Image Comics Doesn’t Want Joshua Luna To Talk About Racism

(5 min read)

When we tell our own stories, we’re told they’re not “relatable”. Relatable to whom?


Joshua Luna is one half of the Luna Brothers — a duo responsible for writing and illustrating best-selling comics Ultra, Girls, and The Sword — and the creator of Whispers. But he’s also known for making more openly political comic strips that center the Asian American and Filipino-American experience, from celebrating queer Asian love to challenging anti-Asian racism:

Because of its emphasis on decolonization, this is combat art — what Franz Fanon calls “combat literature” in The Wretched of the Earth¹. Luna’s work encourages self-love and community healing while deconstructing racist behaviors and ideologies with sharp social critique. This made his publisher, Image Comics, uncomfortable.

He recently pitched a collection of his Asian American comics to Image for publication, but was treated so poorly during the process that communications broke down and he decided to go public with his ordeal.

For details, see the following Twitter thread:

It’s much easier to point the finger at the Richard Spencers of society than to turn inward and examine one’s own implicit racial biases. So Image Partners gave various excuses for their reluctance to publish AMERICANIZASIAN: it was too “angry” and needed to be “more positive”; it tempted legal action for parodying trademarked characters; and it had “no story for people to relate to”.

One white male Partner even implied that Luna could make the Asian American experience more relatable by taking inspiration from the Hulu show PEN15, which is about a half-white, half-Japanese protagonist (he also mentioned that his wife is half-Japanese)². Luna is Filipino, and it makes no sense for him to center white characters in strips that focus on his own experiences.

According to a keynote speech from last year’s Image Expo, Image Comics has a reputation for publishing content that “no other publisher would dare take a risk on… because we believe every one of those weird and wonderful series represents a new opportunity to capture a new audience.” In that same speech, Publisher Eric Stephenson proudly claimed that “fortune favors the bold”, implying that their commitment to publishing controversial content is what made them a successful company.³

The fear of copyright infringement sounds disingenuous when Luna’s previously published work at Image parodied trademarked characters (Ultra), and former Partner Erik Larsen’s own Savage Dragon character is heavily inspired by The Incredible Hulk.

Larsen, by the way, has previously drawn Internet outrage for making tone-deaf statements about women wearing practical costumes in comics⁴, as well as inserting gratuitous sex scenes in Savage Dragon that feature an Asian woman drawn to look underage. (Unsurprisingly, he is married to an Asian woman, yet has no problem hypersexualizing Asian women in his own comics.)⁵

Maxine is obsessed with sex in Savage Dragon — recalling Vietnam War-era propaganda

And in 2017, when Howard Chaykin released inflammatory “Divided States of Hysteria” covers that featured gratuitous violence against men of color and transwomen⁶ as well as a hijab of the American flag, Stephenson defended Image’s decision to publish them, saying, “If The Divided States of Hysteria prompts just a single productive conversation about the present state of our society, then it has succeeded in its goals and is a story worth sharing.”⁷

But when real marginalized voices like Luna speak about equally contentious and political topics like racism, they’re asked to water down their work. This tone policing double-standard implies that provocative content is only welcome when it comes from white male authors.

When we tell our own stories, in our own words, we’re told that they’re not “relatable”. To whom?


Since going public, Luna has received an outpouring of support and solidarity from his diverse fanbase, who all expressed their desire see this book made:

Collective action is the backbone of every civil rights movement. By making private issues of inequality public, it demands accountability for discrimination that would otherwise be kept hidden and unaddressed while granting power in numbers to those who would not have it individually. Larsen, who condemned Luna for speaking out about his consistent mistreatment by Image staff, tried to further dismiss and shame him for choosing to go public and draw on the support of his own fanbase to get AMERICANIZASIAN made with a POC-run publisher.

When creators of color challenge their white male employers to go public with the discrimination they face in the workplace, they risk losing a lot: their source of income, their industry connections, and their following. In a recent interview with The Beat, Luna expressed concerns about being sued by Image or blacklisted by other publishers or creators in the greater comics community:

“Within hours of going public with what happened, I received an email from the partner describing my post as slander, libel and outright lying…I think comics and the media industry as a whole has been dragging its feet in acknowledging the history and severity of anti-Asian narratives and imagery, to the point where it’d rather kill the messenger than acknowledge the message.”⁸

We at PAV are not here to placate or pacify those who willfully silence POC for talking about their lived experiences under structural racism. As our political climate marches in step with racist ideology, harming marginalized people at the institutional level through imperialist policies both foreign and domestic, it’s important for us to support creators whose works challenge the false narratives spread by white supremacy.

