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Lee and Katrina Hess' negative experiences as Asian women online led them to develop Siren, a dating app launched in early 2014 and currently available in a beta format for Seattle-area users.Siren uses "Questions of the Day" to match potential partners, allowing women to answer first and then choose which men they're willing to be "visible" to, based on the guys' answers.“All of this centres on Eurocentric beauty standards, which privilege those who are white or are white adjacent in appearance — things like lighter skin, light coloured eyes, thinner noses, certain jawline shapes.So, when we see Asian men and black women having a harder time, part of it has to do with beauty standards and part of it has to do with the ways people are socialized to imagine how Asian men or black women behave inside and outside of relationships.”This exclusion of Asian men is a particularly visible problem in the gay community.
Asian women have historically been deemed more sexual but also are viewed as being more demure and feminine.I felt really exposed," Susie Lee, a Korean American, told the ."Especially as an Asian woman, you put your picture up there and suddenly like 'Asian fantasy' would come up."There are some solutions — in the form of dating apps.The tendency of non-Asian men to fetishize Asian women, lusting after their "exotic" appeal or assigning them offensive stereotypes, has turned online dating for Asian women into a minefield of unwanted sexual advances and problematic questions.It's behavior experienced by many minority groups online, whether it's transgender women, black women or lesbians. The messages often zero in on the most hackneyed and offensive stereotypes about Asian women, from their assumed docility or sweetness to the ironic assumption that they're also better in bed.