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nola
10-10-2005, 12:05 PM
Incensed And Empowered
Angry Asian Man, Only Half Joking

By Jose Antonio Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 9, 2005


What are you so angry about, Mr. Angry Asian Man?

Phil Yu laughs heartily.

"We as Asians are not usually seen as an angry, militant, conscious group," says Phil Yu, whose Web site mixes humor and criticism.

"People ask me that question all the time," says Yu, a 27-year-old Korean American who has graced us with AngryAsianMan.com, a personal clearinghouse of everything Asian American. Its mock catchphrase of empowerment: "Keep it real with the rice fields." ("Can't you visualize the Chinamen?" Yu explains on the site. "Wearing those funny hats. Holding a stick or something. Squatting.")

The refrain "That's racist!" also appears regularly -- sometimes half-jokingly, oftentimes not, when Yu stumbles upon what he views as stereotypical depictions of Asian Americans. But no, he's not actually that angry. He's just like a lot of other bloggers in the URL-littered landscape, a man who has something to say that he thinks other people aren't saying. Latinos have a right to be angry, blacks have a right to be angry -- why can't Asians be angry, too?

"I wanted to play with this idea of being 'angry,' to take on this persona of an Angry Asian Man, because we as Asians are not usually seen as an angry, militant, conscious group," Yu, a graduate student in the University of Southern California's cinema and television school, says by phone from his home in west Los Angeles. "That's the stereotype that's been attributed to us -- you know, the model minority -- so much so that we start to believe it ourselves."

(Indeed, at first Yu declined to be interviewed, so as not to be seen as the personification of the Angry Asian Man: "I just like to do what I do and not draw attention to myself." But perhaps not talking could lead to another stereotype, the Unassuming Asian Man?)

A droll lack of pomposity draws visitors to the site, where an action figure of Quick Kick, the bare-chested character in the "G.I. Joe" TV show, welcomes visitors to Yu's online world. "Quick Kick is angry, too," says Yu. "Why does he have to be bare-chested all the time? Even on an episode of 'G.I. Joe' when he's fighting the enemy outside and it's snowing?"

AngryAsianMan.com has nothing to do with the Angry Little Asian Girl T-shirt and comic strip you might have seen somewhere, though Yu does sell "Nobody Loves an Angry Asian Man" T-shirts through his site. He's sold about 40 of them so far -- "40 more than I've expected to sell," he says, laughing.

The site doesn't boast big numbers -- about 60,000 hits a month, Yu says -- but since launching in February 2001, it's become a daily must-read for the media-savvy, socially conscious, pop-cultured Asian American. It's part Gawker ("Check out this Bud Light commercial. Just another Asian karate dude . . . getting his [butt] kicked . . . By an old lady . . . That's racist! "); part Drudge Report ("New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson acknowledges in his new autobiography that Wen Ho Lee was 'mistreated' "); part Ain't It Cool News ("The new TV drama, 'Inconceivable,' starring Ming Na, premiered last night on NBC . . . Hopefully, they'll give her more to do than they did on 'ER.' "). But it's also altogether original.

"He has his finger on the pulse of everything that's Asian American -- the good news, the bad news, the things we didn't know but should know. They're all there," says District resident Dennis Chong, a 32-year-old Korean American lawyer.

"What he encompasses is the Asian American Everyman. The site isn't really about him, it's about the community, about how the basic Asian American person would react to things," adds Todd Inoue, 39, a Japanese American and music editor at the alternative weekly San Jose Metro. "There's that key line, ' That's racist! ' I think it's perfect. It's funny and silly and serious all at the same time. It's activism at DSL speed."

For example: In April 2004, Details magazine ran the headline "Asian or Gay?" over its "Anthropology" column. "Don't be duped by ghetto knockoffs," the column read, referring to a Louis Vuitton bag the male model is shown carrying. "Every queen deserves the real deal," it continues, taking a crack at stereotypically brand-obsessed Asians. Angry Asian Man solicited protests to the magazine's editor, writing: "To me, this piece is written . . . for a straight white male's racist, homophobic frat-boy sense of humor -- a major men's publication effectively categorizing Asian men (and gay men) as an objectified 'Other'. . . . That's racist! "

After Jun Choi, 34, won the Democratic primary in the Edison, N.J., mayoral race this past summer, a radio host said on-air: "I don't care if the Chinese population in Edison has quadrupled in the last year, Chinese should never dictate the outcome of an election, Americans should." (Never mind that Choi is Korean American.) Yu posted the radio station manager's e-mail, phone number and address on his site: "Do I need to say it?" he wrote. " That's racist! "

Daniel Dae Kim, a star on the Emmy-winning ABC show "Lost," recently gave a shout-out to AngryAsianMan.com, where he had read about the radio host's comment. "I really like that site," Kim told New York-based Asian Media Watchdog. "I like him because he not only takes people to task when they're offensive, but he praises those who make a positive impact as well."

"We as Asians are not usually seen as an angry, militant, conscious group," says Phil Yu, whose Web site mixes humor and criticism.

Where Phil Yu begins and where Angry Asian Man ends isn't entirely clear, though Angry Asian Man definitely says things that his creator would never say out loud at parties and other social gatherings. Aside from "What are you so angry about?" the question he gets most, Yu says, is "Why did you start the site?"

