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Among white racist stereotypes, one of the classics is that the difference between white women and Asian women is that white women are respectable while Asian women are to be considered as prostitutes. Whether or not the individual Asian woman is a sex worker is often beside the point.
Starting out among white people, this stereotype has since been adopted and nourished by some conservative Asians, as a Double Standard to keep "their" women in line: Western women can be free and still respectable, but an Asian woman behaving in the same way is to be condemned as a prostitute. This typically come in the form of Entitled to Have You implications that every Asian woman has some kind of duty to marry an Asian man - if she goes Asian Gal with White Guy, these guys may even consider her a "Race Traitor".
This trope can come to play in many different ways. When it is a part of a work's narrative itself, it might come in the form of the work's only female Asian character just happening to be a sex worker. When the trope is played by a character, it often come in the form of sexual harassment against a female Asian character - either by a white guy who consider her a whore for being Asian, or by an Asian guy who consider her a whore for not choosing him. It can also be used against male white characters, accusing him of being a john for visiting Asian countries or hanging out with Asian women.
The trope would appear to have its origins in the 1960s and '70s, in the wake of the height of the USA's military-political intervention in Asia. Or possibly earlier, with the forced enslavement of Korean, Chinese, and Filipina "comfort women" during the Japanese occupation of World War II. Much of the exposure that US servicemen did have with the locals in Indochina was with prostitutes, as it had been during the Korean War. That films about the war should depict this, along with the endemic black-market trading and drug use, is no surprise. But films of the time also began to include ethnic-Asian characters in stories set in the USA itself, the influx of Vietnamese refugees perhaps serving to highlight the existence of the USA's Asians where before they had been largely ignored.
This trope is sometimes used as a counterpoint for some other trope. In some settings, Asian women are Yamato Nadeshiko by default, but are easily Defiled Forever into this trope. In other settings, all Asian women are bad, although in different ways: she may be either this trope, or a devious Dragon Lady. In any case, an Asian Hooker Stereotype character might morph into an Asian Baby Mama.
Frequently found in places where you can get a "Happy Ending" Massage.
- Subverted in Sin City. Sure, the only Asian character just happens to be a sex-worker - but so do almost all other female characters as well. In order to give the Asian character enough of western stereotyping, she is thus upgraded to an Asian sex-worker NINJA. It actually fits the setting perfectly.
- Full Metal Jacket, with its infamous line "Me love you long time" (see the page pic). The second half of the movie takes place in Vietnam, yet the hooker saying this and a few more lines still constitute the majority of Vietnamese characters' dialogue.
- Note that the soundtrack just happens to be about a woman breaking up and getting revenge. The movie ends with most of the squad getting gunned down by a Vietnamese sniper - who is then revealed to be young and female.
- In Jägarna ("The Hunters"), the villains are a gang of (Swedish redneck) petty criminals. Their lifestyle is to feign sickness to get welfare money from the state, while making a lot of money by killing reindeer belonging to the local Sami ethnic minority. Early in the movie, the narrative establish these hunters as being the scum of the earth, by having them sexually harassing a waitress and insist that it's okay because she is Asian and thus a whore. After escalating to murdering some random innocent people, they escalate further to raping the waitress while their leader use "Chinese hooker" as some kind of mantra. Oh, and he does know that she's not Chinese, the incorrect use of nationality is a part of establishing him as ignorant racist scum.
- In the 1960s movie The World of Suzie Wong, Suzie is depicted as a prostitute who falls hopelessly in love with a Caucasian man who refuses to return her feelings.
- Exploited in The Fighter, as Dicky Ward's girlfriend readily poses as a hooker for a scam they are running.
- At one point in Ong Bak, an American fighter taunts the Thai fighters claiming Thai women come to the US and become hookers because Thai men are wimps.
- In Mammoth, a major plot line starts with Leo visiting a place where sex-workers and clients hook up, just to have a look. He obviously expected the local prostitute to be a living stereotype; finding out that she's a regular normal person leaves him shocked and confused. He awkwardly tries to take up the role of the Mighty Whitey Knight in Shining Armor instead, but it doesn't work. After that, he spends the rest of the story trying to convince himself that he's a heroic lover and that paying a sex-worker "for not having sex" and then having sex with her after all does not make him a John. This also fails miserably, and he end up leaving her without even saying good-bye... Thus after all treating her as a lowly whore to be used and discarded..
- As for the racist "all Asian women are sex-workers" stereotype version of this trope, the movie averts it by having Gloria as a central character, Gloria's mother as an important side character, and loads of minor female Asian characters who have nothing to do with the sex industry.
- Michael Holbeq's Platform initially plays this straight, objectifying Asian women with a cold detached cynicism. Eventually deconstructed, as this perspective is expanded to encompass all of mankind.
- In Least I Could Do, we have the silent sex-worker with the "I suck for a buck" sign.