Article deconstructs Asian fetish (well, sort of)

I worked in a Chinese Restaurant/Bar during my college days and we had more than our share of creepy dudes with Asian fetishes come in. Yellow fever is real but it doesn’t mean every guy that has an Asian GF suffers from it. I do find it strange when neither person in the relationship has a moderate grasp of the others language though.

I’ll tell you what’s pretty twisted; a white guy once told me he felt weird dating white girls because “it would be like dating your sister.”


Granted the article is long-winded, there are actually are some interesting points I never thought to consider especially the comparisons between Asian Americans and Immigrant Asians. A friend of a friend once told me a white guy started hitting on her in Chinese but immediately ran the opposite direction after realizing she spoke perfect English and was from the states also. I would think sharing the same language is a good thing, so I would have to agree with Ralphy on this one. I too find it a bit odd when couples have to rely mostly on body language and pictography to get a point across.

I’d suggest reading this article by Alan J. Hu instead:
It gave me a good laugh and the writer is completely upfront about his biases.

Let’s face it; stereotypes are part of our cultural memory. You can adopt a holier than thou attitude and adamantly insist you do not buy into stereotypes yada, yada, yada. But surely sometime in your life you passed judgment based on bias. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a sucker for artsy types and never am really interested in guys who are otherwise. Why? Because a guy who knows his music and prefers reading over playing counterstrike turns me on. And maybe the whole idea of them being more sensitive and deep helps too. This is a stereotype of course because not all guys who appear artsy fall under this umbrella and not all guys who are in frats are insensitive pricks. Yet I still look for these things because I’m attracted to this. This can be translated into race too. For every person who doesn’t conform to a stereotype, there is another who embodies some of the characteristics, which partly explains why this stereotype exists in the first place.

If you can truly live in a stereotype free, completely pc bubble, then more power to you. But you’d probably have to break all the TVs in your house first.

i feel the same way. looking at a white girl is like looking at my sister.

and asian american-the same…usually.

I was wondering whether we fat fuckos might not be best advised to be careful when attempting to mate with the super models of Asia. Little darlings might not be able to breathe under our heavy load, and of course there is also the displacement of internal organs to consider as well.

[quote]Of course. Whenever you fall for any one woman, you miss out on all other available women. I thought this was obvious?

That is why you fall for all of them, but don’t listen to me unless you want the trouble that brings… I love them all no matter what race, but I cannot find one that understands that…

Feeling physically attracted to someone of another race or even someone of your own race that looks physically more exotic than most may also very well be a genetic/DNA thing. People who have only procreated within a small group (small closed societies) usually have way more genetic defects (from things as small as bad eyesight, to a higher chance of developing diabetes and heart disease) than people who come from societies and groups where the inverse is true.

Although, with this “asian-fetish” business this may not always be the case, but in many inter-racial relationships people may very well be attracted to each other based on subconsious genetic choices.

Just a thought I had today watching “The Sleeping Dictionary.”

very interesting theory bismark. may prove to be true.

environmentally speaking, i want something as far from louisiana as i can get. white girls just don’t get me moving for some reason.

I think its very likely that many people are able to disregard stereotypes when dealing with any individual. Why do you think those who “insist” that they do not judge others based on stereotypes are behaving in a “holier than thou” manner?

OK. But, you should speak only for yourself. Not everyone judges a book by its cover.

No. You’d simply need to remain objective and unprejudiced. I don’t think its too difficult to do so. I mean, maybe its difficult to do if you get your information ONLY from television… but, if you live in the world, and meet people of various “races” and “types”, then, IMO, it would be difficult to fall for or buy into stereotypes, as you should have seen many instances/examples of people who do not “fit” the stereotypes.

That’s what I think.

For the first few paragraphs the article seemed objective, but then I read:

And I looked at the source website and I came to a conclusion that the author may have a bias against anything appearing submissive, white people, and dating outside one’s race.

Back in the States, most of my friends are non-white. I realized a long time ago that I value difference over uniformity.

[quote=“Dragonbones”]If a guy wants the girl to wear a kimono and eat fried rice with chopsticks while riding him, THAT’s an Asian fetish.


This description really turned me on.

Well I’m glad my post got a reaction and I completely respect any opposing arguments. But like I mentioned, by playing devil’s advocate I simply wanted to provide another P.O.V on the topic.

I am by no means speaking on the behalf of everyone. Rather, I am suggesting we try to deconstruct the concept of Asian Fetish from another viewpoint. Previous posts had denounced the article as being downright racist and it was implied that anyone who thought the article had an inkling of truth was racist themselves.

