I didn’t think much about yellow fever at the time, though, because my 12-year-old brain was a veritable encyclopedia of crude lingo.
To me, it was just another form of teasing that I threw into my sizable trashcan of forgotten terms, lying dormant all these years—until now.
One acquaintance told me in wonderment that Chinese women are great in the bedroom – as if I wasn't one – to being casually asked if I’d be interested in a guy “who has been with Chinese girls and likes it”.
I’ve been left puzzled by the insensitivity, and the lack of awareness that such comments may cause offence.
No, not the disease you can pick up when travelling to certain countries.
I'm talking about when Caucasian men develop an acute sexual preference for East Asian women – even becoming a fetish, for some.
There is even a Tumblr blog that compiles messages from “creepy white guys with Asian fetishes.” Yellow fever was also depicted in Debbie Lum’s documentary, Seeking Asian Female, which takes a close look at relationships between white men and Asian women.
No, not the potentially fatal viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, but rather a preference for Asian women.Compared with black, white and Latino men, Asian men receive fewer matches and messages from women on the dating site.That’s not to say online dating can’t work for Asian men.In fact, the most recent figures from 2.4 million users of Facebook dating apps showed a clear skew in preference for women of East Asian descent by men of all racial groups, except, ironically, Asian men.As a Chinese, single woman in the UK - where I have rarely come across racism – my East Asian friends and I have encountered a fair share of men with telltale signs of yellow fever.Alan Montecillo logged on to Ok Cupid and started filling out his profile.