Over at Cactus Kate, a fluff piece on expats returning home from the HoS earned some prickly prose for being dumb. Sure enough an even worse literary crime than the HoS reared its ugly head, the inane writings of a charisma man struck down by a case of foreign fever.
For those not in the know, Charisma man is based on a Japanese comic strip about geeky single western men who show up in the Land of the Rising sun to find he suddenly has the power to pull hot Japanese woman, speak fluent Japanese, drink copious amounts of alcohol and be the popular guy he always knows he was back in the west. The arch-nemesis of the charisma man is the western women who drain him of his superpowers whenever he is in their presence. The comic gets much play amongst western expats in Asia though the theme, the exotic is erotic, could be applied to just about anyone who finds themselves a stranger in a strange land.
But what is foreign fever you may ask? Just like its Asian cousin, yellow fever, foreign fever refers to people (usually men) who go out of their way to date well, foreigners, because the women from their home country are fat/slutty/don't use make up/shallow/angry/materialistic/drink too much/don't look after themselves and mostly importantly don't 'look after' (read sleep with, cook, clean and just generally worship) 'their' men (actually just one man, him) . I've lost count of the number of times I've heard this sort of tripe leveled at New Zealand women. Not because I happen to be a bitter New Zealand woman crying into my latte that those feminine foreigners have stolen 'my' men but because I've heard the same shit about Australia, Canada, Britain, Thailand, Philippines and Korea by males of various nationalities during my time abroad. So many different nationalities, so many women committing the same crime, being 'unfeminine' in the eyes of a man.
But what exactly is feminine? In the case of those charisma men with a case of yellow fever, feminine is often a synonym for submissive. This seems so weird because anyone who has actually spent any time around Asian woman (and no having sex with barflies doesn't count) they'd find out that there are many adjectives to describe them and submissive sure as hell ain't one of them. Just ask anyone who has been on the business-end of a tussle for the last subway seat with an umbrella wielding 5' nothing grandmother or even the actual partners of these 'doll like' women.
But how do you tell the difference between a charisma man and a regular guy who happens to be married to woman who doesn't share the same passport? Quite simple, look at they treat their partners. If a man constantly refers to his partner as my *insert nationality here* girlfriend/wife rather than her name, it because the dipshit charisma man can't actually pronounce the woman's name despite spending years learning the local lingo.
When challenged on his racism/sexism, a charisma man will often point out that they can't possibly be racist because they have an *insert nationality here* girlfriend/wife and mixed kids. They will also wax lyrical about how feminism has destroyed women from *insert home country here* yet how terrible the women from *insert foreign country here* are treated by the local men and how much better his wife/girlfriend it is now that he has liberated her from such oppression.
If you make the mistake of provoking a Charisma man's pseudo-intellectual rants, be sure to score bonus points by pointing out that he is oblivious to the fact that his wife has not sat down to join him for dinner because she is busy making sure he is full by offering to pour the long-suffering woman a drink.
She probably needs it.