Perhaps I am sensitive to this subject because as a woman of colour stereotypes have been thrust upon me all my life. Yellow fever is very much real for those of us who have encountered it in our lifetime though as a person of mixed race I have my own set of identity dilemmas. What I am trying to stress is that we all walk through life experiencing a different reality. I realize calling those people who are lucky enough to be unmarred by stereotypes as “holier than thou” harsh. Yet sometimes I do feel that when people get on a soapbox and start labeling others as racist without thinking how it’s like to walk in the other person’s shoes. Every culture has prejudices – that goes without saying. You could easily argue that there is a fetish for Aryan characteristics like blond hair and blue eyes. If you had read the article from the other link I provided, you might understand where I am coming from.

Finally, I admit my thinking on this matter may be a bit too personal. But I am also looking at this issue from an academic viewpoint as I have researched on the commodification of Asian culture in the West, including the portrayal of Asian women in film and advertising. “Yellow Peril”: Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction by Gina Marchetti is a wonderful window into understanding Asian Fetish from a communications perspective. I am after all a media graduate and I am bound to analyze articles from a theoretical stance. Yet I am by no means an authority on this subject. I am simply offering my two cents.

I realize that the majority of users on this forum are expats. But I would hope that the exchange of ideas on Asian culture/psyche may be two-flow to encourage diversity and promote understanding between those of us who grew up immersed in Asian culture and those of us who are here to learn more about it.

In the words of Voltaire “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.”

Describing something as a fetish gives it negative connotations. A fetish is a strong fixation that interferes with a person’s life, and the article didn’t go into the negative effects of dating Asian women (like losing all your money ;-), etc…), instead it subjectively went into negative characteristic traits of guys who date Asian women. There may be a broader story here, like why so much interracial dating, but the article only looks at men who date Asians. How about an article on why all my Hispanic friends like white women???

I think everyone is racial, like it or not. We see strangers who look different as being different. It’s built into us. The problem comes when we are arrogant and think we are above others. Period. And people who are adamant about not being racists have been very well (re)educated by political correctness.

Did anyone consider that attraction has something to do with personallity and not just the way people look?
I don’t think I’ve been to many places in the world where I haven’t seen girls I really like, but also quite the oposite.
And some girls are stunning, until they open their mouth and your ear hurts because they have the foulest dialect in the world.
Personally I don’t give a monkeys where you’re from, if I like you I like you and it all comes down to how you are as a person, although good looks always helps :wink:
And I have to agree with whoever said that chubby girls here are more atractive in general here than the really skinny ones, but this doesn’t mean I want a really fat chick, but I don’t like when I can count the ribs either…

I can find attractive girls of almost every race and ethnicity. Hot Asian girls, hot white girls, hot black girls, hot Latinas. That’s normal and healthy. What I find weird are people who are only attracted to one particular race. Or one particular body type, or hairstyle, or whatever - whenever you fixate on one characteristic and only date women with that characteristic, that’s what’s called a fetish. And most people do consider that weird and creepy. I don’t like it when you get the foreigner groupies in Taiwan that only want to date me because I’m white - “ooo, your eyes are so blue, take me!” type of girls you run across. It makes me feel that I’m not worth anything as a person, I’m just some interchangeable with whatever other white guy comes along. Who wants to feel like that?

That’s fine.

I think it would be very helpful if those of you who wish to discuss the notion of “Asian fetish” get very clear yourselves just what a “fetish” is.

Dunno. Personally I think that Hu fellow is a whiner.

For me, “racism” has a clearly defined meaning (actually two meanings). If behavior doesn’t fit one of those clearly defined meanings, then the behavior is not racist. Simple as that.

Everyone of any class or group is stereotyped. You do not have a monopoly on that.

What is “Yellow Fever”? Some guys like Asian girls? I don’t understand why this is a topic worthy of so much attention.

I’ve also never understood how people could have identity problems. Maybe the problem is that you have bought the stereotypes? Why should you expect to “fit in” with any group or class of people? You are an individual. Unique. There is only one of you.

Well, we perceive and are affected by reality differently… not certain that we actually experience diferent realities.

I don’t think it was harsh. I think it was wrong.

You will not see me doing that. Again, I am very clear as to what “racism” is. If behavior doesn’t fit one of the two definitions of “racism”, then IMO the behavior isn’t racist.

People have prejudices.

I’ve read MANY articles about this subject. IMO, most of the writers come off as whiners.

You don’t think the matter is personal to many, if not most of the posters here?

How could Asian culture not be modified by the /in the west? Do you think those of us western people living in Asia have not been “modified”?

I honestly don’t think the subject is that interesting. Have you ever seen how whites are portrayed in Bruce Lee films? In Chinese cinema? Of course people of one culture perceive people of a different culture in odd ways. No big surprize there.

Why do we need to encourage diversity? I mean, I’m not opposed to it. But, I’m not an advocate for it either.

