Intersecting Identities: Gender & Race

This is an issue that can't easily be tackled in a single blog post, but I still felt was necessary to begin exploring here. In the aftermath of the horrible Day Above Ground song, there has been a ton of outcry about how horribly wrong and harmful the song is. However, some of the outcry directed at the featured woman in the video, Levy Tran, was wildly inappropriate and problematic. While certainly it can be puzzling why someone would put themselves in a position where some part of him/her is being denigrated, but the fact of the matter is that some people don't believe that objectification, in particular, objectification of "Asian" women is denigrating.

But by calling her names and by threatening violence against her (I'm not bothering to give these folks any "privacy" by blurring their names because they are fine with publicly proclaiming these things), that's not helping anything or anyone.

What's the most troubling, however, is that many of these comments appear to be from APIA men. And, the fact that that's nothing new. Despite the fact that pretty much every woman I know of any Asian descent finds yellow fever to be annoying at best and upholding stereotypes and perpetuating oppression of women at worst, that doesn't stop the mutterings of the internet from Asian (American) men who claim to be unable to find Asian American women to date because they're "obsessed" with men of other races (namely, white men).

Sure, there are cringe-worthy stereotypes about Asian American men. I don't condone them and I don't find them funny. But that's not an excuse for misogyny. Then that sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you spew vitriol against Asian American women for not dating you, why do you think one of them would want to date you?

It's unfortunate that something like the Asian Girlz video, a blatant act of both racism and misogyny, resulted in some people acknowledging the former but not the latter. I don't want to belabor the video too much, because the sooner it is banished to the dredges of the Internet, the better off we'll be, but the aftermath of the video still brought forth an issue that bears mentioning and discussing.

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