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April 13, 2005 12:49 PM   Subscribe

"Michael Lohman is sick" read the email to students in MAT 308: Theory of Games, explaining why the Princeton mathematics graduate student had not yet graded their homework. Not sick as in "flu"-sick, but sick as in "squirting his bodily fluids into unsuspecting women's drinks and cutting off locks of their hair for unspeakable acts involving mittens"-sick. And not just any women, but exclusively Asian women. An extreme case, to be sure, but the Western"otaku" lusting after (and often having much success with) Asian women is a quite familiar and often disturbing trope for those of us who have spent much time among the disaffected English majors, anime fans, martial artists, dirty old men, and various other Asiaphiles. Yet decidedly non-nerdy folks have expressed a definite preference for Asian women as well. Where does this preference (which certainly goes both ways) come from? As such interracial couplings increase, should we even try to distinguish relationships based on "Suzie Wong" stereotypes or even outright economic exploitation, and relationships that are somehow more "acceptable?" Or will non-Asian guys with Asian girls constantly be forced to prove it's not just a case of "Yellow Fever?"
posted by banishedimmortal (148 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
While I think it's certainly possible to have an honest aesthetic preference for sex partners of a particular color or race, I think that people who raise it to the level of fetishization have something else going on, and it's not healthy to base a relationship on just kinks and stereotypes, so most of those types of relationships are doomed IMHO.
posted by jonmc at 12:52 PM on April 13, 2005


For the record I am shocked and appalled that the "dirty old men" link didn't go to my homepage.
posted by jscott at 12:59 PM on April 13, 2005


It remains unclear whether Lohman suffers from a mental illness.

Ha.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:07 PM on April 13, 2005


Damn, somehow I forgot to include this research gem.
posted by banishedimmortal at 1:11 PM on April 13, 2005


My favorite word for dirty old men is the Japanese word Tskebe. I think it has a nice, dirty feel to it that captures the essence of perviness.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:12 PM on April 13, 2005


White boys dating "our" women is a-okay by my book, especially since they're not "ours" to begin with. Free will, consent, etc. When preference transcends itself into exclusivity though (i.e. "I only date ___s"), it definitely raises some eyebrows (and possibly alarm flags). But mate preference and selection has always been as intangible as love itself, and the best science can offer are few clinical biases inherent in the process.

On the other hand -- and I'm not condoning the extremes of fetishization by any stretch of the imagination -- as an Asian male I find the large amount of sexual attention paid by Western culture to our female brethren to be downright puzzling. And to be perfectly honest, it makes me a bit jealous as well.

No, I'm not a "good provider." Or know any kung fu.
posted by DaShiv at 1:15 PM on April 13, 2005


Great post. See also: Charisma Man, quite literally big in Japan.
posted by runkelfinker at 1:16 PM on April 13, 2005


No, I'm not a "good provider." Or know any kung fu.

But are you poorly dubbed?
posted by jonmc at 1:17 PM on April 13, 2005


I realize that mental illness is inherently illogical, but I'm having problems connecting the dots between "I'm attracted to you" and putting urine in your drink. What's up with that?
posted by mkultra at 1:17 PM on April 13, 2005


Yeesh. Imagine how that guy's poor (asian) wife must feel today.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 1:23 PM on April 13, 2005


Ugh... I don't mind most interracial coupling... but I hate seeing those "off the boat" Asian women with white guys. Just gets my goat.

I was in a bar one night, and this man was breaking up with one of these boat chicks, and she starts wailing into the night:

"BUT Prrrrrreeeeaaaassee!!! NO, don't go prrrrreeeeeeeeease!!"

Made me want to puke.
posted by Debaser626 at 1:23 PM on April 13, 2005


Debaser - How about "off the boat" white guys with asian women? In asia.

Maybe I missed your point. "off the boat"? You mean new to the US, or shipped over / delivered ?
posted by tomplus2 at 1:30 PM on April 13, 2005


I put up with a little good-natured ribbing from my girlfriend's friends about whether or not I have an asian fetish. (my girlfriend is korean-american). They'll usually quiet down when I point out she's the first non-white girl I've ever dated. The larger-than-average manga and anime collections, or the 3 years of japanese in college don't help though. :)

However, I think I'll be bookmarking this link! Thanks, banishedimmortal
posted by GeekAnimator at 1:30 PM on April 13, 2005


Sorry to say, but the FPP would seem to imply that because a caucasian male finds Asian women attractive, he must be racist, sexist, and mentally ill. The implication is further reinforced by adding well-known stereotypes at the end.

I seriously doubt that this will lead to much in the way of positive discussions.
posted by clevershark at 1:33 PM on April 13, 2005


Without white folks who have asian preferences, ad vice versa, we wouldn't have Keanu Reeves! Or Dean Cain! Or Kristen Kreuk! Or me!

Come to think of it, I'm not sure if this is an argument FOR, or against it...
posted by eurasian at 1:35 PM on April 13, 2005


GeekAnimator: With your MeFi handle my only question would be, what took you so long?


jonmc: But are you poorly dubbed?

Only when huge, radioactive monsters have just destroyed a building.

*moves lips soundlessly* Oh my god! What's that outside! It-

NO CARRIER
posted by DaShiv at 1:35 PM on April 13, 2005


Sorry to say, but the FPP would seem to imply that because a caucasian male finds Asian women attractive, he must be racist, sexist, and mentally ill.

Um, no, it doesn't; it acknowledges that some of these relationships have been based on ethnic and gender stereotyping and raises the possibility that white men who don't buy into this kind of stereotyping might be unfairly lumped in with those who do.
posted by transona5 at 1:36 PM on April 13, 2005


An interesting post, with some good information on interracial coupling, and plenty of proof that some people are just off the wall, but you lost points the moment you linked urbandictionary.com. The definitions they give are heavily biased and often grossly inaccurate, and it doesn't have a huge wiki-like community to guard against misuse. Instead it just links the separate submissions for a term together, providing a link to the others that most patrons never notice, and displaying whichever submission one of the editors likes best as the first one.
posted by mystyk at 1:36 PM on April 13, 2005


as an Asian male I find the large amount of sexual attention paid by Western culture to our female brethren to be downright puzzling. And to be perfectly honest, it makes me a bit jealous as well.

I think it goes from western women to asian men too. Excepting, of course, the young asian macho boy act.
posted by adzuki at 1:39 PM on April 13, 2005


I have had several asian girlfriends in the past. Nearly all of them have told me about guys who just wanted them because they fulfilled a fetish... or who thought that they should automatically fall in love just because the guy can say twelve words of Chinese, poorly.

Fortunately, their country of origin doesn't make them stupid, and they all described the fetishists as creepy jerks.
posted by mosch at 1:43 PM on April 13, 2005


...(i.e. "I only date ___s"), it definitely raises some eyebrows...

I only date people my wife doesn't know about.

How are those eyebrows now?

Hi honey! It's a joke! I love you! [/grovel]

No, I'm not a "good provider." Or know any kung fu.

My good provider is better than yours.
posted by davejay at 1:45 PM on April 13, 2005


Thanks metafilter, "Wapanese" is my new favorite word.
posted by VanRoosta at 1:47 PM on April 13, 2005


transona5: there is a particular problem with the format of the FPP in that it tries very specifically to lead you to a conclusion not supported by the facts.

Premise: Some A are B
Conclusion: All A are B

A: non-asian males preferential to asian females
B: males who are mentally ill

I'll let you find the logical fallacy.
posted by mystyk at 1:47 PM on April 13, 2005


It's a fair point, clevershark, and it raises a question I considered the entire time I was constructing this post. How could I possibly illustrate an "acceptable" or "healthy" non-Asian man (the "yellow fever" label is certainly not exclusively applied to Caucasians) / Asian woman relationship? As someone who has spent a long time living in Asian countries and studying Asian languages and cultures, I constantly encounter this accusation of being only interested in Asia because of Asian women. And the fascinating part of it is: how can you possibly defend yourself against this? How can you prove where that fascination comes from? There are plenty of reasons to be interested in Asian cultures besides women (for instance, China, my focus, is almost universally accepted as an important culture to understand for economic, political, environmental, etc. reasons). But many of us still don't fully understand why we are so fascinated by Asian cultures. The reasons are often quite deep. But, the fact remains, there is a very real and obvious phenomenon of Western men having powerful and complicated sexual obsessions with Asian women (and as I noted, the reverse often holds true, whether Asian women/Western men, Western women/Asian men, or Asian men/Western women) which heavily colors people's attitudes towards such relationships.
I absolutely reject the notion that any Western man attracted to Asian women must be "racist, sexist, or mentally ill," but I also have met a huge number of degenerate Asian fetishists in my time, and I am extrememly interested in exploring all the cultural, economic, political, etc. aspects of this phenomenon. And I think so far we have gotten some great comments.
posted by banishedimmortal at 1:49 PM on April 13, 2005


Children produced from Asian/Caucasion couples are in my opinion some of the most beautiful people on the planet, so I say that we need a lot more of these types of relationships.
posted by willnot at 1:50 PM on April 13, 2005


Thanks, willnot. I'll remember to use that line the next time I go bar-hopping.
posted by DaShiv at 1:54 PM on April 13, 2005


I get frustrated when I see Asian women buying into this. We all like to be considered attractive, but when I hear a woman say something like "I'm Asian, I can get any guy I want" my inner feminist cringes in horror. A pedestal is a very confining place to stand.
posted by cali at 1:57 PM on April 13, 2005


How could I possibly illustrate an "acceptable" or "healthy" non-Asian man (the "yellow fever" label is certainly not exclusively applied to Caucasians) / Asian woman relationship?