Honestly, my “interest” in this topic is due to my disinterest in it. I am offended somewhat at being stereotyped as one with an “Asian Fetish” by people who do not know the first thing about me. Its not so bad now as it was twenty-two years ago, when I first started dating my wife. Now we’re middle-aged and a bit fat… we have a teenage son… people here look at us and see a couple who obviously were interestd in each other for reasons other than our respective “races”. Nonetheless, the idea that so many people are so damn nosey and busy judging anyone (usually white males) for their preference in dating is absurd, IMO.

Who cares why anyone likes anyone else?

Tigerman is mostly on the money here. Good enough to post twice!

Haha, I’ve signed myself up for intellectual suicide by arguing the other side.

But hey, I didn’t coin the phrase “Asian fetish,” which I’m pretty sure has been in circulation loooooong before I was born and also happens to be the title of this forum. Don’t go shooting the messenger.

Plus, the article was pulled from ColorQ, a website for ethnic minorities “to air their ideas and problems.” So obviously the article isn’t geared towards a mainstream audience. The author has no reasons to be objective if he/she is speaking from their own personal experience, which judging from the article proves true. There are no references to Edward Said’s theories on Orientalism or Freud’s views on fetishism. In other words, no academic theory to back up the main claims. This article isn’t out to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism.

In the conclusion the author writes: “Well, it might not be that everyone who has a special affinity for Asians (or any other ‘unfamiliar’ group perceived as Other) necessarily has dubious motivations, but for any of us, some introspection into our motivations might not be a bad idea.”

So presumably the writer is white, who knows.

Honestly, why do we care so much? Even I don’t know why I care anymore. Oh wait, I’m Asian and have written 3 papers on the topic in my anthropology and gender & media classes. Dammit!

No need to feel left out, there’s plently of stuff on other racial/cultural fetishes too! Woo-hoo. Here’s one,“The foreigner as fetish”

Now if you’ll please excuse me, I’m going to try to get on with my life and stop doing the following :wall:

Probably not. Its good mind exercize.

[quote=“chiquita”]But hey, I didn’t coin the phrase “Asian fetish,” which I’m pretty sure has been in circulation loooooong before I was born and also happens to be the title of this forum. Don’t go shooting the messenger.

Plus, the article was pulled from ColorQ, a website for ethnic minorities “to air their ideas and problems.” So obviously the article isn’t geared towards a mainstream audience. The author has no reasons to be objective if he/she is speaking from their own personal experience, which judging from the article proves true.[/quote]

Why shouldn’t he attempt to be objective? We all have our biases. That’s a given. But, why loose objectivity? How does doing so help?

In that respect I’m sure it will be successful.

[quote=“chiquita”]In the conclusion the author writes: “Well, it might not be that everyone who has a special affinity for Asians (or any other ‘unfamiliar’ group perceived as Other) necessarily has dubious motivations, but for any of us, some introspection into our motivations might not be a bad idea.”

So presumably the writer is white, who knows. [/quote]

Or, who cares? His/her color is not important to me… its his/her ideas that I am addressing.

Well, I’m white and I don’t care why anyone likes anyone. I do care why people dislike each other. But why would I care why people like each other?

Not interested.

Good luck!

the article was
may be it got interesting later but i could not finish reading it. Sounds like same old stuff again and again and again yawwwwn

oh and by the way in England the term Asian means “Indian or Pakistani” I presume they meant Chinese or Yapanese in this article ? I guess the author was a north American.

I get the impression that it is considered bad to have a submissive partner. Is it therefore good to have a dominant one ? If your partner was a body building female on steroids that liked to boss you around is that “ok” ?
Oh yes we have to be completely equal and wash one saucer and cup each
yeah whatever feukkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk offfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
:laughing: :laughing:

Hmm, so I didn’t refresh in time to catch Tigerman’s post earlier but this is my response:

Tigerman, you seem rather quick to psychoanalyze everything I write. Why so defensive? And why the hostility? I mean, come on, you think that personal attacks on my research interests makes your arguments any stronger? Or suggesting because I experience identity problems now and then, I really must be ashamed and hate myself? Hello, everyone goes through a rut, I’m sorry if I’m not little miss perfect. You just stated I have no monopoly on being stereotyped; well in that case, you have no right making assumptions about who I am either.

If you’re so disinterested in the topic like you claim, then let those of us who ARE interested have our two cents. I’m doubtful that you’ve really read a diversity of articles like you state because if you did, you would be much more informed and open to discussion. Who made you the authority on what’s valid, and what’s not?

But I agree, who even cares anymore? Obviously this issue is a lost cause since nobody is willing to take what the other person thinks with a grain of salt. I guess this is not the forum to share and exchange ideas respectfully and openly since diversity isn’t really a priority and a one-sided view on things seem to be the general rule.

Sorry for my intrusion, I obviously have nothing to contribute to an expat forum and will keep my thoughts on the Asian psyche to myself.

I appreciate your comments and I imagine Tigerman does too. He just likes deconstructing things. Like most forumosans he is actually an intelligent nice guy.