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” She flipped him off and told him to leave her alone, but he kept walking.He followed her down the length of the street and his friends did nothing to intervene.One night, she was walking past the Blarney Stone bar from a pajama–themed mixer in a matching Hello Kitty pajama set when she noticed a group of white college students standing outside the bar.As she got closer, one of the male students walked towards her and shouted, “ching chong ling long.” Then, “love me, baby doll!Mid–conversation, they told her that she was ranked on their list of “hottest Asian girls.” They phrased it as a compliment, and she took it as one at the time.Now looking back on that interaction as a junior, Emily explains that “things like this are part of the reason I’ve distanced myself from people who are not members of the Asian community.” Sarah Cho (C ‘17) also had a negative experience similar to Emily’s when she was an underclassman.After comments like this, Ashna says she has a hard time trusting the intentions of the white men who flirt with her.
These statistics speak to a larger problem that writers and academics describe as “Asian fetishization”—a problem that Asian students at Penn say exists right on our campus.
Ashna Bhatia (W ’17) says boys in middle school wouldn’t reciprocate her feelings because they considered her “too Indian.” Then, upon coming to Penn, she noticed that boys suddenly became interested in her racial background.
“You come to college and it’s like, ‘teach me Kama Sutra,’” she says.
A former a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority, Sarah also says she has received comments from fraternity members at mixers that range from the sober “where are you originally from?
” to the unrestrained “I’ve always wanted to fuck an Asian girl.” Sarah isn’t alone.