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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Asian Women

The most common fetish is sexual fetishism- it is defined as an intense focus on an inanimate object or body part that creates arousal.  Examples of sexual fetishes include body piercings, feet, leather, hair, and shoes.  However, in recent years, a new fetish has developed in our society: the Asian fetish.  Asian is a race, an ethnicity, not an inanimate object or body part.  Yet, Asians have because a popular fetish among men and women of all ages.  Once a race, like African, Italian, Mexican, French, etc., but now a target of sexual objectification.

There is a debate on whether or not white men being attracted to Asian women is considered a “fetish” or a “preference.”  Some argue that the attraction to Asian women is just a man’s preference, similar to when men are attracted to blondes.  … But the thing is… race is not the same as hair color.  A race, an ethnicity, defines a part of who people are- it’s not just a simple classification.  The “preference” argument may be an excuse because men do not want to face the fact that they are sexually objectifying a specific race of women.  Asian women, compared to women of other races, are generally more petite, polite, soft-spoken, and obedient… but this is the Asian culture.  Also, Asian women in the modern world are changing and growing out of the stereotypical type.Jolin Tsai

Some white men are very outspoken and say that they are attracted to the exoticism of Asian women.  What it is exactly that attracts men to Asian women?  I honestly do not know- “exotic” can be defined in numerous ways and I’m not exactly sure what men mean when they say that Asian women are exotic.  Is it because Asian women mostly stick with Asian men making them harder to get?  Maybe.  Is it because Asian women are “submissive” to their men like slaves?  Maybe.  At some point, this conversation always starts to get awkward and weird… yet the yellow fever continues to grow.

So… white men have made their case- they think Asian women are beautiful, sexy, and exotic.  What do Asian women think?  Well, I think Asian women are split 50/50.  About half of the women love it because the men treat them better, they have more options, and they get a lot of attention.  The other half either don’t care or hate it.  Personally, I’ve never heard of any Asian women complain about the Asian fetish with a strong passion… but I have heard of women who simply don’t care.  I think it’s a case by case judgement.  I trust that there are some men out there with Asian fetishes who are a little bit overly obsessed and need someone to slap some sense into them… and that there are other men who just treat Asian women as they would treat any other women.  Is fetishizing Asian women a terrible thing in my opinion?  No- a little weird though.  The only aspect that balances this fetish is the fact that there are interracial relationships between Asian women and white men that have been successful and not based on the men having Asian fetishes.  It gets a little hard to distinguish nowadays because there is a pool of men interested in Asian women and some of those men have yellow fever while some of those men are genuinely attracted to Asian women as they are to any women of another race.  And it’s unfair to generalize in either direction…

Fumina HaraMedia has also contributed to the exoticism of Asian women.  Let’s face it- even in our globalized world today, Eastern and Western worlds are still very separate and distinct.  With that said, films, ads, and photos from the Eastern world are still fairly foreign and rare in the Western world, contributing to the mystery and exoticism of Asian women.  Even though Asian models, singers, and actresses are displayed in the media very “normally” (normally in the sense that other entertainers from the Western world would do similar things in the media), the fact that these women are Asian makes them different.  For example, the cuteness factor in Asia is seen differently by Westerners.  Women in Asia like to be cute- simple as that.  In Japan, many girls dress in costume for fun and cuteness-sake.  However, this depiction of women makes them a sexual fantasy object to Western men.  There is just a different context of “cosplay” and so Western men find this to be more sexual than Asians would.  Also, Asian women have photo shoots in bathing suits and even in regular clothes… but they are seen as more sexy and exotic because of the Asian body shape.  Such depictions of Asian women in the Asian market make it to the hands of Western men and ultimately lead to false impressions of Asian women… some of these incorrect impressions lead to fantasies and such.  And so I do think media has quite a bit of influence on the growing yellow fever.

Zhang Ziyi and Han Chae YoungNo matter how many people voice the weirdness of this Asian fetish… white men seem to continue to pursue this… fetish… quite passionately too.  And the numbers are growing!  To be honest, I still do not really understand this obsession with Asian women.  About 2 months ago, I watched Debbie Lum’s Seeking Asian Female at the SD Asian Film Festival and received some insight from the director, Debbie, and Steven and Sandy, a real life “fetish couple,” as I like to put it.  Steven stated in the film that he wanted an Asian wife because he saw how happy his son was with his Asian wife and he wanted the same happy life… I… don’t really buy that answer.  I think he wanted something new and exciting in his life… and the new, exciting thing would be an Asian lady to play out his fantasies.  In fact, I’m sure most of the men who have yellow fever right now are just looking for something exciting in a relationship.  I hate to break it to these guys, but Asian women are just women.  We’re really no different than women of other races.  We have really polite and mannered girls AND we also have rude and obnoxious girls.  It is unfair to generalize all Asian women as petite, quiet, obedient, little women.  Another note is that we don’t all have exotic almond shaped eyes and long, straight black hair.  I understand that in a lot of guys’ minds, women with long, straight hair are so sexy and beautiful… but remember that it can be a terrifying thing too.  I’ve watched enough Asian horror movies to tell you that hair can be scary as hell!  Let me know if you find “The Ring” girl sexy and exotic… she’s Asian, has small eyes (kind of…), is petite, has long, straight black hair, and is very quiet!  Asian fetish lovers may also take an interest in Asami from Miike’s film, Audition.

