THE APPETIZER

It used to be that if people didn’t like your choices you were out casted and ignored, or beheaded in some central square as part of the day’s entertainment. But things are a bit different now, as diplomacy and tolerance have made some progress within our societies. The rules have changed; physically destroying people who make deviant choices is no longer the go-to method, and turning a blind eye is impossible. Today, every thing’s out in the open, so now, the game is just about being right and making others’ choices look stupid or wrong. Being right and having made “good choices” is really about winning favor by converting others, not killing entire villages because they don’t like the music you listen to.

Now I know what you’re thinking: things are WAY better now than they used to be; People have so much more freedom in their choices than they used to.

Absolutely agreed.

But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the process or even the results are any easier—just different, and a lot more complicated.These days, the only real danger is insanity; it’s more likely that—in this age of incessantly mindless prattle—exercising a preference will bring you enough free verbal commentary to warrant the consumption of a few anti-depressants and a Vicodin tablet just to sleep at night.

So….

YES we have made significant progress towards acceptance. NO we’re THERE yet.

Most puzzling though is that, even while we shout about equality at the top of our lungs, we continue to emphasis our differences and punish others’ for their deviance.

My point here is to say that: NOT ALL preferences need be scrutinized and explained for judgement.

Instead we could just be saying: That’s just what he/she likes and that’s cool, because I like stuff too. This kind of thinking reflects the idea that preference is the definitive end of reasoning. It is both the cause and the result; there’s nothing else to figure out, and so, you leave it be.

Yet, despite how much we gush about how things like freedom of choice, preference, and equality are the most important pillars of a free society, we still can’t let them be. So unlike before where we would simply destroy the deviant person altogether, now, instead—while proclaiming that everyone is equal—we must also destroy the preferences of others through harsh criticism. Often times this is accomplished through the promulgating of distorted facts and the misuse of information that tries to EXPLAIN WHY people make such choices. Pop-cultured psychology lends a hand here by explicitly trying to prove that one’s preference is a result of some dark and unknown force that they aren’t aware of, and therefore, the preference is “bad” and not genuine.

For example, a young woman’s love of books and knowledge might be said to have little merit, as it surely is the result of insecurities she felt growing up in the shadow of a brilliant father. Or similarly, a young man’s preference for a traditional wife who appreciates being a full-time mother, is disregarded as being the result of deeply seeded fear for the loss of dominance over women, out of his own insecurity as a man.

In both scenarios, the preferences of the young man and woman are trivialized and they become labeled as “bad” people for being ignorant about the “true” sources of their preference. In the modern era, not liking some one’s preference isn’t enough; you have to prove that the source of that preference is either not genuine, or impure. In this way preferences—and indeed, perhaps, happiness for a person—are demeaned and destroyed by means of speculation and assumption.

THE MEAT

Preference is a strange thing, because it’s not actually something you choose; it’s something that just happens to you.

Yet, every choice we make means that we have to deal with the inevitable feedback that comes from the peanut gallery—an endless parade of unsolicited comments and inquisitions that really have a lot to do with nothing. I mean really, there are people just walking around all day long, saying things that they heard someone else say once, or something that they heard on TV and the internet.

More importantly though: What happens when bad information propagates? Many ephemeral social and historical trends carry on into the realm of salience as deeply entrenched stereotypes; they piggy-back on the shoulders of off-colored jokes and isolated incidents, only to become the gospel that stops people from asking questions.

When people stop asking questions and just keep repeating things, they don’t worry about the potential impact of their words or what it might mean should they be wrong—because these days, a bit of diplomacy and tolerance means that you just have to scream louder than everyone else in order to be right. So there it is; everyone just running around screaming their heads off about what they know, and very few stop to read the writing on the wall. But you can bet that if they did, it just might save us a lot of bullshit and make the world a better place in the long run.

THE POTATOES

I like asian women. I like latina women, too. There’s just something about an olive or brown complexion paired with dark eyes and dark hair that gets me going. And, while I certainly find white women attractive, when it comes down to it, they’re just not my flavor. I look at women like Scarlett Johansson or Jessica Biel, or Natalie Portman, and I DO GET IT; I get why people see them and want to jump in bed with them. But, there’s a big difference between knowing someone is attractive, and being attracted TO THEM. So, it’s not really all that complicated: I prefer non-white women because those are the types of women that do it for me. 

Piece of cake right? …Not quite…

You won’t get a block with that kind of preference without hearing someone analyze your love for yellow and brown women as a reflection of some white-male agenda meant to dominate minority women. First of all, I say to those people, check your facts there Colombo—non-white women are not the minority; they make up the MAJORITY of women in the world. And secondly, that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.

The real bitch of it is how people throw around these charges— with a condescending and judgmental tone, like some disappointed principal who expected more from me.

