Have you gotten your yellow fever shot yet? No, not that yellow fever. The other one, the one that’s currently taking this country by storm. Apparently Asian and Caucasian interracial couples are the most common interracial couple in America, and um, even our timekeeper recently let slip that he likes the “oriental girls.” So what do NYU students think of “yellow fever?” We took to the campus to find out.
“It’s a trend! It’s everywhere you go!” exclaims T*, an Asian female philosophy student. “I was with someone who I thought was totally normal, until I realized that every one of his ex-girlfriends was Asian.”
Needless to say, T’s personal experiences with “yellow fever,” also lovingly known as “Asian fetish,” have not been entirely positive. In fact, she says, “It’s really disturbing. It’s not like they’re genuinely interested in your culture.”
T admits that she does prefer dating Caucasian guys, but rejects the ones who only date Asians. In fact, she argues that many Caucasian guys find Asian girls intriguing only because they like to dominate their partners. “They… have masculinity issues,” she adds. “The stereotype of the Asian girl is like the ideal woman. She’s soft and submissive and she cooks and she cleans and all that shit, you know. It’s…keeping a woman in her place.” She says she would rather feel more empowered in a relationship, nothing that this “Asian fetish” has a strange sexual connotation. “It’s a fetish,” she emphasizes. “It’s what they get off to. It’s sexually intriguing, but in a perverted way.”
P*, a Caucasian male IT student, disagrees. Admittedly, he has “yellow fever” — When asked if he prefers dating Asian women over other races, his answer is “absolutely” — but he defends himself against the accusation of being “creepy”. He says, “That’s like your shirt accusing you for liking it because its blue, when there are many other good qualities about the shirt!”
In fact, he says, justifying his preference: “It’s mostly the kind of personality Asian girls have. And also I prefer petite builds…[Asian girls] are not submissive. They might come off as such because Asian guys they date are more used to being ‘more important’ in a relationship. But I guess I do like to dominate.”
J*, an Asian female politics student, agrees. “I don’t mind Asian fetish. If you have a preference, and girls are down, then go for it. ‘Cause I have a preference and I’m down.”
In fact, J embraces the trend. She says that she also prefers Caucasian men because “White guys who go for Asian girls like the Asian submissive, but in the end they’re not that controlling. Asian guys are more controlling.”
“Bring on the hot Asian fetish boys!” She exclaims. “There are enough of us to go around!”
M*, an Asian male business student, however, has another problem with so-called “Asian fetish.” “White men can get Asian girls, but unfortunately for us, Asian men can’t get white girls!” He complains. “When I was very young, I used to like white girls, but I could never get one because they didn’t like “Chinese” boys!” (M is Korean.)
He argues, however, that there’s something nice about the attention, even if he isn’t getting any personally. “I think that it’s great other races are interested in all things Asian.”
Andrea Syrtash, New York based relationship expert and author of book, He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s A Good Thing), says that interracial dating is something that’s “becoming more and more common.” However, she stresses that categorizing all Asian women into a general preference category, no matter what, may not be healthy. “I don’t think it’s good to be so hung up on a particular type,” she says. “You can’t say ‘all Asian women are submissive.’ It’s stereotyping in a very bad way.”
Syrtash stresses that it’s important to stay open in a relationship. “Sometimes we’re attracted to people we don’t expect. It doesn’t matter what someone looks like on paper — it’s more important to focus on how you feel around him or her and if you share values.”
However, she agrees that physical preference does come in to play. For example, she says, “I would never tell someone who to be attracted to.”
Syrtash did leave us with a few dating pointers for lonely NYU students who may or may not benefit from “yellow fever,” though, and here they are:
So go forth and cast your net! And if you come up with all Asian fish, well, maybe it’s time to just swim with the flow.
*real names hidden to protect people who may or may not be embarrassed by their comments.