The fact that docility and submissiveness are viewed as favorable traits for Asian women is telling.
Others claim that it’s a harmless preference on the basis of physical appearance, no different than a preference for blondes or girls with tattoos.
Unfortunately, neither of these answers is correct.
After all, most men today are not even aware of this history.
The fetishization of Asian women hearkens back to an era when there was an enormous power difference between white men and Asian women, and Asian women were used as nothing more than recreational activity for bored American soldiers.
The stereotype that Asian women are meek, though blatantly untrue, nevertheless reveals that perhaps yellow fever is more than just an innocent preference based on physical appearance.
That’s because ethnicity is more than just physical appearance.
Yellow fever is dangerous because it strips away the individual identities of Asian women, reducing them to nothing more than an unfair stereotype of their race.
Fetishization is a form of objectification, because when you seek someone out because she is Asian, you are seeing her as a racial trope rather than an individual.
There is even a Tumblr blog that compiles messages from “creepy white guys with Asian fetishes.” Yellow fever was also depicted in Debbie Lum’s documentary, Seeking Asian Female, which takes a close look at relationships between white men and Asian women.
So the real question is not whether white men have a preference for Asian women, but why? Some argue that it’s because Asian women are more docile, submissive, and tame than their raucous and outgoing Caucasian counterparts.
The decades-old history still resonates today with the continued commodification and fetishization of Asian women.