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Yellow Fever, Our Creation, Our Misconception

First of all, please let me apologize for the occasional “Asian Dating” or “Find an Asian bride” type ads on this website’s sidebar. I get annoyed of them too.

The reason these ads continue to show up is because Google’s Adsense program (Content Network for advertisers) targets and serves ads based on the content on any given page. Since all I do here is rant about Asian-American societal matters, Google picks up my frequent use of terms such as Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc… and then sells advertising space for pages related to these themes to advertisers. Anyway, I digress…

Onto Yellow Fever…

As I review the large number of dating/bride-services advertisers that continue to target this site, I can’t help but think that this growing list of advertisers is only indicative of the overall growth in Yellow Fever amongst Americans. Everyone is going after Asian women these days. As an Asian male, sure, I noticed a disparaging amount of white guys that date Asian girls.

But I never actually took the time to think about which way causality was for this phenomenon. Is it that white guys like to pursue Asian girls? Or is it Asian girls that like to pursue white guys. Obviously with the coining of Yellow Fever as a commonly accepted phrase to describe the former, I actually think we should revisit this assumption.

I recently came across a  London School of Economics study, that finds supports against an actual Yellow Fever phenomenon amongst white guys:

We found no evidence of the stereotype of a white male preference for East Asian women. However, we also found that East Asian women did not discriminate against white men (only against black and Hispanic men). As a result, the white man-Asian woman pairing was the most common form of interracial dating—but because of the women’s neutrality, not the men’s pronounced preference. Men don’t seem to discriminate based on race when it comes to dating. A woman’s race had no effect on the men’s choices. (Full article)

Men don’t seem to discriminate based on race when it comes to dating.” I so want to disagree, but I can’t. Toushe London Fancy Pants School of Economics, I’ll give you this round.

After reading the article and the study, I realized this whole time what yellow fever actually was. We Asian-Americans coined the term Yellow Fever. Caucasians coined Yellow Peril in the 19th century to incite fear of massive Asian immigration to the US, and now we Asian-American males just did the same with Yellow Fever to incite fear that Asian women our vanishing. Not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison (bad things never happened to people because of “Yellow Fever”), but I just like to make analogies.

But you know what, let’s put an end to this yellow fever mumbo jumbo. Because well, as it turns out, it’s all a figment of our imaginations.

Appendix

And if you’re curious, here’s the list of sites I’ve already blocked. I advise you to not check any of these sites out 🙂

  • asianpeoplemeet.com
  • asianpersonalmatch.com
  • asianpersonalsmatch.com
  • asianspersonalmatch.com
  • cebuanas.com
  • chinalovematch.com
  • chinalovematch.net
  • chnlove.com
  • gayasiansingles.com
  • myweddingfavors.com
  • russianeuro.com
  • sugardaddyforme.com
  • asian-singles-online.org

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  30. Knibb says:

    What I am saying here is strictly one man’s biased opinion. So although factual as per my personal experience, (I am a Canadian of Chinese descent) you may take it with a grain of salt.
    When you are a young buck, under 40, your race or ethnicity not withstanding, most women in North America WILL give you a second look if you are at least “presentable”.
    What worked for me when I was in my 20s and 30s (while I was single) are:
    1. Get in shape. You don’t have to be the next Mr. Universe but trim down that fat and do it NOW. I was overweight two years after college. I started a serious workout regimen (no diet) and participated in regular sporting activities, (pick up games, I was no jock.) I dropped 20 pounds, waist size went from 34 to 31, (never quite manage a 6-pack abs though), and beefed up the right muscle groups. Women DO check out your abs and quads. Not just pectorals and biceps.
    2. Women do appreciate a well dressed man. Wear quality clothing that is more than just acceptable in your part of the world. If you work in a conservative office environment where suits are a necessity, stay away from off the racks. I saved money and had my suits custom tailored (do this AFTER you shed your extra poundage and know what to say when the master tailor asked you which side you dress.) We can all look like bums when guys hang out for pool and poker, but when you want to impress a woman, dress up FOR HER. (Unless she wants you to look like a bum, then dress down FOR HER.)
    3. No hairstyles that is more suitable for rock stars unless you work in the entertainment industry.
    4. Manage your facial hair properly. Unfortunately, few Oriental men can carry a well trimmed moustache/beard.
    5. Clip your nails. Forget about manicures. Just keep them short and clean.
    6. Odour free. The only scent I gave off were fragrances from shampoo and soap. I will only wear cologne should my girlfriend at the time ask me to.
    If women feel embarrassed to be seen with you then you are some how not quite “presentable”. If you managed to turn heads (the female variety) that came with welcoming smiles, then you are on the right track.
    I have also learned that
    1. You don’t have to be the alpha male amongst a group of guys to be attractive to women, (unless you have already established that) especially when you are the token Oriental/Asian; just don’t be a pushover. Be assertive when necessary but not overly aggressive. A measure of maturity is a definite plus.
    2. You will definitely attract more attention from women once you have packaged yourself well. Just don’t ruin it with bad breath or idiotic remarks. A sense of humour is grand but waits until your third date before you dish out your bedroom jokes. My wife got totally ticked off on our second date by one of my joke that was not even a dirty joke so watch what you say if you think she is worth the effort.
    Based on my experience, everything I have stated applies to either Caucasian or Oriental women when I was single. She will come to you if she feels you have what she wants; regardless of your race or ethnicity.

