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  #1  
Old 03-04-2004, 10:01 AM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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Where Did The Belief That Asian Women Are 'Sideways' Originate?

We've all heard the "Why, you play the harmonica?" joke, but where did the notion that Asian women's vaginas are oriented 'sideways' originate? What would have caused someone to believe this??

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2004, 10:50 AM
RotorHead RotorHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
We've all heard the "Why, you play the harmonica?" joke....

No, we haven't.





Or is it just me?
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2004, 10:54 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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In my half-century on earth I thought it was my misfortune to encounter every racist notion ever devised by benighted idiots, but this one takes the cake.

Surreal, what misbegotten segment of demi-humanity has ever said this?
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:07 AM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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Exapno Mapcase, I can't believe you've lived in the U.S. for this long and have never heard this. I've heard it said numerous times, but I think most people know it isn't true and are just saying it as a joke.

But I'm assuming that, at one time or another, people really believed this as a fact. Did they? Who said it first??
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:19 AM
aahala aahala is offline
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I've spent all my life(up to this point) in the US and I've never heard the harmonica joke nor the Asian women notion. But I've probably meet fewer than 100,000 Americans so far, and these subjects haven't come up much in my conversations.

In this regard, what should you call me? Ignorant of ignorance?
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:21 AM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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RotorHead, here you go


http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...ys&btnG=Search
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:26 AM
silenus silenus is offline
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I once dated a Hawaii'an girl. Her's was at a 45 degree angle!

I first heard this when I was about 7....many, many years ago. Common urban myth among lads who have never seen a real one.
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:27 AM
B. Serum B. Serum is offline
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never... ever... heard this...
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:29 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Your link brings up one "joke" copied apparently word for word on a grand total of 17 sites. It proves that stupid racist "joke" sites copy from one another but how does this make it common or something that anyone actually believes?

And nobody else here so far has ever heard it before either.
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  #10  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:41 AM
elmwood elmwood is offline
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You mean it's not true?

The pee-pee in the Coke thing, though ... that's still true, isn't ir?




















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  #11  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:42 AM
sailor sailor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
I'm assuming that, at one time or another, people really believed this as a fact. Did they? Who said it first??
Words fail me. . . Please tell us why you are assuming people really believed this as fact. On what do you base your assumption? Pray tell.
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:44 AM
Huerta88 Huerta88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
In my half-century on earth I thought it was my misfortune to encounter every racist notion ever devised by benighted idiots, but this one takes the cake.

Surreal, what misbegotten segment of demi-humanity has ever said this?
* * *
Your link brings up one "joke" copied apparently word for word on a grand total of 17 sites. It proves that stupid racist "joke" sites copy from one another but how does this make it common or something that anyone actually believes?

And nobody else here so far has ever heard it before either.
Wait a minute . . . wait a minute . . . I'm beginning to suspect . . . it's just dawning on me . . . hey, you're not one of those lousy racists! Good on you!

Sorry -- it's always hard to resist the temptation, when someone asks a factual question that does not embody or endorse racism/sexism/-ism, to guess when the first gratuitous "Well, I certainly don't know anything about such stuff, as witness my disgusted use of shock quotes, but that's because my enlightenment prevents me from . . ." reply will pop up.

Just for the record, I've, er, looked into it and the perception is not true. Though I'm not sure how it would be racist if it were (heck, who knows, it might be better that way; it's not like saying some race has a small monkey brain or something); just kind of uninformed or silly.

And further for the record . . . I heard this notion (not the cited joke, though) a number of times in my youth, usually in jocular fashion, so that's at least two. Never struck me as particularly funny because it doesn't make much sense taken literally or figuratively, and doesn't "prove" a point even as to meaningfully 'perceived' stereotypes the way that, say, a goofy joke about slanty eyes might at least accord with something observable.
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2004, 12:17 PM
dylan_73 dylan_73 is offline
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I have heard it before...and it was here! Someone else asked this question before. I can't seem to find it on the search though (possibly because it's difficult to guess how it would have been phrased).
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2004, 12:18 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Since we're in GQ, Huerta88, I suggest you take your personal comments elsewhere.

