Jump to content
spookyturtle

The allure of 'yellow fever': New documentary explores why so many white American men aspire to marry Asian women

41 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

  • Fourth-generation Chinese-American filmmaker Debbie Lum was inspired by personal experience to discover the psychology behind yellow fever
  • In the documentary, she follows the lives of Steven, a white 60-year-old Asiaphile, and Sandy, 30, his Chinese mail-order bride

A new documentary, which airs tonight on PBS, explores the psychology behind yellow fever - the phenomenon that sees white men attracted to, and sometimes even obsessed with, Asian women.

Filmed and directed by Debbie Lum, a fourth-generation Chinese-American from St Louis, Missouri, Seeking Asian Female looks to discover why many men see Asians as ideal wives, a concept that is 'very painful for the Asian-American community,' Ms Lum told ABC News.

According to the filmmaker, there is an overriding perception that women of that particular race are more docile and make for obedient life partners, a stereotype that is offensive and often untrue.

Indeed, according to Goal Auzeen Saedi, a post-doctoral fellow in counseling at Stanford University, the dominant perception is that women from Asia are 'submissive'.

In a 2011 Psychology Today article, Dr Saedi explained that the men who desire Asian women - most of them Caucasians themselves - are sending an 'underlying message about power, dominance and white privilege'.

It is exactly that attitude that Ms Lum sought to expose in her debut feature-length film.


'Every Asian-American woman knows exactly what I am talking about,' she said. 'Men come up to you in a way that really looks like a stare, which lasts a bit longer than it should.

'You can feel it,' she continued. 'It's like they are looking through you.'

In the film, Ms Lum follows the lives of Steven, a twice-divorced 60-year-old on the hunt for an Asian bride, and Sandy, the Chinese woman half his age whom he meets on the internet and ultimately marries.

According to the website for the documentary, Steven first became interested in Asian women after witnessing the success of his son's marriage to a Japanese immigrant.

The 60-year-old, who works as a garage attendant at the San Francisco airport, spent years looking through mail-order catalogs and dating websites, trying to find the perfect mate.

'Over the course of the last five years there must be hundreds of different girls from China that I've been writing to,' he explains in a trailer for the movie.

'Men come up to Asian-American women, and it's like they are looking through them'

Finally, Steven meets Sandy - a 30-year-old factory worker who grew up on a tea farm in the remote mountains of China.

He flies out to Sandy's home country to meet her, and two weeks later he returns to California with Sandy in tow, after she agrees to marry him.

'I'm happy as a clam,' he says in the trailer with a boyish grin as he introduces his fiancee to the film director.

But while Steven has fulfilled his fantasy by having a relationship with an Asian woman, the couple soon begins to struggle to communicate, since Sandy's English is basic and Steven doesn't speak a word of Chinese.

The trailer shows them bickering, with neither able to understand the other. 'What?' Steven yells to Sandy at one point. 'Speak in English!'


Ms Lum, who speaks Chinese, becomes a translator and mediator as both Sandy and Steven turn to her to resolve their issues.

Steven admits to the filmmaker: '[sandy] has read a lot of things to me in Chinese. I feel comfortable with it, but I have no idea what she's saying.'

Ultimately though, their relationship works after Steven realizes that he can love Sandy despite her fiery temper, a trait which contradicts the stereotypical picture of an Asian female.

Today, Sandy and Steven have been happily married for four years.

'Yellow fever is very painful for the Asian-American community'

'[steven's] obsession with any Asian woman has been replaced with a real-live Sandy,' explains Ms Lum, who admits that her own preconception of Steven was perhaps just as bad as those she sought to debunk about Asian women.

Still, Ms Lum said she hopes the film will start a conversation about negative categorizations in general - including those involving men like Steven.

'The story is about expectations and stereotypes, which are very related,' she said. 'Stereotypes about white guys, and expectations going into a relationship.'



Ms Lum, who speaks Chinese, becomes a translator and mediator as both Sandy and Steven turn to her to resolve their issues.

Steven admits to the filmmaker: '[sandy] has read a lot of things to me in Chinese. I feel comfortable with it, but I have no idea what she's saying.'

