direct, realistic nature of Chinese dating. 

[00:27:39] I've I literally have like massive one and that's like, not even, we're not even on date. It's just like a random. Guy friend that told me, oh, it's highway, 

[00:27:54] Siyuan Meng: Yeah, 

[00:27:55] Lucia Liu: So he was saying that you were too strong, like headstrong and 

[00:27:59] like a guy can't come. Yeah. The guy can't control 

[00:28:03] Caiwei Chen: Yeah. I'm like, why, why, why would you have to control me? Is that okay to say like, 

[00:28:08] Siyuan Meng: exactly. 

[00:28:10] Lucia Liu: like neath Hyrule, HSA, 

[00:28:12] Siyuan Meng: Yeah, you are too weak. I cannot handle 

[00:28:16] Lucia Liu: not that you're too strong. So you're, you're too weak. 

[00:28:19] Siyuan Meng: I agree with Taiwan while I think it's pretty common among guys from. All countries, but I also agree, like some Chinese guys are less aware of the things they comment on ladies sometimes, maybe because of this direc nature of dating these things in China. 

[00:28:45] Lucia Liu: And you guys like talk about the direct it's like transactional, but I think we also talked about how. Dating doesn't really exist in China. There's no, like in America, it's like, you know, you go out for dinner, like you go out for drinks and then you date for three months and then you have this like, really awkward conversation where it's like, are we, are we not like, what is this? 

[00:29:07] It's like, define the relationship situation. Like, does that happen in China? Or is it kind of just like, okay, you fit my needs. You're good enough. Okay. Like, We're getting together and get married. 

[00:29:21] Caiwei Chen: I would say there, there isn't really that seeing each other face. Before you just like put it out there and like the nouns and made it clear that were boyfriend and girlfriend, I would say, like, to me, like a twenty-something living in New York city, if you're like boy, friend and girlfriend with someone like within my girlfriends circle, that's like a big, big thing. 

[00:29:45] Like it's like huge. Wow. Like you were at that. That's like that's. Yeah. That's like going real by like. And Chinese culture is more like you have to be boyfriend and girlfriend first to date to go to drinks together, to go to movies together, to, 

[00:30:05] Lucia Liu: Hold 

[00:30:05] Caiwei Chen: to hold hands, especially like to athletically, legitimately have socks. 

[00:30:12] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. Otherwise people will say you are or something, right? Like how to translate shoddy. 

[00:30:20] Lucia Liu: Your, I don't even know how to translate. It's like gangster. 

[00:30:26] Siyuan Meng: You are just, uh, messing around. I was 

[00:30:29] Caiwei Chen: yeah, I like 

[00:30:31] Lucia Liu: not being. 

[00:30:32] Siyuan Meng: But also, it can be easier in China in this case. Like, I like you, you like me, our profile match. So we just become boyfriend and girlfriend in one day or two days. Yeah. It's not a super serious thing compared to that in the U S people can be very easily going to relationship. 

[00:30:52] Lucia Liu: It's like, you have to be in a relationship before you, like you test each other out versus like in the states, it's kinda like you test each other out and then it's like, okay, well now, now what are we. 

[00:31:04] Caiwei Chen: Exactly. So like before making it clear that like you were in a relationship, it, at least to me, like it's never like blatantly romantic. It's only like, oh, like skirting around like the key issues and like be shy away from this and that like, oh, are we holding hands? Are we not like, there's this like, back and forth? 

[00:31:26] Siyuan Meng: I was also wondering with the rising popularity of dating apps in China. Well, there be a dating face in the future guys think like, because people apparently have to talk and have to talk on the dating app and ask each other out. Right. And then they go updates and stuff where that changed the game. 

[00:31:51] Caiwei Chen: I personally do not think so, honestly, like I, I definitely do not think so. The culture would change over the night. I think like Flynn, iLet both live in Beijing, Shanghai these first year, relatively international cities. Right. And sometimes we can forget like how, what kind of a bubble that we live in. 