But perhaps you could share a few things with us before you go.

You say "Just for the record, I've, er, looked into it and the perception is not true." How did you look into it? Who did you ask? What did you ask? What do you even mean by "the perception is not true"?

If you heard the notion a number of times in your youth, why not tell us something useful, like how old you are now, what part of the country you're from, who was spreading this notion.

Given the number of people who have never encountered this notion before, your experience and wisdom elucidating the subject will be much appreciated.
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2004, 12:33 PM
Iteki Iteki is offline
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Given the "er", you really need to ask how he "looked into it" ?

Why the pile on? I can't for the life of me work out what "sideways" means in this context* but there just plain are some odd physical differences between the various ethnicities, to continue the example of east asians, flakey earwax as opposed to caucasian gooey, and blue-bummed asian babies, why is the idea of other differences automatically taken to be completely inconcievable?

Fwiw, the claim sounds like bullshit, good lord we do love to make claims about the genitals of ppl of other ethnicities. I am assuming the sideways reference is some sort of reference to "slant".

*ok, what the hell is sideways referring to? <> vs () or tilted or what the hell is it about?!
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  #16  
Old 03-04-2004, 12:46 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I've never heard the harmonica joke, but I've run across the concept in fiction from the 1940s (artfully relayed so that they convey the idea without being gross and explicit). Those sources treated it as an old joke, and an obviously ridiculous one. I don't think any of these took it at all seriously, or intended it as racist -- if anything,. it wasd a comment on the gullibility of the Americans who would believe such a stupid idea. (And, out of curiousity, how is believing this "racist"?)
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  #17  
Old 03-04-2004, 01:02 PM
xvxdarkknightxvx xvxdarkknightxvx is offline
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This joke/rumor is probably perpetuated by young, college males. Since coming to college, I must have heard this dozens of times. I also heard this in high school a few times. I've never heard the harmonica joke, though.
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  #18  
Old 03-04-2004, 01:14 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
In my half-century on earth I thought it was my misfortune to encounter every racist notion ever devised by benighted idiots, but this one takes the cake.

Surreal, what misbegotten segment of demi-humanity has ever said this?
You have evidently led a very sheltered life, in that case. I've heard it ever since high school in NYC, 35+ years ago. Though usually the tale was that the genitalia were slanted, rather than horizontal. (I hadn't heard the harmonica joke itself before.) It was always said as a kind of ridiculous joke. I don't think it was ever believed by anyone other than the most naive adolescent.

Given the version I first heard, it's obviously based on the idea that since Asians' eyes appear to be slanted, Asian women's genitals must be also.
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  #19  
Old 03-04-2004, 01:24 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
You say "Just for the record, I've, er, looked into it and the perception is not true." How did you look into it? Who did you ask? What did you ask? What do you even mean by "the perception is not true"?
You have led a sheltered life.
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  #20  
Old 03-04-2004, 01:27 PM
gluteus maximus gluteus maximus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
We've all heard the "Why, you play the harmonica?" joke, but where did the notion that Asian women's vaginas are oriented 'sideways' originate? What would have caused someone to believe this??

Thanks.
My WAG is that 'someone' would have to be some wanker who'd never met an Asian woman.

You're welcome.
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  #21  
Old 03-04-2004, 01:30 PM
Huerta88 Huerta88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
But perhaps you could share a few things with us before you go.

You say "Just for the record, I've, er, looked into it and the perception is not true." How did you look into it? Who did you ask? What did you ask? What do you even mean by "the perception is not true"?

If you heard the notion a number of times in your youth, why not tell us something useful, like how old you are now, what part of the country you're from, who was spreading this notion.

