4 Times Yellow Fever Was Too Real

4 Times Yellow Fever Was Too Real

No, not the actual disease -- a condition that causes men to be so blinded by a fantasy that they generalize an entire race

These stories are all true. I've taken the liberty of randomly assigning names to these anonymous men to acknowledge their identities and not generalize their whole race, which is more than they did for me.

1. Jared, the one I apparently had nothing in common with.

I was on a casual outing with a friend, and her date had brought a friend, we're calling him Jared, just by coincidence. It turned into an unintentional double date. I'm always up for meeting new people, so in between ordering food and waiting for its arrival, I made conversation with Jared. I began with questions about his academics and his hobbies, interjecting here and there with my own anecdotes. Not once did he comment or build upon my stories. At first chance, he asked the dreaded question, "Just curious, but where are you from?" By the hesitance and tone of his voice, he might have well just asked, "What type of Asian are you?" It would have been more straightforward.

After some back and forth, I gave him the answer he was looking for: "I'm Chinese, although I was born and raised in America." I swear that his eyes actually lit up. Finally, something he could bond with me over! He immediately began talking a bit too fast about college soccer, and how there was this one Chinese guy on his team he became friends with for a period of time and learned some phrases in Mandarin. After his anti-climatic and drawn out story, he looked at me with the same eyes puppies have when they're waiting for their reward treat after a trick. Basically, I spent the rest of the night attempting to join my friend's conversation and eating my veggie quesadilla in silence.

2. Dan, the one who loves Oriental women.

We were on the dance floor. I dancing with my friend, each of us sporadically leaving to dance with interested randoms but always coming back to each other. Dan approached me, actually introduced himself and asked to dance. This is as chivalrous as it gets at a club, so I gave him a chance. He had a great smile, not so bad dance moves and didn't exude any creep vibes. Then he leaned in and said over the house music, "I love Oriental women! Are you looking for a boyfriend?" Not in the mood to start anything and startled, I laughed and said no. Then he offered to take me on a weekend vacation to another country, and be my "temporary boyfriend" all while emphasizing his love for "my people." I'm not really sure what he expected when I stopped dancing abruptly, with probably a mixture of disgust and annoyance in my face. The encounter ended with the classic, "Take it as a compliment!" from him. Bye, Dan.

3. Byron, the one who had his breath taken away.

It's no news that women get cat called. Well, Asian women get ni hao-ed by men who genuinely think they are trying to connect with us by greeting us in the language they think we all speak. What -- you don't speak Asian? The scary thing is that it's almost an involuntary knee-jerk reaction to some men and they often really think they have good intentions.

One day, I was walking to the grocery store. I was walking towards a group of men, where Byron was, on the sidewalk. They were just chatting by a parking meter, really into whatever they were talking about. As I was walking past, Byron -- who had been really animatedly speaking, hands and all -- met my eyes and forgot how to function. I never believed in the "you take my breath away" phrase until that moment. His mouth went slack mid-sentence, and I heard him say as if on automatic, "What a beautiful China." Before he could recover and attempt communication with me -- I mean, the China -- I walked very quickly away.

4. Ethan, the one about to work in Hong Kong.

I went to this bar with a group of girls, just to have a nice night out, dance a little. I should clearly stop trying to do this. I'm not one to flirt a lot with people, it takes too much energy and I'm, honestly, just bad at it. I prefer conversations, so I was pleasantly surprised when Ethan actually began one with me without starting with a cheesy pickup line. We talked about our friends, school, and because I was studying abroad at the time, traveling.

Now, let me remind you, we've been speaking in perfect English this entire time. It was going well. He asked, "What part of Asia are you from?" I shook my head, thinking he didn't hear me, and shouted back over the music, "Not Asia, I'm from America." Then, he asked me if I was from a specific Asian country, to which I repeated, "No I'm not from there, I'm from the States."

At this point, I was becoming mildly annoyed. It was clear I wasn't fitting into the mold he had already put me in. He shrugged and asked, "Well, you're Chinese, right? I'm actually about to go work at (big name company) over in Hong Kong in a month. The women in your culture are so beautiful!" Although he assumed correctly, I had stopped talking at that point, and let him continue to ask me about Hong Kong and the next time I was going to visit my family and home country. Although I have visited Hong Kong, I had never mentioned any of this, or my ethnicity to him. Noticing my silence, he asked me what was wrong. At that point, I replied, "I'm not Chinese, and I've never heard of this Hong Kong place." Well, I might have stretched the truth a bit, but I'd do it again just to see that bewildered look on his face one more time.

These are only a few mild examples of countless interactions that I have much too often, as a Chinese woman. And while I'm not one to bite my tongue and go with the flow, it's exhausting and doesn't seem to be worth my breath most of the time. But as harmless as these conversations or statements may seem, they are the products of a deeper underlying fantasy of Asian women being no more than their demure, submissive caricature. What's even worse is that men often deflect their obvious "yellow fever" with insisting that they just have a type, or appreciate my culture. I'm sorry, but if the only thing you can talk about when you open your mouth is where I'm from, how often you get bubble tea in Chinatown, and not who I actually am, you're a part of the problem.

Cover Image Credit: Teen

Popular Right Now

When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"


This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.


Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.


Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.



You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.


You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.


The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers


You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.


The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"


The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution


This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi


Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters


You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs


Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.



Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets


Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

Related Content

Facebook Comments