Maybe I am exagerating a little, but combining this complex problem with the specific case of a sicko who likes to, er, leave a little bit of himself in asian female students' drinks (apparently exclusively) is to take a risk that someone will take offense. I think it tends to muddy the topic, to say the least.

If you had used Mr. Lohman's case to discuss whether graduate math students are oddballs, you would probably have been accused of bias against that type of student.
posted by clevershark at 1:57 PM on April 13, 2005


Ok...it looks like I jumped to a conclusion roughly 2 minutes too early and missed banishedimmortal's response. I still think the FPP gives the appearance of leading one's opinion in the direction I stated, but it looks like that wasn't the intended outlook. I still frown on using urbandictionary.com
posted by mystyk at 1:57 PM on April 13, 2005


Children produced from Asian/Caucasion couples are in my opinion some of the most beautiful people on the planet, so I say that we need a lot more of these types of relationships.

My japanese teacher in college was married to a white guy, and they had two college-age children, a boy and girl. I'm quite convinced everyone in my class, boy or girl, had the hots for one of 'em.
posted by GeekAnimator at 1:58 PM on April 13, 2005


I agree Willnot. I've got three of 'em myself.

I'm an Asian man with a Caucasian wife. For all I know, she's got a "thing" for Asian guys. At least she picked me.

This "yellow fever" thing really blindsided me when I was younger, when I first stumbled into some colorful online communities based on the West Coast. Born and raised in Hawaii, interracial relationships are - if not the norm - so common so as to be unremarkable. (Our mix is a little less common, though, something I'm inexplicably proud about.) Next thing I knew, I was in a flame war over "our women" and fetishists and the whole shebang.

When 'A' magazine was around, I subscribed, but half the time I simply couldn't understand the underlying frustration and hostility I'd pick up from various us-them columns.

Here, cultural/racial differences are highlighted quite a bit... we have ethnic humor that would make any PC person cringe (and truth be told, wherever the "line" is, it gets crossed pretty often). But for the most part, we culture clashes with good humor. (Here's an article on the group linked.)

I think this post can create productive conversation, if no real resolution. Because while there are people who might fetishize or otherwise blindly prefer other races, I think the converse situation deserves attention as well: people who are in interracial relationships that are often presumed by others to have a relationship based on a shallow racial premise.

My wife and I hooked up two of our best friends, a tall Caucasian ("haole") guy and a short Chinese girl. They moved to the mainland. And when they (or he, specifically) would get funny looks, it just upset me to no end.
posted by pzarquon at 2:02 PM on April 13, 2005


How had I missed out on this Sam Sloan dude?
posted by sohcahtoa at 2:03 PM on April 13, 2005


Mystyk: I agree that I could have constructed my post better (forgive me, it's my first one) but I think the structure goes more like this:

1. Extreme example of asian fetishism
2. General phenomenon of asian fetishism
3. Fetishists trope: Westerners often socially inept with women, become attracted to Asian women, tend to objectify them, and perhaps even exploit them.
4. Counterexample: celebrities who presumably have no trouble finding any type of women but are especially attracted to Asian women (a sort of control group?)
5. Possible reasons for this attraction (legitimate or not?)
6. Query whether such attraction can be divided into acceptable and unacceptable, whether it is useful to do so, and whether it is even possible to do so.
posted by banishedimmortal at 2:06 PM on April 13, 2005


That's a big reach with the logic, clevershark. It's simply an example of the journalism triangle - you start with the most interesting (criminal fetishists), move through the less interesting (fetishists), and end with the least interesting (non-Asian guys with Asian girls). The kinds of questions it asks are not rhetorically leading (IMHO).

But anyhow. I slept with an Asian once, in Japan. It was quite nice, and also inguisitically amusing for reasons I won't go into. I don't get the fetish, though - but I suppose that's true of any fetish one doesn't actually have.
posted by Sparx at 2:07 PM on April 13, 2005


I guess I'm not getting the connection between one sick grad student and "Yellow Fever". Yes, his victims were asian women but so what, he could have just as easily targeted Latinas or black women.

On Preview: Thanks banishedimmortal.
posted by fenriq at 2:07 PM on April 13, 2005


I disagree that the FPP was worded in such a way that suggested that all caucasian men attracted to Asian women are perverse-- some interesting links there, thanks banishedimmortal.

Anecdotally, I've found that Caucasian women being systematically attracted to Asian men seems far less common than the reverse. I was talking about this issue, and the relevant stereotypes with a (Chinese, female) friend of mine, and her personal theory was that Asian women are assumed to have smaller vaginas, which is seen as good, but Asian men are assumed to have smaller penises, which is seen as bad.

Mind you, this was in the context of studying for a gender-theory exam and talking about... well, about Andrea Dworkin, if you must know, so perhaps that coloured the discussion a bit. :)
posted by ITheCosmos at 2:08 PM on April 13, 2005


I for one will never forgive Asian women for what they did to The Beatles.
posted by geoff. at 2:12 PM on April 13, 2005


Banished: I get to meet lots of Asian fetish guys in bars or at concerts and hear their obsessed and boring fantasies because my longtime girlfriend is Japanese and they want to know "what it's like..." Kind of like this. But it isn't just a "caucasian" thing. I have had Sunni Moslem mullahs approach me in Istanbul and do the Asian Girl hubba-hubba routine.

In any culture there will be people who objectify people from other cultures, both philo and phobo. The vast majority accept people and don't care. My girlfriend and I met in Europe, and live in a country where neither of us were born - we are both seen as "two foreign people." Not as a Caucasian and an Asian.

Race is a culturally defined preconception, and the American view of race is definitely one of the weirdest and most perverse concepts around. I have a Gypsy friend who is considered "black" in Europe, but she was laughed at when she referred to herself that way at a South African conference on Racism. British Indians who go to the US suddenly find they are not considered "Black" much to their surprise. And the worst racial separatism I have ever seen (outside of the US) was in Macedonia and Kosovo, between two different groups of white people.

Even the term "interracial relationship" is a bit anachronistic. Who tags a Lutheran and a Catholic as an "interdenominational" relationship these days? Interracial relationships are going to ever more common as people become "globalize" and terms like "fetishist" - and examples like this sick fuck at Princeton - are not going to be valid ways of describing it.
posted by zaelic at 2:12 PM on April 13, 2005


Metafilter: Strap-on Extrapolation
posted by Balisong at 2:16 PM on April 13, 2005


Anecdotally, I've found that Caucasian women being systematically attracted to Asian men seems far less common than the reverse.

I would say there is some parallel with Caucasian women who prefer black men. Though I wonder why I haven't heard complaints of being fetishized by white women who date black men. And I know a black woman that dates mostly white men and she's never complained about men who like black women and culture.
posted by bobo123 at 2:19 PM on April 13, 2005


I'm sure asiaphiles will find their asiatic knowledge handy when they're ordered as mail-order husbands. Guess that day isn't so far, maybe it already started.
posted by elpapacito at 2:23 PM on April 13, 2005


cali: We all like to be considered attractive, but when I hear a woman say something like "I'm Asian, I can get any guy I want" my inner feminist cringes in horror. A pedestal is a very confining place to stand.

But if it works for them, I don't see how or why they'd be encouraged to give up that mentality.

pzarquon: Thanks -- lots of funny anecdotes and love stories on that site. But the disproportionate number of "haole hubbies" to "haole honeys" is pretty telling of which way the "yellow fever" runs.
posted by DaShiv at 2:24 PM on April 13, 2005


Read the New York Craigslist's Rants and Raves sometime.

It's often about this subject.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 2:24 PM on April 13, 2005


banishedimmortal: Your Asian-fetish weirdness flat out gives me the creeps.
posted by Kwantsar at 2:30 PM on April 13, 2005


Why are people attracted to Asian chicks? Many (not all) have nice skin, their hair's straight (which is the fashion now) and they dress HOT. If they're demure or got attitude, doesn't matter - both those things can be hot.

But how that connects to a guy who puts his semen in your drink, I don't know. Kind of an ugly way to start the discussion.

