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Western powers, including the United States, established a presence in the port cities of China, Japan and Korea and made substantial profits from the lucrative trade routes.One result of this was a developing appetite amongst the Western middle class for Asian goods and art; for example, Chinese export porcelain. American men who may not have had preconceived notions about Asian women were drafted and sent to fight in Asia where they saw Asian women working in the sex industry. Butterfly, the writer David Henry Hwang, using the term "yellow fever", a pun on the disease of the same name, discusses white men with a "fetish" for (east) Asian women.
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This idea is based on the stereotype of "the Oriental woman" who is considered to be beautiful and sexually exciting as well as caring, compliant and submissive.
In her essay "Hateful Contraries: Media Images of Asian Women", British filmmaker Pratibha Parmar comments that the media's imagery of Asian women is "contradictory" in that it represents them as "completely dominated by their men, mute and oppressed" while also presenting them as "sexually erotic creatures".
Asian fetish places a psychological burden on Asian women, who are forced to cope with constant doubt and suspicion that men who find them attractive are preoccupied with their Asian status rather than other traits or characteristics.
The doubt that targets of Asian fetish experience stems from feelings of depersonalization, which compound on the objectification Asian females already face as women, to create a further sort of objectification where Asian women feel like interchangeable objects.
Because of Asian fetish, an Asian woman’s racial difference is either seen as a failure to conform to mainstream white standards of beauty, or as something that can be appreciated only on an alternative scale.
NPR correspondent Elise Hu offers that this can be a source of insecurity in Asian women's dating lives, asking: "Am I just loved because I'm part of an ethnic group that's assumed to be subservient, or do I have actual value as an individual, or is it both? In the other direction, it has been argued that the notion of an Asian fetish creates the unnecessary and erroneous perception of multiracial relationships as being characterized by "patriarchal, racist power structures" in relationships.
Asian women have traditionally been stereotyped in mass media in the United States.
In her essay Lotus Blossoms Don't Bleed: Images of Asian Women, American filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña identifies two basic stereotypes.
The white men interviewed fantasize that an Asian woman possesses both beauty and brains, Sexually, the men in these interviews had a commonality.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating