Created By: Xzenu on February 6, 2012 Last Edited By: Xzenu on February 23, 2012
Troped

Asian Hooker Stereotype

The stereotype that Asian women are prostitutes

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Trope
Rolling Updates * Needs More Examples
  • Alt title: The "Me Love You Long Time" Stereotype.


Among white racist stereotypes, one of the classics is that the difference between white women and Asian women is that white women are respectable while Asian women are to be considered as prostitutes. Whether or not the individual Asian women is a sex worker or not is often beside the point.

Starting out among white people, this stereotype has since been adopted and nourished by some conservative Asians, as a Double Standard to keep "their" women in line: Western women can be free and still respectable, but an Asian woman behaving in the same way is to be condemned as a prostitute. This typically come in the form of Entitled to Have You implications that every Asian woman has some kind of duty to marry an Asian man - if she goes Asian Gal with White Guy it makes her a Race Traitor.

This trope can come to play in many different ways. When it is a part of a work's narrative itself, it might come in the form of the work's only female Asian character just happening to be a sex worker. When the trope is played by a character, it often come in the form of sexual harassment against a female Asian character - either by a white guy who consider her a whore for being Asian, or by an Asian guy who consider her a whore for not choosing him. It can also be used against male white characters, accusing him of being a john for visiting Asian countries or hanging out with Asian women.

This trope is sometimes used as a counterpoint for some other trope. In some settings, Asian women are Yamato Nadeshiko by default, but are easily Defiled Forever into this trope. In other settings, all Asian women re bad, although in different ways: She may be either this trope, or a devious Dragon Lady. In any case, an Asian Hooker Stereotype character might morph into an Asian Babymama.

Often played as a pure sex-object or object for pity. Hardly ever played as a admirable and problem-free character.


Examples

Comic Books

Film
  • Full Metal Jacket, with it's infamous line "Me love you long time". The second half of the movie takes place in Vietnam, yet the hooker saying this line (and like two more lines total) is the only Vietnamese character who gets any dialogue at all.
    • Note that the soundtrack just happen to be about a woman breaking up and getting revenge. The movie end with most of the squad getting gunned down by a Vietnamese sniper - who is then revealed to be young and female.
  • In Jägarna ("The Hunters"), the villains are a gang of (Swedish redneck) petty criminals. Their lifestyle is to feign sickness to get welfare money from the state, while making a lot of money by killing reindeer belonging to the local Sami ethnic minority. Early in the movie, the narrative establish these hunters as being the scum of the earth, by having them sexually harassing a waitress and insist that it's okay because she is Asian and thus a whore. After escalating to murdering some random innocent people, they escalate further to raping the waitress while their leader use "Chinese hooker" as some kind of mantra. Oh, and he does know that she's not Chinese, the incorrect use of nationality is a part of establishing him as ignorant racist scum.
  • In the 1960s movie The World of Suzie Wong, Suzie is depicted as a prostitute who falls hopelessly in love with Caucasian man who refuses to return her feelings.
  • Exploited in The Fighter, as Dicky Ward's girlfriend readily poses as a hooker for a scam they are running.
  • At one point in Ong Bac, an american fighter taunts the Thai fighters claiming Thai women come to the US and become hookers because Thai men are wimps.

Literature
  • Michael Holbeq's Platform initially play this straight, objectifying Asian women with a cold detached cynicism. Eventually deconstructed, as this perspective is expanded to encompass all of mankind.

Web Comics
  • In Least I Could Do, we have the silent sex-worker with the "I suck for a buck" sign.

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • February 6, 2012
    Xzenu
    Some guy insisted that the Asian Gal With White Guy trope (once upon a time known as "Me Love You Long Time") ought to be this trope. While it is not this trope and never has been, this is indeed a valid trope. So lets get it started. :-)
  • February 6, 2012
    deathpigeon
    This one should probably be filed under No Real Life Examples and Unfortunate Implications...
  • February 6, 2012
    Xzenu
    I agree on unfortunate implications. As for NRLEP, hmmm...

    A sex-worker being Asian is not in itself an example of this trope. Thus, "this RL person is Asian and a sex-worker" would not be valid regardless of NRLEP. What remains is examples of sexual harassment based on this stereotype, as well as structural examples.

    Hmm. We might very well be better off without allowing any of that. Dunno.

