My first crush was in kindergarten. It was unrequited love. I would always try and tag him because I thought that was the way to let him know I liked him. Dating, romance, love, and sex — for me, these concepts have always been irrevocably intertwined with my social identities as an East Asian woman. These stereotypes and the culture of Orientalization have existed for some time, but it has always seemed like white America never felt their gravity until the events of this past year — the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and specifically the aftermath of the Atlanta spa shootings. How could this be?
Virus of hate: ‘We are not your fetish’ — Combating Anti-Asian racism and sexism
Asian Women Are Hypersexualized, So Don’t Tell Me The Killings In Atlanta Aren’t About Race
The message to the year-old Chinese Australian, who lives in Sydney, came from a stranger claiming to be on holiday from France. It wasn't the first Asian fetish message Ms Jiang, co-host of culture podcast Crazy Biatch Asians, had received online. Most of them came via dating apps, where men she connected with would be quick to tell her they sexually preferred Asian women. One message that particularly made her skin crawl said: "I've never tried Asian girls before.
Women subjected to 'racist and demeaning' Asian fetishes on dating apps speak out
Aromatherapy Spa, one of three locations where deadly shootings happened at day spas near Atlanta on March 16, Waking up to the news that six Asian women were among eight people killed in the Atlanta area on Tuesday was brutal. Cycling through the online outrage, condolences, and conjecture was sobering and exhausting. America is a stationary bike, repeating bad patterns, and going nowhere fast. BuzzFeed News later reported Baker had posted on Facebook a photo of a racist shirt blaming China for the pandemic.
Even as the man accused of killing six women of Asian descent in the metro Atlanta area told authorities he was motivated by a sexual addiction not racism, Asian American women were describing on Twitter the ways that sexualization and racism were inextricably intertwined. They face harassment because of sexual stereotypes about Asian American women as exotic and submissive and for them, this tragedy seemed no different. The sexualized and submissive stereotypes of Asian women have affected her everyday life, from being harassed in public to being objectified in dating. When someone expresses a romantic interest, she is wary of their intentions. The six women shot to death Tuesday night were killed along with two others in three spas in Atlanta and a suburb.