A=B

Where A is guys who like Asian girls
And B is guys who put semen in your drink
Pretty clear, right?
posted by fungible at 2:33 PM on April 13, 2005


A while male fetish for female Asians is based on broad physical and cultural factors such as:
- small size
- "child like" appearance
- traditional gender submissiveness

Most sex preferences are based on such "visual" factors, based on a male's preference to be dominant.
posted by sandking at 2:34 PM on April 13, 2005


What if you marry a fat person? I guess you might thave a fat fettish.

I married an asian. When I see mixed couples I often find myself looking at the guy (white) as if he "has a thing for asians". I dont / didn't. I see guys with long hair and I think they should get a haircut or I watch them closely. I used to have long hair and was far from a hippie or metalhead.

/kettle
posted by tomplus2 at 2:41 PM on April 13, 2005


I'm a Caucasian man with an Asian wife.
Don't know that anyone would call me a fetishist. Although that might be fun, I haven't delivered anyone a righteous beating in a long time (as both a disaffected English major and a martial artist).

I don't see how distinguishing between healthy normal interethnic relationships and sick fetishists are a problem.

Perhaps I don't hang out with idiots or perhaps the air of violence that hangs around me is worthy of the time I put into that affectation. Perhaps it's my calloused knuckles, perhaps it's my 'FOID' hat.
I really don't know.
A friend of mine (blond caucasian female) got married to an African American guy. I enjoyed the looks they didn't get, the comments that were not made and the tension no one seemed to feel at their wedding or when we've gone to dinner. I imagine I would be as offended on their behalf and enjoy the justifiably employed violence which would ensue if anyone said anything.
It is another relationship stereotypically attributed to a fixation, but they seem happy and healthy.

The only person who ever grilled me as to my intentions when we dated was my wife's older sister. Perfectly reasonable to me.
Personally the only benefit I derive from my wife's ethnicity is the food (she uses enough garlic in things), and I am deeply in love with her because we connect on many, many levels. We finish each other's sentences. We like all the same things. We can sit with each other for hours and talk or not. We are a Karass of two (see Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut).

Forcing anyone to prove it's something other than what it is - is itself sick. An obessive's compulsions soon become apparent, objections to something other than that is disguised racism.


Speaking of which, Fuck you Debaser626.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:42 PM on April 13, 2005


By the way, the correct acronyms are:

FOB : Fresh off the boat
ABC : American born Chinese
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 2:44 PM on April 13, 2005


There's a girl in my kung fu class, Chinese, who is small in size and has a "child like" appearance, but who can kick my ass from here to Tuesday. And the ass of her big ol' white husband, who's also in the class.

Said husband is fluent in Chinese and is heading to Thailand to study that language for a few months soon. Given those characteristics you might think he'd be a prime candidate for "Asian fetishist", but I don't think he'll be semenizing anybody's drinks any time soon -- he's good folks.. Frankly I don't see a big deal here.
posted by gurple at 2:50 PM on April 13, 2005


Kwantsar: Please explain how the weirdness of the people I linked to in this post became MY weirdness? "We are what we post," or something??

Fungible: I agree it's an ugly story. Lohman has serious problems. But, no, it's most certainly not clear that A=B. In fact, your attitude (and Kwantsar's as well) is the whole motivation for me writing this post:
Many non-Asian people are fascinated with Asia, to greater or lesser degrees, and for various reasons. Some become obsessed, and some become obsessed with Asian women. What I am trying to explore, in a word, is this:

Why does the sexual attraction of non-Asian men to Asian women receive such particular suspicion, scrutiny, and emotional response? Why don't we accuse Spanish majors of having a Hispanic fetish, or accuse guys who teach English in Russia of having a Russian fetish (or at least not to the degree that "Asian fetish-ists" are)?
Is there something unique about the Western-Asian relationship? Is it just hype about guys like Michael Lohman that perpetuates this stereotype, or is there something deeper?

This is a very complex question, no A=B matter. And actually very important to many of us who live in that community, even if it seems creepy or trivial to others.
posted by banishedimmortal at 2:51 PM on April 13, 2005


I've read some articles where the eurasian/mixed community derides the stereotype that we are universally pretty/good looking. I honestly didn't really follow the argument. I'm sure it's the same reason people might have something against any stereotype, be it positive or negative.

For instance, the Hmong would contest the asian stereotype of academic excellence, since they came basically from a hunter-gatherer society to the mid-west courtesy of the American government. Apparently because of this stereotype, it's harder for asian minority groups to get help, as they are seen as the "Model Minority".

The hawaiians have it right, IMHO, and it was nice of pzarquon to post such info.

As a completely statistically insignifcant anecdote (aren't they all?), my wife (filipino) and I just started puppy classes. Two other couples there were asian male, white female. Granted, I live in Vancouver, where there is a very large Asian population.

I think, over time, and exposure to other races, there is less fetishism, and just a kind of colour blindedness (i.e. Hawaii). People, I find, are the same all over. It's perhaps the mixture of exotic otherness (from the media, lack of exposure) that creates "Yellow Fever". But in some ways, is it so different from a person who prefers blondes?

The general Preference For Other Race is really a continuum, it seems. From finding, in general, an attractive member of race x to be more appealing than an attractive member of race y; all the way over to a bizaare and somewhat distasteful fetishness for a race. I'm not sure where I'm going with this. But, ironically, it's not something I think about often.
posted by eurasian at 2:52 PM on April 13, 2005


heh, on review, for the record I'm fairly sure Mr. Violence up there (sorry, Smedleyman, but JEEZ) isn't my friend in the kung fu class.
posted by gurple at 2:53 PM on April 13, 2005


While I don't deny there are those who fawn on asians, I suspect a little bit of hyperbole here:
"Like, OMFG, I just can't get those <insert race> guys/gals to stop drooling all over me - honestly, I'm not that attractive."

Sure, whatever. Poor you, it must be hard being attractive.
posted by spazzm at 2:54 PM on April 13, 2005


Another factor is probably that the obesity level is much lower in Japan than it is in America, Canada, the UK, etc.
posted by Bugbread at 2:58 PM on April 13, 2005


Banishedimmortal: Kwantsar was (most likely) kidding. That line is an older MeFi in-joke.
posted by GeekAnimator at 2:59 PM on April 13, 2005


Dimly remembered comedy routine:

If white guys are after the asian women, and black guys are after the white women....how come we never see asian guys with black women?
posted by gimonca at 3:01 PM on April 13, 2005


C'mon, who here hasn't tried the ol' "Jism On The Rocks" trick to lure a potential mate?

*crickets*
*crickets*

Me either.

On topic.
I married a Mexican woman because:
A) I love her
B) I was intriqued at sharing my life with someone who grew up somewhat "outside the norm".

Whether one begat the other is anybodys guess but so far it's worked out.

I'd go with Jon's original assesment that this dude's wiring is messed up.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 3:01 PM on April 13, 2005


Arudou Debito (formerly David Christopher Aldwinckle) has some interesting (though somewhat snarky) commentary up about this issue from the perspective of a Caucasian male married to Japanese female.
posted by longdaysjourney at 3:03 PM on April 13, 2005


By the way, the correct acronyms are:

ABC : American born Chinese


More colloquially, "banana."
posted by DaShiv at 3:16 PM on April 13, 2005


Banished: click on the period in Kwantsar's post.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:16 PM on April 13, 2005


More colloquially, "banana."

Perhaps even more colloquially, "twinkie". But I always thought that referred to a state of mind rather than a condition of birth.
posted by gurple at 3:19 PM on April 13, 2005


mkultra wrote: I realize that mental illness is inherently illogical, but I'm having problems connecting the dots between "I'm attracted to you" and putting urine in your drink. What's up with that?

She Chinese,
He play joke,
He put pee-pee in her Coke.
posted by gigawhat? at 3:19 PM on April 13, 2005


Or will non-Asian guys with Asian girls constantly be forced to prove it's not just a case of "Yellow Fever?"
It is not just guys. Around 10 years ago, I was on South Street in Philadelphia and witnessed a sidewalk procession of about 20 couples holding hands. In each couple one was a dark clothed butch looking woman while the other was a light clothed waifish asian woman.

I did not have enough guts to ask them what the name of their club was.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 3:24 PM on April 13, 2005


Whoops, my apologies, Kwantsar, for not getting the joke. I actually was a LONG time lurker before actually signing up, and I somewhat remember that post, I just didn't make the connection. That's why I make it a policy to never (hardly ever) get upset about these kind of comments, cuz half the time I'd be overreacting...
So, in the spirit of things, here's my feeble freshman attempt at grokking the inside jokes of the MeFi community:
These mittens...they vibrate?
*thank you*
posted by banishedimmortal at 3:28 PM on April 13, 2005


I don't really have a comment to add to this discussion other than I think that the entire conversation is a little odd. As a second-generation mixed Japanese/"White"......
posted by melt away at 3:28 PM on April 13, 2005


No problem, gurple. Some people are alcholics. I know what I am. I do it well. It was a positive boon in the military because I'm very good at it (technical skill with anything coincides with passion). And I got help when I got out, doesn't change the skills or the recognition that some people deserve an ass-kicking. My perspective is admittedly biased on that so -recognizing this- I'm very non-violent. I wouldn't hurt a fly.
...Doesn't prevent me from really wanting to tho'.

