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Well, the trope does need a new description, to go with the new name. Posting my suggestion here, then. Edit: Some typos and grammar and such.
With social structures where men have power over women and white people have power over non-whites, a relationship between a white man and an Asian woman can easily be portrayed as being rooted in racism and misogyny. Simply put, she is the White Man's Little Asian Woman. In such a relationship, the white man is dominant because he's white and male, while the Asian woman is submissive because she's Asian and female. In classic Orientalism, this is portrayed as a good thing: He's an awesome Mighty Whitey, while she's some kind of exotic romantic dream Mysterious Waif or similar. In more modern narratives, it is instead often portrayed as matter of exploitation. Not only does he have better economy and education and a western citizenship, but these advantages becomes tools to oppress her. Such a plot-line often start out with him going to the east s a tourist or adventurer, or with her going to the west to work and hoping to find a better life. While traveling to another country to find love isn't a problem in and of itself, it can still slip into the Mighty Whitey dynamic when it's a white man obtaining an Asian girlfriend (even if that wasn't intentional) and it just as easily slip into the "submissive Asian girlfriend" stereotype if she's foreign, uneducated, underage, destitute, etc. When a character is maligning a mixed marriage or display jealousy/entitlement, the "White Man's Little Asian Woman" trope is likely to be discussed or invoked in the worst possible light, unfairly accusing a relationship of being this trope. The trope may also be a part of someone's Race Fetish - which may or may not be done in an objectifying (or even outright exploitative) manner. When characters play with the such dynamics in a Safe, Sane and Consensual manner, it may drift into the territory of Casual Kink. Portraying a character (either in-universe or by the narrative itself) as "White Man's Little Asian Woman" is sometimes also a case of tropes such as Asian Speekee Engrish, Asian Babymama, Extreme Doormat, or even Asian Hooker Stereotype.
edited 10th Mar '12 5:51:09 AM by Xzenu
We need to vote on the rename first. That description is too specific, wordy and confusing anyway.
edited 10th Mar '12 7:45:11 AM by KingZeal
The YKTTW is not a place where you can run to arbitrarily go to make an end run around the TRS without consensus. Do NOT try that again or you will lose YKTTW privileges. Hashing out what the trope will be named and what the new definition will be written as will happen here. It is not your own personal project.
edited 10th Mar '12 8:47:13 AM by shimaspawn
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
@shimaspawn: The work on the description will indeed be done here, rather than a sandbox page or YKTTW thread. I acknowledged your decision in my previous post. As for the now obsolete YKTTW thread: 1. I clearly labeled it (in the subtitle/laconic) as being a TRS project. 2. Not only did the thread link to this thread, but it also clearly stated (in the first reply) that it would not be launched without getting consensus in the TRS thread first. So, no, it was not in any ways meant to be any of those things you accuse me of. Sorry you took it that way. @King Zeal: Okay. Lets vote on title first.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
Agreed. Unhooking crowner. Stop trying to jump the gun on this. I really mean it. We're hammering out a clear definition here first. You can't come up with a new name before we have a clear definition hammered out. Otherwise you just get a mess.
edited 10th Mar '12 2:40:34 PM by shimaspawn
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
Definition/description was what I was trying to work on in the first place. :-/ Well, you have my current suggestion for definition/description on the top of this page. It's based on shimaspawn's statement of trope spirit.
PiffyI think the trope description as outlined in 201 sums it up pretty well.
Because underscores break everything: Working link to my Troper page
My main problem with that definition is that it's too specific and a little verbose. There's a lot of tropes in that description which have nothing to do with this trope, including Casual Kink, Safe, Sane and Consensual, etc. There's no reason to bring them up here. So, that said, here's my attempt:
This trope describes an unequal romantic/sexual relationship between a white/caucasian male and an asian woman (or their fantasy culture counterparts) with the male as the clearly dominant partner. "Relationship" can mean many different things, and includes one-night-stands, sexual propositions, or mere dating. In Western cinema, there is a lot of baggage which comes with this sort of couple. Early in the 20th Century, the Far East (or the "Orient") was seen as something exotic, dangerous, mystical and untamed. Most stories of the time dealt with some sort of Yellow Peril and acted as Wish Fulfillment for White Male Leads and involved a him forming some sort of relationship with a beautifully exotic asian woman. While that in itself wasn't so bad, over time, many of the same patterns began become reused. The Asian girl was always the "submissive" party in the relationship, meaning that she had very little power in the relationship while the white male had all of it. This could take several forms:
edited 11th Mar '12 1:45:20 AM by KingZeal
We shouldn't be using the list format at all. It is a major contributing factor behind why the trope was in such a bad shape to begin with. This should be a coherent trope, with focus on the big picture. Having five very different criterions and defining it so that an example fits as long as it fit even one of these criterions, well, that is a sure way to make a really messed up trope. And that's even without taking into account that each of your five criterions are worded in such a way that almost anything can be shoehorned in. Your attempt do have some good points as well. For starters, your numbered points do include some stuff that should be included, although not in such a highlighed fashion. Also, it's easier to read. My version is indeed a bit heavy/academical/verbose. It's also good that you expand a bit on the meaning of relationships, and that you added some links that surely belong there. However, you also left out some relevant stuff that was in my version. I will now try to merge our attempts into a new one that gets the best from both. But first, one question about spelling. We keep spelling "Asian" differently. I use a capital "A", because that's what my browser (firefox) spellchecker tell me I should do. Anyone got input on this issue?
