(Pic from here)
Was reading some of the comments from the last podcast, and I just wanted to share a few thoughts. These are just my thoughts. Feel free to disagree.
1. Asian men and women and women share a common link. Socially, both rise and fall within the hierarchy together. One may be ahead of the other at any given point, but each hinders or buoys the other. When Hong Kingston diminishes me, she diminishes Asian women. People see her elevating White men on a pedestal, and it makes her look bad. Similarly, if I were to launch a war against Asian women, I’d end up destroying Asian men. I can’t launch a war against my own daughter or sister and expect it to empower me. (And yes, I have both.) Especially my daughter–my job is to protect her and do whatever I can to exert an influence that encourages her creativity and freedom.
2. I think there’s a difference between talking about a mass of people vs. talking about individuals. If I say, “It’ll alleviate tension if we get more Asian men to date White women,” it’s different from saying, “You, Jack Chan, need to get off your butt and empower yourself by going after White women.” One is an observation, while the other objectifies women by encouraging men to think of women as numbers. Now if we say, “You Asian men need to go after White women?” Hmm… 🙂
3. There’s a discussion on process vs. results. I agree with both. Overall, we need to achieve results. But before we can achieve results, we need to be strategic. And in order to be strategic, sometimes we have to go through the process of viewing the situation from different angles.
4. In terms of results, I think whatever solutions we talk about, we need to focus on institutions. This is the “solution” that everyone seems to be asking about. We need to build new institutions, and we need to raise awareness among existing institutions. If we speak up whenever we hear of a Falling for Grace or Dogs of Chinatown, we’re doing a good thing because we’re raising awareness. The next steps are to work with the institutions and people who produce these stories and to create institutions of our own.
5. There has been a serious loss of innocence within the Asian American community. It wouldn’t hurt us to reclaim this. I have a post about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet coming up in about nine or ten hours.