"They want a defining moment. But I wasn't a victim of a horrible hate crime when some dude called me a chink and I went all crazy. It was a gradual understanding of the things I was seeing and experiencing," says Yu.

The eldest of three children, he grew up in Silicon Valley, where his second-generation Korean American family (Dad's in real estate, Mom's a nurse) fit right into the racially diverse town of Sunnyvale. It wasn't until he moved to Chicago -- he studied radio, television and film at Northwestern University -- that he started thinking deeply about his ethnic identity, undergoing a hypersensitive, almost comical phase, he says, when everything around him was offensive.

The portrayal of the Asian woman -- fetishized, eroticized -- in that magazine ad? Racist. The word "Chinese" on a random page of Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov"? Racist.

The yellow traffic light? You got it: racist!

Of course he's not that knee-jerk and splenetic now. Still, Yu says, a little anger does help with keeping it real.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/08/AR2005100801286.html

Craig
10-10-2005, 12:15 PM
Is it me, or does this article minimize the seriousness of the issue ?

Faithless
10-10-2005, 12:31 PM
Is it me, or does this article minimize the seriousness of the issue ?
Kind of.

"He has his finger on the pulse of everything that's Asian American -- the good news, the bad news, the things we didn't know but should know.
This sounds like YW and a few other Asian-themed web sites America/world!

VV o n g B a
10-10-2005, 12:35 PM
anyone have the yw site traffic numbers? do we get 60k hits a month (or does the comparison not work b/c yw is a forum...)?

nola
10-10-2005, 12:47 PM
Is it me, or does this article minimize the seriousness of the issue ?It's a start. Americans don't know we're angry at all.

Faithless
10-10-2005, 01:13 PM
I don't know about "angry at all".

But we do have concerns and can put our impression on an issue -- unbeknownst to majority of the Washington Post readership.

(Indeed, at first Yu declined to be interviewed, so as not to be seen as the personification of the Angry Asian Man: "I just like to do what I do and not draw attention to myself." But perhaps not talking could lead to another stereotype, the Unassuming Asian Man?)
No, probably not, yah dip. How about the Asian Man That Doesn't Want the Kind of Attention That Brings Racist Fucks to His Doorstep. :frown:

nola
10-10-2005, 02:00 PM
Chotto, we're angry but America doesn't know we're angry.

Yes, there's gonna be hatemail that says if we're angry we should go back home.

thaite
10-10-2005, 03:28 PM
That's Racist!!!

yoMAMA
10-10-2005, 05:43 PM
I'm pissed at whiteys!

pikachupacabra
10-10-2005, 08:48 PM
Go go go stud. Spread your message like angry little asian man sperm across the world.

Faithless
10-11-2005, 07:28 AM
anyone have the yw site traffic numbers? do we get 60k hits a month (or does the comparison not work b/c yw is a forum...)?
I think the writer may have been looking at out-of-the-ordinary blogs.

tapestrybabe
10-11-2005, 04:38 PM
anyone have the yw site traffic numbers? do we get 60k hits a month (or does the comparison not work b/c yw is a forum...)?

i feel thats a question...
only administrators of yw would be
able to answer...

but you could be right now...
its different cuz yw is a forum...
but than again, it has its own
news site at yellowworld.org...
but the front site hasnt been updated...
i suppose due to AB being busy or whatever
other reason...

either way...
yw has gotten its own
newspaper/radio publicity
way back in the beginning tho...

power puff girl
10-11-2005, 05:45 PM
why is there always so much focus on the problems of asian males when its the asian female community that is being oppressed by the instiutional power base? oh no, mr. angry asian male can't hasn't ever slept with a white woman!!

Paradox
10-11-2005, 06:44 PM
why is there always so much focus on the problems of asian males when its the asian female community that is being oppressed by the instiutional power base? oh no, mr. angry asian male can't hasn't ever slept with a white woman!!
Eh? I beg to differ as asian-americans we are all fucked with just in different ways. Asian females are treated differently in this society because of various stereotypes. We've already discussed this before. Asian males are just largely ostracized..invisible men. It doesn't have to do with the whole dating issue either there's a very large social gap between how asian males and asian females are treated by white people.

deez nuts
10-12-2005, 06:03 AM
why is there always so much focus on the problems of asian males when its the asian female community that is being oppressed by the instiutional power base? oh no, mr. angry asian male can't hasn't ever slept with a white woman!!


you should make an angry asian womyn website.

nola
10-12-2005, 08:17 AM
www.bigbadchinesemama.com

http://www.kristinawong.com/frameset.html

Banana
10-12-2005, 08:20 AM
Nah. Just ignore her teen-filled angst because she obviously is a one trick pony when it comes to poor points of view. In her eyes, no one suffers more than Asian women but in actuality, every colored person, regardless of gender, has their own specific problems and solutions.

If anything, paying attention to the problems of Asian males is a new thing since that demographic is largely ignored. Grow and shut up.

nola
10-12-2005, 08:25 AM
We need to look at our commonalities as racial minorities.

She has a point though. Just because women are a minority here women should not be mistreated and women's issues should not be ignored. I've noticed that whenever I've brought up issues that are "solely" Asian women's issues they are completely ignored (as in quickly read) and not discussed at all save for by a woman or two. Men issues that are "solely" men's issues have been discussed ad infinitum.

thaite
10-12-2005, 08:34 AM
Big Bad Chinese Mama is funny. But she doesn't update. I think she's built her site and said what she had to say, and that's it.

