Why I am not here for race players and racial fetishizers.
“The important element to fetishes that don’t harm people, though, is that they all involve a degree of performance and the ability to move in and out of fetish space.”
one time my poc friend was calling out a racist white person for talking about reverse racism and she was like “listen up blue eyes white dragon” and to date that is the funniest thing i’ve ever heard
(TW: racism, sexual violence, rape)
tl;dr - Asian women are fetishized and sexualized to their detriment in our society. When Katy Perry puts on Asian culture to give her boring song performance an “exotic” flavor for a few minutes, she doesn’t have to deal with the the stigma of being an Asian woman for the rest of her life. She can take the metaphorical chopsticks out of her hair and resume life as a white woman immediately after the song ends. In those five minutes where she “played Asian”, however, she reified and normalized the white fetishization of Asian women and Asian culture. This fetishization harms the Asian women that are dehumanized as submissive sexualized objects, and has been proven to lead to violence against Asian-American women.
In this essay, I plan on making five key points:
1. Katy Perry’s “geisha” performance tonight was culturally appropriative.
2. There is a long history of mistreatment and ill-will towards Asian immigrants and Asian-Americans.
3. Western culture “otherizes” Asians by assigning all Asians certain characteristics.
4. Asian women in particular are fetishized. This sexualization of Asian women causes increased sexual violence against Asian-American women.
5. Racism against Asians is often swept under the rug because of the model minority myth, and that won’t change until we start to address racist acts head-on.
1. What happened tonight?
Katy Perry performed at the AMA’s tonight with a “geisha”-themed display that included a sexualized “geisha” costume (which people have pointed out also resembles a cheongsam), stunted pseudo-Asian dance/walking, cartoon Kabuki makeup on her backup dancers, lots of fans, people in “Oriental” costumes beating drums, rice paper screens, and lots of paper umbrellas. Here’s video of her performance and more pictures. Perhaps the most perplexing part about the performance was the fact that the song she performed, “Unconditional”, has no ties to Asian culture or aesthetics. Ms. Perry, however, does seem to have a fascination with Japanese culture. In a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, she said “I’m obsessed with Japanese people though”, and, speaking about a Japanese person (in the same interview), “I’m so obsessed, I want to skin you and wear you like Versace.”
i am born in with a lovely tan
but am ridiculed for my dna
give themselves cancer
attempting to achieve the color of gold
that runs through my skin
Seriously, it surprises me that people still don’t get that “whitewashing” doesn’t just mean “taking a character of color and turning them white,” but also applies to “focusing disproportionately on the stories of white people,” “glossing over or altering parts of a story to make it more palatable or make white people look better,” and “treating ‘white’ as the default race”
The fact that Disney churns out film after film after film after film about white people with a maximum of one film per ethnicity that showcases a group other than white people is whitewashing.
The fact that the story of “Pocahontas” (not her real name) has been substantially altered so that some of the white people in that story don’t look like such villains, with John Smith younger and Pocahontas significantly older, as well as recounting a popular myth of her saving John Smith from near-execution (a story John Smith made up to make himself look brave, the real Pocahontas told him to stop telling and hated him for using her to make himself look good, and he started to spread like wildfire after she died because she could no longer object) is whitewashing.
The fact that the characters on “How I Met Your Mother” are all white, and they supposedly live in New York City, but apparently associate exclusively with other white people (with the exception of Wayne Brady, who occasionally visits from out of town, and a recurring taxi driver) is whitewashing.
The fact that the Doctor has now been a white man a full twelve times in a row is whitewashing even though the character’s always been white, because the idea that there’s a character whose entire appearance can change in a matter of seconds, yet ends up white twelve times in a row by pure random chance, implies that white is a neutral default and other races are a deviation from that norm.
[photo: image of a southeast asian woman with long hair. she is wearing a olive colored tank top with white text that reads, “i will not love you long time.” she is looking angrily at the camera.]
let’s bring an end to the fetishization of asian women.
YES! It wasn’t until this year’s intersections class that I realized why the phrase “me love you long time” seemed so much more…problematic and racist than the generic racist bullshit you typically see when someone gets off the phone after ordering from a Chinese place or after they assume their Asian classmate does well “because they’re Asian.” This term specifically refers to civilians, during war, offering to blow/fuck the American soldiers stationed on base (ie: “five dollar sucky sucky”) in order to survive and provide for their families within the conditions the United States imposed upon them while attempting to repair damaged familial and social structures.
