The cause of Sexual Imperialism

unduhan-92“Me love you long time” is a phrase often used when referring to foreign Asian women and sex.  It may or may not be explicitly associated with illicit sex but the clear underlying message is that the Asian woman’s role is to sexually serve the man.  She is to be docile, unassuming, exotic and demure — yet wildly sexual and uninhibited.  A woman with “slanted eyes and creamy yellow thighs” (lyrics from “Asian Girlz” song) to be tamed and devoured by the white man.

If you ask anyone younger than 30 where the roots are from the line, “Me love you long time”, you’d probably get a blank stare.  They may think it’s just broken English from an Asian women who is truly trying to express genuine affection to someone in English.  The reality is that this phrase, “Me love you long time” is not “I love you” coming out awkwardly in an Asian accent.  Instead, it’s a phrase popularized by Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 movie, Full Metal Jacket, where the line itself is taken from the scene where a Vietnamese woman propositions herself to two American GIs.

The movie’s objective was in capturing the essence and impact of the Vietnam War based on the experiences of a U.S Marines Corps platoon.  The term has since become a popular part of American lexicon spoken with limited insight to the past or a desire to ignore the realities of the present.

The scene unfortunately speaks the ugly truth about collateral damage in wars, especially U.S. military occupation overseas in Asian countries.  The first major American White sexual imperialism occurred during the Philippine-American War (1899-1902).  The Filipinos fought from being colonized by the U.S. but 250,000 lost lives later, they succumbed to the might of America’s military.  While the actual war only lasted three years, there were insurrections and rebellions along the way that kept a large number of American soldiers stationed on the island for more than a decade.  Slash and burn techniques swept across villages as the country lay in waste.  When the soldiers tired of wreaking havoc on the land, this same imperialistic mentality to conquer shifted to the local Filipina women who they referred to as, “little brown fucking machines powered by rice.” *

Filipino women were viewed so subservient and subordinate, not only to White men but also to White women, that U.S. soldiers sexually denigrated them in a way they would never have treated their spouses or other women back home.  “Filipina sex workers, for example, frequently report ‘being treated like a toy or a pig by the American [soldiers] and being required to do ‘three holes’ – oral, vaginal and anal sex.” *

It was this American colonialization period during the turn of the 20th century that gave rise to today’s notorious sex entertainment industry in Asia.  Sex and prostitution sprang up to cater to the American military amidst the backdrop of political and economic plight, despair, and poverty where a man could have “a girl for the price of a hamburger”.*

A few decades later, during the Vietnam War, this only intensified as the conflict took a long and brutal toll on the U.S. military and the American psyche back home.  But on the battlefield, the mind of the fighting soldier must be protected and preserved at all costs, even at the cost of Vietnamese or Thai women and girls.  Consequently, several military bases were stationed in Thailand to shelter up to 70,000 American GIs at any given time for “rest and recreation”.  “With pervasive disregard for human rights, the military grimly accepts and recognizes access to indigenous women’s bodies as a ‘necessity’ for American GIs stationed overseas”. *