"I suspect a little bit of hyperbole here"
Exactly spazzm.
I keep wondering why all these homosexuals keep sucking my dick. I hate fags, but they're so attracted to me for some reason.
/sarcasm.
It's somewhat exploitive as well. For the sake of titilation.

Much like racist jokes. I grant some are funny, good natured even, but there are clearly jokes meant only to deride or exploit.
Not at all saying this was the objective of the post. This does need to be discussed. But I suspect the whole culture on this is two faced. People saying 'oh those sick bastards....say, let me see that. Oh those poor Asian girls.'
Same sort of yes/no go/stop thinking in the U.S with black men 'raping' white women and it leading to lynchings, etc.
Let's face it, they were turned on by the idea (that is the men doing the lynchings) as much as they were 'protecting' the 'honor' of 'their' women. It represense sexual license through loss of control (those sex-starved black men will simply overpower women won't they?) as well as sublimated homosexual dominance, etc. etc. There's a whole slew of issues here. In many ways it's racism from Asians (in WWII caucasians were thought of in Japan as oversexed) as much as it is with caucasians (which I don't classify myself really with since I don't eat white bread).

So, when I imagine the same kind of thought processes being applied to my marriage - as though it was something sick or, really, impure in even the slightest degree - and it makes me feel, well, homocidal. (sorry again gurple).

People really need to get over it. "Race" I mean (what should be called ethnicity because again, if you love mayonaise and meatloaf, you are not like me no matter what color you are).
I suspect it's the foundation of those fetishes anyway. The not 'normal'. The differences.
I mean hell, people jack off to feet if you twist 'em the right way.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:30 PM on April 13, 2005


On topic.
I married a Mexican woman because:
A) I love her


Thanks for the sanity break.

I live in an area where there's almost equal numbers of Asians and 'non-Asians' and lots of dating and marriage between and a number of people I happen to appreciate a whole lot in those relationships. I don't want to overreact but the, perhaps not well formed post, does seem incredibly insensitive and whether intended or not certainly does appear to equate weird behavior and inter-racial attraction.
posted by scheptech at 3:31 PM on April 13, 2005


Hey, so if a Asian dude prefers Blondes---Asian, White, or Black--- what's that?
Isn't the 'asian' thing just a preference or 'my type'? (whatever the reason maybe)
posted by countzen at 3:32 PM on April 13, 2005


I just had a nice image of the little loser grad student heading out for a big night on the town with several vials of his piss in one pocket and several vials of expressed semen in the other, for the special ones.

At least he wasn't combining his special sauce with rophynol for an especially forgettable evening.
posted by fenriq at 3:38 PM on April 13, 2005


Fungible writes : Why are people attracted to Asian chicks? Many (not all) have nice skin, their hair's straight (which is the fashion now) and they dress HOT. If they're demure or got attitude, doesn't matter - both those things can be hot.

Man's got a point. I should also mention that Asian girls are usually in good shape. Think about it - how often do meet an obese Asian girl? Or an obese Asian guy for that matter? Let's face it, the American diet is crap, and pretty much any nationality has one-up on us in this category.
posted by afroblanca at 3:38 PM on April 13, 2005


Why does the sexual attraction of non-Asian men to Asian women receive such particular suspicion, scrutiny, and emotional response?

I'm not sure that the issue is limited to white male-asian female relationships. People seem inherently used to couples being "racially homogeneous" and any deviation from that rule of thumb is automatically treated with suspicion, especially since, generally speaking, the vast majority of couples in society at large are or shared ethnicity. As such any instance of behaviour that does not fit the profile is treated as something abnormal.

I don't know that this is really "racism", more like "heterogeneism" (if such a term even exists).
posted by clevershark at 3:45 PM on April 13, 2005


In one of my sociology of race classes back in college, we looked at graphs that talked about instances of mixed race couples by race.

As many have pointed out in this thread, the highest instances of mixed race couples were black men/white women, white men/asian women. I wish I could find a reference to this online somewhere. It was fascinating to see how few mixed race couplings there were of certain types (asian men/latina women; native american men/white women).

That said, I think every American generation sees these delineations being less and less concrete. Witness The MAVIN Foundation.
posted by arielmeadow at 3:58 PM on April 13, 2005


I think that, regardless of that drives the attraction, the benefits of getting the intercultural groove on are clear. I submit, as an example of said benefits, the amazingly beautiful people of Brazil.
posted by nyterrant at 3:59 PM on April 13, 2005


I think the match between Asian (but not Indian) women and the western "feminine ideal" is pretty obvious. And I am not surprised that Northern Indian women, (but not really other types of Asians) receive a lot of attention in Latin American countries where their features better fit the cultural stereotypes of feminism/beauty.

Also, several of my Chinese friends and my Chinese-American husband can not really understand the massive interest in Chinese actresses like Lucy Liu. They say that she's pretty average by Chinese standards. So I really do think culture plays a large part.
posted by synapse at 4:01 PM on April 13, 2005


Think about it - how often do meet an obese Asian girl? Or an obese Asian guy for that matter?

*thinks back to childhood all-Asian language schools and churches, snickers*

There's a reason that the fat Buddha statues and sumo wrestlers come out of the far East. I'd have to say I've met more than a few Asians that bear more than a passing resemblance to those archetypes.

Part of the "thin Asian" stereotype comes from the fact that in the U.S., non-Asians usually encounter Asians in either cities or upscale suburbs, and urbanization and increased income are both socioeconomic factors that heavily lower one's chances of being obese in the United States. Asians living in Walmart-land are probably just as likely to be obese as the average American.
posted by DaShiv at 4:02 PM on April 13, 2005


I'm curious whether this fetishization exists in other mostly Caucasian societies, or is this an American thing?. Many European countries have long colonial associations with Asian countries (UK-Hong Kong, France-Vietnam, Holland-Indonesia). Presumably they've had plenty of opportunities for these relationships (and fetishes) to spring up.

If not, it would suggest that it's a peculiar by-product of American racial sentiments, which wouldn't surprise me too much.
posted by adamrice at 4:03 PM on April 13, 2005


"If I like their race, how can that be racist?" - Seinfeld

/btw white guy happily married to jamaican woman
posted by fungible at 4:36 PM on April 13, 2005


MonkeySaltedNuts writes "In each couple one was a dark clothed butch looking woman while the other was a light clothed waifish asian woman. I did not have enough guts to ask them what the name of their club was."

The Unification Metropolitan Church?
posted by orthogonality at 4:49 PM on April 13, 2005


..a peculiar by-product of American racial sentiments, which wouldn't surprise me too much

I think the more 'mixed' a person is, really the more 'American' they are.
We're the mutts & should be damn proud of it.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:02 PM on April 13, 2005


DaShiv : " Part of the 'thin Asian' stereotype comes from the fact that in the U.S., non-Asians usually encounter Asians in either cities or upscale suburbs, and urbanization and increased income are both socioeconomic factors that heavily lower one's chances of being obese in the United States. Asians living in Walmart-land are probably just as likely to be obese as the average American."

And another, perhaps more important, part is that outside of America, in Asia (which has a rather high Asian population), Asians tend to be far less obese.
posted by Bugbread at 5:14 PM on April 13, 2005


Most of those links in the FPP dealt with sweeping generalizations, which is a poor way to deal with a topic that affects, by definition, two people.

I remember having hang-ups about these kinds of relationships; hang-ups which arose from observing the behaviours of those who were inclined to fetishize the North American version of asian culture. I was also of the opinion that the differences would be difficult to overcome, and that such relationships were based upon shallow foundations and would be ultimately doomed. And, hey, there was that whole Woody Allen thing, which seemed (superficially) rather sordid.

My opinions in these matters were vanquished when I picked some anecdotal evidence of my own a couple of months back. I became friends with a wonderful girl with whom a thousand (more or less) topics of conversations were instigated. I can't believe that I ever looked down upon such relationships because of stereotyping.

Really, the whole point of this post is for atonement: I am sorry for dismissing outright the relationship of that dude on a narita-incheon flight who played some portable video game with his significant-other the entire flight. Deeply Sorry.
posted by sleslie at 5:16 PM on April 13, 2005


I'm curious whether this fetishization exists in other mostly Caucasian societies

No. Every culture has their exotic fetishes. When I traveled with a tall blonde girlfriend in Morocco in the early eighties men would follow us like they were hypnotized. In one cafe a man offered to buy her. And he was sickeningly sincere.
posted by tkchrist at 5:20 PM on April 13, 2005


bugbread: Dammit. :) But your explanation doesn't cover why the stereotype is about Asians and not, say, Hispanics.
posted by DaShiv at 5:24 PM on April 13, 2005


I'm half Asian, half white, and the attempts to explain why some dudes like Asians are kinda weird.

