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When Asian women are stereotyped as “submissive” and “exotic.” When fetishes for Asian women get reduced to and perceived as, “Well, why is it a problem that you’re told you’re all so beautiful and delicate?It’s a compliment.” All of the above are examples of rape culture – cultural practices that excuse or tolerate sexual violence by ignoring, trivializing, or normalizing it.56% of Filipinas and 64% of Indian and Pakistani women had These are just some of the names of Asian women who have been murdered by men – men who were former partners, men who felt scorned or rejected by women they felt entitled to, men who then thought murder was the appropriate response.These women were killed violently by men who took up logics of Jenn Fang has written about this conflation of masculinity with misogyny – and the problems with practicing “manhood” through the violent mistreatment of women.Imagined as decorative object or a toy, these tropes commodify Asian women into passive objects – made to be seen, played with, or touched, but not heard. The emphasis of these stereotypes on submission and docility imagines them as without agency and without the capacity to give consent.These assumptions can’t possibly imagine Asian women to make their own decisions or have power over their bodies.Rachel Kuo is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism and a scholar and educator based in New York City.
Which is why, when I posted An’s piece to my Facebook circle for comment, I did so with the following message: “Oh, boy. Thank you.” Trolling is the online term for — we’ll let Wikipedia chime in here — posting “inflammatory, extraneous or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.” Trolling is often done merely to taunt or prank (especially as a kind of hazing to newcomers to an online community).
On Friday, xo Jane, the irreverent women’s blog founded by Jane Pratt, posted the latest in its “It Happened to Me” series, first-person confessionals on topics that are sometimes whimsical (“My Toilet Exploded.
Again.”), sometimes dark (“This is the First Time I’ve Written About My Rape, and I’m Doing it For You, Todd Akin”), sometimes awkward (“I Tried to Have Sex With My Gay Best Friend”), but nearly always shocking. And this installment, by freelance writer Jenny An, seems poised to blow all of its predecessors out of the water.
The belief that women are entitlements, as “things” to earn or win through persistence and hard work, can be traced historically.
For example, as Asia is framed as a series of conquests, Asian women are seen as “spoils of war” or prizes to be “claimed.”While on the surface being called “exotic” or told “You’re all so beautiful” seems complimentary, exotifying Asian women reduces an entire group of women into sexual stereotypes – and also targets us in sexually violent ways.
Which seems odd, given that the story is seemingly about as insider-y an inside-baseball piece as you might possibly imagine: Titled “I’m an Asian Woman and I Refuse to Date an Asian Man,” it’s an extended and somewhat bizarre diatribe in which An outlines the reasons why she finds dating someone of her own race to be anathema, and chooses to date white men instead.