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Fetish or Preference, Part 2

by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

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

Jody    The straight woman’s perspective: Rebecca Brown
 
Well, NP, I’m a white girl from the South, and I can’t tell you how many surprised “Oh, you have teeth and haven’t slept with your brothers”-type comments I get when I meet people—men and women. To assume that I’m an incestual, gumming idiot because of where I’m from drives me absolutely bonkers—98 percent of the people who make those comments have never even driven through my home state of Kentucky, let alone actually visited. They base their comments on knowledge learned from The Beverly Hillbillies, for the love of god.

So what I try to remember when dealing with these people is a little saying we have in the South—“Bless his heart,” which can also easily be interchanged with “god love her.” Both mean roughly the same thing—he can’t help it that he’s a complete idiot so we must take pity on his sorry ass and do our very best to change the way he thinks.

I completely understand why it’s annoying to garner a man’s interest simply because of your physical attributes and some notion he has about how an Asian woman should act.

But I would ask you this: are you sure that they’re all orifechi freaks? Maybe some of them just think you’re hot, and maybe that has nothing to do with being Asian-American. Try not to get so immediately fired up and defensive about it if you can. Give each man a chance on a case-by-case basis until you know for sure he’s one of the freaks. I don’t think there’s anything thing wrong with someone who’s interested in a certain physical look. I prefer dark hair to blonde hair, but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-Swedish and want an Italian man feeding me tiramisu and espresso in bed. (Though now that I think about it, that doesn’t sound so bad.) But if I never took the time to actually get to know my dark-haired men and insisted that they drive a Vespa, drape themselves in the Italian flag, call me bella, and slather pomodoro sauce all over me when we had sex, then yes, that would be supremely annoying (not to mention creepy).

Let people appreciate your physical beauty; bask in the attention, even. Slather that attention all over you, I say, until it crosses a line and becomes weird, or worse yet, racist. If your gut tells you a man’s not interested in anything but your physical beauty and your origins, give him his walking papers and move on.

Check in tomorrow to read the gay woman's perspective by Jody Fischer.

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 rbrown@realgirlsmedia.com. To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.