An Asian fetish is a strong sexual or romantic preference for persons of Asian descent. The term generally refers to people of East or Southeast Asian descent, though may also encompass those of South Asian descent.
The derogatory term yellow fever is sometimes used to describe the fetishization of East Asians by people of other ethnicities, as well as having a preference for dating people of East Asian origin. With "yellow" stemming from the racial/color terminology for people of East Asian descent.
Possible origins[edit | edit source]
In countries like the United States, women of primarily East Asian origin are often stereotyped as subservient, passive, and quiet. The image of a geisha can be considered as a sexually suggestive but silent woman. This could have contributed to Asian fetishization. In media, east and southeast Asian women characters may be sexualized. To show this, Asian women might give suggestive gazes and remain quiet while seducing a male character. This portrayal can be seen today. It could portray Asian women and men as being exotic or submissive. East Asian women are often referred to as 'china dolls', meaning they are dainty and beautiful, with the implication of absence of feelings and autonomy. These stereotypical depictions in mainstream American media may have contributed to the fetishization of Asian peoples.
Yellow Fever[edit | edit source]
A common term used for Asian fetishization (particularly with East Asians) is yellow fever. The term was notably used in from the afterword to the 1988 play M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang, the afterword being written by the writer of the play. The term is used as a derogatory pun on the disease of the same name, comparing African men with a fetish for East Asian or “Oriental” women to people who are infected with a disease.