Guest post: Asian fetishism is sexist and racist

The following is a guest post by regular commenter, Gareth:


I am a white Englishman with an Asian girlfriend. I believe the so-called ‘Asian fetish’ is both racist and sexist, and here is why.

Being a white, straight man gives me a ton load of privilege, and that privilege is systemic and global. I am aware of my various privileges and can learn to ‘check them in at the door’, but I can never get rid of them. My privileges are not just to do with me, but they emanate from a system of privilege and prejudice with global reach. Everyone who is white or a man has these privileges, and they are not mitigated by being poor, working class, disabled, gay or being part of any other oppressed minority: you just get the mix of certain privileges with certain prejudices against you (this is intersectionality; more on that later).

My privileges put me at the top of a significant power differential when it comes to interactions with others who do not have my privileges. This means that I should be keenly aware that my privilege begets power, and power can be abused. Using this power is racist and sexist.

Sufferers of Asian fetishism often describe their malady as an ‘appreciation’. Try looking that word up in a dictionary; its original meaning is ‘to set a monetary worth on something, to appraise’. Now, we are so used to this word being used to describe non-monetary praise, we are not aware that is still an objectification and commodification of that we appreciate. The male gaze is sexist when all it sees is a smile, breasts, legs, bottom and so forth. The sufferer of Asian fetishism takes this sexist objectification of women and adds skin tone, cheekbones, small build and slit-eyes into the mix. The sufferer of Asian fetishism does not care what your name is as long as it does not sound too white; he can not tell the difference whether you are Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian or Chinese. Prejudice is based on preconceived opinions. There is no doubting that Asian fetishism is prejudiced, and, when this prejudice is coupled with power differential of privilege, it is definitively sexist and racist.

Asian fetishism has previous, and its history is intimately connected with abuse of power. The image of the odalisque reclining on silk cushions in an Ottoman harem, attended by a black eunuch was the Asian fetishism of the 17th and 18th centuries. This image of Asian sexuality appeared at a time when France and Britain were beginning to compete for supremacy over the Ottoman Empire. There is so much sexism and racism that could be unpacked from the odalisque image, but we shall move on. The women of the Indian subcontinent were the next focus of fetishism during the expansion of the British Empire. The power differential there is obvious. The Pacific campaign of the United States during the Second World War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War (read that as: war, war, war) were the backdrop to the specific fetishisation of South-East Asian women during the 20th century. Sufferers of Asian fetishism probably do not realise how much their diseased desire is influenced by popular Western culture and its spinning and retelling of war stories. After all, the classic lines of modern Asian fetishism, ‘Me so horny’ and ‘Me love you long time’, come from the 1987 Vietnam war film Full Metal Jacket.

(The ‘Me Love You Long Time’ scene from Full Metal Jacket)

Intersectionality is the combination of two or more dichotomies of privilege-prejudice, like sex and race. Whereas it is clear that the intersectionality of prejudices should lead to the observation of a more intense prejudice, what is often observed is the obfuscation of prejudice. By that, I mean that the sexism is covered up by appealing to cultural appreciation — these women are so cultural/ethnic/interesting — and the racism is covered up by appealing to sexual appreciation, in turn disguised as ‘love’ — Asians are so beautiful.

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8 thoughts on “Guest post: Asian fetishism is sexist and racist

  1. Yes I understand white male privilege, yada, yada, yada…

    Why are you with a colored girl, instead of somebody of your own kind? Try an English girl for once…

    From a black girl who’s sick of “liberal” white guys…

  2. cycads:

    White-asian intermarriage goes back centuries, LONG before European colonialism. In fact, it began with the mongol invasions in the late middle ages when asians and whites first came into contact with each other. For centuries, white women were used as sex slaves by turkic and mongol men. Bear in mind that the Ottoman turks were of ASIAN origin. It is only within the last 200 years that European Men and Asian Women have begun to intermarry at such staggering rates. I think that the children of white-asian couples are very attractive people and see nothing wrong with this trend.
    You DO realize that many asian women here in the US prefer to date/marry white men. I find asian women attractive but no more or less so than white women(and I am white BTW).

  3. After all, the classic lines of modern Asian fetishism, ‘Me so horny’ and ‘Me love you long time’, come from the 1987 Vietnam war film Full Metal Jacket.

    As a white American male, I feel really bad that Asian-American females must have been subjected to those lines from the movie. I think part of the problem is that for most American men, contact with Asian women happened overseas during military service and the Asian women they primarily interacted with were prostitutes, which may have fed into this image of Asian women being horny and sexually submissive.

    With the Asian-American population having gone up in the United States, particularly in NY metropolitan area where I live, they are fitting more into the mainstream fabric of the population rather than being seen as this exotic “other”.

    • Tommykey,

      I’m assuming that by fitting into the “mainstream” you mean being more American; i.e. speaking fluent American English, dressing in a certain way (not in tunics or cheong-sams), and culturally behave more like local women?

  4. Cycads, yeah, that’s pretty much it. A lot of Asian-American kids who go to school with my kids are American born, and yes they speak English the same as everyone else, are into a lot of the same things as everyone else, while at the same time being more numerous, so they have just become another part of the mosaic, whereas when I was in elementary school as a kid, Asian kids were a rarity, so they stood out as being different.

    Granted, there are parts of the country that are still relatively homogenous where anyone non-white is automatically assumed to be foreign. But for most urban areas of the United States and their surrounding suburbs, racial diversity is more or less taken for granted.

  5. The Chinaman grants the White English man privileges? LOLROFLLMAO, the Yellow man has largely driven your large genitalia/oversexed ass out of the far east and he will completely do see in the near future despite western illusions of globalism. Women are effeminate and dumb and if they are not kept in check, they will usually race mix and cause societal chaos. Stealing a woman from another tribe is the biggest sin to all of humanity. Your days are numbered White man.

  6. I of course was referring to White men in general in the last sentence and was not referring specifically to you. Individual threats are small minded and is not of my character. The White man is largely undoing himself right now because his philosophy and outlook is not sound. His unsound philosophy and outlook is a manifestation of his deficient organic matter as a whole. Caucasoid genes in the evolutionary scale are ancestral compared to the Sinitic Mongoloid’s genes. Therefore. the demise of the White man is inevitable (both Jewish and Indo-European) and the Yellow man and woman will inevitably be the final form of human.

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