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I am not Asian, which you may have gathered from my headshot. Therefore I have no idea how it feels to be the object of "yellow fever": the term used to describe the sexual fetishisation of Asian women. None at all. But discussion of the phenomenon has cropped up in mainstream ish culture of late, acting as an education for women like me, who have never had to deal with the doubly insulting blend of gender and racial profiling.
Or the particularly ignorant brand of sexual objectification that so often results. Earlier this year, Chinese-American filmmaker Debbie Lum drew attention to the issue with the release of her documentary Seeking Asian Female , which follows the complicated relationship of year-old Asiaphile Steven and his year-old Chinese mail-order bride, Sandy.
Lum told ABC News she wanted to explore the psychology behind yellow fever, something she had experienced over and over again:. Men come up to you in a way that really looks like a stare, which lasts a bit longer than it should. You can feel it. What I would love is for people to talk about it in new ways that engage conversations. Along a similar vein but using an entirely different medium is Creepy White Guys , a blog that catalogues the online dating messages received by its female Asian author:.
I just got back into the dating scene and am already being bombarded with some absolutely horrifying messages. You can read through the posts for yourself, but in the interests of collective despair, here is a particularly golden nugget from a prospective suitor:. The modern American white woman has no idea how to treat a man, has no concept of a man's need to be the dominant one in the relationship, and constantly goes about trying to assert her 'independence' by mistreating men and making them feel useless.
Lum's documentary and Creepy White Guys are American-based, but the key assumptions that make up yellow fever are alive and well the Western world over: Asian women are submissive and easier to please. A blissful haven next to ball-busting, autonomous white women, who no longer know how to be women, or how to let men be men. Watch the trailer for the documentary below:. A social media call-out triggered a flood of first-hand accounts.