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
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