VV o n g B a
10-12-2005, 08:36 AM
She has a point though. Just because women are a minority here women should not be mistreated and women's issues should not be ignored. I've noticed that whenever I've brought up issues that are solely Asian women's issues they are completely ignored (as in quickly read) and not discussed at all save for by a woman or two. Men issues have been discussed ad infinitum.thats not entirely men's fault. in the past when men posted about women's issues we were repeatedly told to stay out of the discussion.

Banana
10-12-2005, 08:43 AM
No doubt.

However, it burns my hide every time one group has a perceived notion that their problems should have the utmost priority compared to everyone else. Problems are problems and should be addressed regardless of any social or political reasoning one may have. Issues regarding women's issues shouldn't be ignored at all but for her to spout off stupid and retarded comments such as "not being able to sleep with white women" to address the complaints that Asian males have in this country is unwarranted.

How about Asian guys that fight to change the ugly image that white culture has placed on them just because of self esteem issues? You don't like it when it's done to you so stop trying to trivialize someone else's crusade to right a wrong or you're no better than this white patriarchal society.

Give me a fuckin' break.

nola
10-12-2005, 08:54 AM
Yes, we can't compare oppressions and must look at commonalities. The media image problem is no doubt a huge crisis but a holistic approach will bode well for Asian men and women in the future.

nola
10-12-2005, 08:57 AM
thats not entirely men's fault. in the past when men posted about women's issues we were repeatedly told to stay out of the discussion.Asian women can tell when men aren't serious or helping.

Paradox
10-12-2005, 09:22 AM
Yes, we can't compare oppressions and must look at commonalities. The media image problem is no doubt a huge crisis but a holistic approach will bode well for Asian men and women in the future.
It's not just media image. See, this is what I hate the most on one hand you're saying we should pay attention to asian female issues. Yes, I think we should but on the otherhand you are a bit condescending and or off putting in the way you go about asking us to pay attention. Simply deriding asian male issues is enough to get on my nerves simply because that's what happens in the mainstream. Asian females at least have a voice in mainstream America, asian males have none AT ALL, do you understand now?

To be honest asian-americans might as well be two separate races. Asian-american female and asian-american male experiences are so drastically different in this society that it warrants different outlooks. In a way the mainstream white society has successfully accomplished their goal because they have divided us up like this.

nola
10-12-2005, 11:42 AM
Asian American females don't have much more of an actual "voice" in the mainstream. I agree the media image is a big problem. Our problems are completely different but we only talk about this problem. There's no excuse for never discussing women's issues here.

Angry Asian Man is pretty good at talking about both men's and women's issues. He doesn't need to disparage women to make his points about men's issues. I feel that men need to hate women here to make their points.

haplesshobo
10-13-2005, 12:35 AM
Asian American females don't have much more of an actual "voice" in the mainstream. I agree the media image is a big problem. Our problems are completely different but we only talk about this problem. There's no excuse for never discussing women's issues here.

Sure, if there's a thread about female issuses, then that's what we should talk about, assuming the guys are allowed to participate. But, I don't understand the logic when we're talking about an asian male issue that effects only asian males, why you've insisted on bringing up issuses that effect only asian women.

Angry Asian Man is pretty good at talking about both men's and women's issues. He doesn't need to disparage women to make his points about men's issues. I feel that men need to hate women here to make their points.

Anytime, a guy disagrees with you or a female icon like Mari Matsuda, you automatically call it sexist. I find your 'facts' about Wal-Mart to be mathematically impossible. It must be sexism! If I find Matsuda a hypocrite; it must be sexism! Sometimes, it has nothing to do with sexism, but that we just disagree with your world view and find your facts to be invalid.

Faithless
10-13-2005, 08:12 AM
What would the Angry Asian Man think about this thread spinning into an Asian Men vs. Asian Women fight? :frown:

I don't think he disparages Asian women on his site. He does point out problems:

http://www.angryasianman.com/angry2002-10.html

10.30.02
The National Organization For Women has released its 2002 Feminist Primetime Report. Its findings are pretty much what you would expect regarding diversity and representation, and at one point it makes a noteworthy observation: "Asian American women may be the most under-represented people on television. Last season only four Asian American actresses (out of 277 total female actors) filled substantial roles: Linda Park on Enterprise, Ming-Na on ER, Lauren Tom supplying three characters' voices on Futurama and King of the Hill, and Keiko Agena on Gilmore Girls." But we knew that. Personally, I'd actually argue that Asian American men are the most under-represented people on television...

http://www.angryasianman.com/angry2005-06.html

06.24.05
Writer Norman Mailer takes out his racist frustrations on New York Times literary critic Michiko Kakutani: Literary Smackdown: Mailer vs. Kakutani. It's from a profile on Mailer in the latest Rolling Stone:

"Kakutani is a one-woman kamikaze. She disdains white male authors, and I'm her number-one favorite target. One of her cheap tricks is to bring out your review two weeks in advance of publication. She trashes it just to hurt sales and embarrass the author. But the Times editors can't fire her. They're terrified of her. With discrimination rules and such, well, she's a threefer... Asiatic, feminist, and, ah, what's the third? Well... let's just call her a twofer. They get two for one. She is a token. And deep down, she probably knows it."