[00:32:13] Yeah. This is like a fun street. I'm going to tall. So like I started using, I remember like I tweeted something about like, oh, Tinder is a new LinkedIn in China. 

[00:32:22] Siyuan Meng: I remember. 

[00:32:23] Caiwei Chen: And that's that? That's true. And I met a lot of like people with similar, like in the profession of international media or like international consulting, or like doing like some sort of cross culture, cross nation words on the app. 

[00:32:43] I personally found the first gas up my podcast episode there, like I. 

[00:32:48] Lucia Liu: date him? 

[00:32:50] Siyuan Meng: Only only at guest flow podcast. 

[00:32:54] Caiwei Chen: Not really not, 

[00:32:55] Lucia Liu: So you asked him out by saying, Hey, I have a bad guest. Do you want to be on my podcast? That's a great pickup line, by the 

[00:33:03] Caiwei Chen: that's not weird at all. And like I thought, like so many follow journalists on the app and like, there only there are people who mashed me and just like, oh, hi, sorry I follow you on Twitter. I wrote your word. I'm like, oh my God. 

[00:33:19] Siyuan Meng: it happened, it happened to me too. It happened to me too. Yeah. And then we match and then somebody was like, oh, I follow you on Twitter. I was like, what's. 

[00:33:30] Caiwei Chen: exactly. That's like I I'm far from Twitter famous, but like the fact that late 

[00:33:36] Lucia Liu: Your Tinder, famous girl. 

[00:33:39] Caiwei Chen: tend to famous is a good word. And it's a very small circle. The point is that there really is this bubble. The more international Twitter and Instagram and Tinder using people. Wait, what you used to need to have a VPN to access Tinder, right? 

[00:33:57] Does that 

[00:33:58] Siyuan Meng: I think so. Yes. I think we still need. 

[00:34:03] Lucia Liu: Yeah. It's because, because only foreigners are able to access VPNs. And so therefore, a lot of people who've like, you know, had international experience are the ones who are like logging into the VPN and then getting into Tinder and then meetings highway and telling them how wonderful her articles are. Um, let's, uh, let's kind of take a shift here on to this other topic that I think is how I use you sort of touched upon, right? Like the, the story of three people hitting on you right off the bat when you came to New York and like asking you out and how, like, I think Asian women are at the top of the dating pool. 

[00:34:39] And in America. So there's this really interesting study. That's been quoted a lot from OkCupid from 2009. So it's a little older and I think there's been actually updated stats where Asian men have become a bit more desirable, but basically the gist of the study states that Asian women are the most desirable across all races. 

[00:35:02] And then Asian men are like the least desirable out of all races. And so if we were to think about it, right, like different races will try to date Asian women, but then like Asian men, like most races will choose not to date them. And like, even at certain points, like, especially folks that I know have talked about how like Asian women refuse to date Asian men and like w wanted to talk a bit about just, I guess the desirability of. 

[00:35:33] And also like how, I guess beauty standards have changed across both the U S and in China, right? Like I think Asian men in the U S has traditionally been portrayed in the media as like the geeky scrawny sidekick, or like the Kung Fu guy, like Bruce Lee. They're not really seen as a romantic male lead. 

[00:35:51] Like they're just not seen in other roles outside of those, like very few narrow roles for Asian American men. And then a flip side in China, what I've started seeing is like with the rise of K-pop and BTS and like men wearing makeup, right? Like there's, there's a lot more men wearing makeup and caring about skincare. 

[00:36:11] And I think recently Beijing announced that they would denounce, uh, feminine looking men in media. Right. So in order to like curb this like masculinity crisis within Asia, so just would love to talk about. So many different things to unpeel there, but we'd love to talk about each of those. 

[00:36:29] Caiwei Chen: Yeah. Wow. He's just like that. That was a multitude of things. 

[00:36:34] Lucia Liu: It's an onion, it's an onion. Sorry. I threw an onion at you. 

