White Sexual Imperialism: A Theory of Asian Feminist Jurisprudence

Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice Law, Vol. 13, 2008

34 Pages Posted: 28 May 2008


This article studies the intersectionality of race and gender, examining it through the lens of Western imperialism. Even though both critical race and feminist scholarship have addressed this intersectionality, few if any offer a precise theory for understanding the imperialized experience. This article seeks to fill that void. The social inequality minority women face, in particular those of Asian descent, can be best articulated by a theory this article calls white sexual imperialism.

The history of Western imperialism in Asia and its lingering effects present the greatest source of inequality for Diasporic Asian women today. White sexual imperialism, through rape and war, created the hyper-sexualized stereotype of the Asian woman. This stereotype in turn fostered the over-prevalence of Asian women in pornography, the mail-order bride phenomenon, the Asian fetish syndrome, and worst of all, sexual violence against Asian women. These issues are each duly explored in the article, drawing on Professor Catherine MacKinnon's dominance theory to support the white sexual imperialism principle.

The ultimate purpose of this article is to gain greater recognition from both critical race and feminist theorists of imperialism's role in race and gender inequality.

Keywords: Asian, Asian American, APA, feminist jurisprudence, feminism, white sexual imperialism, imperialism, post-colonial, gender equality, critical race theory, racism

JEL Classification: J15, J16, J7, Z10

Suggested Citation

Woan, Sunny, White Sexual Imperialism: A Theory of Asian Feminist Jurisprudence. Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice Law, Vol. 13, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1138351

Sunny Woan (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

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