Tell us how you really feel, Mailer. Had to bring up her Asian-ness, didn't you? That's racist!

http://www.angryasianman.com/angry2001-09.html

09.21.01
Want offensive lyrics? Check out the album The Saga Continues by P. Diddy and the Bad Boy Family. Listen to the single "P. Diddy," and check out these lyrics from third verse:

Now hold up, stop, wait a minute
We don`t stop we rock cause ain`t a limit
My aim is winning
Got Asian women
That`ll change my linen
After I done blazed and hit `em

Don't be disrespectin' Asian women! Don't be disrespectin' any women! Your music sucks, and that's racist!

tripostrophe
09-17-2006, 03:32 PM
It's not just media image. See, this is what I hate the most on one hand you're saying we should pay attention to asian female issues. Yes, I think we should but on the otherhand you are a bit condescending and or off putting in the way you go about asking us to pay attention. Simply deriding asian male issues is enough to get on my nerves simply because that's what happens in the mainstream. Asian females at least have a voice in mainstream America, asian males have none AT ALL, do you understand now?

To be honest asian-americans might as well be two separate races. Asian-american female and asian-american male experiences are so drastically different in this society that it warrants different outlooks. In a way the mainstream white society has successfully accomplished their goal because they have divided us up like this.

Holy crap, that second paragraph is pretty :eek: I never really thought of it that way, but it seems like a very very good point.

I sort of disagree with your point about Asian/APIA and a voice in mainstream America though...I think that politically/socially, we as a whole [APIAs] tend to be ignored/have no voice; assuming that you were making some reference to the media, I'd say its no better there -- for the most part, any time you see an AF, its not a very positive representation, and generally offensive/demeaning/conducive only to encouraging self-hate, images of oversexed whores, etc. -- nothing worth considering a "voice". But then again, I might just be misinterpreting what you said, and if so, I'm sorry. And also, I'm sure there's several positive representations...but again, not enough.

Wow, talk about bringing up a dead topic. Sorry ha. I have 10 posts now though!

Napoleon Chynamite
09-17-2006, 03:41 PM
Holy crap, that second paragraph is pretty :eek: I never really thought of it that way, but it seems like a very very good point.

I sort of disagree with your point about Asian/APIA and a voice in mainstream America though...I think that politically/socially, we as a whole [APIAs] tend to be ignored/have no voice; assuming that you were making some reference to the media, I'd say its no better there -- for the most part, any time you see an AF, its not a very positive representation, and generally offensive/demeaning/conducive only to encouraging self-hate, images of oversexed whores, etc. -- nothing worth considering a "voice". But then again, I might just be misinterpreting what you said, and if so, I'm sorry. And also, I'm sure there's several positive representations...but again, not enough.

Wow, talk about bringing up a dead topic. Sorry ha. I have 10 posts now though!

I know Paradox doesn't really post here anymore, but I should address this again anyway...the tendency for Asian men on the internet to once again somehow think that Asian women are living it up because of such instances of "positive representation" in the media. How the fuck is being stereotyped as either being submissive or being easy and whorish going to empower Asian women unless you count being relegated to subservient status at the side of men (white or Asian)? Again, these are the same guys who like to say "Well at least the black man gets stereotyped as being virile and well-hung. That makes him better off." Of course, they say this without knowing (or caring about) anything about the baggage that comes along with such a generalization. Finally, Asian American women and men being practically separate races in our experiences and struggles in American society? Please. :rolleyes:

On a final and somewhat positive note, I've been pleasantly surprised by the Angry Asian Man website. Contrary to what the title infers, the owner of the site seems to be more than just another one of those bitter whiners and actually does a good job of posting and keeping track of news and issues relevant to the APIA cause (read: does not just focus on dating woes of the Asian male). Props to Minsoo.

tripostrophe
09-17-2006, 03:55 PM
Well, maybe not practically seperate races, but...maybe I was just thinking of the whole racial heirarchy thing, but then again, you could argue that the position of the AAF isn't really all that much higher up on the heirarchy, if you consider all the negative stereotypes about sexuality/etc. that usually are attributed to them...so yeah, maybe I was wrong to agree so quickly haha.

And yeah definitely, love what he's doing, esp. with trying to get the word out on APIAs trying to make it in the media

nameless
09-19-2006, 12:20 AM
What about the news anchor, tv host, and commercial roles? I know it's nothing substantial and they're pretty much just token eye candy, but it's still representation. Don't mean to argue, just saying...

Anyway, love the site. Always a great source of rant material. :biggrin:

tripostrophe
09-19-2006, 12:30 AM
^ News anchor is blantantly just token eye candy (read some stuff on AAM about Connie Chung and the stuff she's dealt with) (where are all the AA males in news, if we're supposed to be so well-informed/smart?) -- sexism, hierarchy.

tv host -- shrugs, may be good or bad, depends on how big a role they play, and how the particular host chooses to represent.

Commercial -- see above.

And just friendly debate on my part, cuz i wanna. :)

returntosender
09-19-2006, 12:31 AM
Well, maybe not practically seperate races, but...maybe I was just thinking of the whole racial heirarchy thing, but then again, you could argue that the position of the AAF isn't really all that much higher up on the heirarchy, if you consider all the negative stereotypes about sexuality/etc. that usually are attributed to them...so yeah, maybe I was wrong to agree so quickly haha.