[00:36:38] Caiwei Chen: It is. Wow. Where do I even start? Okay. So first of all, like the three people hitting on me thing, uh, I think that's a stretch. I, I think I was just 

[00:36:47] Lucia Liu: I love that. That's where you, you started. 

[00:36:51] Caiwei Chen: that's where you started. Okay. Yeah, I think I was just like walking around, having nothing to do, like giving off, like come be my  

[00:36:59] Lucia Liu: Last girl vibes. 

[00:37:00] Caiwei Chen: Yeah. So, yeah, I think like the desirability of Asian women in like the discrepancy of like their desirability between like Asian male and female is definitely like a very American specific phenomenon, I would say in China. 

[00:37:20] It's yeah. Well, it's very like, self-explanatory, it's like most people, like 99% of people are Chinese and Asian, so. 

[00:37:29] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. 

[00:37:30] Caiwei Chen: There's like really not that like diversity there. And I suppose that's typically wants to talk about like the desirability of like ABC shows like American born Chinese will like the, usually like the, um, second or like third generation growing up in the west Asian males, they tend to be portrayed in Chinese media as very attractive. And there's definitely like a romanticizing element of it. Unlike like a lot of reality shows. Like how a guy that like came from the stays, like speak fluent English and like, doesn't have like a lot of like the stereotypical masculinity traits. At least the toxic was that like, you can see in Chinese males. 

[00:38:18] And they're usually like very, very like hippy and like very, I don't know, like just rich, it's definitely a TV 

[00:38:27] Lucia Liu: I think that, so that's like the most important piece. They're very rich. 

[00:38:33] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. I mean, I kind of feel that not rich part, but whenever on a TV show, whenever somebody is overseas, Chinese Hawaii or Hawaiian people will be like, whoa. So people really looking forward to see anyone from like America. 

[00:38:55] Lucia Liu: Is it still like that that's surprising. Cause I thought things have changed. I think like the, the view of foreigners has really changed in China over the last like decade where initially like in the early two thousands where like back in like the 1990s, when I used to go home and now I'm dating myself. 

[00:39:12] Um, when I used to go back to Shanghai, when I told people, oh, I came from America that everyone's like, oh my God, you come from America. When you see foreigners on the street, people want to like take pictures with them because they're so rare. Right. And then in 2002, I think it's also like people were kind of proud to have a white boyfriend or like proud to have the foreigner boyfriend or girlfriend. 

[00:39:36] And then now I remember like going back, it seems like. Common like people aren't super like into foreigners anymore. I don't know their views of ABCs, but it seems like a lot of Shanghainese people are like, they've gone to school internationally. And so there's like a big circle of folks who kind of get that. 

[00:39:57] So I just curious if like, it's still like that mentality where they're like, oh, it's like an ABC or like, you know, someone who came back from America, if it still has that kind of glitz and glam. 

[00:40:10] Siyuan Meng: Yeah, I may in big cities, people are getting more used to seeing foreigners around, but I think a smaller, lower tier cities, um, boring, still got that treatment. Like photos being taken and stuff. Also the Kalama part. I believe it still exists nowadays. Even people will not be very RB. This. I do believe they still think it's a big deal still. 

[00:40:42] What do you think is highway. 

[00:40:44] Caiwei Chen: Well, I think something who had talked about that I think is super interesting is the change of international school. And like the subsequently like the international. Kids seen in first-year Chinese cities has shifted significantly over the last decade. And I personally like know some folks that I like graduated from international schools in Beijing and Shanghai in Guantanamo recently. 

[00:41:12] And like, there is like amazing diverse leader. Like th there's this, this guy who visits, like the first year elite private school was in Beijing and Shanghai. And like, it's like a foreigner. And like he does these like random street interview with the kiss that like walk out of the school and ask like, oh, what is her dream school? 

[00:41:33] And like, on a scale of one to 10, how do you rate your English? Writing or like speaking capabilities and like, those are truly amazing. All these kids are like biracial or in like the, the boss were a third culture kid. They like grew up in a bunch of different places. They have very high aspirations and like very elite. 

