The love and relationship site NTR/SCTN published an essay today from a guy named Sean. He argues, as a white guy growing up in Chinatown Toronto, he was always surrounded by Asian girls, especially during his formative puberty years. Then, living and working in Hong Kong and South Korea through his 20s also is just statistics, I guess (as in being surrounded by predominately Asians in the dating pool). Currently, he’s dating a Chinese American and yes, he admits, his last girlfriend was Vietnamese Canadian.
Now before we rattle off terms like “reverse racism” or “white privilege,” let’s examine what he says. Basically, his argument is that he doesn’t have ‘yellow fever.’ How’s that, you ask? He brings up the Urban Dictionary definition of the term, which has several entries on the definition, but I’ll just refer to the most tasteful one:
Yellow Fever — A term usually applied to white males who have a clear sexual preference for women of asian descent, although it can also be used in reference to white females who prefer asian men.
Anyway, what Sean argues is that he doesn’t fetishize his girlfriends. Sean writes:
Think for a second about what my friends are saying when they describe me as someone with yellow fever. They’re not saying I irrationally, compulsively, and obsessively fetishize my Asian partners; instead, they’re implying that I consider a woman’s race when dating. Maybe we all do and maybe it’s just part of our lengthy list of sexual preferences. I accept that.
He also continues to that being accused of having yellow fever is also an insult to his romantic partners:
When strangers and acquaintances casually accuse me of having yellow fever, it’s both personally insulting and racist towards my Asian partners. That’s because, one, they wouldn’t have doubted my feelings for these women had they been white, and two, they’re implying that these women date men who only value them for their skin color. The term, then, becomes a way to shame white men and Asian women for entering relationships with each other.
Sean continues to write that it makes him always defend himself in a knee-jerk way and in the past, he’d rattle off his laundry list of past girlfriends, which included white women too. Heck, his college girlfriend was white! In other words, ‘yellow fever’ is a loaded term and that it should not be used so liberally. His final sentence says it all:
Imagine: Fetishists are fetishists, racists are racists, and a White Guy Who Dates Asian Girls is exactly that. Can’t we leave everything else in the schoolyard?
I don’t know why, but his last statement makes me recall one of the weirdest lines from BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Holly Hunter’s senator character, in reaction to Lex Luthor says the following: “Don’t piss in a jar and tell me it’s granny’s peach tea.” That line made me scratch my head when I saw the film, but it sure makes sense in this context.
You can read his entire essay here.