I remember talking to a friend of mine this past summer who currently goes to school in Boston. We went to high school together and she sometimes comes down to visit in Maryland where her family still lives. One time I visited my friend at her parent’s house and we watched The Wolverine. After we watched the movie we decided to go out to eat. Once we sat down at our table in the restaurant, we discussed the film. She spoke very passionately about the portrayal of Asian women/characters in the film. She complained about how the two main female characters in the film played on stereotypical Asian female roles. One of the characters in the film was a was a shy, meek, beautiful woman who needed to be saved by the stereotypical “white man.” The other Asian female character was a samurai sword wielding “bodyguard” for the lead white male character.
She went on to talk about how the city of Boston is mostly white and how the men there are “curious” about her because they look at her in a sexual way. While she believes the city is racist towards minorities, she does believe that as an Asian woman, she believes that what she experiences with the locals is somewhat different. She told me about a time when she went into a grocery store in the city with her African-American friend and while they were shopping, several white men in their 20’s were taunting him. They were whispering racial slurs towards him and they ended up having to leave because of it. While the men were hurling racial slurs, they were making comments about her physical appearance.
Throughout her many interactions with the locals in Boston, she finds it very weird how the men approach her and talk to her. She thinks that they are mostly curious about her because they are curious about her in a sexual way. To be honest my friend truly believes that the majority of white men fetishize Asian women. I’ve heard many of my own Caucasian friends and peers talk about how Asian women are more sexually open-minded than white women and that Asian women are better in the bedroom. It’s actually really commonplace for people to really believe that stereotype. It is one of the things that my friend has struggled with her whole life. Historically, Asian women in American society were sexualized because they were often viewed as the “seductress” or the “prostitute” and I think that has majorly impacted the way our society views Asian women today.