so you don’t think fetishization is a bad thing
alright. I’m tired, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve refilled for tea, and I wanna talk about this because it’s seriously not clicking for some people. if you’re one of the various people hate reading my blog, buckle up.
to preface, I’m gonna link y’all to this post of mine (featuring an RB from @clonehub as well because I think it should be read with their addition) which talks about fetishizing of clones in reader content. here’s another post which is a bit older where I talk about fiction’s impact on reality, and lastly a post on clone fetishization in general. it isn’t necessary to read all these to understand what I’m getting at, but I recommend giving them a glance over anyway.
one last thing, I’m going to breaking this down through my own experiences with fetishization in order to ultimately compare it to how I see the fandom treating clones right now. this is not to say all BIPOC experiences are the same. the point of me doing this is to show how I am seeing my encounters with fetishization/sexualization reflected in the clone fandom and why that’s really bad. this post, however, can be applied to other instances of fetishization, particularly with anime and k-pop too. anyway, I’ve put enough of a disclaimer, lemme get into the bulk of things.
the Western World has a long history of painting Asian women as objects of sexual temptation in fiction; Austin Powers, Kill Bill, Madame Butterfly, Memoirs of a Geisha, Harry Potter, etc, all of these have examples of this. Asian women are painted as seductive, alien, sexual objects, and they use their sexual appeal in order to get what they want. Or they’re the token love interest who doesn’t do anything more than sit pretty while the heroine switches from one girl to the next. I was eight maybe when I went as Cho Chang for Halloween because everyone told me I looked like her. I was nine when an old man tugged at my jumper and told me I’d grow up to look just like Lucy Liu. “I’ll be waiting for you then” he told me. I was ten when a boy six, seven years older than I was told me he liked my slanted eyes and tried to kiss me.
anime started gaining popularity in the Western world around ehhh the 1990s give or take. Japanese culture was turned into a trend for white people to wear and take off whenever they got bored of it, and Asian women... well they got the bottom of the barrel. it didn’t—and still doesn’t—matter if you were Japanese or not. “real life anime girlfriend” this, “real life anime girlfriend” that. everyone talking about how pretty Japanese women are on a Korean girl’s post. the fandoms quite literally fueling into this obsession with Asians and how we look, how we dress, how we speak. being called a ch/nk was bad enough, but then they start to call me “tr/p”. they call me “anime girl”, "waifu”, they call me all sorts of things, things I didn’t know the definition for when I was ten, eleven. their fandoms encouraged it—to them, we are like toys to be played with and discarded at whim.
and then k-pop is popular now. k-pop and k-dramas, neither of which are inherently meant for sexualization, especially not in the way some anime shows are. suddenly it is not just the men, but it is the white women too who are jumping onto my culture. they are calling these idols “baby boy”, “smol bean”, “innocent”, they are saying things like “I want a Korean boyfriend!” I stopped dating non-BIPOC once K-pop really hit mainstream because it is always a game of “do they want me or do they just like me because I am Asian?” I have lost count of the friends and even strangers who speak about how partners have only liked them because of their East Asian features. I have listened to friends cry over the phone because of how they were used. they view us as interchangeable—they view us as all the same. and that does not even get into how South/South East and Western Asians are treated. look at how Vietnamese women are shown in media, for example—they are ridiculed and painted as prostitutes. that is only the surface level.
being seen as an object isn’t a compliment. being stripped of my autonomy and personality isn’t a compliment. being harassed isn’t a compliment. being infantilized isn’t a compliment.
when you look at this, you have to realize that it isn’t just some executives making the decisions to portray us that way. these fandoms fuel into it. with things like K-pop, the fandoms are the driving force. they are the ones making fan art and fan fiction. they are the ones making posts about how they want an Asian partner (and when they say this, we know they mean East Asian. they don’t even view anything outside of China, Korea, and Japan as Asia more often than not), they are the ones talking about their “smol bean uwu biases”, their “babies”. they are the ones commenting ridiculously sexual things under posts that should have nothing to do with that.
so then you look at the clone fandom. you see the people who talk about how hot it is to see MOC (or well, men who are supposed to be of color but have been ridiculously whitewashed) in literal slave collars. you have a drawing of a clone literally just standing there and your first thought is to call him “thicc” when that is not even the correct usage of the word. you make arguments like “well some Maori” are lightskinned! as if the clones come from multiple people, not just one, brown man. there are people who refer to their skin tone using food comparisons, then there are people who assign them all the same personality with absolutely no nuance. you have people calling themselves “clone trash” or “clone simps” [edit b/c the link didn’t work the first time for some reason, post is again from clonehub] (again, not even correct usage). you have people calling them “smol beans” and “babies” or you have people seeing them as brute, dominant, alpha males because “they’re commanders, all commanders are like that!” you write and draw without thinking for a second about how damaging your shit can be.
why is it so hard to recognize that fandom spaces endorse this? why is it so hard to recognize that corporations have target audiences that clearly aren’t people like me? why is it so hard to recognize that if you are white, you are privileged, regardless of whether you are a woman or not because people will always see your race first? why is it so hard to avoid feeding into racism when BIPOC like myself are literally giving you the resources?
being a creator doesn’t absolve you of being racist. I’m a creator who draws and writes. I can take a couple seconds out of my day to think critically about what I’m putting out there. I can take a couple seconds to think about fandom racism and how it’s perpetuated by other creators who draw and/or write just like me. I can think about how violently racist so much of Star Wars is, and how so many fans contribute to that because they would rather keep in their safe bubble than actually think about the consequences of their actions. I’ve lived through the consequences of those actions from others. this isn’t a pity party—this is me putting it as bluntly as possible because I know firsthand what that does to people, not just myself. and this isn’t some “fandom police” or “purity culture” thing either, this is me telling you to shut the fuck up. and listen.
BIPOC, feel free to add whatever. white people, just reblog and stay quiet. please.
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