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Since the start of immigration, Asian men and women have been negatively stereotyped in mass media.Although the stereotypes have evolved throughout the years, they have not necessarily changed for the better.
Continuously seeing this image in mainstream media has led to the idea of the "Asian fetish". 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.They took data from "thousands of decisions made by more than 400 daters from Columbia University's various graduate and professional schools".The doubt that targets of Asian fetish experience stems from feelings of depersonalization, which compound on the objectification Asian females already face as women, to create a further sort of objectification where Asian women feel like interchangeable objects.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.
Because of Asian fetish, an Asian woman’s racial difference is either seen as a failure to conform to mainstream white standards of beauty, or as something that can be appreciated only on an alternative scale.