And yeah definitely, love what he's doing, esp. with trying to get the word out on APIAs trying to make it in the media

I argued sometime ago that the sexual stereotypes aaf have are actually benefitting them. no doubt that some object to being treated like sexual objects, but as long as you don't utter the words 'sex object' you're pretty much in the clear. it's works the same with as the stereotypes about black guys. you don't see it hurting them much.

Napoleon Chynamite
09-19-2006, 12:36 AM
^ I disagree. Stereotypes are harmful regardless of whether they infer something positive or negative. I suppose for the benefit of the doubt I might be able to entertain the possibility that positive stereotypes don't harm the target group as much as negative stereotypes, but both perpetuate sweeping generalizations about the groups in question, limit the options of those who don't fit into such nicely fitted categories, and only serve to keep groups in their place within the power structure and social hierarchy (and consequently below those in charge); and we already know who is on top. Are we as Asians going to argue now that we want to embrace the kung-fu stereotype because it depicts us as physically capable, or the doctor/lawyer stereotype because it may help us economically in the workplace and job market? The only thing I can think of is that the kung fu and hard-working stereotypes aren't as popular among Asian males online because they don't involve Asian men being seen as worthy of, once again, getting laid.

I really don't see how people can say that being objectified as sex toys doesn't hurt...isn't this part of why feminists have such a big problem with women in general being objectified by men in society, in that a woman's value is reduced to nothing but her ability to sexually attract males and provide them with sexual fulfillment (in effect keeping them within the socio-political power and control of men)? No doubt there are those women who may temporarily enjoy this type of attention (much in the same way some Asian guys like the idea that other people assume they know kung fu), but the long term consequences on the group as a whole greatly outweigh any type of positive effects in my opinion. With Asian women, this objectification is taken deeper to a whole 'nother level, which arguably makes it worse. I'm no ball-busting feminist, but try telling any of these women's rights organizations that objectification of the female sex in general bears any type of silver lining whatsoever. Better yet, tell an APIA activist group that the objectification of Asian women actually benefits Asian women in any way.

returntosender
09-19-2006, 01:35 AM
^ I disagree. Stereotypes are harmful regardless of whether they infer something positive or negative.
I suppose for the benefit of the doubt I might be able to entertain the possibility that positive stereotypes don't harm the target group as much as negative stereotypes, but both perpetuate sweeping generalizations about the groups in question, limit the options of those who don't fit into such nicely fitted categories, and only serve to keep groups in their place within the power structure and social hierarchy (and consequently below those in charge); and we already know who is on top. Are we as Asians going to argue now that we want to embrace the kung-fu stereotype because it depicts us as physically capable, or the doctor/lawyer stereotype because it may help us economically in the workplace and job market? The only thing I can think of is that the kung fu and hard-working stereotypes aren't as popular among Asian males online because they don't involve Asian men being seen as worthy of, once again, getting laid.

I really don't see how people can say that being objectified as sex toys doesn't hurt...isn't this part of why feminists have such a big problem with women in general being objectified by men in society, in that a woman's value is reduced to nothing but her ability to sexually attract males and provide them with sexual fulfillment (in effect keeping them within the socio-political power and control of men)? No doubt there are those women who may temporarily enjoy this type of attention (much in the same way some Asian guys like the idea that other people assume they know kung fu), but the long term consequences on the group as a whole greatly outweigh any type of positive effects in my opinion. With Asian women, this objectification is taken deeper to a whole 'nother level, which arguably makes it worse. I'm no ball-busting feminist, but try telling any of these women's rights organizations that objectification of the female sex in general bears any type of silver lining whatsoever. Better yet, tell an APIA activist group that the objectification of Asian women actually benefits Asian women in any way.

If sexual objectification is an inherently bad thing, then why do little girls dream of posing for Playboy? As silly as that may sound, you really have to question yourself on the merits on what you've just said. As the saying goes, 'Sex Sells'. It's built careers for many women, many of whom are probably aware that they are being objectified. But it's not exactly a one way street. It's strictly quid pro quo.

So here's my question: Are White men sexually objectifying Asian women, or are Asian women allowing the free-flow of those stereotypes?

You're saying that White men use stereotypes to keep asian women in check, but last i checked, no one put a gun to Yunjin Kim's head to appear half naked in Stuff, or Grace Park to strip down to a bikini in Maxim. That seemed to be more of a business arrangement than an act of oppression. Does it then matter if White men sexually stereotype Asian women if Asian women aren't trying their darndest best to counter them? I understand that Yunjin and Grace may not speak for every AAF out there, but I don't think many women in their position would act differently.

Napoleon Chynamite
09-19-2006, 01:45 AM
If sexual objectification is an inherently bad thing, then why do little girls dream of posing for Playboy? As silly as that may sound, you really have to question yourself on the merits on what you've just said. As the saying goes, 'Sex Sells'. It's built careers for many women, many of whom are probably aware that they are being objectified. But it's not exactly a one way street. It's strictly quid pro quo.

...

You're saying that White men use stereotypes to keep asian women in check, but last i checked, no one put a gun to Yunjin Kim's head to appear half naked in Stuff, or Grace Park to strip down to a bikini in Maxim.

Little girls dream of posing for Playboy because they've been taught right from the beginning that being beautiful and desired sexually by men is the only path to success or feeling accepted and worthy. And you know what? If any of them ever make it, the chances are they will feel satisfied, at least temporarily. Let's just forget about the fact that, oh, I dunno, no matter how sexy or famous she becomes she will most likely always have to answer to a male (most likely a white male) from a higher position. The point is that society limits the opportunities in which subordinate groups are able to come to grasp the socio-political reins and be in charge of their own livelihoods.

