Asian American Hate and Fetishization

Asian american hate and fetishization is important. It’s good to be educated on the topic.

People are holding signs at a protest urging other Asian Amerians to support the community and other minorities.

Creative commons, Marcela McGreal.

People are holding signs at a protest urging other Asian Amerians to support the community and other minorities.

Anna Yuki

We’re all just people no matter what race or ethnicity we are, none of us are above one another, nor is anyone below, but what happens when someone is being put on both sides of the coin? 

I think that Asian women have been put in that kind of position, a place where they have been seen as exotic partners, they have been objectified and discriminated racially, but at the same time they have been in a position in which they are lusted after or made into an aesthetic. It’s both confusing and disgusting. People who fetishize Asian women don’t respect them. They want them, want to be with them, but with race as the main motivator. Sometimes it can be confused, perhaps even overlap. 

 Interestingly enough, according to NPR, “All women except Black women are most drawn to white men, and men of all races (with one notable exception) prefer Asian women.” OKcupid data also shows that all men, with the notable exception being Asian men, “prefer” Asian women. 

Ocean Sand
InfogramMarch 2021 infographic, information gathered by Stop AAPI Hate. Infographic made by Anna Yuki

 Idolization of Asian cultures such as Japanese media and Kpop can’t be ignored either. People who fetishize or idolize asian women and culture use stereotypes as well. Of course they aren’t the only one’s placing stereotypes. However, stereotypes are harmful to Asian communities and further increase the chance of racist stereotypes placed on people. Labels placed on women such as subservient, exotic, seductive, docile, polite, war hungry, or diseased. 

Some people find the stereotyped and hypersexualized Asian woman, one molded for the male gaze, to be attractive. Some don’t, either way, people are faced with racially motivated comments and microaggressions:

“You’re good at English.”

 “I don’t want to play with you because you’re Japanese.” 

“Japanese women are always polite.” 

“I think you’re a higher level of Asian.” 

“I love Japanese girls.”

“Ni hao.” (I’m not Chinese) 

“Do you speak Chinese?” (No I don’t) 

“no one wants you, America doesn’t want you, Japan doesn’t want you and Korea doesn’t want you.”

“Slant eyed, go back to your own country.” 

“Ew your food looks like barf.” 

And etc. Are common when you’re an Asian girl living in america. Heck, I still remember being told “hey, watch out she looks like she’s going to hit you with her chopsticks” when bumping into someone in the hall. 

I also remember an experience that made me understand that fetishizers don’t see themselves and Asian women as equals. They only use and objectify Asian women, shoving them into a box that fits their stereotypes. Those people speak without understanding, with a facade of acceptance. True acceptance is accepting someone as they are, but without treating them as something “other”. Some don’t even bother with a facade. The entitlement seeps through the air, it feels normal but off putting. Suffocating but without a way to pinpoint what exactly is wrong. 

Well, it brings up another important question.  Why exactly do these things happen? It can be led to the page act of 1875. I’d researched a couple other articles similar to this one, and I found that the Page Act and the Atlantic shooting were mentioned in many of them. So, how are these things related to why Asian women have been fetishized, hated, and hypersexualized? 

The page act of 1875, Chinese immigrants, mostly women, were seen as vectors for sexually transmitted disease, they were separated from their white peers probably because of the idea that they were also a threat to the racial purity of America. They were then banned from immigrating to the United states. Well, you’d think that this label and its effect is long gone, however, it seems that it is not. In fact, although this isn’t the only reason why Asian women are stereotyped, this sort of stereotype stuck, and is still an issue today.

An example of why this is a harmful stereotype can be seen in the Atlantic shooting. The perpetrator reasoned that he needed to stop the indulgement of his sex addiction, and in order to do that, he shot and killed eight people, six of which were Asian women. This leads back to the page act because of stereotype that Asian women are related to sex and prostitution. And the situation where the Asian women are seen as at fault for the labels connected to them, and are consequently “eliminated”. 

The fetishization and idolization of east Asian women has been an important issue for a very long time, however it is ignored for the most part and largely misunderstood, which is why it’s important to be educated on the roots and causes of the stereotypes, and what kinds of harmful effects they can bring.