Yellow fever: The exotic adoptee.

I found this sitting in the “pending” pile; Girl4708 has given me permission to update and post. She originally wrote:

As I approved another comment today on a blog post I wrote about Woody Allen, I wondered about tan fever, brown fever, and black fever as Asian adoptions decline and other countries become sources for children. I’d like to know the thoughts other non-Asian adoptees have about the taboo and the not-so-taboo in regards to your own exotic status.

Any thoughts on this, this inversion of negative attention into untoward “positive” attention in the adoptive environment?

3 thoughts on “Yellow fever: The exotic adoptee.

  1. I’ll post more later, but thought I would include some links for reference. Girl4708’s original post (and here we are breaking with our “rule” of not referring back to our own blogs, but I think this one is merited) can be found here [link]; Rebecca Carroll framed it for black adoptees at the Huffington Post here [link]; and the Gawker mediates it up a few notches here [link].

  2. I was teaching a class in publication design, and I asked my students to bring to class examples of magazines new and old. Some went up to the used bookstores in Hamra and brought back old issues of Time, National Geographic, etc. We were looking at them and I was discussing various aspects of putting magazines together when I stopped cold: There on the pile were a few copies of Soldier of Fortune magazine. The students noticed my reaction, and asked me what was wrong. I tried to sum up how disturbing it was to find a magazine for mercenary soldiers (with its white-supremacist leanings) in a place which had been occupied by American Marines twice in its history (I have a disturbing photo of the first landing of Marines in 1958, with the battalion carrying the Stars and Bars instead of the Stars and Stripes). “Plus”, I continued, “There are ads for Asian brides in the classifieds section!” This was met with incredulity, and we turned to the back section of the magazine, and now the brides seem to come from Russia and Ukraine. But the overlap here is still striking, in terms of war, plunder, and subjugation of women in “conquered” lands. A great read on this subject is Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, 1945–1961 [link].

  3. From Tobias Hubinette, and the blog “Love Love China” [link to blog]:

    I agree with bell hooks who in her essay “Eating the Other” described why in recent times non-Western cultures are admired and coveted by white Westerners rather than despised and eradicated as under imperialism. Hooks linked it to a desire of cultural difference and colonial nostalgia. This multiculturalism exploded towards the end of the last century in the context of globalization and is expressed in the consumption of the Other that takes place both in popular culture and public life. […] In the post-colonial era white Westerners turned to ethnic niches where they can choose potential partners among their former colonial subjects. Hooks exemplifies it with an anecdote about a group of young white men discussing “ethnic experiences”. This colonial attitude of eating the Other manifested in relationships, continues hooks, is in fact the imperialist superiority disguised as multiculturalism – since the white partner is almost always the active one having the priority to choose in the relationship.

    The comments are toxic. And I’m trying to decide what it means that a professor might be accused of “reverse racism”.

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

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