  31. Gisette says:

    I found it a little astounding as to why Asian males are so discriminated against versus the sexualization of Asian women. I looked into it, and it seems that the old stereotypes of Asian women being seductresses hasn’t really faded from the American psyche, although it’s been gentled to the point of them simply being exotic. In terms of the dating disparities, at least in interracial circles, are due to the fact that an overwhelming majority of white women and women of other ethnicities seem to mostly want a mate, be it boyfriend or husband, of the same race as them. White women, especially, are notorious for their discrimination against non-white males. Asian women seem to be having quite a bit of leniency when it comes to IR dating, obviously preferring white males, probably because of subconscious conditioning in the guise of racial preferences and not because they consciously want to gold-dig or seek an advancement in status. In America, because the population is 72% white, white women will probably prefer males of their own race because of social conditioning and the influence of the media.

    Now, studies on interpersonal attraction state that people prefer mates who either seem to be an inversed gender copy of themselves (similar bone structure, facial features, perhaps even racial features), or they prefer mates with features resembling that of their parents (the son prefers a girl who resembles mom, daughter wants a boy who looks similar to dad). It doesn’t necessarily relate to being an oepideus complex per say, but it could have more to do with programming at an early age our mate preferences later in life. This fact, paired with programming by the media and the availibility of mates of their own race overwhelmingly, is what trains the white woman’s psyche, and perhaps even those of immigrant or non-white children, into having preferences for white men.

    However, if you don’t mind me steering the topic towards myself a bit, I find that I have no preference for males of my own race and exclusively prefer non-white males, especially Asian males, to whom I have an extremely strong preference for.

    Okay, I’m gonna stop speaking like this and just be casual. Features that other white women consider as “feminine” in Asian guys (higher cheekbones, higher brows, thinner eyebrows occasionally, fuller lips, a less prominent nose) are features that I find myself noticing and loving immediately in a guy and getting hot over… <3 I guess if the paternal-look-a-like preference is true, my father does have some kind of "Asian-ish" features–a very oval-shaped head, black hair, fuller lips, slightly almond-shaped eyes, slim build and average height– that might explain why I prefer Asian men overwhelming over those of other races. It might also have to do with the fact that my childhood was pokemon and anime (and still is, a little) and my present is Asian dramas, movies, and music, the media I was subconsciously raised in was predominantly Asian. When I got older (7th-8th grade), and saw boys as crushes, the only one I paid any attention to was a white boy who–surprise, surprise!–looked Asian: almond-shaped eyes that were grey, slate-colored hair that bordered on black, and generally softer, more symmetrical features. As I grew more racially aware, starting freshman year of high school, I had a huge, borderline serious, crush on a very cute Asian guy…although he just sees me as a friend. XP And, now, at 17, I'm looking for a nice, committed or casual relationship with an attractive Asian guy. Among my friends, I'm the girl who loves "bishie Asian guys" and I'm damn proud of it.

    And, in all honesty, what's not to love? All of the Asian guys that I've crushed on and got to know a little or pretty well(er…only three so far…I'm in high school, so limited choices, ya know) were all academically-inclined, hardworking guys who made me love high school and hard work, even though I'd come from a private elementary school that made public schooling completely foreign to me at first. They were inspirational guys who pushed themselves and made me do the same. Most Asian guys that I've seen are hardworking, extremely intelligent, adorable and handsome, with smiles that make any girl giddy, are courteous and oftentimes bi- or tri-lingual, have a lot of value in their families, and are inevitable recipients of success that comes from all of their efforts in school and life. And honestly, lots of Asian guys are HOT. Our media is so stupid in parodying them and emasculating them… Well, their loss. When us open-minded, intelligent girls (no matter what race we are) marry an incredibly successful and handsome Asian man (wherever he may originate from), we'll be the ones with the last laugh.