It’s mostly feminists that go on to fill in the rest of the gaps for you, with accusations that only get more ridiculous as the list goes on, such as:

1.)You just want a submissive partner who has a weak mind and that you can control

What is this, 1850? Really? As an American, I’m insulted by this, as submissive partners without opinions or voices are boring as hell to me. It’s a huge turn off when a woman can’t stick up for herself and has no passion outside of the relationship. My girlfriend Yoko doesn’t take shit from anyone, least of all me—and that’s hot as hell


2.)You just can’t handle white women; they are just too strong minded for you

I’ve dated both white and non-white women in my life; all of them were strong minded and passionate people, which kept me interested and attracted to them. Also…you obviously know nothing about latina women


3.)You like any asian girl just because they are asian

I don’t even know where to go with this one… it’s like saying, you get off on women just because they are women. How is this a negative thing? How else does desire work? If I don’t like something for what it is, how can I even like it? How do you like something that you don’t like, and why would you want to? This charge absolutely baffles me


4.)You just love asian girls because no white girls will date you

Have you ever watched T.V.? Do you EVER use the Internet? The world of romance and sex holds a niche for every shopper and every buyer. In my lifetime, through the power of media and word of mouth, I have learned of midgets marrying grown black men, a Japanese man who married a video-game character, people who dress up in cartoon character costumes to have sex, and a black man who married his life-sized sex doll—do you really think that I couldn’t find a white woman to date? Come on folks.

5.)You just want a submissive sexual partner that you can dominate

Coming from personal experience, trust me, there was far less bedroom participation from white women than any of the non-white women I’ve ever dated. Almost none of the brown and olive women I have ever dated, have ever been completely sexually submissive. On a side note, skin color wasn’t correlated at all with sexual performance or satisfaction. More often was the case that the women who talked the most about being good in bed, weren’t, and the those that said nothing, went three rounds like a champ and lit up the mattress like the damn fourth of July.


THE DESSERT 

So what’s the meaning of this whole essay really? Just to get some hecklers off my back about liking Asian women? Actually, it’s even bigger than that: the implicit messages conveyed in the open charges reiterated by such hecklers, only serve to further contribute to the maladies of sexism, racism, and discrimination in the world.

The very warnings meant to save “minority” women from discrimination and domination, actually abandon that goal with the implicit message being conveyed by pop-cultured phrases like “asian fever”— a subtext that says: white men are only interested in non-white females for the reasons mentioned in the list above. In fact, the constant reiteration of things like, “He only likes you because you’re asian”, or “He just wants to have an asian girlfriend”, or “He only dates asian women”, send an signal to asian women that only further subject them to a feeling of “minority” status, a message that says: no man that isn’t your race can ever really love you, and if he does, he doesn’t really love you, you are just a prize to be won in order to fulfill his most selfish desires. The linguistics of branding like “yellow-fever” serve to further imply that liking asian women is “mindless”, a “sickness”, where the result is that asian women are now the victims of the uncontrollable lust that white males have for them. The message to white men of course, is that: choosing a white woman is normal, and choosing an asian woman is the result of some crazed or ill thinking that causes you to deviate from the norm. Even the alternatively popular term, “Asian Fetish” effectively aligns asian women with the likes of preferences that utilize deviant objects for sexual gratification, like latex or other materials and props.

The real craziness about all this is the tendency for people to exaggerate rather normal circumstances into significant findings that don’t actually exist. Liking any kind of woman is a preference, yet somehow, a white man liking asian women MUST mean he has “asian fever”, which must mean he ONLY likes asian women, which also must mean that he’s obsessed, and on and on and on…

What I find remarkable—and extremely revealing—is that such labels really only stick to white-males. A non-white male might get a remark or two about liking asian women, but white males are the ones who are OBSESSED with asian women and are insatiable.

If we see a white couple walking together, why don’t we say that the male is “obsessed” with white women? Or that the woman has vanilla-fever? If it were learned that I would be bringing home a latina or black woman to meet my family and friends, I’d be really hard pressed to imagine anyone whispering under their breath, “Dude, Matt loves those salsa bitches”, or even, “Matt loves chocolate chicks”. While it’s certainly possible that a more obnoxious friend might comment on my interracial relationship with a latina or black girl, no comment would even come close to the strong implication that is carried by “Yellow-Fever”.

THE AFTER-DINNER MINT

Some people may claim that the label of “yellow fever” isn’t really meant to be so serious, that it isn’t really meant to embody those negatively subtle things which are mentioned in this essay. However, judging from the reactions I’ve seen from both asian women and the spectators, those are exactly the implicit messages that such terms carry for both parties involved. Ultimately, it degrades the relationship as a whole when people insist on reducing love to the likes of a lustful obsession, or a trending of race and gender wars which undoubtedly finds a way to put the asian female on the losing end.

Ever more compelling is the rather extreme argument of: So what?
EVEN if everything you meant to describe about the origins of one’s desires were true, SO WHAT?

If a woman wants to be a housewife and prefers a dominate male in her life—if that makes her happy—SO WHAT?

Even if a man WAS looking for a submissive partner to marry, SO WHAT?

What does it matter if the reasons that those two people come together are not good enough for you? If it makes THEM happy, if it’s what THEY want, SO WHAT? How does that warrant a passage of judgement that degrades both parties?

People talk a lot about speaking up to help facilitate progressive change in the world today. I say people should get more creative in their advice, because shutting the hell up and keeping your eyes on your own damn paper works just as many wonders.



CHECK PLEASE!

…So…… you’re gonna get this bill right?


Also published on Medium.