Blackness, history & love · Gender · Whiteness & racism

Exotification – I’m Not Your Pretty Little Lotus Flower

I find the differences in the way these authors are exotified by people they meet even more interesting than the parallels. The stereotyping of an Asian woman as meek and submissive, as Joy points out, relates to misogynistic, reactionary norms, while the exotification of a Black woman seems more connected with an acquisitive desire to ‘prove’ non-racist identity and the desire to infiltrate protected space as well as hostile stereotyping and othering.

White women need to read this, as we, including some feminists among us (by contrasting ourselves with ‘submissive’ ‘oppressed’ women elsewhere), have been and still are guilty of perpetuating and facilitating exotification, and White ego/White saviour complex presses us to acquire friendships to soothe guilt and enhance our non-racist images of ourselves.

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Rowena’s Story

I love Asian women!” “Asian women are so hot.” “Japan, Korea, China?” “Asian women know how to treat a man!”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar to you? If they do, congratulations. You’ve come across (or you are) a man — probably white — with so-called “Yellow Fever”.

As an Asian woman living in a country full of white men, I meet these guysa lot. You know, the ones who blurt out all of the above, who try to guess what “type” of Asian I am, whose favourite actresses are Gong Li, Lucy Liu and Zhang Ziyi, who insist on discussing Korean/Japanese/Chinese dramas with me despite me not having seen the series in question, who tell me about all the other Asian women they’ve dated, who complain about how ugly white women are and why Asian women are so much better, and who try to get…

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