Akrypti from 8Asians wrote a piece in response to my International Examiner article called The Perfect Villain: Straight Asian Men. In her piece, she talks about her perspective as an Asian American woman. It’s a great piece. She argues that Asian women often don’t see Asian men as invisible, but instead often see us as evil or take us less seriously than other groups.
There were a few points that I really appreciated.
1. Akrypti mentions Frank Chin and Minority Militant, and how people didn’t take their points seriously. She also mentions that the same thing takes place with the IR issues.
2. Asian men aren’t seen as protectors of Asian women. She writes:
Why don’t we take straight APA men seriously? Is it a matter of invisibility? No. We see them. The truth is, we don’t really like them. They’re villains. They represent male dominance. Heterosexual dominance. And before anyone can do a doubletake on the logical fallacies there, we got the waves of APA women feminists who reinforce the villain archetype with narrative after narrative of straight APA men who fail to protect women, because whether or not we realize what it is we’re doing (*cough* traditional gender roles *cough*), at the heart of it that’s what women want: men to be protective. So it isn’t that Asian women believe the crazy villain stereotypes of Asian men; it’s that we don’t necessarily see them as protective over us, and so subliminally it’s easier for us to buy into the overt stereotypes, or worse yet, generate them, and then proceed to ignore and dismiss the rational straight Asian men who challenge those stereotypes.
I thought this was particularly interesting, as we Asian men tend to see the AFCC as not wanting anything from us ever, protection or anything else. And this might be true in many cases. I don’t know. But it’s not true of all Asian women.
3. New media (outside of those doin’ it for the money) tend to focus on Asian guys hooking up rather than protecting women. I agree with this 100%. This is yet another reason why PUA is the most ridiculous form of snake oil that the peddlers are selling. It’s that same “masculine” question–masculinity means being brave, truthful, and good. Lots of these people have their eye on the wrong ball.
4. She writes:
“Straight APA men are not a part of any white-backed movement and as a result, do not have any affiliations, sympathies, or mainstream support. They are the more marginalized and thus if there is any work left for activists to do, it would be to seek a dynamic equilibrium between the APA sexes. After all, isn’t that what feminism is all about?”
That’s it 100%. Kingstonism sold well during the 70′s because Asian American feminists were tied to White feminism (and most Asian American feminists only dated White guys). Gay Asian stuff sells well these days because of the White male connection. Heterosexual Asian American guys deal with the Invisible Chain and are pretty much just doing it ourselves. We’s gots no White male connection and no White female connection.
It was good to hear this perspective from an Asian American woman, and it’s great to find some common ground in this debate. Within Asian America, there are PUA goofballs on one extreme, and there are bat-shit-crazy-man-hating-self-described-”feminists” on the other, but in the middle are normal men and women who can find common ground if they seek it. I have very positive feelings about the future. We just need to keep the dialogue going.