Seriously, put a gun to one's head? What the hell, who needs a gun when you control all the propaganda and all the messages that tell the masses what's right and wrong? Give me a break. You know, nobody puts a gun to your head and forces you to convert to Christianity either, yet our society's moral framework is laden with values deeply rooted in Christian scripture. Regardless, Sexual objectification is inherently a bad thing because it limits the choices and opportunities of women and strips away their power to have control over their own destiny, period. Why? Because once again, it's men telling women what they should want.

That seemed to be more of a business arrangement than an act of oppression.

Just because there's money exchanged or contracts signed means there is no trace of oppression or white privilege present? I don't get it. I suppose as long as I'm doing business with white people that oppression is no longer an issue of relevance in this Asian man's world :rolleyes: Ultimately then going by this line of reasoning, you can make the argument that the buck-toothed geeky socially inept stereotype has also benefitted Asian males too then, since people like William Hung and other actors have made money off of voluntarily playing out roles (via business/contract transactions of course) that perpetuate mainstream imagery. Your argument is in part saying that basically such stereotypes are okay or even good because they allow people to profit off of conforming to such stereotypes.

So here's my question: Are White men sexually objectifying Asian women, or are Asian women allowing the free-flow of those stereotypes?

Where's the relevance in this question? The stereotypes are a product of dominant culture...and did not originate from Asian women themselves. In any case, to answer your question, both the objectification on the part of white men and the acceptance of such stereotypes on the part of some Asian women are occurring.

I'd like to return the favor and ask you to seriously assess the merits of what you are saying. This is seriously the first time I've ever heard from someone on a politically-conscious forum say that sexual objectification is not inherently bad.

returntosender
09-19-2006, 02:10 AM
Little girls dream of posing for Playboy because society has taught them that being beautiful and desired sexually by men is the only path to success. And you know what? If any of them ever make it, the chances are they WILL feel satisfied. But that's not the point. The point is that society limits the opportunities in which subordinate groups are able to come to grasp the socio-political reins and be in charge of their own livelihoods.


How does that relate to Asian women? What 'limits' does society impose on Asian women? As near as I can tell, they are every bit as ubiquitous as White females. In what way has sexual stereotypes limited them any more than sexual stereotypes has limited, say, blondes? While I agree that the existence of certain stereotypes can have a negative impact on people's lives, there isn't any indication that sexual stereotypes are hindering American born or raised Asian women from 'taking charge of their own livelihoods'.


Seriously, put a gun to one's head? Wth, who needs a gun when you control all the propaganda and all the messages that tell the masses what's right and wrong?

Again, I don't understand how this relates to anything that I have said. If what you're saying is true, then there is an even larger topic of debate than the sexual stereotypes of Asian women. The mere implication that Yunjin Kim and Grace Park are puppets willed by the invisible hands of society is a huge chasm to cross. This just sounds like a Hail Mary attempt at constructive obstructionism.



Give me a break. There's something to be said for personal responsibility and decisions, but if you're going to blame Asian women (or women in general) for wanting to look beautiful or fitting into certain standards and categories then you will have to blame every single minority and subordinate group out there for buying into what the white man has told us.


There's something to be said about personal choice. Or are we so cynical as to resort to debating whether these women have souls or not?


And you know what? Perhaps there's some truth in that, but you're simply ignoring the big picture. [B]Sexual objectification is inherently a bad thing because it limits the choices and opportunities of women and strips away their power to have control over their own destiny, period. Why? Because once again, it's men telling women what they should want.

Again, show me how sexual objectification has limited the choices and opportunities of women? Sex give women power, not take it away from them. They choose who they want, not us.



Where's the relevance in this question? The stereotypes are a product of dominant culture...and did not originate from Asian women themselves. In any case, to answer your question, both the objectification on the part of white men and the acceptance of such stereotypes on the part of some Asian women are occurring.

How much is 'some' because it doesn't seem like very vocal bunch. And if you admit that there are women like this, it isn't your job or your right to argue about the relevance of sexual stereotypes as it pertains to them.

Napoleon Chynamite
09-19-2006, 02:30 AM
How does that relate to Asian women? What 'limits' does society impose on Asian women? As near as I can tell, they are every bit as ubiquitous as White females. In what way has sexual stereotypes limited them any more than sexual stereotypes has limited, say, blondes? While I agree that the existence of certain stereotypes can have a negative impact on people's lives, there isn't any indication that sexual stereotypes are hindering American born or raised Asian women from 'taking charge of their own livelihoods'.

I suppose you wouldn't agree then that sexual stereotypes about blondes is a bad thing either. :rolleyes: In any case, being seen as nothing but sex objects, combined with the already existing ignorance that is so prevalent among non-Asians toward Asians in general, easily causes non-Asian men to not take Asian women as seriously and regard them has serving no other purpose than to please them sexually. I'm not sure what is so hard to understand here. Even if you somehow feel that stereotypes about Asian women have no more of a negative effect than stereotypes about blondes, the effect is still negative, yes? Unless once again, you feel as if sexual stereotypes about blondes are not a bad thing either, in which case we got bigger problems than what we're talking about. Basically, if you feel that sexual objectification isn't a bad thing, we really don't have any more reason to argue.