    And to all Asian guys reading this, don't get discouraged if some dumb woman turns you down just because of your ethnicity. Chances are, any girl who ends up with you will be the luckiest girl alive because she's with you <3

    Asian love, Fighting! :3

    PS Sorry for this TL;DR post… ^^;

    • Qristian says:

      Wow. I just wanna thank you for your post.
      It gives us [or reminds us of] a different perspective.
      Too often we are focused upon the discrimination that’s happening against us [Which doesn’t mean that it’s not real. One has to be blind to not notice it.] that we forget the positive sides we’ve had all along that the media choose to ignore or distort.
      Thanks for reminding us that it is their loss if they choose to cling to the stupid bias and idiotic stereotypes.
      Yes you wrote a long post, yet it’s one of the most refreshing ones indeed.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I’m a 1/4 Japanese 3/4 white male.

    Now, my mom’s family is all half Japanese. My grandma married a white guy you see. They had four kids. One uncle married a white woman. The other uncle married an Indian (subcontinental) woman. My mom married a white guy. And my aunt married a white guy. So you can see here that 3 of the 4 chose white spouses. 100% of the women chose white spouses, while only 50% of the men chose white spouses.

    My sisters have only ever dated white, Native American, and Latino guys.
    Neither my brother or I have had any real relationships, but most of the girls I have crushes on are white. But a few have been Asian. But to be honest, I think some of the cutest girls I’ve ever met were mixed.

    Anyway, I was at an airport one day and I met a 1/2 Japanese girl and could somehow tell that she was also mixed Japanese and white. I literally guessed this and was correct. Ha ha, she was surprised I could tell that she was Japanese and not another type of Asian. We chatted briefly and never expected to meet again. But, amazingly, 5 days later, I ran into her on the street randomly. So, we decided to hang out. Anyway, we talked about this kind of thing. She asked me if I was attracted more to Asian girls or White girls. I told her both. She told me that she preferred white guys. But she said that she would probably try Asian guys someday. I forgot why she said she preferred white guys, but I think she said something about the way they act vs the way Asian guys act.

  33. Anonymous says:

    The post (and more so, the comments) is filled with generalisations and assumptions.

    I’m a white guy. At the big white guy conspiracy meetings, we don’t discuss anything like this…

    but seriously…

    It’s about culture more than it is about race, and it doesn’t just apply to dating (I date a white girl). My interests lead me to interact with Asian people much more frequently than I do with African people. I grew up playing Japanese video games, driving Japanese cars, drinking Taiwanese bubble tea, watching subbed Initial D and Tartan Asia movies. If I was single again, there’s a much better chance I’d be dating an Asian girl than an African girl based on simple probability.

    • Qristian says:

      You’re right that it’s about culture, and USA has not only been dominated by, but in fact grounded upon White Male Supremacy [maybe Privilege instead of Supremacy makes it sound less extreme].

      Privilege also means not having to give a ****, much less acknowledge its existence.

      There’s not much anybody can do to change a system that’s been pretty much the cornerstone of the nation’s existence, but it is there /-:

      I won’t give you a lecture about its manifestations, there’s enough resources out there if one’s open for them.

      Another short entry from the blogger could be a place to start:
      http://www.chineseorjapanese.com/asian-americans-on-mtv-television/
      or its trackback:
      http://ramone.ca/2011/05/06/are-asian-guys-sexy/

      For information about White Male Supremacy/Privilege in general, works from Noah Chomsky, Tim Wise, and a handful of other White men are available to read/hear/watch.

      Peace

  34. tony says:

    And do the Asian girls who like white guys look like this?
    http://www.japansugoi.com/wordpress/japanese-bikini-gravure-idols/
    Cuts both ways! It’ simple, people want to be with attractive people, no matter what race.

