Asian Women and the "Yellow Fever" Syndrome
Jun. 10th, 2007 @ 05:19 pm
When I was a member of YouTube, the majority of the videos I posted featured prominent Asian women in entertainment and sports such as Taiwanese singer A-Mei, Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li, Thai golfer Virada Nirapathpongporn and South Korean golfers Se Ri Pak and Grace Park. Since being given the boot by YouTube, which is really cracking down to protect themselves legally, I have reflected a bit on some of the e-mails and discussions that those videos generated. Very often, a member that would identify themselves as being Asian would ask the question, why do you Americans have an Asian fetish...one poster claiming to be Korean insisted that Korean women were only for Korean men and that we Americans should leave them alone.
I suppose my perspective on this issue is different than other Americans who do not have Asian heritage. However, this is an issue, because I do not at all look East or Southeast Asian, that I do deal with from time to time. Most people, when they meet me, either think I'm black (which I am) or Indian (which I am not), but only once has somebody even remotely thought of me as East or Southeast Asian. Because of this, I sometimes draw reactions from people who only have half of my story. One African-American woman who saw my head get turned by an attractive Asian woman, looked at me and called me a "fake @$$ brother" while a Puerto Rican woman told me I should only date "my kind." Neither woman was aware that I am half-Thai. I guess if I should only date "my kind" I'll have to put out ads for half-Thai, half-African American women.
Another perspective I've heard is from Asian and Asian American women who say they get tired of being seen as sexual playthings by American men. Many resent the US Servicemen and tourists, among others, who travel to Asia and have affairs with Asian women, making promises they know they have no intention of keeping and often leaving without a word, particularly when a pregnancy occurs. Then there are Americans here in the States who make the "me so horny" comments to Asian and Asian-American women, thinking...well, I don't know what they're thinking.
One thing I would say to Asian women is to not feel singled out when men make derogatory comments to you. They might frame those comments in racial stereotypes, but usually men like that make derogatory comments to ALL women. You just know the ones they make towards you. Having said that, I think there is a group of men who favor women of Asian heritage. My question is, what's so wrong with that? I think if they only see Asian women as sexual objects and nothing else, that's a problem, but probably one they would have with any woman of any heritage. If the man (or woman...I'm sure there are lesbians who favor Asian women as well, but this particular blog entry is dealing with the guys) finds Asian women attractive sexually, but also is interested in developing a nurturing, loving and faithful relationship with an Asian woman, I don't see the problem.
But I do realize there are creepy fellows out there who chase Asian women without thinking they are real people with real emotions and feelings. I am a member of a South Korean golfer forum and sometimes I wonder if we as members of that forum are a little too obsessed with the Seoul Sisters, as they are called. For many of us, myself included, the attraction to some of the Sisters is for their accomplishments as sportswomen but also is for their beauty as women. But is that any different for some guys who like Paula Creamer or Maria Sharapova or Natalie Gulbis or Serena Williams? We, their fans, pull for them to perform well in competition...and look good doing it. I don't think that makes us perverts...I just think that makes us men...but maybe that's the same thing! lol!
And as for actresses, attraction to their beauty has always been a part of movies and television. It's a visual medium and one that often chooses to rely on photogenic actresses. As an Asian movie fanatic, I have a great appreciation for the beauty of Asian women.
Of course, from the Asian perspective there is a pressure on young Asian men and women to maintain their "racial purity." Seeing an Asian woman with a non-Asian does anger some Asians...thus comments like "Korean women are only for Korean men." I cannot really speak to that anger...because I am a product of an interracial marriage, so the idea that somehow I am not "pure"...whatever...
In the end, it's kind of hard for me to comment too much on this subject, as I am half-Asian and there certainly is a "mommy factor" and self-identity factor in my interest in Asian women. I, too, sometimes wonder if people without Asian heritage think about their interest in Asian women, or whether they get a hard time from friends and family because of it.
|Date:||June 11th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)|| |
Hey there, BKB!
I like what you've said so far... Provokes a lot of "me too" comments from me :) Not too much to add, I suppose...
I think my fascination with Korean golfers, actresses, etc., has less to do with looks and more with accomplishments. I didn't get to liking them because they were beautiful (although many are), but because they were Korean. In my study of martial arts, I have learned a lot of Korean culture, language and history. In doing so, I have also learned that there is SOOO much out there people, both individuals and the media, do not know about Korea and her history. Having Koreans succeed well, whether it be on the LPGA, on "Lost", or what have you, brings the nation, history and heritage into the public perception. Kinda hard to ignore when it's right there in front of you...
