Asian fetishism

Asian fetishism

Asian fetishism describes sexual desire towards people of Asian descent. The term has been defined as "the sexual objectification of people of Asian descent, typically females, who are objectified and valued not for who they are as people, but for their race or perceptions of their culture."cite book | first = Sheridan | last = Prasso | year = 2005 | month = |title = The Asian Mystique | chapter = 'Race-ism,' Fetish, and Fever | chapterl = | editor = | others = | edition = | pages = 132-164,141 | publisher = Perseus Books | location = Cambridge, MA |isbn=9781586483944] [cite book| first = Young In| last= Song| year = 1998| title = Korean American Women: From Tradition to Modern Feminism| pages = 134| publisher= Greenwood Publishing Group| isbn = 9780275959777] The term has been directed against Caucasian males who date, or have married, women of Asian descent.

Stereotyping of Asian personality traits

During the periods of yellow peril in the United States during the late 1800s, the image of Chinese women emerged as sexually corrupt, immoral, and threatening to the white population. [Okamura, Raymond. 1976. Iva Ikuko Toguri: Victim of an American fantasy. In EmmaGee (Ed.), Counterpoint: Perspectives on Asian America (p. 86-96). Los Angeles: Asian American Studies Center, University of California.] During World War II when American soldiers directly interacted with East Asian and Southeast Asian women, the women were portrayed as obedient, passive, and exotic. Babysan, a cartoon character sketched as an exotic, curvaceous, slanted eyed woman, was published in the East Asian edition of the "Navy Times" during wartime. [cite book |title= Babysan: A private look at the Japanese occupation |last= Hume|first= Bill |year= 1953 |publisher= Kasuga Bokkei |location= Tokyo|isbn= 0804800499]

In the afterword to the 1988 play "M. Butterfly", the writer, David Henry Hwang, using the term "yellow fever," a pun on the disease of the same name, discusses white men with a "fetish" for Asian women. Hwang argues that this phenomenon is caused by stereotyping of Asians in Western society.cite book | first = David Henry | last = Hwang | year = 1988 | title = M. Butterfly | chapter = Afterward | pages = p. 98 | publisher = Plume Books | location = New York] Darrell Hamamoto, a professor at University of California Davis, has stated that the stereotypes are a result of Western imperialist influence in Asian countries and increased interaction between different races in the United States after immigration laws were relaxed in the 1960s.cite web |url=|title= Dating Outside the Color Lines |accessdate=2007-12-29 |last= Sung |first= Helen E|format= |work= Audrey magazine| archiveurl =| archivedate = 2006-02-12] Hamamoto said American soldiers' contact with Vietnamese prostitutes during the Vietnam War have further contributed to reinforcing these images of Asian women.

Phoebe Eng wrote in her book "Warrior Lessons",cite book | first = Phoebe| last = Eng | year = 2000 | title = Warrior Lessons : An Asian American Woman's Journey into Power | chapter = She Takes Back Desire | pages = 115 – 142 | publisher = Atria | location = New York|isbn = 0671009575]

In her article in "San Francisco Examiner", "Asian Women, Caucasian Men", Joan Walsh wrote that some non-Asian men pursued Asian females for "their appearance - and stereotypes about how they treat men." The article referred to a "feminist backlash" that drove Caucasian men away from Caucasian women. She described Asian fetish partially as a result of "inability of men to have intimate relationships with women they see as equals." Walsh, Joan. "San Francisco Examiner". [ Asian Women, Caucasian Men] (2002-04-22)] Practices of marrying mail-order brides from Asian countries is also sustained by sexual stereotypes of Asian women.cite journal |last= Uchida |first= Aki |year= 1998|month= March - April|title= The Orientalization of Asian women in America |journal= Women’s Studies International Forum|volume= 21|issue= 2|pages= 161-174|id=doi|10.1016/S0277-5395(98)00004-1|label= 10.1016/S0277-5395(98)00004-1|accessdate= 2007-12-29]

The term used for a man, usually white, who exclusively dates Asian males is "rice queen."cite web |url=|title= Embracing Diversity?|accessdate=2007-12-29 |last= Bohling |first= James|format= |work= GLAAD] [Ayres T (1999). China doll - the experience of being a gay Chinese Australian. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 87-97] In a similar manner as Asian females, gay Asian males are stereotyped as submissive.

Studies related to Asian fetishism

Raymond Fisman authored an article published in "Salon" which claimed that the existence of Asian fetish is a myth. Raymond based his conclusions on the results of a study, "Racial Preferences in Dating," that he helped to conduct. [Fisman, Raymond. " [ The Myth of the Asian Fetish: An Economist Goes to a Bar] Slate magazine (2007-11-07). Retrieved on 2007-11-09.] The study, based upon speed dating experiments among Columbia University graduate students, found no general statistically-significant racial preference among males. [Fisman, Raymond; Iyengar, Sheena S.; Kamenica, Emir; Simonson, Itamar. " [ Racial Preferences in Dating] ". 2007-05-11. Retrieved on 2007-11-09]

Dissenting views

Phoebe Eng wrote that not all Asian women "agree that the current trend of 'Asian fetish' is bad" and that "the new visibility of Asian women, even though stereotyped, can actually be liberating." Erika Kim and Tracy Quan believe that the concept of "Asian fetish" is often used to unjustly condemn interracial relationships between non-Asian men and Asian women.cite book | first=Vicky | last=Nam | title=YELL-oh Girls! | publisher=Harper Paperbacks |isbn= 0060959444| year=2001 | pages=207] cite web |url= |title= Asian fetish? |accessdate=2007-05-23 |last= Quan |first= Tracy |authorlink= Tracy Quan|year= 2003|month= December |format= |publisher=] Quan has written that terms such as "yellow fever" or "Asian fetish" are often meaningless since many of the relationships are legitimate cases of attraction. The characterization of the term as "racist" has been criticized because it implies that a noted preference for a member of a minority group and the portrayals of minorities as attractive is abnormal.cite web |url=|title= Fetish or Forever?|accessdate=2007-12-26 |last= Chan |first= Elizabeth|format= |work= Audrey magazine |archiveurl = | archivedate = 2006-02-11]


See also

* Asian American contemporary issues
* Racist love
* Yellow cab (stereotype)
* Amejo

External links

* [ "The Asian America That Can Say 'No'"] , (Originally published in The Daily Californian, September 9, 1991) "Accessed February 17, 2006."
* [ "The Myth Of The Rice King"] , Vancouver Sun, February 14, 2004.
* [ "Racial preferences in the dating world"] , Seacoast Online, May 11, 2007. "Accessed May 25, 2007."

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