Influence of American Media, Theatre, and Literature  

By placing emphasis on particular historical events and/or reinforcing existing stereotypes, American media, theatre, and literature have propagated the perception of Asian women as hypersexual beings.






Madame Butterfly: Giacomo Puccini's famous opera, Madame Butterfly, tells the poignant story of a young Japanese woman and her blind love for her falsehearted husband, a U.S. Naval Officer. Pinkerton, the Naval Officer, lusts after Butterfly, having been bewitched by her innocence and graceful charm. He arranges their marriage, knowing that he can cancel the agreement at any time. Both Pinkerton's initial reaction to Butterfly and his subsequent behavior reflect the sexualization of Asian women as a group. Butterfly's "submissive" characteristics are what initially attract Pinkerton. Even after they are married, he considers their relationship to be one of fleeting pleasure, not long-term commitment. [26]

Miss Saigon: Miss Saigon, a musical by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, is a modern adaptation of Madame Butterfly. Set in Saigon at the end of the Vietnam war, the story revolves around a Vietnamese bar girl and an American GI. A group of American Marines, aware that they will be leaving Vietnam soon, visit a Vietnamese club to enjoy themselves with the local girls before their departure. The prostitutes fawn over the men, begging them to take them to America. This depiction of sexually aggressive, "gold-digging" bargirls reinforces the idea of hypersexual Asian women. The protagonist, Chris, notices a quiet young girl named Kim. He is charmed by her youthful innocence and takes her to bed with him. This portrayal of Kim, although distinct from the description of the prostitutes, also highlights Asian sexuality by underlining the stereotypical Asian quality of submissiveness.[29]