Like you, I know several folks who only like particular Koreans because they're "hot". One of the first private messages I received from a fellow Seoul Sister fan was related to Hana Kim and whether or not I thought she was hot, and what I thought she would look like nude, and would I LIKE to see her nude. I've not talked to them since (and as far as I know, no longer hang around that bulletin board)... To do as this "fan" did de-humanizes Hana. Yes, she is a very pretty young lady, but when you objectify her, that lessons what she's accomplished as a golfer and an individual...
Anyway, keep up the good work!
Wow, I'm surprised somebody said that...I want to take a guess who, but maybe I'll do that in a private e-mail...I still need to reply to that e-mail you sent me...nobody's ever PMed me about something like that, but I do recall one poster who posted a link he claimed was to some "nude" player (I don't remember who...but I think it was Se Ri), but he framed his post sort of like...well, "can you believe this" and then put the link. I thought it was in bad taste...even if I stumbled across anything like that (most of which are photoshop fakes), I would NEVER post a link like that in the SS forum.
But yeah, you know...ummmm, I think there is a growing wave of men who are attracted to Asian women. I think part of it is that Asian people in general are becoming more visible in media, be it movies, television, etc. Call it the Crouching Tiger Effect...Asian culture, which at one time was only the interest of a certain niche, is becoming more and more mainstream.
I think some men see Asian women as "exotic"...which is interesting, because I suppose exotic depends on your point of view...does a Chinese man look at Zhang Ziyi or Gong Li as exotic? Probably not.
As it concerns the Seoul Sisters, while I thought Se Ri was attractive, it was her personality that won me over...but I didn't really become a Seoul Sister fanatic until Grace Park...taking nothing away from Se Ri, Grace...well, I had a different kind of reaction. However, I also have tremendous respect for her game. If she were hot, but missed the cut half the time, she wouldn't register on my radar. It was a combination of her looks and talent.
|Date:||June 12th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)|| |
Well, as you know, my favorite SeoulSister is Christina Kim... And while she's a very ebullient personality, she doesn't have the classic model body... It was the personality, as well as her amateur success, that made me a fan of hers... I love that you always know what's on her mind... Golf should be played with more emotion, I think, and Christina certainly fits that mold...
I hadn't really thought of the "exotic" angle, but perhaps you are right... Because many of these ladies are literally "far off" or "unreachable", even moreso than Hollywood starlets, perhaps that is what draws fans to them... I think we have all, since childhood, wanted something so much more when told you can't have it. Or when it's perceived you can't have it... Ask any parent who has forbidden their teenager from doing something what that teen is likely to go out and do :)
Anyway, great blog... Keep up the great work!
That's ok, a little neurosis is sometimes good for the soul! :)
|Date:||August 19th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)|| |
Response to "Asian Women and the "Yellow Fever" Syndrome"
I'm a caucasian male who spent two years in Seoul and married a beautiful Korean woman. Prior to living in Korea I had never dated an Asian women. We've been married now for 12 years and I couldn't be happier. Somewhat surprizingly, I now find myself attracted to Asian women over any other race and have questioned why. Possibly it's simply transposing the affection I feel toward my wife. I do prefer females with a "softer" side and possibly the Asian culture fosters a softer female than other cultures. I don't know.
When I was in Seoul and dating, fequently I came across Asian men who where threatening to me when they could communicate in English and down insulting to the girl I was with when they had no English skills.
I don't find Asian women more beautiful (my attraction is not so much in their beauty), in fact the women I find most beautiful seem to look pretty much race neutral. Bottom line I guess I find differences in appearance across races rather insignificant but I do find cultural and philosophical differences significant.
Re: Response to "Asian Women and the "Yellow Fever" Syndrome"
First, sorry about not answering this sooner...I actually only read it today, I've been trying to figure out what I want to do with this blog.
Your post is very interesting, particularly the "softer" side...have gender roles in the West become too neutral, do you think?
How did her family react to you, if you don't mind saying? Were they better than other people from Seoul...I have heard Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steeler WR who is half-Korean) say Koreans spit at his mother back when she lived there and was involved with a black American...I hope things like that are not still happening.
Off the subject, don't know if you like golf or not but I recommend the site www.seoulsisters.com which covers Korean women golfers on the LPGA and the accompanying forum: http://www.phpbbplanet.com/forum/index.php?mforum=professionalgol
|Date:||December 11th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)|| |
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