  35. Joe Do says:

    Why do chinese living in america say bad things about Mainland China?
    I often here people living in usa tell me that they came to america for a better life and that people will risk their life to leave china and come to the usa. I also here from the women in the Usa that are of chinese decent tell me that they know many girls willing to marry an american so that they can come live in the USA. I have recently traveled to china for the last 4 years and have spoken to many mainland chinese people. I do not get the impression that what the americans were telling me to be true. Because china is doing much better now in terms of economic opportunities and better city life, many chinese I spoke with don’t want to come to the usa. they enjoy life with others that speak the same language and share the same culture. Some have been to the usa for education and prefer to work and live in china because they tell me that often american city life and city streets are often desserted, there are no people walking outside, everybody stays in their homes and it is boring. they also tell me that when they go out, people are kind of clickish and a feeling of isolation is felt. I am an american born chinese man, and I have to agree that my life in china is better than the usa. I have lived in china permanently now for one year and love it. I make so many friends that I could not living in the usa. Also, here, I can have any girl i want and flooded with business opportunities in the photography industry. I work for an advertising company and do many photo shoots for products and get to work with beautiful models too. I found paradise in china, and this would never happen to me living in the usa. I have more freedom and opportunity and success in china because i don’t have to face people who have no humility in the USA.

  36. Ting Ting says:

    i am an american born chinese male. i find american born chinese female to be just like white girls towards the chinese male here in america, we are looked down upon without even saying a word. I have a solution to this, its going to china for those women, I have done this and i can have any women from china i want, even those in shanghai and beijing with great jobs and education. USA women are too arrogant and materialistic while also being unappreciative, just my experience. I solved my problem, no thanks to american women. Yippeee!

    • Will says:

      Ting Ting, I agree with you about most American raised women – leave them to someone else, whether they are Anglo, Latin, Asian, whatever. The USA turns out Yankee Wallet Bitches.

      My Tagolog is better than my Mandarin, so my bride-to-be is from Luzon

  37. toy ironing says:

    Just blowing some in between class time on Stumbleupon and I found your entry. Not normally what I like to learn about, but it was certainly worth my time. Thanks.

  38. Will says:

    @SeoulSearcher

    Yeah, I know, sounds like a given don’t it?

    But the point I was getting at is more in lines of why do you always see White men dating Asian Women, but not the other way around. The study if anything, just highlights that Yellow Fever isn’t an actual phenomenon and it’s regular daily life.

    Hence, the title, Yellow Fever, our misconception. Because it might not really exist.

  39. “We found no evidence of the stereotype of a white male preference for East Asian women.”

    Yea, well did you test normal white men or did you test white men who specifically and unshamefully admit that have a preference for Asian women?

    This study proves nothing. White Men don’t discriminate when it comes to race and dating? REALLY? I so find that hard to believe!

  40. Terry says:

    Hi, Will:

    Thank you for bringing up the subject of white guys who go after Asian women.

    As an Asian American male, I have seen too many of them in SF Chinatown where I live, as well as in other parts of the country.

    In my view, it is a reflection of how the dominate white male society has treated us Asian males and females in the past and is still doing it to us today.

    Just look at the popular media, as only one example of this. How often do we see Asian females with white guys in advertisements? But how often do we see Asian males with white women? Not that I wish to see that, but the fact is Asian women have appeared, on tv, in magazines, and in street ads, much more often than Asian men.

    I would challenge anyone if they can produce a recent ad showing an Asian brother in an affectionate poise with a white girl. Without a doubt, in US society, it is ok (for some, even desirable) for white males to go with Asian females, but not for Asian males to go with whites.

    And if one needs any help in figuring out who’s resposible for this horrendous and despicable situation, I can readily tell them it is the white males who run the media, just as they do in all aspects of American society.

    Let us not kid ourselves: Racism against Asian Americans, especially Asian males, is still alive and kicking. Just ask my hero, Jeremy Lin, star basketball player at Harvard, who was called all sorts of anti-Asian names and taunted because he was Chinese. The white guys will go after Asian women while putting us Asian men down. It has always been that way.

  41. Will says:

    @Benny, Sweeet, much love and I appreciate you adding the blog

  42. Benny Luo says:

    Just added your blog to this Symbaloo webmix, check it out at: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/asian-american-bloggers

  43. on yellow fever: the big picture is that women are attracted to men who can advance their life. In N. America, the men hold the power and money are of european ancestry; thus on the west coast of the USA you will see asian female to caucasian man at 100 to 1 versus asian man and caucasian female. Asian immigrants suffer under powerful American percetions of submissive slave like asian woman, who will do everything the white man wants ( or, rather avoid the hassles of “liberated” white women who demand alot more equality). I hunt big animals and one of my fellow rifle shooters has just this fantasy! The opposite sterotype casts Asian man in N. America as “fu manchu”, castrated geek , social outcast; thus turning off all other women as they ain’t going to waste themselves on men who are condemned to live in the shadow of white men. I have had some opportunies from attractive caucasian women throughout the years but did not take up their advances as I could not see who that could last. I also noticed that as a man ages and attains financial assets, it directs more female attention his way, without any type of effort on that man’s part. The truth is unpleasant but that is how it really is.

