The other day, I read a post on the My Korean Husband blog that got me thinking. The post is called Why We Don’t Label Ourselves AMWF and it really struck me. With the way the meaning behind words is hotly debated in social media online, it’s really made me think about what the AMWF label really means. Read what Nichola and Hugh think about this label. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Did you read it? If you didn’t, in a very limited summary, they don’t label themselves AMWF for a few reasons:
- “white” and “Asian” are blanket terms encompassing very diverse cultures, and these terms don’t represent them or their relationship
- the blog represents two unique people and they don’t fit under a general tag
- the use of AMWF invokes a fetish or a sense of oddity in a relationship that they don’t view as strange or fetish
What’s the big deal about AMWF?
Honestly, I’d never thought that being in an international relationship was an unusual thing until I moved from a big city on the west coast to a rural area in the middle of the country. When I was in an international relationship in an international city, no one thought twice. Now that I’m in an international relationship in a primarily white town, it’s been brought to my attention. So, I naturally used the internet to find other people in international relationships.
When I started reading blogs about intercultural relationships, I naturally focused on American, Australian, and British women involved with Japanese, Chinese, and Korean men because, well, it was a similar situation to mine. I was looking for cultural similarities and I found that this tag AMWF allowed me to search for similar blogs quickly and then I could sort from among those. It also brings up a lot of AV sites on search engines, which I thought was kind of weird (there’s the fetish part, I guess). Is it unusual to be in an AMWF relationship? It seems to be fairly rare when considering the number of relationships. But, the good news is that it seems to become less rare as time goes on.
Once I decided to start my own blog, I didn’t label my posts AMWF right away, but I eventually started doing it because I thought it would be easier for people searching for specifically that kind of information to find it. I follow blogs for many international couples, including non-white females with non-Asian males, white males with Asian females, and other types of couples. I also have friends of many different nationalities in relationships of many types. I even have a friend who is in what she readily terms an AMBF relationship. I really never thought about these types of tags as much more than trying to quickly find people with whom you can identify.
Of course, when I am thinking about topics related to my own relationship, I tend to relate to the stereotypical AMWF relationships: American, Australian, and British women involved with Japanese, Chinese, and Korean men. I can see how a label can give the impression of forcing people and relationships into narrow categories and alienates others. This was never what I intended when using the tag, as I am not the type to alienate anyone based on such petty labels. Conversely, labels can also be seen as a useful way of identifying something at a first glance. That’s how I choose to view this label when I use it on my own blog.
So what is my next step? My blog is a newbie and not a lot of people visit it on a regular basis, so I don’t think I will remove the tag because it is something to help people who are interested in reading find my blog. (Yes, I’m labeling this post AMWF ^^) However, Nichola and Hughs’ words have really made me think about the impression that it gives off. I’m pretty sure that’s what their intent was in writing that post, so well done!
What do you think about labeling relationships as AMWF, AMBF, or any other acronym? After reading Nichola and Hughs’ opinions, does it change your opinion on the subject?