Not to brag, but at least five men have said to me, “You’re the first non-Japanese girl I’ve ever dated.” And I don’t know how to respond to that. "Thank you for slumming it? I’m sorry that the low self-esteem stereotype repository was devoid of your pervy racist fetish. But I’m so glad my Lolita bangs helped me make the cut." It’s offensive the way minorities are objectified. Upon seeing Facebook pictures of a Filipino friend, a family member commented, “Oh my gosh, she’s so exotic looking.” And I was like, “You should see her dancing.” Minorities are often placed on an exotic sexual pedestal, treated like a token accessory, or completely othered. Women of color are treated as sexual objects twofold.
My least favorite piece of misogyny this week is the objectification of women of color.
Last week at the VMAs Miley Cyrus was criticized for appropriating black culture on stage. She sexualized a culture that was not her own, which is crazy: Miley Cyrus has a culture? Miley dressed black women dancers as teddy bears, using them as props: thus equating them to objects. Additionally she inexplicably spanked a dancer on the buttocks rhythmically. Human beings are not instruments, and if we were we’d be cool instruments like clarinets, not dorky percussion. Miley Cyrus portrayed women of color as props, lacking agency over their bodies, to be used as accessories. The worst part about all this Miley Cyrus drama is now I’ve heard a Miley Cyrus song.
All human beings may be objectified, but women of color battle further dehumanization. When men told me they only dated Asian women, at the time I thought it meant I wasn't good enough. Now that I’m a little older, I see the sexual fetishization of women of color for what it is: viewing women as an extension of their physicality, objects to be obtained like exotic unique souvenirs.
Bitna Kim conducted a study about the exoticism and fetishization of Asian women: "Almost all of those interviewees started with a sentence that negates Asian women as submissive, but, nevertheless, they all mentioned, in one way or another, that Asian women are submissive."
One of my friends said, "What if I'm just more physically attracted to the look of Asian women?" And I was like, "they all have the SAME look?" I'm into super heroes, but not ALL super heroes, because they don't all look the same, and some of them are DC. It's okay to have a type, but exclusively dating Asian women seems like their race is the primary reason you're dating them, which is devaluing. That's been my least favorite piece of misogyny this week. Tune in next week to find out what kind of secrets I have in my invisible pockets.