Given the number of people who have never encountered this notion before, your experience and wisdom elucidating the subject will be much appreciated..
Okay, okay.

So: AS Iteki figured, my "looking into it" was a reference to having confirmed that the physiological stereotype does not appear (based on a limited sample size) empircally well-founded. I will leave it to other workers in the field to take up the investigations.

And . . . my memory of this stereotype was amongst young teenage boys, and I believe I encountered it most in the American South. It was probably around the time that the Truly Tasteless Jokes series was so wildly popular among that demographic; my library is woefully inadequate, so I can't claim that I know there were any jokes in that series specifically turning on this conceit, but it was certainly in the same spirit.

The specific phrase I most remember hearing: "They have it sideways, you know." Probably heard some close variant on that, say, 15-20 times in my life. I did have the feeling that it was an adolescent re-telling of a traveling-salesman smutty joke from the '40s (it seems to have come up in the same context as "farmer's daughter" jokes, but then, in the company of teenage boys, low sex humor is never far away, so it's possible that it was also linked with, say, jokes about black men's supposed generous endowments).

When I got to reading old travel narratives (or romanticized facsimiles thereof), I thought of this stereotype in conjunction with them. That is, in Gulliver, etc., imagining that distant races of people have strange physical attributes is a romantic conceit to excite and startle the reader with the exotic foreign climes; and I seem to remember that a number of allegedly-factual early European (and maybe Arab) traveler's "chronicles" reported any number of bizarre physical and behavioral traits even to existent peoples (whom, however, the credulous readers would likely never have a chance to meet so as to falsify the exotic characterization). I don't know if there is actually some similar historical tall tale from a traveler (alleged traveller) to the Orient who included this among the wacky traits of the exotic orientals, so that it propogated down the centuries into something that no one really believed as an accurate description, but still had heard of as a byword/joke (cf., e.g., the Red Indian's supposed complete obliviousness to physical pain/torture). But it's an interesting thought.
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  #22  
Old 03-04-2004, 01:30 PM
Matchka Matchka is offline
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In case you still don't know what is meant by "Sideways"
SPOILER:
The Asian vagina runs left to right as opposed to front to back. The wider the legs are spread, the tighter it gets. This, aparently, is a myth.


Does nobody here know anyone who served in the South Pacific theater in WWII? My father in law actually has a retouched photograph which he used to win bar bets in NY city after the war. Blew my mind. I'm 15 years old and here's this old guy (my first date with his daughter, by the way) asking me if I've ever "been" with an Oriental...then after I call BS on his assertion, he whips out this 3x5 photograph as evidence. Mercifully he was more willing to regale me with his exploits of said photo than to leave me in naive wonder.
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:44 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
Your link brings up one "joke" copied apparently word for word on a grand total of 17 sites. It proves that stupid racist "joke" sites copy from one another but how does this make it common or something that anyone actually believes?

And nobody else here so far has ever heard it before either.
Googling "slanted [naughty word]" brings up hundreds of links, mostly to Asian-oriented porn. Definitely not work safe!
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  #24  
Old 03-04-2004, 02:11 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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What Matchka is talking about is sometimes called a "three o'clock pussy". My understanding is that a very few women do, indeed, have them. However, I've never heard of any association between horizontally-oriented female genitalia and women of East Asian persuasion.

FWIW, I've lived all my life in the American South. I'm wondering if this stereotype is more well-known on the East and West coasts? Also, it may be more generally well-known among military folks than civilians.
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:19 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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In his historical novel The Dragon of the Ishtar Gate, L. Sprague de Camp has an ancient Greek suggesting that a prostitute in the Babylonian Temple of Ishtar has a horizontal opening. He's making it up, of course, but it wouldn't surprise me if the idea went back a long time.