Ultimately though, their relationship works after Steven realizes that he can love Sandy despite her fiery temper, a trait which contradicts the stereotypical picture of an Asian female.

Today, Sandy and Steven have been happily married for four years.

'Yellow fever is very painful for the Asian-American community'

'[steven's] obsession with any Asian woman has been replaced with a real-live Sandy,' explains Ms Lum, who admits that her own preconception of Steven was perhaps just as bad as those she sought to debunk about Asian women.

Still, Ms Lum said she hopes the film will start a conversation about negative categorizations in general - including those involving men like Steven.

'The story is about expectations and stereotypes, which are very related,' she said. 'Stereotypes about white guys, and expectations going into a relationship.'

article-2320291-19A5B54B000005DC-186_634

R.I.P Spooky 2004-2015

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that is the reason in every case, but there are a lot of men who still subscribe to the [archaic] notion that Asian women are submissive and seek to marry them because of their own male insecurities. There is a name for that but 'weak' isn't the word that comes to mind...

So this article basically claims that the majority of white men who marry Asian women want dominance and power, something they feel they cannot have over an American woman.

Does this make the man weak?

Edited by JohnR!

200px-FSM_Logo.svg.png


www.ffrf.org




Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say every case, but there is a huge majority that do.

You believe there are no genuine relationships at all? Or are you talking about the men who are crib snatching the women the day of their 18th birthday?

Janelle, you are entirely correct in your assumption. Which by the way is more than a mere assumption. The huge numbers of old fossils finding young pretty brides in the Philippines disgusts me. We can argue that it is a two way street but the fact remains that these men are nothing more than dirty old men who could never find a pretty young bride in the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Fourth-generation Chinese-American filmmaker Debbie Lum was inspired by personal experience to discover the psychology behind yellow fever
  • In the documentary, she follows the lives of Steven, a white 60-year-old Asiaphile, and Sandy, 30, his Chinese mail-order bride
A new documentary, which airs tonight on PBS, explores the psychology behind yellow fever - the phenomenon that sees white men attracted to, and sometimes even obsessed with, Asian women.

Filmed and directed by Debbie Lum, a fourth-generation Chinese-American from St Louis, Missouri, Seeking Asian Female looks to discover why many men see Asians as ideal wives, a concept that is 'very painful for the Asian-American community,' Ms Lum told ABC News.

According to the filmmaker, there is an overriding perception that women of that particular race are more docile and make for obedient life partners, a stereotype that is offensive and often untrue.

Indeed, according to Goal Auzeen Saedi, a post-doctoral fellow in counseling at Stanford University, the dominant perception is that women from Asia are 'submissive'.

In a 2011 Psychology Today article, Dr Saedi explained that the men who desire Asian women - most of them Caucasians themselves - are sending an 'underlying message about power, dominance and white privilege'.

It is exactly that attitude that Ms Lum sought to expose in her debut feature-length film.

'Every Asian-American woman knows exactly what I am talking about,' she said. 'Men come up to you in a way that really looks like a stare, which lasts a bit longer than it should.

'You can feel it,' she continued. 'It's like they are looking through you.'

In the film, Ms Lum follows the lives of Steven, a twice-divorced 60-year-old on the hunt for an Asian bride, and Sandy, the Chinese woman half his age whom he meets on the internet and ultimately marries.

According to the website for the documentary, Steven first became interested in Asian women after witnessing the success of his son's marriage to a Japanese immigrant.

The 60-year-old, who works as a garage attendant at the San Francisco airport, spent years looking through mail-order catalogs and dating websites, trying to find the perfect mate.

'Over the course of the last five years there must be hundreds of different girls from China that I've been writing to,' he explains in a trailer for the movie.

'Men come up to Asian-American women, and it's like they are looking through them'

Finally, Steven meets Sandy - a 30-year-old factory worker who grew up on a tea farm in the remote mountains of China.

He flies out to Sandy's home country to meet her, and two weeks later he returns to California with Sandy in tow, after she agrees to marry him.

'I'm happy as a clam,' he says in the trailer with a boyish grin as he introduces his fiancee to the film director.

