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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

An Open Letter To The Guy Who 'Likes Asian Girls'

Ashley Yang |
June 9, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. PDT


Dear Asian Fetishizer,

After attending university for two whole years in Southern California, where the air is breezy and the Asians are plentiful, I’ve decided that it’s time I say a few words to you. 

Yes, you. The guy whose eyes go wide as soon as a female with yellow skin and jet-black hair passes by.

When you say that you're "into Asian girls," we want to run away. (Jaclyn Wu, Neon Tommy)
When you say that you're "into Asian girls," we want to run away. (Jaclyn Wu, Neon Tommy)
The guy who makes a beeline toward her to ask where she’s “really from.” Who tells her how much he likes [insert Asian country name] food, and tries to impress her by belting out in no coherent order (and with butchered prononciation) a few words that are from her supposed native language. This is America. We do, in fact, speak English. 

You, who believes that he has a God-given right to approach us in public and aimlessly strike up a conversation about how Asian we are and how cool you think that is, when we’re just trying to go about our day. Who freely invades our personal space, takes liberties with our time and calls us Asian b*tches (and sometimes spits in our faces) when we, after several highly visible attempts to show you that we’re uncomfortable and not interested, directly tell you so and walk away.

Some of you embrace the title, naively believing that it will act as a “come hither” sign to us. Others vehemently deny your racial (or should I say racist) preferences, defending yourselves by saying “I’m not into all Asian girls!” 

I should hope you’re not. I want to believe that your fetish aside, you still have preferences and standards. If not, I’d have better luck addressing this letter to a dog.

SEE ALSO: Asian Youtube Comedy Might Be Why We Don't See Asians On Primetime

Since your attention to what’s on the screen before you might already be lapsing (because knowing that I’m Asian, you’re probably trying to stalk me on Facebook right now), I’ll be straight with you. We are creeped out. We have never thought that your fixation with us is cute, endearing puppy love (we have real puppies for that). We are not flattered. We are not interested. We want to run the fuck away.  

Upon interviewing several such men whom I have become personally acquainted with during my time at USC, as well as perusing a few highly disquieting Reddit threads, I’ve summed up the justifications for favoring women with origins in the Far East in the following list. The men interviewed (and I presume the Reddit contributors as well) come from a spectrum of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, so readers can be sure that these conclusions are accurate.

1. We’re “more pleasant” (read: servile, submissive). 

2. We have “exotic features,” like “porcelain dolls” (i.e. small, slanted eyes, yellow skin, straight jet-black hair). 

3. We’re intelligent and "interesting conversationalists."

4. We’re shy (so we’re perfect targets for your desire to dominate).

5. We grew up in sheltered households with strict parents, and therefore have zero experience with men (for the ones who find “corrupting the good girl” a turn-on). 

6. We have stronger values, “rooted in countless centuries of tradition,” wherein all of our family members are treated with respect.

7. We don’t age

8. We’re freaks in bed.

9. We have tight vaginas (“sideways vaginas” is also a suggested search result on Google).

10. We need to be saved from the “short, nerdy and not very hot” Asian guys whom we would be stuck dating if we didn’t have all of you to save us.

One particular guy summed up the bulk of these points: 

Every guy wants a good girl with a bad side, and most Asian women are perceived as very quiet/reserved. So when you find a naughty one, it’s f***ing awesome. Like winning the lottery.

Glad to know that you think I’m a prize to be won, with zero agency to choose my own partners. Maybe all that "Game of Thrones" is confusing you about what century we live in. 

All the scathing sarcasm aside, some of these are just plain creepy. A few seem flattering at first glance, but are actually wild ideas you got from watching too much Asian porn and re-runs of "Memoirs of a Geisha." Others are just wishful generalizations (one personal experience does not make an encompassing fact). But all of them are based on some kind of racist stereotype that seeks to put millions of women into an easily defined box, so that men like you can more easily organize their preferences and decide which racial rabbit hole they want to jump down.

SEE ALSO: Julie Chen Shows Problems With Asian Standards Of Beauty

We aren’t giant pandas in the zoo for you to ooh and ahh at. Nor are we servile sexbots who bounce from the bedroom to the kitchen in an effort to please you. And most importantly, we aren’t going to be interested just because you are. Trust me. We have enough of you to fend off. We don’t doubt our ability to attract men; our ability to attract the right kind, however, is sometimes up for debate. 

When you look at me, your gaze lasts a bit longer than it should. You should be looking at me, but instead it feels like you’re looking right through me. Rather than genuine interest, your gaze and everything following it sends an underlying message about power, dominance and Western privilege. 

Though I hope that many may agree with my observations, I can’t speak for all Asian women: the number of nationalities, cultures and ethnicities under that one-word heading is nothing short of enormous. The very state of being Asian, Westernized or not, dictates that we do not fit into a common mold. So what gives you the right to create one for us?


An object subject of your affection who is not amused

Reach Columist Ashley Yang here; follow her hereGet more Unpopular Opinions on Neon Tommy here.



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