In response to The Bold Italic‘s article, “Asian Male Stereotypes Complicate My Love Life,” I wanted to shine some light on the existence of Asian Female Stereotypes.
I couldn’t agree more with Tiffany Wang when she says “Nothing pisses me off more than when someone says, ‘I’m just not attracted to Asian men’…When I point out that it’s discriminatory—no, racist—to exclude an entire race from your dating preferences, they shrug as if it’s something that just can’t be helped.” We hold this attitude towards Asian men because of the way that Asian men are represented in society. I mean, seriously, who came up with the supposed fact that Asian men have small penises? And why are we so quick to see Asian men as unsexy and unattractive? More importantly, why are we so quick to believe that these supposed facts are in fact true?
Has it ever occurred to us that our racial dating preferences have been socially constructed for us throughout time? It most certainly isn’t a coincidence that Asian men aren’t seen as masculine, sexy or attractive. As Tiffany Wang put it, “Asian men aren’t inherently less attractive, less virile, or less valiant, so I can’t fathom why such notions are widely accepted as truth.”
But it’s more complicated than we think; not the entire Asian population is seen as unattractive. Asian men may be seen as undatable, but Asian women are seen as much more desirable. I’m talking about Yellow Fever, the ‘fetish’ that people who are particularly attracted to Asian women supposedly hold.
It has become a norm for men to be into the idea of dating exotic, beautiful women. But the real problem lies in the ideas and images of Asian women that men uphold. By upholding these stereotypes, men fail to acknowledge Asian women as human beings. Instead, any personality traits or intelligence are substituted with the fetish that defines how Asian women should be and what they should resemble. In reality, this is just mixing racism and sexism, which ultimately devalues a woman and makes her into a certain brand of sexual satisfaction and fulfillment.
I’m sick and tired of the racism and sexism that follow Asian women everywhere. Being Asian myself, I even find it really difficult to differentiate between men who were truly interested in me and men who were only interested in my looks— in other words, my race and all the implications that come with this ethnicity.
It astonishes me that to this day, some people—and by this I mean some of my educated and amicable male friends—still don’t understand what’s so terrible about Yellow Fever. Some of them even tell me that they find the idea of being the target of a racial fetish quite flattering—they say things like “Oh c’mon, can’t you just be glad that someone likes you?” Nothing negative about this right? Well, in reality, when men who have ‘caught’ Yellow Fever try to land a date with me for my race, I feel offended and belittled.
Above all, having Yellow Fever and being attracted to Asian women is absolutely not the same as “having a type”—it is a racial fetish and an unfulfilled fantasy.