"Well, they're small! And they have nice hair! They're thin! They smell like sugar cookies! They can fly around the earth and make time go backwards! Theyyyyyyy're GREAT!"

You can't explain preference. It's just jammed up in your brain like Robocop, and you have to pay attention to it. Why do I like peppermint ice cream? I just do. Why do I like big butts? I just do. Why do some dudes like Asian-ness? They just do.

It's only fetishist if that's the only thing you care about, of if it overshadows all other factors in your attraction.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:27 PM on April 13, 2005


Having lived and worked as an caucasian expat woman in Asia for several years, the "yellow fever" phenomenon (we called it "shopping local") has always been a bit of a mystery. And to continue to generalise wildly, somewhat depressing. It's the sort of mentality I used to find summed up in the Gweilo Diaries (appears to have been taken down, archives still around), which combined political discussion of the Hong Kong and SEA region with stories of the blogger's "conquests", usually illustrated with naked photos.
posted by szechuan at 5:45 PM on April 13, 2005


Hey, Asian female here. I'm 20 and my first encounter with an egg happened 3 years ago at boarding school. It was scarring, folks, for now I have recurring mental struggles of reproductive paranoia.

I grew up in SC where there were few Chinese. I find myself almost exclusively attracted to Caucasian men. I guess I have a white fetish. I also have a philosophy majors fetish then. How interesting.
posted by Mister Fyodor at 5:53 PM on April 13, 2005



The world today seems absolutely crackers,
With nuclear bombs to blow us all sky high.
There's fools and idiots sitting on the trigger.
It's depressing and it's senseless, and that's why...
I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're always friendly, and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
There's nine hundred million of them in the world today.
You'd better learn to like them; that's what I say.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They come from a long way overseas,
But they're cute and they're cuddly, and they're ready to please.

posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:27 PM on April 13, 2005


According to my lifetime dating habits, i deduce that i am attracted to either jewish women or Twins...sometimes both.

Seriously, of the serious relationships i've had every single woman was either jewish or a twin...

I don't go around searching for jewish twins to date, but apparently that's what my id wants...

Mister Fyodor: Is SC Southern California or South Carolina, or something obvious i've missed?
posted by schyler523 at 7:09 PM on April 13, 2005


Hemlock's Diary is a laff riot if you know anything at all about Hong Kong. Especially the exploits of his ex-Mormon friend Odell.
posted by mono blanco at 7:15 PM on April 13, 2005


schyler523: South Carolina. Southern Cali bursts with Asians if I recall correctly from collegiate conversations.
posted by Mister Fyodor at 7:20 PM on April 13, 2005


That photo of you on the beach, M. Fyodor? I'm hope I'm not being too forward by saying something like this in public, but it always excites me in a very personal and visceral way to see a young woman like you out there, among the waves and the sand, surrounded by the outdoors with the sun on your skin, gazing into the blue while being adorned by a lovely

tripod. And camera, of course.

I've said this before, but I really believe women photographers bring something good and different to the table. Deanne Fitzmaurice, whom I met and talked to for a bit while covering an event, just won this year's Pulitzer for an amazing series on an Iraqi war victim and his family.

Oh, the gloves are a nice touch, too. :)
posted by DaShiv at 7:21 PM on April 13, 2005


Why do I like big butts? I just do. Why do some dudes like Asian-ness? They just do.

Yeah, I hear you. As I read this interesting thread, I keep thinking the same thing. Yet, I think it's more accurate to say that while there may be reasons why each individual goes in for his or her fetish, it's not very productive to try to make blanket generalizations about large groups of these people. I've got all kinds of crazy fetishes, and they're often contradictory; I can't make heads or tails of them.

When I lived in Thailand, I felt bad for the white women who worked at the college with me. They had so little opportunity for hookups because most of them didn't dig Thai men, and most of the white men there were chasing Asian women. The ones that dated Thai men got some attitude, too, of all the double standards.

Asian men don't get the respect they deserve in the sex god department.
posted by squirrel at 8:00 PM on April 13, 2005


DaShiv, self proclaimed "vagrant with a camera", I, submissive Asian woman, am always eagerly glad to be the source of personal and visceral excitement.

Yes that's me on the beaches of Nags Head, North Carolina.
posted by Mister Fyodor at 8:04 PM on April 13, 2005


This dude writes for the National Review and other arch-conservative outlets. He raises some interesting issues but overall I am uncomfortable with his message as it is a little too close to eugenics for my tastes. That said, it's a commonly linked article when discussing inter-racial marriage and relationships.

Is Love Colorblind? by Steve Sailer National Review 1997
posted by gen at 8:30 PM on April 13, 2005


Let me just say that my half-Asian son is one damn good looking boy. He's kind of the culmination of all things potentially cute about an Irish kid or a Chinese kid, put together.

I don't know any Asian women who mind that plenty of white guys think they're good looking. I know lots of Asian women who find white guys who are into Asian pop culture or otherwise too enthusiastic to be creepy in the extreme.
posted by MattD at 9:34 PM on April 13, 2005


Funny... I'm a CBC (Canadian Born Chinese) and as a general rule, I didn't date Asian women 'cause they tend to be spoiled and high-maintenance rice queens -- at least in my personal experience. What's even funnier is that I'm now dating a fellow CBC who doesn't live up to my stereotype. Heh, go figure ;).
posted by freakystyley at 9:45 PM on April 13, 2005


I, submissive Asian woman, am always eagerly glad to be the source of personal and visceral excitement.

Nothing to do with race, actually, and everything to do with the fact that in most photography communities (and virtually without exception for any that are gear-oriented), females are a very rare breed. The main exceptions I've found thus far have been a) Lomo people, and b) photobloggers. So in that light, chicks with tripods and cameras are automatically A-okay in my book.

Okay, that and I was looking for any old excuse to bring up Deanne's win since I'm still so excited for her [reactions]. So you should feel a little used. :)
posted by DaShiv at 12:11 AM on April 14, 2005


virtually without exception for any that are gear-oriented...

...and Orient-geared?
posted by squirrel at 12:58 AM on April 14, 2005


I'm a white girl and lived in Taiwan for eight years. I was open to the possibility of going out with Taiwanese guys, but they weren't at all interested (probably because I'm overweight). I went out with one American guy who turned out to be a total jerk. Oh well.
posted by jiawen at 1:27 AM on April 14, 2005


Going back to the Thai question, I wonder if part of the perceived seediness of the Asia-ophiles doesn't have something to do with the sex tourism trade in Southeast Asia.

I remember reading a book called Bangkok Knights, a large part of which concerned the problems that the expat author and his friends had in conducting relationships with normal, middle-class Thai women. It seemed everywhere the couples went the other Thais could not accept that this was a genuine relationship and not some form of prostitution.
posted by LondonYank at 4:08 AM on April 14, 2005


Whenever I bemoan my lack of dating, people ask me why I (a British-Chinese male) don't date Chinese women. Which reveals a lot about their dating patterns, how they unconsciously tend to restrict themselves to one race. Which IMHO is a huge shame.

Then again, I do live in Wales.
posted by badlydubbedboy at 4:51 AM on April 14, 2005


Adam Rice: I'm curious whether this fetishization exists in other mostly Caucasian societies

Coming from a family that has mixed French and Vietnamese people (and a few other origins too) since the 1950s, the whole Asia fetish seems totally foreign to me. This doesn't mean that Asian stereotypes/fetishes don't exist in the French society (I know a woman who has a Vietnamese fetish for instance) but the role they play seems extremely minimal. Couples with mixed cultural/ethnic background are just too common to be related to a particular fetish.
posted by elgilito at 5:48 AM on April 14, 2005


I, submissive Asian woman, am always eagerly glad to be the source of personal and visceral excitement.

Mister Fyodor, I think the sexiest part of that photo is that you're using a tripod. No one uses tripod anymore! They think they're gonna hand-hold 1/15 sec. shots and blame the lab when their shots are all blurry. Man!

Oh, was there a pretty Asian girl in that photo, too? I'm not allowed to notice these things. Loved the gloves, by the way... very Breakfast at Tiffany's of you.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:59 AM on April 14, 2005


Assortative mating is a demonstrable phenomenon. Who chooses whom is predictable, is based on physical similarity, and allows couples to be reliably predicted from random photographs of individuals. We are, it seems, genetically predisposed to select mates that look like us. It is, after all, how there came to be racially distinct groups in geographically continuous regions in the first place.

(Interestingly, a statistically significant tendency for pedigree dogs and their owners to resemble one another is taken to be an accidental manifestation of this phenomenon (via the Economist)).