But while Steven has fulfilled his fantasy by having a relationship with an Asian woman, the couple soon begins to struggle to communicate, since Sandy's English is basic and Steven doesn't speak a word of Chinese.

The trailer shows them bickering, with neither able to understand the other. 'What?' Steven yells to Sandy at one point. 'Speak in English!'

Ms Lum, who speaks Chinese, becomes a translator and mediator as both Sandy and Steven turn to her to resolve their issues.

Steven admits to the filmmaker: '[sandy] has read a lot of things to me in Chinese. I feel comfortable with it, but I have no idea what she's saying.'

Ultimately though, their relationship works after Steven realizes that he can love Sandy despite her fiery temper, a trait which contradicts the stereotypical picture of an Asian female.

Today, Sandy and Steven have been happily married for four years.

'Yellow fever is very painful for the Asian-American community'

'[steven's] obsession with any Asian woman has been replaced with a real-live Sandy,' explains Ms Lum, who admits that her own preconception of Steven was perhaps just as bad as those she sought to debunk about Asian women.

Still, Ms Lum said she hopes the film will start a conversation about negative categorizations in general - including those involving men like Steven.

'The story is about expectations and stereotypes, which are very related,' she said. 'Stereotypes about white guys, and expectations going into a relationship.'

Ms Lum, who speaks Chinese, becomes a translator and mediator as both Sandy and Steven turn to her to resolve their issues.

Steven admits to the filmmaker: '[sandy] has read a lot of things to me in Chinese. I feel comfortable with it, but I have no idea what she's saying.'

Ultimately though, their relationship works after Steven realizes that he can love Sandy despite her fiery temper, a trait which contradicts the stereotypical picture of an Asian female.

Today, Sandy and Steven have been happily married for four years.

'Yellow fever is very painful for the Asian-American community'

'[steven's] obsession with any Asian woman has been replaced with a real-live Sandy,' explains Ms Lum, who admits that her own preconception of Steven was perhaps just as bad as those she sought to debunk about Asian women.

Still, Ms Lum said she hopes the film will start a conversation about negative categorizations in general - including those involving men like Steven.

'The story is about expectations and stereotypes, which are very related,' she said. 'Stereotypes about white guys, and expectations going into a relationship.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2320291/The-allure-yellow-fever-New-documentary-explores-white-American-men-aspire-marry-Asian-women.html

article-2320291-19A5B54B000005DC-186_634

There's a difference between meeting a partner overseas and deliberately seeking one out. In the latter scenario, I believe there's a pretty consistent psychology at work.

Interesting to see how this thread progresses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Janelle, you are entirely correct in your assumption. Which by the way is more than a mere assumption. The huge numbers of old fossils finding young pretty brides in the Philippines disgusts me. We can argue that it is a two way street but the fact remains that these men are nothing more than dirty old men who could never find a pretty young bride in the US.

That and they couldn't wear the pants in the relationship in the U.S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a difference between meeting a partner overseas and deliberately seeking one out. In the latter scenario, I believe there's a pretty consistent psychology at work.

Interesting to see how this thread progresses.

Some very strong psychology at work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about strong, but certainly very obvious. It's a contentious issue to talk about on a site like this. There do seem to be consistently large age gaps between the two parties. While there's nothing wrong with an age gap, I think it's entirely understandable why such relationships are subject to intense scrutiny by immigration when they involve foreign dating websites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How does he get a K-1 within the 2 weeks that he's overseas and that would appear to be his first trip to meet her?

It doesn't say that the trip in which he brought her home to marry was his first trip to meet her it simply says he flew to meet her and her family. And even if it was his first time meeting her, there are waivers that can be filed under certain circumstances to do away with the meeting criteria of a K-1. So it is possible.

If you read the entire paragraph it does sound like the trip in which he brought her home was at least his second time meeting her.

Finally, Steven meets Sandy - a 30-year-old factory worker who grew up on a tea farm in the remote mountains of China. Could be 1st meeting

He flies out to Sandy's home country to meet her, and two weeks later he returns to California with Sandy in tow, after she agrees to marry him. Could be 2nd meeting or 3rd for all we know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×