There’s No Truth to Yellow Fever

I read an interesting piece on Lost Laowai this morning. LLW owner, Ryan wrote about a recent study that showed that the “yellow fever” phenomenom is a myth. A study by economists in the US found that there is no evidence of a preference of white males for Chinese women, but they also didn’t find discrimination by Chinese women of white males. Ryan offers the important white-guy-dating/married-to-a-Chinese-girl view point, and since I’m one of these the topic and his words (with a good amount of sarcasm) have a lot of meaning to me:

“This “yellow fever”, as it’s often called, is nothing China-specific. The idea of an “Asian fetish” is so common that it gets its own category of porn (I’ve been told). For some reason that “fetish” idea is dumped onto all men (or women) in relationships with an Asian. I’m married to a Chinese, so I must have a fetish for Asian women. Does anyone else see the massive gap in this logic? Asians aren’t a quirky sub-sect of sexual acts. How can they be brought under the same “Fetish” umbrella as things like sadomasochism, bondage, and feet licking? So, if it’s not a fetish, and not because Asian girls are submissive housewives just begging to take care of their “man”, why is it there is such a high ratio of white guys with Asian women?”

I can say from firsthand experience that Asian women are definitely not submissive, they are strong willed and independent in their own way and they are not afraid to tell you either. Here in Shanghai, the stereotype is actually the men that are submissive not the women — in some cases this can be said of the foreign men as well. But to be realistic this has pretty much ended too. And again I’ll turn to Ryan because he really gets at the heart of the “yellow fever” matter:

“Falling in love is falling in love. If it’s with someone of your own nationality, culture or race; or someone of a different one – it matters little. I think we all need to be a little more tolerant and a little less judgmental towards why people are together, and instead celebrate that multicultural and multi-ethnic love will go a long way in helping the world understand one another and respect each other, two things this little planet is in ever increasing need of. Perhaps where we should be a little less tolerant and more judgmental, is towards people propagating stupid stereotypes that have no place in the globalized world in which we live.”

Nothing else needs to be said.

J.

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Filed under China Society, Personal

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