King Zeal: "The basis of this relationship is an asian woman who has a relationship with a white man, and the man is the one with the power."
Lets use this as Laconic.
To shorten it further: "An unequal relationship between an Asian woman and a white man, where the man is the one with the power."
As for subtypes, this trope has two subtypes: The one where the power imbalance is portrayed as cool/romantic/sexy, and the one where the power imbalance is instead seen as a matter of exploitation.
The five traits you mention are not subtypes, independent or otherwise. They are five semi-random traits that are indeed often used to highlight this trope. However, this trope can be played without using even one of those five traits, the film Mammoth
is one example of that. And theoretically, a work could use all five traits while still averting this trope completely - although that would probably count as a notable aversion.
Your five traits are independent tropes that in themselves doesn't have to have anything to do with this trope. And they doesn't automatically become this trope i the woman is Asian. Meek
usually come with a power dynamic, but it doesn't have to. Ms. Fanservice
doesn't have any built-in power dynamic. Social disadvantage plus relationship is so close to the core concept that I don't think this trope can be avoided completely - but it could be discussed or subverted rather than a straight example, depending on how it's played. Hopeless Suitor
does come with a power dynamic, bu not necessarily this
power dynamic. Same goes for Destructive Romance
in general and self-destructive levels of loyalty i particular. These tropes are relevant and should be mentioned, but giving the too much focus will make people mix up the tropes. The are not different ways in which this trope itself is portrayed, but merely tools that can be used to indicate that this trope is at play.
Returning to the two actual subtypes, coolness versus exploitation... While I don't want a list of those either, I do think they could use a little bit more attention. Especially since some works pit these two subtypes against each other as some kind of point-counterpoint. Adding some minor changes to this effect to the description.
Suggested trope description, v5.
An unequal relationship between a white man (who has the power, because he's white and male) and an Asian woman (who lacks power, for the same-but-inverted reasons).
The inequality can surface in ways such as the woman being very meek
and desperately loyal
to her man, while he treat her as merely a fetish object
rather than a complete human being. The Asian girl may be socially disadvantaged (compared to either the white male or a non-asian romantic rival): economically destitute, uneducated or under-aged.
She may be an immigrant who lack a social network or language skills
in the new country and who may even risk getting throw out of the country i the man gets tired of her. The man and the woman may disagree on whether the relationship is romantic or purely sexual, and whether it is long term or short term. If so, expect the man to consider it short-term and sexual while she consider it long-term and romantic.
The power imbalance may be portrayed as problematic or unproblematic, sometimes going back and forth between these two perspectives.
In it's classic form, deeply rooted in western fantasies about the mysterious orient
, the power imbalance is not only unproblematic, but also cool and romantic
, where the White Male Lead
is an awesome Mighty Whitey
. The Asian Mysterious Waif
is often contrasted with the Yellow Peril
. Or combined with it, in a Dragon Lady
When the power imbalance is portrayed as problematic, the work often bring up issues of exploitation, Questionable Consent
, outright Domestic Abuse
, racism and misogyny. When a character portray a relationship in such a negative light, without the relationship being treated as such by the narrative, it's a Maligned Mixed Marriage
that gets special attention in the same way as relationships between white women and black men
edited 23rd Mar '12 5:52:26 AM by Xzenu