So anyone who is attracted to a member of another race is - deterministically speaking - "going against the flow". But they are exhibiting a particular form of a very broad minority phenomenon. Its hard to see why they are any more obliged to defend themselves from the accusation they are yielding to fetish than is anyone else in that - very broad - minority.
posted by RichLyon at 6:24 AM on April 14, 2005


Apparently I am the only commenting Asian woman in this thread of boundless significance. What is with, people?

My attachment to the tripod originally manifested from self-indulgent narcissism. I had not the heart to drag around another person to take multiple pictures of me and so did it myself with the trusty timer/remote shutter detonator.
posted by Mister Fyodor at 9:47 AM on April 14, 2005


I dunno fyodor, you looked an AWFUL lot like Ronald McDonald racing in a car..

Anyhoo, I think the whole "I find white men attracted to asian women offensive" thing traces it's roots back to imperialistic/exploitive relationships back in the day. Sort of a master/slave thing going on with the woman being not educated enough/culturally savvy enough to have an equal relationship. In general, asian women tend to be hyper-sexualized (stereo typical dragon lady) and asian men the opposite ("Hmm, we need a scientist/computer geek/technician, where is that Asian Male rolodex!?") in TV, Movies, whatever.

If you want to read more about this sorta thing, find any asian american or asian online community. The anger can be quite palpable in some circles

Closer to reality, most actual mixed race relationships are just like any other relationship. Same foibles and oddities and fantastic times and screwups.
posted by eurasian at 10:59 AM on April 14, 2005


I think we need more half-Asian people. I enjoy making fun of my officemate (dad from New York, mom from Tokyo) because he's about the only person I know who I can beat in a facial-hair growing contest. I have a beard, but damn it took me a while. He can only get a sort of a Shaggy-type speckling of chin hair. Therefore, I win. When we're both 50 though, he'll probably still look 30, so maybe he wins. Hard to say.

Seriously though, I can't say what the deal is. I sometimes feel Asian chicks are cute, sometimes not. It all depends on the person. Just like it does with people of any other ethnic background. Iranian women and Afghani women have in the past been regarded as breathtakingly beautiful. Northern European blondes have been seen as the pinnacle of modern beauty. Hundreds of years earlier, chicks with huge stinking wigs, tons of face powder and black teeth were once considered the sexiest alive. During the Renaissance Reubens liked chubby chicks. Now it's all about the borderline anorexic ones.

What people find attractive and why is a mystery. It's all a matter of time and culture and upbringing. Some of it is also undoubtably wiring, but there's a large amount of learning too. White guys today like Asian girls for just the same reason that some guys go for breasts, others like asses, some people like legs and some can't get an erection unless they've been tied up, beaten and made to lick a shoe. I don't pretend to understand any of it. I just am happy that I found a woman who loves me enough to marry me, and thank the universe daily that I don't need to be tied up and made to lick shoes just to get aroused.

(I'm mostly Irish, my wife is mostly German in ancestry. The closest I ever got to dating an Asian girl was in my undergrad days, when a lab partner of mine had the hots for me and I was too hopelessly in love with my future wife to even notice this asian girl had been hitting on me the entire semester.)
posted by caution live frogs at 11:12 AM on April 14, 2005


thank the universe daily that I don't need to be tied up and made to lick shoes just to get aroused.

Amen.
posted by schyler523 at 11:23 AM on April 14, 2005


Mister Fyodor: I should've guessed, having lived in both places, i knew that S. Carolina is diversity deficient...

(BTW, I am an ABC, American Born Caucasian, though i have never been to caucasia, and probably cannot find it on a map.)
posted by schyler523 at 11:41 AM on April 14, 2005


"Northern European blondes have been seen as the pinnacle of modern beauty."
Too true caution live frogs. I was told how beautiful Icelandic women were for a long time. The first year I lived there I was in heaven, but after a while the 'blond blue eyes haughty yet wistful' thing gets really repetative.
I have to admit I do enjoy the variety in multicultured urban areas.
Many French people in France look French, Germans look German, etc. etc. but - at least in the large urban areas, you get a nice mix, particularly (but certainly not solely) in the U.S.
I think folks can get a little alienated if everyone around you has similar features & traits. Perhaps overwhelming.
I had an African American friend when I was in (a virtually all 'white' ) High School. As the only black guy he couldn't get a date, was pretty much ignored socially, etc. etc. No overt racism that I could tell, but there was that distance in everything. We were both into comedy and had similar senses of humor so we got along well. He committed suicide his senior year though.
Certainly there were other factors in it, but I can't help but think that that had something to do with it.

So, from the other side of this question, how healthy is Assortative mating for the culture?

I can only assume the gene pool would be enhanced by people with different traits mating.
I can't imagine myself dating a muscular hirsute mustachioed Amazon woman (although apparently my grandfathers did).
*trying to lighten up*
posted by Smedleyman at 12:27 PM on April 14, 2005


I don't think I've actually personally encountered much of the "yellow fever" problem (or maybe I'm just really good at blocking out creep signals), but then I don't particularly fit the waiflike submissive etc. Asian female stereotype. Several of my friends are paired off Caucasian male/Asian female, but there's nothing to indicate the guys expect special exotic treatment or whatever crap.
posted by casarkos at 1:26 PM on April 14, 2005


Much of the fear I built in the past around the existence of Asian-fetishers based itself primarily in a deep-rooted insecurity that parallels Smedleyman's statement:

I had an African American friend when I was in (a virtually all 'white' ) High School. As the only black guy he couldn't get a date, was pretty much ignored socially, etc. etc.

Surviving in the SC public school system as a minority of one and having socially inept parents means I possess a plethora of emotional complexes and identity issues which had in the past carried over to problems with self positioning in the first relationships I had. Growing up different in a society more homogenous than elsewhere in the US, I found it difficult to believe that anyone would like me for anything other than the fact that they were enamored with the semi-shrouded myriad of metaphors as which Asian-ness is sometimes seen.

the whole "I find white men attracted to asian women offensive" thing traces it's roots back to imperialistic/exploitive relationships back in the day

This sounds like Asian-male bitterness trying to rationalize a shortage of mates over which they have little control. Poor Asian males.

Nowadays the way I see it, if I like a man, I have no problems being his "hypersexualized" exotic mysterious sex object. Or whatever. That's freakin' hot.
posted by Mister Fyodor at 1:34 PM on April 14, 2005


I've never been with a Spanish chick before. Giggity Giggity Giggity!
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on April 14, 2005


Mister Fyodor : "the whole 'I find white men attracted to asian women offensive' thing traces it's roots back to imperialistic/exploitive relationships back in the day"

"This sounds like Asian-male bitterness trying to rationalize a shortage of mates over which they have little control. Poor Asian males."


Then what would you posit as the actual reason for the "I find white men attracted to asian women offensive" thing?
And, for that matter, why would thinking that the roots of finding whiteman/asianwoman attraction offensive are related to historically exploitive relationships sound like Asian-male bitterness? Doesn't sound particularly bitter to me.

As a white male, it seems that Eurasian's guess is pretty sound.
posted by Bugbread at 1:49 PM on April 14, 2005


Sorry, poor quote attribution. The first half of the quote was Eurasian, the second half was Mister Fyodor's response.
posted by Bugbread at 1:54 PM on April 14, 2005


"This sounds like Asian-male bitterness trying to rationalize a shortage of mates over which they have little control. Poor Asian males."

the way you word that almost reads like you're mocking the frustrations of male asian-americans who've found themselves disadvantaged in the current dating scene partly due to negative mass media and pop culture stereotypes that've been played out in the states for dozens of years. sure, those stereotypes are just one of many problems with asian males today, but they've certainly done their damage. at least the stereotypes asian females may get lend themselves to fetishization.

of course, if your words weren't meant to mock, nevermind my rant. otherwise, that's really shitty.

"I've never been with a Spanish chick before. Giggity Giggity Giggity!"

oh man, i less than three your posts, jonmc.
posted by lotsofno at 2:00 PM on April 14, 2005


I'm reminded of this AskMe thread here, which covered some of the same issues regarding crosscultural (white-asian) adoptions.


On a side note, I (along with many of my shiksa sisters) have a fetish for thin, dark-haired, wonky Jewish boys. Alas, most of them are looking for a Jewish partner to pass on that matrilineal tribe membership. I'm currently dating someone smart but Norwegian instead.
posted by availablelight at 2:33 PM on April 14, 2005


bugbread:

Then what would you posit as the actual reason for the "I find white men attracted to asian women offensive" thing?
And, for that matter, why would thinking that the roots of finding whiteman/asianwoman attraction offensive are related to historically exploitive relationships sound like Asian-male bitterness? Doesn't sound particularly bitter to me.


I gave you a reason. I attest to only my own point of view on this issue at this point, and I have you exactly that in the entire upper 2/3rds of my comment.

When you use the word "offensive", you must state the party to which you ascribe the opinion before I can clarify my answer. If you refer to me, again, I gave you an answer already, though I assert that to Asian women it is less "offense" than the word I used - fear, with no wispy femininity attached.

