The Fetishization of Asian/American Women

Asian/American women have been exotisized and fetishized for a very long time now and it was interesting to study the history of how that came to be. It has been embedded through media that Asian women are sexual objects, objects that will fulfill a white man’s fantasy or desire. I did not understand why presently, there were so many white male, Asian female relationships and it dawned on me taking this class that it has been portrayed so well through media. Asian men were portrayed on screen as nerds, Kung fu masters, and asexual. It portrayed white man as “macho”, sexual, handsome and so the media basically made the decision for Asian women to be more sexually attracted to white men. I took a multiethnic Asian American class during spring 2015 and it explored a lot of interracial relationships and the reasons for why it may be. Asian women are among the most, out of every other race, to marry outside of their own ethnicity. In the different articles we read, a lot of the women’s reasons were their concern for their children. They wanted their children to participate in white privilege. Some even said they wanted their children to have bigger eyes, pointier noses etc. to me, it sounded very much like assimilation. Not all the women responded this way. There were some women who said that it was who they were exposed to or that it was just love.

In Celine’s book, The Hypersexuality of Race, she talks about reshaping the sexualization of Asian women. It’s been embedded for decades that Asian women are sexual objects, submissive, live for the man, whores, prostitutes with a golden heart etc. Instead of feeling victimized by these notions, Asian women should take it back and assert power over these accusations. Shift power relations. I thought that was interesting, especially when she talks about Emily Lau and how at the end during her trials, she just accepted that sex was just a thing and not anything morally connected to her body. It’s ironic because Asian culture is very conservative and women are prized in their virginity and they are protected. But after all these war invasions on Korea and Vietnam, Asian women became seen as spoils of war to keep white soldiers company.

This brings me to the documentary, Slaying the Dragon, which interviews Asian actresses and the perspective was accurate at least to my knowledge. They were acting in a time where America was extremely racist and it was okay during that time to be extremely racist. It was  norm for them and they didn’t see their roles as racist, they simply felt like they were just acting. Others of course see it for what it really is which is extremely racist but they did what they had to do for what they loved to do if that made sense. And the film industry is still menacing in how it portrayed asain/Americans but it is slowly progressing for the better.


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