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Writer Agness Kaku believes the mainstream white culture undermines efforts to combat sexual harassment based on Asian fetish.
Noting how frequently women of Asian descent are subjected to verbal and online harassment, Kaku argues that Asian fetish "thrives on double standards that make light of racial bias against Asians" and states this downplaying leaves women vulnerable to stalking and violence.
Racial depersonalization can be especially hurtful to Asian women in situations where being recognized as an individual is important, such as romantic relationships, because a person may feel unloved if they sense they could be replaced by someone with similar qualities.
Asian American women report being complimented in ways that imply they are attractive because they are Asian or despite being Asian.
Some of this art, such as postcards and fans, featured sexualized depictions of geishas, portrayed as petite, heavily made-up and richly dressed women. The pun refers to the color terminology for race, in which persons of East and Southeast Asian heritage are sometimes described as "Yellow people".
Lum described the stereotype associated with an Asian fetish as an obsession with seeking "somebody submissive, traditional, docile...
the perfect wife who is not going to talk back"., as in they are perceived to be able to properly take care of their children during the day and fulfill their partner's sexual desires at night.
In interviews done by Bitna Kim, white men explain their fetish for Asian women.
Western powers, including the United States, established a presence in the port cities of China, Japan and Korea and made substantial profits from the lucrative trade routes.
One result of this was a developing appetite amongst the Western middle class for Asian goods and art; for example, Chinese export porcelain. American men who may not have had preconceived notions about Asian women were drafted and sent to fight in Asia where they saw Asian women working in the sex industry. Butterfly, the writer David Henry Hwang, using the term "yellow fever", a pun on the disease of the same name, discusses white men with a "fetish" for (east) Asian women.