Not only are you being a racist piece of shit when you say “me love you long time,” you are also dismissing imperialism/neoliberal capitalism/globalization. You are laughing at someone who is forced, does not choose,to engage in sex work. You are laughing at the systematic oppression and violence committed against Asian individuals. You’re making the most disgusting rape joke ever.
And you’re fucking appropriating and commodifying Asian women’s sexuality in your sick desire to control the bodies and sexualities of others.
i would leave out “forced, does not choose” because it erases agency of vietnamese women, but not because it was never true.
Born and raised in La Habra, Dan* didn’t see manyAsian Americans before college. Now 22, he attributes his Asiaphilia to UC Irvine, where he’s a studio art major and an astounding 58 percent of students claim Asian descent.But his Asian fetish actually originated in high school, in trig class, where he met a Vietnamese American girl named Ann. Although born in the United States, Ann was raised in Indonesia until about a year before Dan met her. She spoke English well, but not perfectly. They shared the standard high school dating experience: dinner-and-movie dates, study dates, boba dates, kung fu lessons, meditation with the girlfriend’s Buddhist monk uncle. The relationship ended in a pretty standard way, too: Dan suggested sex, Ann resisted, things spiraled. There was an ultimatum and then a breakup, and then—classic—threats of suicide.
Later, Dan sought answers on Ann’s blog, where she labeled him a “standard American boy” and called him out for pressuring her into sex. She ended the entry with a note of disgust: “Get over yourself.”
Perhaps it was the pain of that rejection and the desire to overcome it, but Dan says Ann’s rejection changed him. When he began dating again, he found himself looking for Asian girls. He went through a string of them—one-night stands, flings and friends-with-benefits. He frequented places like Club Bang in Hollywood, which attracts a number of Asian patrons—and Asiaphiles like Dan…
“The overwhelming ratio of males with Asiaphilic attraction to females suggests that this fetishization isn’t based on looks alone. Asiaphiles are looking for authority in their romantic relationships, premeditated or not.”
[Image description: A photo of a pale white woman, with half of her face in blackface and her hair darkened.]“Save the Pearls” is a vanity published YA novel trying to bill itself as the next “The Hunger Games.” The publisher says that “‘Save the Pearls turns the tables on racism.’”
It uses blackface as a plot device.
In author Victoria Foyt’s futuristic world, no one wants to mate with white people—or “pearls”—considered to be the ugliest humans oppressed by people of color. In order to survive, they must put on blackface make up to be attractive to the ruling class of “coals.” Hoyt explains: “their stunningly dark skin that carries the greatest amount of melanin…makes them the strongest, most powerful race alive.” The protagonist is a white girl who must smear her face with “midnight luster” make up in order to protect herself from radiation and in order to look beautiful to the oppressive “coals” in hopes that they will mate with her.The rule in Eden’s post-apocalyptic world is: the darker the skin, the higher the mate-rate. Other factors calculated into one’s mate-rate include wealth or employment status. For example, Ronson Bramford, a handsome Coal titan of industry, is at the top of the heap with a mate rate of 98%. At age twenty-two, he only has two years left in which to mate—or else he’d probably have a 100% mate-rate. Tiger’s-Eyes, or Latinos, usually rate above Ambers, or Asians, in the future race wars. White-skinned Pearls offer little resistance to The Heat, and therefore, are at the bottom. Only a Cotton, or Albino, would be lower.”
THE MIND IT BOGGLES.
wow we can only care about racial oppression when it’s about white people
it’s not like there aren’t already people who believe that reverse racism is a real thing or anything
not like the story of racial oppression is more complex than a difference in populace and biological differences.
You know how they say that homophobia/heterosexism is just this fear that “men will treat you the way you treat women” and anti-feminism is fear that “women will treat you the way men have treated them”? This is kind of like that, right, this fear that people of color will treat you like how white people have treated them without any real reflection on what privilege means.
“TURNS THE TABLES ON RACISM”
Just in case anyone was wondering what I was talking about earlier. It was this shit right here.
get me some of that midnight luster
What the actual fuck
I love how all racism that garner news and attention is always “black vs. white”. I hope you all realized that there is other racism going on? Against Middle Easterns. Against Asians. Against Hispanics/Latinos. Against every single ethnicity in the world. Racism isn’t always black and white, there are shades of brown, yellow, red, and etc. Just saying.