Again, I don't understand how this relates to anything that I have said. If what you're saying is true, then there is an even larger topic of debate than the sexual stereotypes of Asian women. The mere implication that Yunjin Kim and Grace Park are puppets willed by the invisible hands of society is a huge chasm to cross. This just sounds like a Hail Mary attempt at constructive obstructionism.

You're right. See above. If we can't agree that stereotypes are inherently bad period, this argument is moot. You keep bringing up the whole "Well is it the white man's fault for stereotyping or is it the Asian woman's fault for buying into it and going along with it" spiel. This process applies to virtually every single stereotype and bit of information put out there by the dominant culture onto us and is not unique to the Asian woman stereotype. Basically like I said, you're arguing that this stereotype benefits Asian women because they can profit off of it or achieve fame. And I'm saying that you can do that with a shitload of other stereotypes too but that doesn't make it any better.

There's something to be said about personal choice. Or are we so cynical as to resort to debating whether these women have souls or not?

Again, show me how sexual objectification has limited the choices and opportunities of women? Sex give women power, not take it away from them. They choose who they want, not us.

Sexual objectification, standards of beauty, standards of sexual prowess, are all set by men. As long as men are in control, a woman's choices are limited. That's all there is to it. Not so hard to grasp.

Like I said before, we have much much bigger problems here if you are basically saying that sexual objectification of women in general is a good thing for women.

returntosender
09-19-2006, 02:33 AM
Let's just forget about the fact that, oh, I dunno, no matter how sexy or famous she becomes she will most likely always have to answer to a male (most likely a white male) from a higher position.

So what do you think, we scrap all activities having to do with sex and act like we don't have urges and fantasies? Again, I'm not entirely sure at what you are getting at. In order for no sexual objectification to exist, we would have to completely get ride of our sexual urges, get ride of all visual stimulants, we'd have to bundle ourselves up in thick sheets and masks ourselves. Or we could just take the easy way out and change the psychology of hundreds of years of indoctrination.


You know, nobody puts a gun to your head and forces you to convert to Christianity either, yet our society's moral framework is laden with values deeply rooted in Christian scripture.


Okay. Scratch my last remark about the chasm, this is the mother of all chasms. That is just god awful. Are you implying that I'm a Christian? Or are you merely implying that I'm under the influence of the Christian doctrine? Is that a bad thing? If yes, how do you rid myself of this propaganda? Should I follow the Dalai Lama's teachings, or should I read up on the Muslim faith? What are you trying to say exactly??


Just because there's money exchanged or contracts signed means there is no trace of oppression or white privilege present? I don't get it.


Let me get this straight, $$ for services = oppression? Isn't that called a job?


Ultimately then going by this line of reasoning, you can make the argument that the buck-toothed geeky socially inept stereotype has also benefitted Asian males too then, since people like William Hung and other actors have made money off of voluntarily playing out roles (via business/contract transactions of course) that perpetuate mainstream imagery.[/B] Your argument is in part saying that basically such stereotypes are okay or even good because they allow people to profit off of conforming to such stereotypes.


Yunjim Kim/Grace Park =/= William Hung or his antics. How you can make that comparison is beyond comprehension. Ask anyone in the APA industry and they are all proud of Kim/Park, not so with Hung. Therefore your analogy nulled.


I'd like to return the favor and ask you to seriously assess the merits of what you are saying. This is seriously the first time I've ever heard from someone on a politically-conscious forum say that sexual objectification is not inherently bad.

Just look around. Does it seem like stereotypes are working against Asian women? Or if there are stereotypes, are Asian women doing anything to counter them?

Napoleon Chynamite
09-19-2006, 02:35 AM
My argument in a nutshell is this. Even if a woman becomes sexy or uses her sex appeal to achieve fame and attention, it's still based on standards set by men. Furthermore, women are told that sexual appeal is their prime ticket toward acceptance, which means that if a woman wants to be loved she will only have one road to choose. So how is sexual objectification a good thing again?

returntosender
09-19-2006, 02:45 AM
My argument in a nutshell is this. Even if a woman becomes sexy or uses her sex appeal to achieve fame and attention, it's still based on standards set by men.
Furthermore, women are told that sexual appeal is their prime ticket toward acceptance, which means that if a woman wants to be loved she will only have one road to choose. So how is sexual objectification a good thing again?

You didn't answer any of my questions very well. I don't want to sound like a jerk, but sorry, I thought I put together a pretty damn solid argument and if you're not going to attempt decent answers, then I'll go to bed right now.

Napoleon Chynamite
09-19-2006, 02:48 AM
So what do you think, we scrap all activities having to do with sex and act like we don't have urges and fantasies? Again, I'm not entirely sure at what you are getting at. In order for no sexual objectification to exist, we would have to completely get ride of our sexual urges, get ride of all visual stimulants, we'd have to bundle ourselves up in thick sheets and masks ourselves. Or we could just take the easy way out and change the psychology of hundreds of years of indoctrination.

I'm not sure what you're trying to get at either. As for what I was saying, let me just try to be as simple as possible.

woman want success
woman become successful
woman can only be sexy if she want to be successful
woman become successful only when man say so
so therefore
that is bad

My point in that part in which you quoted is that no matter how high a woman gets she won't ever be as high as the highest man or even among the highest men. If that's not limiting, I don't know what is.

