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Since trade routes that opened up in the 1200s, notably the Silk Road, White adventurers sought to find exotic goods in the “Far East” – not only spices and fabrics, but women as well.(Netflix’s recent series retells this “White-guy-in-Asia” story.) As seemingly faraway cultures and places begin being defined by objects and artifacts, these so-called exotic aesthetics end up getting imposed onto people and their physical appearance.Chinese actress Anna May Wong, the first Asian American actress to be internationally famous in the 1920s, was often cast in stereotypical supporting roles – and passed over for leading roles of Asian characters, which were given to white actresses in yellowface.One of her most recognized characters was the demure, respectful Lotus Flower in The Toll of the Sea.The demure, subservient, and delicate “Lotus Blossom” stereotype is intended to cast Asian women as “less than,” both in terms of race and gender. In the US, up to 61% of Asian women experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner during her lifetime.Being docile is specifically about being deferent and obedient, especially to the authority of men.There’s a scene in where Vince Vaughn screams, “That was my first Asian! Like many other Asian women who have tried online dating, when I was on OKCupid, I received messages such as, “I’ve never been with an Asian before. During the 1800s, most of Chinese people in the US were immigrant men working as low-cost laborers.The sexual interactions of Chinese immigrants were controlled by immigration laws and laws that prohibited interracial sexual relationships.
Beyond just personal preferences or “having a type,” racial fetishes project desired personality and behavior onto an entire racial or ethnic group.
For me, Liu is badass – both for being one of the only Asian American actresses in mainstream Hollywood and also for playing roles that literally kick ass.
However, many of her roles throughout the 90s and early 2000s, such as Ling Woo on Ally Mc Beal or as O-Ren Ishii in , were also ones that showed Asian women as beautifullyevil, aggressive, and also mysterious.
Transformed into passive commodities of sex, our bodies must also be seen as weak and submissive – dainty, delicate, and small. ” These expectations and demands on our external bodies also end up getting internalized – my identity as both Asian and a woman is constantly under scrutiny. Exclusive Immigration Policies Create Perception of Asian Women as ‘Immoral’ Immigration policies affected the ways Asian women were perceived by White Americans.
This shows up in everyday ways that men perceive sex with Asian women as something to collect. Specific to the US, one example comes from Chinese American history.