  44. @Katie – In the end, I would hope that people think that two people get together because they share some genuine interests with one another.

    @H R – Thanks for the insightful comments throughout the blog, you’re on a roll. And I’m with yah about not actually caring – it would just be nice to see any kind of balanced ratio. What happened to this whole melting pot idea…

  45. H R says:

    To be quite honest, I can’t care less about White men dating Asian women and all the fuss about Yellow Fever. If a white dude can be in a relationship with an Asian woman, why can’t an Asian guy be with a white girl for Christ sake? If it is ultimately up to women to accept a guy’s advances or not as described in Al’s comment, I am gonna do my best to pursue my love interest esp if shes a beautiful white girl and win her heart. And I would like to see more Asian guys do the same… just to balance out the ratio.

  46. Katie says:

    I think there is some truth to suggesting that Yellow Fever may actually be the other way around.
    As the product of a white male/asian female marriage, I cringe to think that either of my parents had a so called “fetish” for the other race. But a Chinese classmate (from China, not Chinese-American) once asked me in so many words how my mom was able to bag a white guy. Double cringe.
    In the end, any real relationship has to be based on more than superficial attraction. Besides, you see a lot of mixed couples in general these days, including asian guys with white girls.

  47. Nash says:

    “We found no evidence of the stereotype of a white male preference for East Asian women.”

    So if the statement is true, then wouldn’t the proper term be “White Fever”?

    Now, I can’t quote every show or movie that has used the term “yellow fever”, but in terms of inciting fear, I’d say popular culture has much to do with it.

    Can we say “no homo”?

  48. Cindy says:

    About the article concerning gender ratio… one highly under-stated fact is that women with hepatitis naturally give birth to more males than females. Much of Asia is infected with hepatitis, it is a major public health issue, and this needs to be acknowledged concerning gender ratio.

    In terms of how ratio translates into Asian gender dynamics/roles in relationships though, is that the supply/demand dynamic is in favor for women. It is common to see males in major Chinese cities doing the bulk of the cooking, cleaning, child rearing, pretty much everything. The dating power is inverted from how it is in America, where males can pick and choose from willing partners for casual relationships. One other lesser-publicized fact is that China currently has 7 female billionaires, which make up half the world’s female billionaires, yet China’s economy is only 1/5 that of America’s.

  49. Al says:

    I agree with the author’s ultimate conclusion. It doesn’t matter how many males may or may not have an Asian-only dating “fetish”, it is ultimately up to women to accept a guy’s advances or not.

    From talking to people I suspect there are actually a ton of Asian American guys with ‘White worship’ themselves, but it really doesn’t matter because many times they are already discriminated against before ever saying a word.

    In my opinion the end result shouldn’t be on demonizing any Asians for their preferences, but rather looking at (and fixing) how vulnerable and susceptible Asians and Asian Americans are for status, prestige, and brands…which ultimately relates to dating and attraction too.

  50. Will says:

    Lol, googles loving this post. All i see are asian dating ads triggering for this post

  51. Lisa says:

    Following Terence’s comment about the male:female inequality: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/nyregion/15babies.html?_r=1

    Maybe this is also a numbers game?

  52. Adía says:

    I don’t like the way that study was done. Of course not all white men prefer to date Asian women but there are some that do and you can tell by looking at their dating history. But I agree it’s not some kind of huge wave all of a sudden but it’s definitely there

  53. @David, Indeed. But I suspect this may be more of a parental thing. I’ve heard murmurs in the past around the team of what “races” of guys to date. That’s a no-no

    @Terence, lol, you know I actually have seen a fair share of asian guys and african-american women in Oakland. Not too much when I go anywhere else though 🙁

  54. David says:

    “However, we also found that East Asian women did not discriminate against white men (only against black and Hispanic men)”

    Hysterical.

    The idea that people use race as a point of preference for dating seems antiquated and inherently bigoted.

  55. Terence says:

    With the abundance of black women due to incarceration of black men in prison and the excess of men in china, we should start a match making site to import chinese men for black women.

    http://www.economist.com/world/united-states/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15867956

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