But when defenses fail and we get bitten, our response is to break out in huge, itchy blotches and puff up like a blowfish, forcing us to coat ourselves in unguents, crawl to bed, and fall into a Benadryl coma.Emotionally, this is how it feels to be pestered by suitors with “Yellow Fever.” What we object to – what all women object to, really, — should be obvious, for nobody likes being reduced to a preferential lust object. This is the of Asian women everywhere: Stop fetishizing me! Last year, PBS aired a documentary called “Seeking Asian Female,” about an aging white man who finds a bride from China via the internet.
Performance artist Kristina Wong recently investigated this by going on unscripted dates with eager men, and literally spitting on stereotypes of the demure geisha-fantasy.Crucially, this survey did not refer to mosquitoes but to straight men buzzing around dating sites, who showed a marked preference for Asian women. Approximately 20 percent of the population is innately more attractive to these insects, which prefer biting (literally) hot women who wear black clothing and/or have black hair.But mosquitoes are interested in women like me for simple chemical reasons. For the time being, let’s put aside the fact that the mosquitoes doing the biting are all female, and focus on what happens when a mosquito-magnet gets bitten.Contrary to popular belief, we don’t go around congratulating ourselves for being so irresistible to biting insects.We don’t need their attention to know our blood type, O, is the liqueur of lust to them – as immortalized by “The Story of O,” “The Castle of Otranto,” and countless other Gothic tomes drawing a straight line from blood-sucking insects to vampire lore.You Tube actress Anna Akana has followed suit, making a funny if more conventional version of the same critique, which boils down to this: When a hopeful suitor throws out the line, “I love Asian women! ” Which means: “I am a clueless creep.”Sometimes men have auto-translated their own bad pickup lines.
On a tumblr called “Creepy White Guys,” one sad man writes: “So, this message may come across as weird or crazy, but I’m just gonna be honest and tell you what I’m into…” What he’s “into” is sex with Chinese women telling him how wonderful he is. Wong’s list, “9 Wack Things Men Have Said to Me To Deny Their Asian Fetish,” went viral precisely because these “wack” lines are so commonplace.
In my 20s, I ran so far away from men with Asian fetishes that I ended up running away to Paris, only to find myself promptly (and inaccurately) turned into “la belle Japonaise” by Frenchmen fascinated by my…feet.
A few months ago, an alarming survey suggested that “Yellow Fever” is more widespread than previously suspected.
Yellow Fever is a potentially fatal disease carried by mosquitoes.
It also refers to the fetishization of Asian women.
These two afflictions spread for the same reason: high concentrations of restless people living in urban centers. So far, scientists haven’t even managed to deconstruct the motives of actual mosquitoes, though they tested the theory that some people are biologically mosquito magnets — such as yours truly, who also happens to be an Asian female – and discovered that it’s true.