    This also beg the question on whether or not we should allow a Troper Tales section. I think we should, as long as we restrict it to personal encounters with THE STEREOTYPE. Personal experiences of prostitution should of course not be allowed.

    I got one troper tale...

    • In a forum regarding ethics and gender issues, I once encountered a (western) woman who was asking for advise regarding whether or not she should break all contact with her brother. Her moral dilemma was that her brother had a new girlfriend, and she considered this to be extremely immoral since the new girlfriend was Asian - and thus, by definition, a whore. Since all Asian women are whores, all white guys with Asian girlfriends are johns, and it was this western woman's firm belief that being a john by definition make you an immoral and abusive person.
      • I tried to make her understand how racist her reasoning was, and that if she had ACTUAL reasons to believe that the new girlfriend was getting abused then she ought to help her rather than turn her back on her and her boyfriend the brother. For some reason, this didn't seem to be the kind of response she had been hoping for...
  • February 6, 2012
    Bisected8
    Troper Tales have been purged from the wiki (too many cases of TMI, unfortunatly).
  • February 6, 2012
    Xzenu
    Wait, what? The ENTIRE troper tales namespace has been purged? That's awfully sad. :-(

    What does TMI mean?

  • February 6, 2012
    MichaelKatsuro
    It means "Too Much Information." So what Bisected8 is saying is that Troper Tales was cut because there were too many people revealing the kind of personal stuff that you'd rather not know about.
  • February 6, 2012
    Xzenu
    Ah. Makes sense. :-(
  • February 10, 2012
    pcw2727
    Not all of the female characters in Sin City are hookers. Nancy Callahan is an exotic dancer not a hooker. There is also Shellie the barmaid, Marv's mother and Hartigan's wife not to mention some other minor characters.

    Dicky Ward's girlfriend in The Fighter readily poses as a hooker for a scam they are running.

    At one point in Ong Bac an american fighter taunts the Thai fighters claiming Thai women come to the US and become hookers because Thai men are wimps.

  • February 10, 2012
    Xzenu
    Okay, changing the example from "all but one" to "most". (The term "sex-worker" include exotic dancers, not just prostitutes. And as far as I remember, Marv's mother is only mentioned - she's not a character in the story. But the barmaid sounds like a legitimate exception, and there might be more as well.
  • February 11, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    In billboards to various "clubs" they do have mostly asian women on the advertisements. This might have something to do with this.
  • February 12, 2012
    TonyG
    On the South Park episode "Cow Days", Cartman starts acting and talking like a Vietnamese prostitute after a Tap On The Head.
  • February 21, 2012
    MAI742
    Nonono.

    Close, but... (why can't I edit this?) we must play up the virgin/whore dichotomy more. All Asiatic and Oriental women are chaste and pure (and marry within their nationality) or they are dirty whores who sleep with everyone, including if not especially foreigners. There is no middle ground, and a single act - or even the mere desire to act - can make a virgin a whore.
  • February 21, 2012
    animeg3282
    The all Asian women are pure one is a seperate trope I think
  • February 21, 2012
    KingZeal
  • February 21, 2012
    rjrya395
    I'm sorry but as a half white-half Asian I believe that Me Love You Long Time should be the title of the currently bland "Asian Gal With White Guy." I don't find any thing wrong that. Not only that why did have to change the title of that trope while leaving the black man with white woman "Where the white women At?" be?
  • February 21, 2012
    KingZeal
    The last point is partly my doing. I've been arguing for both to be restored to their original titles.
  • February 21, 2012
    rjrya395
    I know King Zeal, but what upsets me is that the rename was most due to one guy Xzenu. I seen the discussion that led to rename; there's only 6 posts! And 4 of them was from him!
  • February 21, 2012
    Routerie
    Should "stereotype" be in the title? Isn't that a bit like ending a title in "trope"? Why not Asian Hooker?

    (If you consciously tried to avoid the All X Are Y snowclone, good for you.)
  • February 22, 2012
    pawsplay
    how is the Sin City example a subversion?
  • February 22, 2012
    KingZeal
    She wasn't particularly more sexualized than the other prostitute characters. The point of the trope is that asian women are portrayed as either meek wallflowers or hypersexualized she-devils. A hooker is the best of both worlds: a meek professional lover who is extremely eager to sexually please you.
  • February 23, 2012
    Xzenu
    Thanks for the input everyone. Added to the description.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=8x4084qyqnvuo71a6ynbz69u