"Asian male bitterness" I extracted from all the links appearing in the original post and within all preceding comments. "Bitterness" appeared several times, directly applying to "Asian men".

the whole 'I find white men attracted to asian women offensive' thing traces it's roots back to imperialistic/exploitive relationships back in the day"

is a distinctively male comment. Pardon the sexist generalization, jump on me if you will, instinctively it effects to the reader a masculine author. I connected this with "Asian male bitterness". Note, I said sounds.


Lotsofno:

the way you word that almost reads like you're mocking the frustrations of male asian-americans...that's really shitty.

Mocking people is what I do sometimes. It was a mock. Jokes comprises the bulk of my coping strategy, and I allow it to permeate to my interactions with others. Shittiness is only felt by those who have no humor. :-)
posted by Mister Fyodor at 2:39 PM on April 14, 2005


...mocking the frustrations of male asian-americans comp-sci majors who've found themselves disadvantaged in the current dating scene partly due to negative mass media and pop culture stereotypes that've been played out in the states for dozens of years. sure, those stereotypes are just one of many problems with asian males comp-sci majors today, but they've certainly done their damage.

We're all victims in our own special way.
posted by bashos_frog at 2:55 PM on April 14, 2005


jump on me if you will

Much as I'd like to, my wife would kill me. ;-)
posted by bashos_frog at 2:57 PM on April 14, 2005


Well, yes, historically, in america, asian-males had a helluva time getting wives, or even, THEIR wives back in china, phillippines, whatever, due to painfully restrictive immigration laws in the early 1900's. Sure you can blow up rock for railroads, you can do my laundry but you can't have your family in this country sort of thing.

I wish I could speak more authoritively on the whole asian-american-male thing, but I'm a horrid, horrid, mix of many things and was basically raised white. But taken from a historical perspective, the roots of this ickiness of interracial dating has some grounds.

Now, with that said, there are really many different groups with varying amounts of distaste for inter-racial dating. I mean, one of my Chinese friends (who am I kidding, I live in vancouver, all my friends are Chinese (80% anyhoo)) stopped dating an East Indian girl because of parental disapproval. They were both born here, it was just.. yeah. Then you get the disgust from asian males, which I alluded to earlier, a 'our women thing', which I can't share in sentiment, but I suppose I can empathise. Then there are some/many/most/I'm not sure of the number of asian women who find it disgusting. To be objectified for your race.

I think there are times when the disgust is perhaps warranted, but in urban centers, mostly, it's just the stereotypes and prejudices that put these relationships in a bad light.
posted by eurasian at 3:16 PM on April 14, 2005


Just a sample of one Asian male here, but as I said in the beginning of the thread, "[it's] a-okay by my book, especially since [Asian women are] not 'ours' to begin with. Free will, consent, etc." Anyone who feels bitterness, resentment, or offense over this has, IMO, a severe case of rectal blockage from tree-matter.

It would be great for me if the systematic sexual allure of Asian females in mainstream American culture applied equally to males as well, but it doesn't. Hi ho. In terms of dating and mate-attraction, it would be great for me too if I were James Bond, but I'm not. Obviously, life is just a giant conspiracy to be unfair to me.
posted by DaShiv at 3:25 PM on April 14, 2005


Mister Fyodor : "the whole 'I find white men attracted to asian women offensive' thing traces it's roots back to imperialistic/exploitive relationships back in the day" is a distinctively male comment.

I'm sorry, I'm not following your comment in general, but especially this. What makes it distinctively male?? If anything, taken by itself I would have assumed it was written by a female (probably due to going to a university where phrases like "imperialistic" and "exploitive" were more often used by women than men).

But allow me, then, to jump in then and say that I think that one of the reasons that non-Asians who are offended by white male / asian female coupling are thus offended is due to historically unequal and exploitive relationships. Not the only reason, by any means, but a relatively big one.

For reference, I've specified who is being offended, and I'm not asian.
posted by Bugbread at 4:18 PM on April 14, 2005


I think there is an attraction to child-like features in adults, but this is an attraction men (generally!) find in women and less likely in the reverse. Caucasian men have more masculine features than Asian men (generally!) and I think this is an attraction to Asian women. The two accentuate the characteristics of their sex. Opposites attract. Just wild speculation folks, don't get too excited!

And this whole deal with having fetishes - who doesn't have one of some sorts? Are we all supposed to be equally attracted to all types of women (or men)? I like my fetishes!
posted by FieldingGoodney at 4:33 PM on April 14, 2005


The only reason I think it's a big deal for Asian men is that it doesn't run the other way. It's all well and good to see "interracial" relationships, but in general the percentage of Asian women with non-Asian partners is much higher than the percentage of Asian men with non-Asian partners.

It's about the same as the perception that more black men have non-black partners versus black women, and is carried by the "stealing our men" meme.

Or the whole men dating women taller than them, or the thin man and fat woman bit.

Of course, I'm a short Filipino male that looks Chinese, so my perspective is an odd one since from the view of my Korean partner's parents, they find my "racial background" uncomfortable, while those who don't know my background see nothing wrong with two Asians together but stare because the guy is shorter than the girl, which I figure is rarer than a white guy and an Asian gal holding hands.
posted by linux at 4:47 PM on April 14, 2005


In Hong Kong, at the beginning of colonialism, any British found to be enamoured with a local Chinese would be warned off.

If the warning was ignored, he'd be shipped off for duty elsewhere.

Despite this, I've seen evidence of successful marriages from that period and marvelled at the power of love to overcome what at the time was a horrible social stigma.

I'm certain the detestable term "yellow fever" had nothing to do with it.

And for the record, my wife is Chinese.
posted by bwg at 4:52 PM on April 14, 2005


bugbread:

I'm not following your comment in general

Must be my engrish.


I think the whole "I find white men attracted to asian women offensive" thing traces it's roots back to imperialistic/exploitive relationships back in the day.

...was written by Eurasian, who is male (correct me if I'm wrong), gleaned by evidence from this comment:

Then you get the disgust from asian males, which I alluded to earlier, a 'our women thing', which I can't share in sentiment...
posted by Mister Fyodor at 5:11 PM on April 14, 2005


Bugbread (cont):

Then what would you posit as the actual reason for the "I find white men attracted to asian women offensive" thing?

You did not specify the offended party in that comment.

However, since you have indicated that it is you, a non-Asian man, I can give an honest answer:

I don't know why you find white men attracted to asian women offensive. However, it is very intriguing, and I'm very much eager to read your answer.
posted by Mister Fyodor at 5:16 PM on April 14, 2005


Mister Fyodor: Must be my engrish.

Huh?

Mister Fyodor: ...was written by Eurasian, who is male (correct me if I'm wrong)

Yes, but that has little to nothing to do with being a "distinctively male comment".

I like ice cream.

There. That was said by a male. Does that make it a "distinctively male comment"?

I'm not really trying to argue that you're wrong. I just am not seeing where you're coming from, and I'm not clear why believing that 'part of the reason that certain folks are offended by these relationships is due to historically unequal relationships' sounds like asian-male bitterness. If I (white as a night-shift computer guy can be) say the same thing, does it still sound like asian-male bitterness?
posted by Bugbread at 5:22 PM on April 14, 2005


I think that one of the reasons that non-Asians who are offended by white male / asian female coupling are thus offended is due to historically unequal and exploitive relationships.

Okay. Got it.

This is very strange logic, bugbread.

You have 1 premise: "Historically unequal and exploitive relationships" existed between white males and Asian females.

And your conclusion: Therefore, bugbread, who is a non-Asian, is offended at "white male/asian female coupling".

Two more things:

1. Non-Asians offended at white male/Asian female couplings comes not as a common phenomenon last I heard.

2. "Historically unequal and exploitive relationships" existed/exists between males and females unspecific of race. It does not follow that you are thus offended by general hetero-couplings.
posted by Mister Fyodor at 5:29 PM on April 14, 2005



1. Extreme example of asian fetishism
2. General phenomenon of asian fetishism
3. Fetishists trope: Westerners often socially inept with women, become attracted to Asian women, tend to objectify them, and perhaps even exploit them.
4. Counterexample: celebrities who presumably have no trouble finding any type of women but are especially attracted to Asian women (a sort of control group?)
5. Possible reasons for this attraction (legitimate or not?)
6. Query whether such attraction can be divided into acceptable and unacceptable, whether it is useful to do so, and whether it is even possible to do so.


If you've got beef with someone (or a group of people), just come out and say it, don't hide behind this pseudo-jargon. The FPP certainly implies that non-Asian males who are attracted to Asian females are somehow related to this Michael Lohman guy, that is, all of us guys who like Asian girls are sick. Just add some scholarly questions (in italics, above) that seemingly attempt to address the "problem" but really just reinforces what I can only see as a deeply held grudge. It's an attempt to intellectually legitimize the chastising of non-Asian males who like Asian females.

