‘Yellow fever’ is a real thing and it’s disgusting

Objectifying women by their skin color is never OK

‘Yellow fever’ in this context doesn’t refer to the serious disease spread by mosquitoes, but a fetish often developed by Caucasian men about Asian women. This is when these men have an acute sexual preference for East Asian women mainly due to a series of false stereotypes: fragile, submissive and exotic.

Even though I find this incredibly offensive, I can’t blame them entirely. Popular culture has always portrayed Asian women in the most stereotypical ways. It is also not difficult to get numerous search results of dating websites specifically catered for men who are looking for Asian women. These women have always been seen as the wife material for their supposedly passive and docile nature.

Does conquering a mountain 2744 feet above sea level seem weak to you?

As a Southeast Asian young woman living in a predominantly white community and having quite a number of Caucasian friends, I’ve encountered a fair share of men with telltale signs of yellow fever. It’s subtle, and they were probably unaware of the meanings of what they said, “Nothing is better than a hot Asian chick with silver hair.” I’m not sure if you expect me to swoon and take it as a great compliment.

However, having been told that a guy I’m into is “really into Asian girls” or asked “what do Asian girls like?” I can’t help but feel puzzled by the insensitivity that such comments could cause offense. Yet, I could only laugh it off while telling myself that “they’re just not aware of what it could mean.” A few of my Asian friends have also been approached by guys with pick-up lines such as, “You look so beautiful and exotic.” And we all wonder why the hell anyone would think that would make us feel great about ourselves, when the only reason for our attractiveness is our race.  Before saying any of that, do people ever stop for a moment to think how many Asian countries and ethnicity there are? Is it appropriate to group all Asian women as the same category? Would you be happy if I considered Caucasian women from America, Germany, Australia, and so on, all the same?

This does not only apply to Asian women but also to the white and black women as well. I’m so sick of hearing guys of different races claiming they only go for white or black girls just because of a variety of their distinct features. The core of the problem here is that these fetishes do not see women as unique individuals but as the living embodiment of offensive stereotypes.

Every woman is a different, fully-formed individuals

Japanese-American Youtube blogger Anna Akana felt so disturbed about this issue, she had to make a video about it based on her experience. I’d like to quote two of her most accurate lines, which I also want to say to Caucasian men (or men of any races) who sexually objectify women by their skin color.

“I don’t understand why, why you should romanticize an entire race as being submissive or weak or docile,” Anna says. “When the only prerequisite for me to become your potential partner is the color of my skin? That’s cheap. That’s offensive.”

Yes, many East Asian women can be a little bit timid, shy and not outspoken, but are they the only one? The idea of a passive Asian woman is common, but it is hugely misguided in the modern world, given their rise in politics and successful careers.

Does this look submissive to you?

It is perfectly fine to have a type and to know what you are attracted to, but it is not OK to think “I only date Asian women because they’re just like what I see in comic books, movies and porn.” It will take a long time for colored women to change the status quo, but it is up to themselves now to remove the stereotypes and to gain a more social equity in both social and professional world.