At the crossroads of race and sexuality lies the fetishization of people of color | Lifestyles

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“Global” may sound like an exaggeration, but racial fetishization is a problem in many parts of the world outside of the United States

Associate history professor Christine Hinz said this was supported by her previous experiences as a black woman living in Japan.

“My point of view is that [racial fetishization is] not a western phenomenon. But it has to do with how race was introduced as a concept beyond the West, ”Hinz said. “So race fetishization may have started in the West, but it didn’t stay there. In Japan in the 19th century, they began to accept the racial descriptions, racial categories, racial hierarchies that came from the West.

The historical roots of fetishization in America run as deep as Europe’s initial colonization of the Americas and continue to this day. Black women in colonial history were seen as particularly tempting to white men, according to Tandra Taylor, a professor in the Department of History.

“If we look at the stereotype of Jezebel, which was created during the time of slavery,” Taylor said. “We see this stereotype, or the legacy of this stereotype, continuing to shape and influence the perceptions of others about black women.”

Sociology professor Florence Maätita said in her lessons on race and ethnicity that she discusses the use of racial sexist stereotypes in the media.

“I ask the students to unbox the main Geisha archetypes: the calm and truly submissive Asian woman. Or it’s the Lady Dragon. She is very fierce and controls her sexuality, ”said Maätita.

The majority of racial fetishization issues tend to have the most impact on women of color, but that doesn’t mean it’s a strictly gendered issue, either.

“When you think of black body fetishization, you can certainly include other genres as well. Blacks as a whole have historically been understood to be hypersexual. The focus was on how their genitals and reproductive organs function differently from Europeans,

or European American organizations, ”Taylor said.

Fetishization issues impact people of color regardless of gender, but the intersectional role misogynist violence plays when applied to women of color is undeniable.

While the full set of motives is still debated, many see a connection to racial fetishization in the shootings of Asian massage parlors in the Atlanta area by Robert Aaron Long, who was allegedly motivated by his sex addiction by the police.

“A lot of people say ‘No it’s just about this guy’s sexual inclinations, it’s not about race’, and to me that suggests a lot about how we neglect and deny voices, we deny power, we deny legitimacy, ”Maätita mentioned. “Because yes, it’s certainly motivated by his sexual inclinations, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely separate from racism. And that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s separate from the fact that he specifically targeted [Asian owned locations]. “

Not only can representation have an impact on how society views them, but representations of people of color in media, including fetishization, can even impact self-image and lead to internalized racism. .

“I find it hard to imagine a woman belonging to a racial or ethnic minority who might not recognize that she has been fetishized, or maybe never been fetishized,” Maätita said. “Considering the culture we live in, where there are so many images, so many messages, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t have some sort of way of thinking about this.”


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