My geek friends and I regulary share gifs, photos and videos of things we find interesting on the web with each other on Facebook - because, well, geeking out at work is really the only way to go about getting a check. And being fans of Japanese anime and manga, it came as no surprise that one of my friends came across a video called "Why Guys Like Asian Girls" and shared it with the rest of the crew.
In the video, actress and filmmaker Anna Akana vents candidly (with the most splendid potty mouth) about her disdain for "yellow fever" i.e. way men of other races, namely white men, exoticize and fetishize her just because she's Asian.
Now, as a black gay man, I figure when most of my melenated brothers and sisters are talking about being reduced to fetishes and tokens, they mean that the perpetrator is, well, someone white. But that clearly isn't the case because a few of my geeky black guy friends just couldn't seem to understand why Anna had such a problem with so many men only liking her, and so many other Asian women, just because of the color of their skin.
And it's not just my friends who seem to have this sexual fantasy of Asian women. I've heard fantasies like this from men all of my life, and as Anna notes, never have any of those fantasies been based on anything other than the racialized idea of the woman as opposed to who she actually is as a person.
And honestly, I don't see how any Asian woman, or any woman for that matter, would be flattered by the idea that a man only wants her because she talks with a baby voice, acts childlike and dresses as a school girl, perhaps barely speaks English, enjoys being dominated both in the bedroom (or while giving Handy J's in a spa) and in her life in general. Basically, she just has to be nothing more than a doll-like slave that's only good for sex, cooking and naughty massages.
Besides laughing my ass off at Anna's hilarious commentary, I also felt empathy for Anna's story because her complaint sounds exactly like the anger and frustration we black men feel when we're reduced to tokens and Mandingo sex warriors in the eyes of other races. Personally, I can't tell you how many times I've tried to talk to a guy of another race (White, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Asian, etc.) online and one of the first things they tell me is "I'm really into black guys" or "I bet you have a big dick" or "I bet you have a big black ass" or even something as extreme as "I want you to come ravish/dominate/rape me."
Or, sadly, if they don't like me or I turn them down, they call me a "nigger."
Basically, to them, I'm nothing more than a hyper-masculine, ghetto-booty-having, big-black-dick-swiinging sex beast ready to ravish any man in the bed, Or I have to be the sumissive black boy that they can tame in the bed just so they can feel proud and mighty about having conquered the big black beast.
Seriousy, does the idea of living out that fetish or the Asian fetish sound appealing to you? Well, it sure as hell isn't fun when people try to force it on you.
Unforunately, it's not just the mindsets of other races that people of color have to deal with when it comes to being fetishized. People of all races seem to do this to each other based on the ill-informerd, reductive, and, dare I say, fucked up stereotypes running rampant in the media about all of the different communities of people.
Clearly, everybody across the globe has their own personal hangups when it comes to race and sex, being a citizen of the world makes that pretty impossible to avoid. But one way to diminish that ignorance and racism is to listen to the stories of other people and be aware of how our words and mindsets affect them as well. And to start, I suggest you watch Anna's video above because it's not only thought-provoking but it's also freaking hilarious and witty.
Freelance Journalist, storyteller and blogger for 50 Shades of BLACK