[00:41:58] Hobbies. So that's something like that's definitely nonexistent to years ago, even like in the big cities. But like, I think that, that the strangeness of like foreign faces definitely still exist in lower tier cities. Like the city I'm from I'm from Cheyenne who bay, which has like a third tier city in. 

[00:42:20] It's very rare to have even like 40 English teachers. Okay. There's like, there's probably like 10 white people in my city. And like, all of them are English teachers. Um, and like 10 other non-white foreign people who are all like study abroad students at like the only battery university we have. So that's a stretch. 

[00:42:44] Lucia Liu: That was my school in 2002. So say, 

[00:42:47] Caiwei Chen: Right. Like, that's a stretch, but like you got the juice. So I, I remember when I was young, a friend of my family, their daughter, who's like 20 something at the time, married a white English teacher at the time. And it may local news 

[00:43:01] Lucia Liu: Wow. 

[00:43:02] Siyuan Meng: Headlines headlines. 

[00:43:04] Caiwei Chen: not a hotline, but like, it's definitely like a news material. 

[00:43:08] Very news worthy matter. Yeah. Yeah, it's a, it's a white English teacher is the, always start was an English teacher. Right. Like 

[00:43:16] Siyuan Meng: Oh, my God. There's so many English teacher nowadays in 

[00:43:20] Caiwei Chen: I know. And that's like, uh, can I say this? 

[00:43:24] Siyuan Meng: you can  

[00:43:25] Caiwei Chen: please cut this out. Like English teacher. It's like, 

[00:43:29] Siyuan Meng: I agree. I know what you're going to say. Yeah. 

[00:43:31] Caiwei Chen: yeah. Right. Like as a. 

[00:43:33] Siyuan Meng: I would never date an English teacher. 

[00:43:35] Caiwei Chen: know, right? Like there are like two kinds of foreigners in China, English teachers, and the others. Like 

[00:43:43] Siyuan Meng: Yeah, you don't want to get, 

[00:43:44] Caiwei Chen: you don't, you don't want to data. 

[00:43:46] Lucia Liu: let my English teachers hear this. There's also a history teacher. That was pretty good looking and. 

[00:43:54] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. I remember last time I had this date with an English teacher. I don't know why I went to see him, but, uh, I was like, oh, so, uh, what do you do? And he was like, I'm an English teacher, 

[00:44:07] Lucia Liu: Did you walk away? 

[00:44:08] Siyuan Meng: No, I, I, I was silent for a few seconds and he kept continuing, he said, oh, I'm don't don't stereotype English teachers. 

[00:44:17] I'm, I'm very fun. I'm smart. Just don't judge me because if I'm English teacher, I'm like, okay. 

[00:44:25] Caiwei Chen: Yeah. So there is this, this Jara of self-introduction, uh, like China Tinder that like, I'm not an English teacher, which is like super fun to be like, the guys have to like clarify that they are not an English teacher and there are like some common trolls. 

[00:44:43] Siyuan Meng: Yeah. Like some people smile, English teacher, a group of people who go to bars, drinks, or night, even on a bad day. Maybe that's a lot of people's perception. 

[00:44:56] Lucia Liu: Yo teaching kids is hard, man. Like being an English teacher is difficult to like a group of foreigners. Like, are you kidding me? Like, yeah. I feel like you need to wash down those sorrows with bottle of wine tonight. 

[00:45:09] Caiwei Chen: Definitely. Like, I think like we give too little credit for English teachers. Like they are like how the whole exchange cultural exchange thing start. Right? Like they are they're the pioneers. They 

[00:45:23] Lucia Liu: that's how we all learned English. Don't don't go crap on your English teacher, man. 

[00:45:28] Siyuan Meng: I'm 

[00:45:28] Lucia Liu: Um, speaking of English teachers, do you find that profession to be particularly masculine? Speaking of masculinity? 

