The aesthetic of “Asian girl” has been largely popularized by non-Asian men who have a sexual preference for Asian women. As discussed in the article from Jezebel.com from November 2014, “‘The Cut’ Turns Into ‘Yellow Fever’: The Site About North American Politics Rediscovers What It Means to be an Asian Woman”, it is often assumed that all Asians look similar and what many men find attractive about Asian girls are traits such as their smooth skin, long dark hair, petite stature/figure, and cute mannerisms. These stereotypes do not encapsulate everyone within this vast group of people just as generalized notions of beauty among any race do not accurately represent every single person within each respective race – there are always exceptions.
While the stereotype that Asian women possess all of these traits is one that can be popularized and embraced by some, it is important to recognize the racist history and implications behind why non-Asian men would want to date and ultimately procreate with an Asian woman. As discussed in this article from The Huffington Post, “The Politics Of Fetish: Why White People Want To Date Us”, there has been a long history of white men emigrating to Asia because they wanted to create a family with what they considered “submissive” women (e.g., sex slaves). Such notions trivialize an entire group’s culture and dismiss them as if their identity does not matter. This concept is both xenophobic and misogynistic, but most importantly, it is racist. The aforementioned stereotype that all Asian girls are submissive and docile does not fit within the definition of feminism either because it disregards an entire group’s ability to think for themselves and consistently pushes the idea that they need someone else to save/help them.
I do feel as though this issue has become more commonplace in recent years thanks to the internet because social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc., have allowed these men to seek out “Asian girls” based on their location or interests – creating a network that provides insight into how widespread this “fetish” has become. When I look at my own Facebook friend list (and even just people who are friends with my friends), the number of non-Asian men I have coming up as friends with Asian women is extremely high. While one might argue this could be attributed to the fact that Facebook requires people to list their current, past, and “interested in” relationships on their profile pages, it just goes to show how many real-life connections have been made because of social media. This issue can be considered problematic for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it perpetuates the fetishization of an entire race.
Everyone wants to love who they want – I believe this wholeheartedly.
- But at what point are preferences deemed racist?
- At what point are preferences deemed sexist?
- At what point does wanting someone based on stereotypes to become inappropriate behavior?
I do not pretend to know all of the answers to these questions, but I do know that there are always two sides to every story and just because someone wants to date someone of a different race does not mean their intentions are always pure. It is important for people who may feel more comfortable dating within their own race to ask themselves why they would prefer this – it might be helpful in recognizing racist practices if any exist within their preference.
I personally have dated all kinds of men of all races, so I can empathize with anyone who has felt conflicted about this issue either before or after entering into the dating scene. Ultimately, everyone has the right to love whoever they want because it is often complicated enough already – adding racism on top of that complicates things even further.
I have decided to include an additional paragraph because I do not feel as though the above article did a good job of representing white women’s perspectives on this issue and their feelings about being labeled a fetish by a potential partner of a different race:
“Another aspect that is often disregarded when discussing this topic is how white women with Asian fetishes are affected by this. Several women in my life (including myself) have felt like they were only with their partner because of his fetish for Asians, even though these relationships began completely consensually. This can be considered both objectifying and misogynistic – considering you are using someone’s race as the sole reason to date them.”
This article is fairly long which I think helps it stand out more than shorter articles would. The author uses a lot of vernacular that younger people use which helps the article represent how widespread this issue has become i.e., “fetishizing” certain races or cultures. With that being said, however, the author does not present any new arguments which I think is why this piece ultimately failed to meet the standards of an article submitted for this assignment. I also think it would’ve been beneficial to include more about how Asian women are feeling in regards to being fetishized or if this is something they find offensive or not. A lot of what you wrote seems very black and white – “fetishizing” someone based on their race is wrong, but there may be a fine line between finding someone attractive because of their race vs. finding them attractive because of gender stereotypes that are associated with that race (e.g., wanting to date an Asian woman because they are seen as submissive). Overall though, I do feel like this piece did get its point across which was mainly raising awareness on the issue of people developing strong attractions toward one race or culture.