by The 4-Way Panel
I am an Asian-American woman who has encountered a lot of guys who have “orifechi” (from Oriental fetish). What gives? When I confront them with it, they get very pissed off and say it’s just an “aesthetic preference.” I call it bullshit. What do you say, and why does this exist?—NP
The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer
NP, I’m so sorry that you even have to hear things like that. I think that those guys have a lot to learn; about sensitivity, issues of race, and what they like. I’d never heard this term until I read your letter and I find it hard to grasp. I don’t know if these guys are being honest with themselves and I wonder if they’re self-aware enough to even know what they’re attracted to. Implicit in the “aesthetic preference” comment is that all Asians look the same, which is ridiculous. Dig deeper into cultural stereotypes and you’ll find that there’s this myth out there of the submissive Asian woman. I know many men who are turned on by submissive women. It seems to me that these guys are assuming that all Asian women will be this way. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As I see it, you have two options:
Option 1: Tell them that you have a preference too—for men that are not limited, unkind, and insensitive. Call it your “sensa-kindfechi.” My guess is that these guys will not get what they think they’re looking for. You would do well to kick their ’fechi asses.
Option 2: Instead of confronting the boys, educate them. When people feel confronted or attacked, they get all self-protective and attack back, regardless of whether they’re right or wrong. If you really want them to understand that their comments are racist and unkind, you have to find a way to do it without attacking. So maybe don’t kick their asses; just try to open their minds.
Check in tomorrow to read the straight man's perspective by Chris Kennedy.
The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.
by The 4-Way Panel