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That Asian women also choose partners based on race is equally offensive, she said in response to Chen's piece."Defending Asian fetishism makes a damaging impact on a debate that has been going on for many years," Fang said.When PBS recently aired Seeking Asian Female, a documentary about a "mail-order" marriage initiated on the Internet between a middle-aged Caucasian man and a young Chinese mainland woman, the resulting media coverage sparked a heated online debate among critics and viewers about sexual fetishes, racial power dynamics, and what the motivations behind a pairing might be.Several critiques of the film quoted Goal Auzeen Saedi, a post-doctoral fellow in counseling at Stanford University, who believes that such pairings send an "underlying message about power, dominance and white privilege".Additionally, Asian women have been quick to label such men as perverse when their own preferences for white men have made the pairings possible in the first place, she wrote.She cited a study conducted by the dating site Coffee Meets Bagel, in which data showed that of those who specified a racial preference in potential partners, 7 percent of white men indicated Asian.The film is as much about the couple's story as it is Lum's own process of coming to see them as more than the sum of their stereotypes.
The numbers would seem to indicate that dating patterns between interracial couples in which the woman is Asian are most often dictated by female preference.The nuances and repercussions of that discussion extend farther than the way in which Caucasians view Asians, with many Asian Americans citing those same stereotypes as having shaped their own sexual preferences and the confidence in which they pursue or don't pursue partners of other races.The history of interracial marriage in the US has long been complicated.Conversely, between 20, interracial marriage between Asian Americans and non-Asians dipped nearly 10 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.In a 2012 Huffington Post article titled So, he likes you because you're Asian, Vivienne Chen, a freelance writer studying gender and sexuality issues at Princeton University, argued that the "Asian fetish" generalization actually reinforces the predominant narrative about Asian women being inherently powerless."It is not okay for a person of color to be objectified based on their race in any context.It's dehumanizing, and it means you're making generalizations about what kind of partner a person will be based on the color of their skin." Chen said that she does make a distinction between the experience of Asian American females and Asian females living in Asia or newly living in the US.Barbara Nguyen, a public relations representative whose fiance is of Caucasian and Guatemalan heritage, has mostly dated Caucasian men, she said.She has been drawn to well-educated, creative leaning men from suburban backgrounds, and the type of men who have fit into those categories have generally been white, she said."It does a disservice to China's history to suggest that Chinese or Asian people are fundamentally in a state of disempowerment when dealing with the Western world," she said.Fang refutes the idea that Asian American females are immune to that imbalance.