[00:45:38] Caiwei Chen: Okay. I need to chime in here. So I find like there are two specific Jara guys on York Tinder or hinge, more avid like on hinge probably cause like it's more supposedly elite, I would say finance bros and tack rose. 

[00:46:01] Lucia Liu: that's because those are the only two you're finding. What about like the, yeah. What about the artsy dude in New York? Like there's artsy guys. There's like hippie guys. There's like, there's definitely the tech bros and the finance dudes, but then you also have a pocket of lawyers and you have a pocket of doctors and you got like another pocket of like actors. 

[00:46:23] Broadway folks. It's pretty diverse. 

[00:46:26] Caiwei Chen: is, I guess like it's just attack Rosen. Finance bros that really like to put their job description in their profile then. Oh, I like 

[00:46:36] Lucia Liu: Like, I mean, 

[00:46:37] Caiwei Chen: people, people that's in private equity always like, feel the need to put that out, like to distinguish themselves from the other finance roles. 

[00:46:47] Lucia Liu: it's called peacocking. You know how like, 

[00:46:49] Caiwei Chen: Yeah. 

[00:46:50] Lucia Liu: You know how like guys have to kind of like show off, like in the Chinese meat markets, it's like, I make, I don't know, like 200 K a month. Right? Like they they're like, oh, that's, that's like my peacocking. And then like the PE people are like, well, I work in PE and I work at KKR. 

[00:47:10] Siyuan Meng: That's York. 

[00:47:14] Lucia Liu: much. It that's pretty much it, well, this isn't fun. Anything else that you feel like Tideway you want to like touch on or you want to talk about any like new projects that you want to talk about that you want our listeners to be aware of? 

[00:47:29] Caiwei Chen: Um, I feel like very lazy since I started school. Like not really been writing, but like I still write bilingually. Um, I will have a new article on child trap coming out about, um, Well, this is not like masculinity related, but like, it would be about like this click of public intellectuals and scholars and young academics that were very active circle, like 20, 60. 

[00:48:02] And like how that group chat has like, changed the landscape of like, China's us watching. So, yeah, and I have like an Chinese article about China's rural village bloggers coming 

[00:48:18] Siyuan Meng: Oh, wow. 

[00:48:20] Caiwei Chen: So 

[00:48:20] Lucia Liu: Wow. That's exciting. 

[00:48:22] Siyuan Meng: So exciting. Oh, that's highway, are you still doing your podcast? Redirect these days? 

[00:48:31] Caiwei Chen: I hope I will have time, but like, I think so it's like this becoming like this secret goes project of mine now since like, I haven't like post a new episode in months, but yeah. 

[00:48:46] Lucia Liu: Highway, the first guy you met on Tinder is going to be very disappointed in you that his emphasis, where it is now a ghost. 

[00:48:55] Caiwei Chen: not like that episode. So got the most, listen, I think that he he's really proud of himself. He's happily in a relationship now, obviously, um, 

[00:49:05] Lucia Liu: That's okay. It's not like we're saying anything. We're just, he went on your podcast, right? It's just a dude who went on your podcast. 

[00:49:14] Caiwei Chen: exactly like recording podcasts as a first day. Why not people should do well at the time? 

[00:49:20] Lucia Liu: I think so too. I 

[00:49:21] Caiwei Chen: Oh, my God. Is this a  

[00:49:22] Lucia Liu: that's a good idea that we can, this is a 

[00:49:25] Caiwei Chen: Is this a  

[00:49:26] Lucia Liu: a girl  

[00:49:27] Caiwei Chen: This is a trap. 

[00:49:30] Lucia Liu: a date and a trap. This is a perfect way to end this episode. All right. Well, Tyler, thank you so much for being on . It was really great to hear your stories and, um, thanks for sharing, uh, all your creative juices with us. 

[00:49:44] Siyuan Meng: Yeah, thanks so much, Tyler. We were so honored to have you here. 

[00:49:47] Caiwei Chen: Thank you for having these.