Challenging beliefs – #1: Asian women are quiet, submissive dolls

Yellow fever. I first heard about this term from my ‘friend’ in university, describing our other friend who was flirting with me. This first friend then tried to hit on me later, failing which, he started dating ‘another Asian girl’. This happened more than once, as if Asian girls are interchangeable. Yellow fever, what a sick concept to only like Asian women for their ethnicity and stereotypical features like being quiet, obedient, submissive, thin, pretty and smart. The ideal wife? Pfff, tell that to an Asian female who does not even want to get married. And I know plenty of Asian girls whose relationship was more like relationshit because the guys involved would really believe in this stereotype. Guys, you should know better by now. Yes, we can be submissive and quiet when we want to be nice, but there is a whole other side to us as well. We are individuals and possess all human traits. If you want a quiet and submissive companion, perhaps a goldfish is more fitting (no offense to goldfish).

I’ve noticed that the media has played a role in this as it often portrays Asian girls as either of two extremes: one is a nerdy, shy and quiet girl and the other is a dominant and bitchy sex kitten. In practice, it often results into people creating a whole image based on one single thing you do. For example, if I am quiet in the office, people take it to mean that I am a shy Asian girl with no voice or opinion.  [I think that in some cases I have even been hired based on this ‘quiet and obedient’ stereotype, but if I disagree on something at some point, suddenly I am ‘being a bitch’ and am not ‘respecting their authority’ (Cartman-style). Silly people.] However, if I am dancing happily in a club, it must mean I am a slutty Asian girl, right? Or if I speak my mind about feminist thoughts, I am considered a bitchy man-hating Asian. Or if I just came back from boxing practice, I am a feisty, aggressive Asian. You can meet me as a sweet and caring person, but once I open my mouth about certain progressive standpoints, my opinions no longer fit into the stereotype and I am acting non-Asian? And what about ‘tiger moms’? They are another Asian female stereotype, but no one will claim that they are submissive and quiet?

I think people are confused – and they should be. There is no ‘one kind of Asian girl’, like there is no ‘one kind of African girl’ or ‘one kind of American girl’, etc. People can have ‘their type’, but rather than basing it on racial stereotypes, make sure it is based on actual characteristics of their individual personality. Not every white guy who likes an Asian girl is a creep with ‘yellow fever’. And not every Asian girl is a quiet, submissive doll.

“We all use stereotypes, all the time, without knowing it. We have met the enemy of equality, and the enemy is us.”