Suggested trope description, v3.Some relationships are based on inequality. In this case, we have a 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 or toy 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, a vulnerable kind of immigrant, not well-educated or under-aged. Simply being an immigrant doesn't make one vulnerable. Lacking a social network or language skills in the new country does, however. As does being an illegal alien or the prospect of getting thrown out of the country if the man breaks up with her. The relationship itself may be romantic or purely sexual, and it may be long term or short term. In some stories, the woman makes a long-term commitment while the man consider the whole thing a temporary diversion. In it's classic form, this trope is portrayed as a cool thing, where the White Male Lead is an awesome Mighty Whitey. This form is deeply rooted in orientalism and was often contrasted with Yellow Peril. Or combined with it, in a Dragon Lady. In more modern narratives, the inequality is instead often portrayed as a matter of exploitation - based in racism and misogyny. When a character portray a relationship in such a negative light without it 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 11th Mar '12 6:49:31 AM by Xzenu
I don't understand why you believe a list contributed to the problem. The reason I separated those points into a list is because of the Wall of Text in the second paragraph, which is unlikely for a casual troper to sit through. A list at least means that if they skip the rest of the description entirely, we have the rules laid out for them. I just don't think a list format had anything to do with the problems on the previous page. Secondly, I still think your explanations are a little verbose. Such as, in attempting to explain why being uneducated or a foreigner puts the power in the male's hands. We don't need that much verbiage. Also, could you explain what "Orientalism" has to do with this? Orientalism is an imitation of asian art by western sources—even the link you provided offers no connection to the stereotyping asians in cinema.
edited 11th Mar '12 9:28:29 AM by KingZeal
Bump. (Is anyone going to suggest a new name?)
We already have four options.
edited 19th Mar '12 5:40:51 AM by KingZeal
Then let's set up a crowner then
Gentleman Troper!As Shima just posted earlier, We're hammering out a clear definition here first. We need to finish that before we can try to decide on a title.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
We also have a few of those posted. No one else has commented.
Indeed, we need to get finished with the trope description before there's any point in discussing the tiles people are proposing. Returning to King Zeal's post 211: King Zeal: On two of your arguments, you answer your own questions as far as I's concerned. You argue that having the list would encourage people to add examples without even reading the trope description. I agree, and I think it is an excellent answer to your question about having the list would be a bad idea. Your argument use the assumption that people have short attention spans. Well, that's a good reason to "explain [that] being uneducated or a foreigner puts the power in the male's hands". The point is to remind that the trope is about the power dynamic. As for my version being too long, I'd like to point out that it's shorter than yours. However, I'll think it through once more and see if I can make it easier to read. Finally, thank you for pointing out that I had provided the wrong link. There are two kinds of Orientalism. Both have wikipedia pages, and I linked the wrong one by mistake. This is the right one.
Except the list would be the trope description. The rest of the description would be explaining the origin and history of the trope, which is good for understanding it, but no so much for defining it. That's the problem I have with your definition—it explains the nuances of the trope very well, but doesn't define it or its criteria. Having a Wall of Text as a description which no one is going to read isn't better. Also, that new link is even more opaque than the last one. It includes any ethnicity that is African-Asian.
edited 20th Mar '12 2:15:34 PM by KingZeal
There. Rephrased it to make it clearer and easier to read. Can we agree on this description? If so, we are ready to move on to discuss the title.
Suggested trope description, v4.Some relationships are based on inequality. In this case, we have a 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 or toy 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. In it's classic form, this trope is portrayed as a cool thing, where the White Male Lead is an awesome Mighty Whitey. This form is deeply rooted in orientalism and was often contrasted with Yellow Peril. Or combined with it, in a Dragon Lady. In more modern narratives, the inequality is instead often portrayed as a matter of exploitation - often based in racism and misogyny. When a character portray a relationship in such a negative light without it 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.
The description seems fine. I still think it needs a summation, though. Which was why I added the list.
Good, we have agreed on the text. As for whether or not to add some kind of list to it:
edited 20th Mar '12 5:35:45 PM by KingZeal
Thanks for the heads-up, I have now posted a link to this thread in it. As for King Zeal's post, I plan to reply later today or tomorrow.
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