As an East Asian lady who dates males, one among my worst relationship fears is beginning a relationship with a person who has yellow fever. The time period “yellow fever” is often used to explain males, significantly white males, who nearly completely date Asian girls. Some folks could argue that yellow fever is only a relationship desire, very like how some males favor girls with brown hair or blue eyes. Nevertheless, in contrast to hair or eye colour, males’s sexual and romantic obsession with East Asian girls has deep-rooted legacies in racial and gendered fetishization of Asian women within the West. When folks ignore these distinctions and easily categorize all attraction towards Asian girls as a private desire, they’re invalidating and erasing the centuries of fetishization that Asian girls have confronted in the USA.
The time period “yellow fever” permits folks on the relationship scene to normalize and passively settle for the fetishization of East Asian girls.
At its very core, yellow fever reduces and dehumanizes Asian girls into objects of sexual need below the Orientalist gaze of the white man. This extremely racialized and gendered energy dynamic has all the time existed in the USA. Traditionally, Western media has centered the illustration of East Asian girls across the “lotus blossom” or “china doll” trope, which depict East Asian girls as submissive, sexually subservient to white males, and socially ignorant. These pictures of Asian girls are sometimes seen in trendy media within the type of sexually promiscuous Asian masseuses or scantily clad Asian schoolgirls. Males who’ve yellow fever are sometimes infatuated with these cultural and racial stereotypes of East Asian girls, relatively than the ladies themselves. And after they enter into relationships with East Asian girls, males with yellow fever could subtly — or not so subtly — power these stereotypes onto their companions.
Even when males who date East Asian girls don’t implicitly or explicitly fetishize their romantic companions, the notion of “yellow fever” causes a heavy emotional burden on East Asian girls on the relationship scene. When I’m on dates with white males, I search for clues that the man has an obsession with East Asian folks and put together myself for the second when my date may describe my look as “unique.” After the date, I’m pressured to ask myself: does this man truly like me, or does he simply need an Asian girlfriend? Even when I’ve steady relationships with white males, there are moments of doubt the place I’m wondering if my companion was first interested in me due to my Asianness or my persona.
The time period “yellow fever” permits folks on the relationship scene to normalize and passively settle for the fetishization of East Asian girls. It is easy to miss the origins and historic implications of Asian fetishization if folks can scale back the objectification of East Asian girls to a easy catchphrase. It is easy for somebody to casually declare “I suppose I simply have yellow fever then” relatively than confront their inner biases and consider their perpetuation of Asian fetishization and objectification. And it is simple for somebody to categorize all Asian girls right into a singular sexual object after they do not should bear the implications of their ideas or actions. East Asian girls are those who’re pressured to endure the emotional and bodily burden of being “simply one other Asian woman he dated,” and that should cease.