For the record, I've never encountered the idea of a "slanted" genital openming, or the suggestion that slanted eyes = slanted other stuff. The story, as I've encountered it, was always horizontal vs. vertical.
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  #26  
Old 03-04-2004, 08:32 PM
Scoo8b Scoo8b is offline
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There was a joke about this on SNL once. Alec Baldwin was doing a Pearl Harbor parody and mentioned something about asian women having a sideways one. (I don't remember the exact wording, but there are a couple of words he obviously didn't say) That was the first I'd heard of it, and never since until now. But that proves that it is in the main stream...
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:44 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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I've been alive for 59 years. Never heard the harmonica joke. It almost certainly must be from the last 10-20 years.

While I can't contribute any early cites in print for the idea about 'horizontal' Oriental female genitalia, I have confidence that if went back to WWII and before.
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  #28  
Old 03-04-2004, 09:50 PM
benlormat benlormat is offline
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My grandfather was in the US Navy back in the 1920's. In the early 70's I found hidden in his den a box of photos, post cards and other souvenirs from his various voyages around the world which included the mysterious Far East. Among many things there was a small joke book which included the first reference I found to the "sideway" slot said to be found on oriental women. I can't say I've heard it often, but over the years I've come across it a few times.
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  #29  
Old 03-04-2004, 09:51 PM
Manduck Manduck is offline
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I've heard this too, and even seen pictures in a, um, publication. Probablt faked.

I think beliefs of this type may have been more common in a bygone era, when ethnically-themed pornography was less readily available than it is now.
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  #30  
Old 03-04-2004, 10:54 PM
diku diku is offline
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My current fiance's ex-husband, upon hearing that I had dated Asian women, would ask me this every single time. Like 10 times.

No wonder she divorced him.
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  #31  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:33 PM
bradministrator bradministrator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoo8b
There was a joke about this on SNL once. Alec Baldwin was doing a Pearl Harbor parody and mentioned something about asian women having a sideways one. (I don't remember the exact wording, but there are a couple of words he obviously didn't say) That was the first I'd heard of it, and never since until now. But that proves that it is in the main stream...
It was during the US/China spy plane standoff a few years ago. Alec Baldwin was the lone crewman who wanted to fight it out with the Chinese:

Quote:
Now, I don't pretend to know who these Chinese people are - I know they're small, maybe 1 or 2 feet high! I know they sound funny when they talk, I know the womenfolk have sideways vaginas!
(from http://snltranscripts.jt.org/00/00ptoughguy.phtml)
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  #32  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:57 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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I don't remember if I've ever directly heard this joke myself, but I'm familiar with it thanks to Asian-American friends. It seems that an unfortunately large number of Asian-American women have been subjected to some sort of "And what else do you have that's slanted?" line at one time or another. They don't think it's very funny.

I wonder if Margaret Cho has ever done a bit about this?

Anyway, the notion seems to go back to at least WWII, and is probably just another stupid "foreign people aren't like us!" thing. American soldiers who served in the Eastern Theater in WWII, or the Korean and Vietnamese Wars, sometimes brought back (greatly exaggerated) stories about the exotic sexual skills of Asian prostitutes. This may have encouraged the idea that Asian women were "different" from Western women in a very intimate way.

An experienced prostitute might indeed have practiced some technique that would surprise a naive American kid enough to make him think that maybe her genitals weren't the same as Mary Sue's from back on the farm. A simple look would be enough to dispel this notion, but there must be plenty of men who never bothered to take a look.
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  #33  
Old 03-05-2004, 12:31 AM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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since the average white male 100 years ago was ignorant of the clitoris, its not inconceivable that, except for those men who lived in west-coast towns with Asian brothels, the epicanthic eyelid = horizontal labia connection could gain credence.

Not that the Caucasians have a corner on the stupid market. For a long time the people of SE Asia believed the Britons' red hair to be the result of their ancestors copulating with orangutangs (instead of with Celts - a lot of upper-class Englishmen might admit little distinction). The Chinese dubbed the English the "red-headed devils" (the Americans were the "flowery-flag devils").
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