Jun Ji Hyun

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“빨리 빨리”

BBALLI- BBALLI

A pretty common phrase you’ll hear in Korea these days is “빨리 빨리”, which means “hurry, hurry!”  Everything you do, everywhere you go, 빨리 빨리! 빨리 빨리!

I particularly remember Samchon (my host dad) saying this to me numerous times.

We were going somewhere and I was putting on my shoes- 빨리 빨리!

We were about to leave for Emart and I’d be shutting the computer down- 빨리 빨리!

I was getting ready to go to school- 빨리 빨리!

Time for dinner- 빨리 빨리!

I was walking- 빨리 빨리!

Seriously, I have never been so rushed in my life before… and my mom rushes me a lot… and I’m a New Yorker.  I practically grew up in a fast-paced life, but never had I been so… rushed before!  It was like living in a super-sped-up society.

I liked the ring of “빨리 빨리” so it never bothered me much.  In fact, I used it quite often myself to hurry other people!

One day, Samchon explained the phrase 빨리 빨리 to me (don’t ask me why- it was so random… I was putting on my shoes and he went 빨리 빨리! and then started explaining the meaning behind it…).  I learned that 빨리 빨리 is a positive term- it references to Korea’s rapid economic growth around the 1960s.

In the early 20th century, Korea was a very slow-moving country- everyone seemed to be moving at a leisurely pace.  Some say this might have been due to the fact that the Koreans were worn out from the long Korean War.  Not only were the people slow and tired, the country was war-ravaged.  However, this all changed in the 1960s under the rule of Park Chung-hee.  Korea industrialized and went under rapid economic growth through export-oriented industrialization.  Around this time, Koreans started to move faster.  With the 빨리 빨리 mentality, Korea has now developed into a fast and dynamic society.

Personally, I love the phrase 빨리 빨리.  I love how the phrase has a historical and cultural context behind it- it makes me appreciate the term that much more!  I remember coming to California soon after my stay in Korea and it was a HUGE contrast.  I went from 빨리 빨리 to… slow and chill.  It was such a strange adjustment… especially since Californians are known to be really relaxed .  I recall rushing to all of my classes… and seeing people stroll in 5 minutes late.

While it is nice to slow down once in awhile, I miss the 빨리 빨리 culture.  To be honest, I wish some people here would 빨리 빨리(︶︿︶)

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This post is dedicated to NSLI-Y because it is something that is so close, but yet so far.  Ever since I found out about the program last year, I knew this was the program for me.  Out of thousands and thousands of applications, the committee chooses roughly 1,400 semi-finalists to be interviewed.  That 1,400 then gets cut down to about 600 accepted students.  My greatest wish right now is to get accepted to this prestigious program.  I really hope that I can travel to China, Korea, or Russia this summer…

Earlier today, I received an email that scheduled my interview to be at the end of January.  Though I know there’s nothing to prepare for, I’m jittery about it.  And I’m not nervous about the interview itself, but rather the fact that the impression I make will decide whether I get to be part of the program this summer.  And I also have an up-front and personal interview, so I also have to make sure I present myself well, not casual comfortable.  Haha, I was hoping I could wear sweats and a t-shirt and chat over the phone… but in some ways,  personal interview is good because they get to know me on an even more personal level than just hearing my voice.

After much fret, may I add that I was so shaky that I couldn’t even do my Hamlet work, I have decided to just wing it all.  It’s no use to put myself under so much stress over this.  I mean, if I’m meant to be accepted, I’ll be accepted no matter what.  If I’m not, no amount of preparation can get me there.  So, I’ll be a fatalist and let fate control things. 🙂

Despite those feelings, I would most likely have a breakdown if I am not accepted because I have worked so hard to get to this point.  It’s also my one and only chance to apply for this program!  My hard work in studying languages all these years, I’d like to put some practical use into them and further my language study… 😦

But hey, I mean, I don’t expect anything great to begin with.  Just feelings of hurt would take over… T_T

It’s a make it or break it.  50/50 chance.  I’m either going to be 600 or 601.

 

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