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07-May-2020 19:16 by 3 Comments

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She points to how British Chinese do well academically and professionally.Furthermore, stereotypes around timidness, not being outspoken or politically active also mean people can make such comments with no backlash, she says.

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Elizabeth Chan, a British Chinese actress, says acting has offered an insight into how society sees Chinese women, calling parts on offer to her “massively stereotypical”.

I’ve been left puzzled by the insensitivity, and the lack of awareness that such comments may cause offence.

It’s as if the Chinese are so foreign it doesn't count.

As a Chinese, single woman in the UK - where I have rarely come across racism – my East Asian friends and I have encountered a fair share of men with telltale signs of yellow fever.

But it's subtle, and of course, few would admit to surfing online dating sites for Chinese women, yet when the only girls they date are Chinese, then the probabilities are in their favour.

In the BBC’s official response to BEA’s letter, it stated its commitments to diversity (in a rather patronising, verbose manner). But Asian women are understandably in a rush to change the status quo.

A quick browse on the Internet for “yellow fever fetishes” brings up a host of websites, articles and videos, mostly from the US, that express humour, distaste and offence at the sexualised objectification of East Asian women, with some equating yellow fever to racism rooted in colonial ideas of power and submission.

"It’s rare to see a Chinese character written that is ‘normal’ or ‘well rounded’," says Chan, naming a set of typical roles that include: hard-working businesswoman; exotic, gentle flower; illegal immigrant selling DVDs or turning to prostitution (someone once actually yelled “selling DVDs? In the book The Asian Mystique (2005) the author Sheridan Prasso traced the “exoticism” of East Asian women as far back as Marco Polo’s travels along the Silk Road in the 1200s, in the literature and art it inspired.

In recent times, America’s wars in Korea and Vietnam have also influenced the popular American psych, spawning narratives like that of Miss Saigon.

Interestingly, however, many East Asian women aren’t bothered; some even play up to the stereotypes or entertain such fetishes, according to Dr. Indeed, websites like My New Chinese Wife – set up by Chinese women in Hong Kong, the UK and US, promote what it sees as traditional qualities of “Sweet Chinese Brides”, and assist westerners in finding their own.

Professor Miri Song, who specialises in ethnic identity at the University of Kent, suggests that the parodying of Chinese people is seen as more “socially acceptable” in part because East Asians are not seen as truly disadvantaged, or merit the same protection status as other ethnic minorities.

I'm talking about when Caucasian men develop an acute sexual preference for East Asian women – even becoming a fetish, for some.