When it comes to dating, fetishization is often confused with sexual preference. “What you like,” when it comes to dating, seems to be one of the most visible and untarnished sites of race based assumptions about the sexual prowess of your potential sexual or relationship mate. In short, it is totally acceptable for a man to say that he prefers Asian women because in their eyes, Asian women have certain innate characteristics. I recently discovered that this particular obsession with Asian women (especially on behalf of white men) is called “yellow fever.” Charming, really.
Unfortunately, in a culture where race determines so much, a race-based sexual preference is hardly innocuous, but very much tinged with racist assumptions about the characteristics of a certain group. For example, labels in the race based sexual lexicon include, black women as jezebels, white women as freaky, Asian women as submissive, Latina women as spicy, Indian women, exotic and the list goes on. You will hear these commonly used assumptions from people who you may know, trust…even respect! It just goes that deep.
Unfortunately, universal assumptions about the way a certain group behaves, especially when it comes to your genitals, is not just racist, it’s annoying.
I could go on with stories about being asked if I was a “karma sutra Indian” or “red dot or feather,” but instead, I present to you this very funny and satirical video on How not to talk to an Asian lady:
That’s so real, it’s almost not funny. Good thing I have such a good sense of humor.