Okay. Scratch my last remark about the chasm, this is the mother of all chasms. That is just god awful. Are you implying that I'm a Christian? Or are you merely implying that I'm under the influence of the Christian doctrine? Is that a bad thing? If yes, how do you rid myself of this propaganda? Should I follow the Dalai Lama's teachings, or should I read up on the Muslim faith? What are you trying to say exactly??

I'm trying to say that nobody holds a gun to your head to convert to Christianity in the same way nobody holds a gun to an Asian woman's head to buy into stereotypes about Asian women. Yet few would deny that Christian ideals indoubtedly influence the moral framework of individuals in U.S. society. Likewise, Asian women (and everyone else) are undoubtedly influenced about mainstream thinking and depictions with regard to Asian women.

Let me get this straight, $$ for services = oppression? Isn't that called a job?

Wtf?? Can I not get a job and still be under the control of a white person that is perpetuating stereotypical imagery and notions about me and the rest of my people? Just because I agree to it doesn't mean that certain stereotypes is a good thing just b/c I was hired based on said stereotypes, am employed, making money now, does it?

Yunjim Kim/Grace Park =/= William Hung or his antics. How you can make that comparison is beyond comprehension. Ask anyone in the APA industry and they are all proud of Kim/Park, not so with Hung.

Uh no. Many APIA activists and those that remotely give a shit about the cause also frown upon individuals such as Lucy Liu who play up the oversexed dragon lady stereotype. For Yunjin Kim and Grace Park, the only reason why I might be able to remotely agree with you there on the invalidity of the analogy is because I'm not really sure if the two really did anything to reinforce Asian stereotypes...if anything after reading Yunjin's interview she's very much against stereotypes about Asian women. However, they both arguably have conformed to standards set by men regarding female beauty in general, which is not really what we're talking about, but anyway. In any case, it was not my intention to really compare Yunjin Kim and Grace Park in particular to William Hung, but to compare William Hung as an Asian male playing up stereotypes about Asian males to other Asian females (such as Lucy Liu) who play up stereotypes about Asian females.

Just look around. Does it seem like stereotypes are working against Asian women? Or if there are stereotypes, are Asian women doing anything to counter them?

Pardon me for being blunt, but seriously, how the fuck would you know? Are you a woman? Going by what you just said, that's like saying, "Look around, does it seem like sexual objectification is working against women"? And judging by what I've seen thankfully, an increasing number of Asian women are realizing the need to battle and stand up against such generalizations and are more adamant about rejecting any assumptions about being submissive or whorish.

You didn't answer any of my questions very well. I don't want to sound like a jerk, but sorry, I thought I put together a pretty damn solid argument and if you're not going to attempt decent answers, then I'll go to bed right now.

Which questions did I not answer? You asked me to show you proof that sexual objectification hurts women? What are you looking for exactly? Sob stories about women being beaten and used by men for sex, women getting the short end of the stick from men, etc? There are plenty. If there weren't, there wouldn't be an entire army of feminists and progressives out there to back me up on the woes of sexual objectification. If you are not convinced by my argument, there are shitloads of arguments from others who agree. Personally, at 3 am right now, I'm more concerned about you thinking that sexual objectification is okay rather than trying to beat your argument point for point.

My turn to sound like a jerk, but I think I'm really beginning to understand why a lot of Asian women get so pissed and turned off by Asian men who complain about stuff like IR dating, because everything is basically from a frustrated male's point of view with little to no understanding of male privilege in society. With arguments like these it's hard for me to feel sympathy for those Asian guys that lose out to white guys in the dating game, and frankly, yes I'll say it right out, when I read stuff like this it just makes me ashamed and afraid to be associated with such Asian men.

Again, show me how sexual objectification has limited the choices and opportunities of women? Sex give women power, not take it away from them. They choose who they want, not us.

POWER GIVEN TO SEXY WOMEN IS GIVEN TO THEM BY MEN, MEN WHO HAVE MORE POWER THAN THE WOMEN WILL EVER HAVE. AS LONG AS THIS INSTITUTIONAL GAP EXISTS, THE STEREOTYPES WHICH SERVE TO PERPETUATE THIS GAP WILL ALWAYS BE BAD. Ever heard of the saying "Power cannot be received and is not something that is given; power must be taken"? Holy shit >_< I'm sorry, it's time to sleep.

tripostrophe
09-19-2006, 11:00 PM
is returntosender a troll?

returntosender
09-19-2006, 11:36 PM
is returntosender a troll?

let's just say I don't see eye to eye with golden boy here.

nameless
09-20-2006, 01:11 AM
^ News anchor is blantantly just token eye candy (read some stuff on AAM about Connie Chung and the stuff she's dealt with) (where are all the AA males in news, if we're supposed to be so well-informed/smart?) -- sexism, hierarchy.

tv host -- shrugs, may be good or bad, depends on how big a role they play, and how the particular host chooses to represent.

Commercial -- see above.

Oh, for sure, it's mostly tokenism and/or eye candy, and I'm not denying that even the 'lucky ones' face racism / sexism. My point was that these non-stereotypical representations are an advantage that AF have compared to AM in the media. It's these roles which allow society to see them as less foreign and ('cuz it's TV) more attractive by society. Yeah, we've got a piece of the pie (i.e. Rob Fukuzaki and DDK), but we could use a hell of a lot more (i.e. Lisa Ling / View, Ming Na / ER, Suzanne Whang / HGTV).