I have an Asian girlfriend and I've had other Asian girlfriends in the past. Just recently I had a discussion with a friend in which he (a black male) asked me if I did indeed have a fetish. To which I replied I didn't, I'm attracted to women of all races. I've also dated non-Asian women here in this country surrounded by the object of my supposed desire.

There's something different about Asian women, yes, but I think that's human nature, to be attracted to something not yourself. I'm blonde(ish)--I prefer brunettes. I have straight hair--I'm attracted to curly hair. This isn't rocket science.

I could go on and on about this...I think I'll stop now.
posted by zardoz at 5:34 PM on April 14, 2005


Bugbread:

Males and females follow patterns of word usage. They also follow patterns of speech subjects. For example, politics is more a masculine topic among acquaintences. I will be the first to admit this a gross generalization, being a political junkie and reader of Mefi. I also think political correctness is a load of crap when it obscures reality. The reality here is, most girls like to talk about asinine shit like shopping and loosing weight. I made a opinionated observation about a single sentence sounding more male-like though that was not my main point, intent, or goal. It was incorporated into a joke that has since been raped by italicized quotes and oversensitivity.
posted by Mister Fyodor at 5:37 PM on April 14, 2005


The reality here is, most girls like to talk about asinine shit like shopping and loosing weight.

As opposed to asinine shit like their cars or their stock portfolio?
posted by jonmc at 5:39 PM on April 14, 2005


Case in point:

I have a feeling there is a larger male commenting population on Mefi.
posted by Mister Fyodor at 5:48 PM on April 14, 2005


zardoz - that was what I thought was a spot on analysis. Not that banishedimmortal does have a beef per se...

a 'our women thing', which I can't share in sentiment, but I suppose I can empathise.

eurasian - Lenny Bruce does a great bit about How to Talk to a Black Man at a Party. Classic line "Well, look at it this way, you wouldn't want no Jew doin' it to your sister."

It's something people have to get over. Me I have a huge penis, so I don't worry much about it.

*waits for people to notice how I cleverly toot my own horn while subvertively pointing out where this 'protection' of 'our women thing' is rooted*
*checks pants*
Please ignore the hyperbole.


stopped dating an East Indian girl because of parental disapproval. They were both born here, it was just.. yeah.

Point understood. I don't concede. Again, people need to get over it. That starts with people getting over it.
I'd disown my parents if they pulled that shit on me. My mother said she would give me '$x' money if I took care of something about my house that has irritated her. I asked her to leave. She dropped the matter.
My mom is old school. She's not racist but she still calls African Americans 'niggers' yet hires them, promotes them when they're more qualified than someone else, pays them equally etc. It's just the use of the term which I almost forgive because she grew up in a rough neighborhood and got beat up routinely by black women.

If I was going to marry a black girl she would freak out. But she would deal with it or I wouldn't be seeing her again.
Maybe the military did that to me. Dunno. I tend to see what someone's mind holds, like I suspect many Mefites.

That said, I haven't walked in your shoes so I'm not casting aspersions. I've got no idea of the situation there, etc. And my unique situation would certainly allow my response. So - just me in this situation extended from just your comment with little knowlege of you or your situation so hopefully no judgement there.
Just making the point that there are a lot of old schoolers out there who need to get over this in addition to younger folks who should avoid making the same mistakes.

I'm curious how the black/white relationship is or isn't still stigmatized.
Might non-nerdy celebs like footballers & basketballers have had something to do with that?
posted by Smedleyman at 6:13 PM on April 14, 2005


Do I have to quote Weezer again?
posted by koeselitz at 6:23 PM on April 14, 2005


bugbread: Then what would you posit as the actual reason for the "I find white men attracted to asian women offensive" thing?

I would submit that this comes from not just certain frustrated, not gettin' any Asian men being resentful of their "competition", but also traditionalists (especially parents) who value notions of racial purity or "bloodlines" over the happiness of the individuals involved, in part as a reaction to a perceived threat by these traditionalists over their own racial identity in an increasingly multiracial world. In other words, people with sticks up their asses.

To acknowledge reality (that society considers Asian females to be more sexually desirable) is one thing, but to be resentful/offended by impassive reality is another thing altogether. And it's rather futile.
posted by DaShiv at 6:34 PM on April 14, 2005


The reality here is, most girls like to talk about asinine shit like shopping and loosing weight.

As opposed to asinine shit like their cars or their stock portfolio?


jonmc, my computer is totally faster than your computer, you pwn3d n00b. Eat my liquid cooling.
posted by DaShiv at 6:37 PM on April 14, 2005


So what, I can drink you under the table.
posted by jonmc at 7:03 PM on April 14, 2005




Bless my Irish, alcohol-absorbing ones!
posted by jonmc at 7:17 PM on April 14, 2005


Mister Fyodor : "Therefore, bugbread, who is a non-Asian, is offended at 'white male/asian female coupling'."

Okay, I'm starting to see why we aren't connecting. You've misread me or I've put my position forth poorly. I am avowedly not one of the people who is offended at white male / asian female coupling. My wife (as of last Sunday! Whee!!!) is Japanese. Living in Japan, pretty much every white guy I know is either dating or married to a Japanese, and I find none of it offensive, and none of them have an Asian fetish (as far as I know).

I think that the people offended because of past inequalities are confusing the past and the present. I am not defending them, just putting forth a hypothesis about why they feel they do.

Mister Fyodor : "Non-Asians offended at white male/Asian female couplings comes not as a common phenomenon last I heard."

I need to introduce you to the parents of my Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, and Indian friends from high school. Some of their parents were pretty cool with it, but quite a few aren't. And there are quite a few people here in Japan (again, generally of the age of my parents, not myself) who are opposed to Japanese dating/marrying whites or blacks (or Phillipinos, or basically anyone other than Japanese, but the feeling is especially strong for non-Asians).

Mister Fyodor : "I made a opinionated observation about a single sentence sounding more male-like though that was not my main point, intent, or goal. It was incorporated into a joke that has since been raped by italicized quotes and over-sensitivity."

Close. It's not over-sensitivity, it's my completely anal nature. I'm not offended, just picky as hell. Sorry.

Mister Fyodor : " I have a feeling there is a larger male commenting population on Mefi."

You're very, very correct (you're pretty new, but you may have been, like me, a long time lurker. If you are, you know that the topic of MeFi being a boyzone comes up a lot. And if you aren't a lurker, well, know that the topic of MeFi being a boyzone comes up a lot.)

DaShiv : " I would submit that this comes from...traditionalists (especially parents) who value notions of racial purity or "bloodlines" over the happiness of the individuals involved, in part as a reaction to a perceived threat by these traditionalists over their own racial identity in an increasingly multiracial world."

Very much agreed. I suspect that in older folks, this is especially the cause. I think the young PC folks who assume that folks dating Asians do so because they're "easier to control and oppress" are the ones motivated by historical situations. These folks (only ever seem to run into them on the net, because there certainly aren't many living in Japan) tend to be the ones who give lip service to equality but interpret any sexualization of Asians in films as being due to Asians looking like children, for the paedophile angle (which I certainly don't understand, because after living in Asia for any time, 20 year olds look like 20 year olds, 30 year olds look like 30 year olds, and so on and so forth), or being due to Asians being supposedly submissive and 1950's wifeish (true to some extent, depending on the country, but not, as far as I can tell, a reason for their sexualization in films, or a motivation for their significant others).
posted by Bugbread at 7:40 PM on April 14, 2005


I should clarify. The particular subsection of the PC contingent I'm refering to above probably do not consider themselves opposed to interracial dating, and would deny it if asked, but tend to nonetheless make generalizations of white guys dating asian girls as being due to subordination or submissiveness or the like, instead of the obvious "love" angle. Similar to the folks who say "I'm not racist, but man, those negroes..."
posted by Bugbread at 8:11 PM on April 14, 2005


Dude, if you live in Japan and you don't know any white guys with an Asian fetish, then you are not getting out much.

I lived in Japan for 3 years, and my wife (whom I met and married in NY) is Japanese. Every third white guy in Japan has an Asian fetish.
(My reason for going was that the terrorists blew up my neighborhood, and Bush fucked up my economy.)
posted by bashos_frog at 10:02 PM on April 14, 2005


Well, I don't hang out in Roppongi, anime shops, or British pubs, so I don't meet a whole ton of white guys. But I've met maybe 5 or 6 white guys outside of work in the last 6 years, and maybe 15 through work, and none have been asian fetishists (that I know of).

Actually, one of my friend's friends came for two weeks, and he had an Asian fetish, but he was only here on a short vacation.

I suspect I'm just running in the wrong circles. I'm sure there are tons out there, I just never meet them.
posted by Bugbread at 3:18 AM on April 15, 2005


try this to determine the gender of a speaker.

I like redheads.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:11 AM on April 15, 2005


exlotuseater : "I like redheads."

Gender Genie says you're female, James.
posted by Bugbread at 7:22 AM on April 15, 2005


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