Please help Joshua Luna continue to make a living and get his comics published by a POC-run publisher by sharing his content and donating to his Patreon or PayPal.

https://www.patreon.com/joshualuna

https://www.paypal.me/JoshuaLunaComics


The cover for AMERICANIZASIAN

J Maraan edits all the things and sometimes writes. She co-hosts Journey to the West, a podcast that centers Asian women’s views on diaspora issues and current events. Find her on Twitter at @j_maraan and @JTTWPodcast.


End Notes:

  1. Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press, 1963.
  2. https://twitter.com/Joshua_Luna/status/1134522564196347911
  3. https://imagecomics.com/news/fortune-favors-the-boldimage-comics-publisher-eric-stephensons-image-expo-k
  4. https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/erik-larsen-image-comics-female-superhero-costumes/
  5. https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/11/25/savage-dragon-goes-outrage-april/
  6. http://www.comicosity.com/transmyscira-why-im-boycotting-image-comics/
  7. https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/06/30/image-creators-speak-howard-chaykins-divided-states-hysteria/
  8. https://www.comicsbeat.com/joshua-luna-americanizasian-image-comics/

[JttW #46] White Freeze 2.0

We return with special guest Shang to talk about White Freeze again. This time we expand upon real-life implications which include finding housing and mental health.

Sources:

The Subtleties of Social Exclusion: Race, Social Class, and the
Exclusion of Blacks in a Racially Mixed Neighborhood
https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1034&context=soc_fac

Researchers ‘Averaged’ The Faces Of 400 CEOs — And The Results Say A Lot About Race In Business
https://www.businessinsider.com/the-average-face-of-400-ceos-2014-12

Scientists Start To Tease Out The Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/11/11/562623815/scientists-start-to-tease-out-the-subtler-ways-racism-hurts-health

Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/10486479/Phobias-may-be-memories-passed-down-in-genes-from-ancestors.html


Asian Women As Perpetual Prostitutes: White Sexual Imperialism (Part 3)

The final part touches on Asian women’s exploited sexual labor during colonial and war times. This leads us to the modern day implications of the perpetual prostitute stereotype and how that manifests into our lived realities. #APAHM#AsianPacificAmericanHeritageMonth



Follow Us on Twitter: @JttWPodcast @sen_tient @j_maraan

Let’s Talk About Hawkeye

(8 min read)
hawkeyejapan(Hawkeye visits Japan)

*Note: this article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame

In a world where Green Book is lauded for its “white savior” approach to race¹, and its director Peter Farrelly decides to team up with Brian Currie and Pete Jones (an unholy trinity of white men) to write a dramedy set during the Vietnam War era about a beer run², we’d hope that POC who are conscious of their racial identities would have something to look forward to watching in theaters these days without shaking their heads.

Enter blockbuster-maker Marvel, which recently vowed to commit to making their cast of heroes more inclusive after the unprecedented success of Black Panther and Captain Marvel³. While young Asian Americans nervously await the release of Shang-Chi, which is slated to feature MCU’s first Asian lead, Avengers: Endgame premiered last week.

Despite earning a 95% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Endgame has also received criticism for its cinematic flaws. From the fatphobic treatment of Thor’s PTSD⁴ to the use of women as props during what little screentime they were given⁵, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were quick to point out the film’s missteps. But for some reason, Endgame’s low-key racist scenes are noticeably missing from these critiques. A recent AV Club article that rightfully called out the film’s lackluster women’s character arcs (glossing over ScarJo’s legacy as an honorary Asian) even praised Tilda Swinton’s appearance as the whitewashed Ancient One⁶. So a number of viewers took to Twitter to speak out about Hawkeye’s disturbing scenes, which are much worse than hinted at in the official trailer:

https://twitter.com/AsianTomiLahren/status/1122254253471309824

https://twitter.com/AsianTomiLahren/status/1122257030381654017

Unsurprisingly, none of Earth’s heroes are Asian. The only Asian men on screen are either brutally murdered or played martial arts sidekicks for the white Dr. Strange. Even Mantis, who is played by an Asian woman, is dismissed as “that girl with the antennas”, taking the same abuse on screen as she did throughout Guardians of the Galaxy 2⁷.

Since Endgame is about the trauma of war, we at PAV can’t help but draw a connection between Hawkeye’s actions in the film and American imperialism. There is a multitude of U.S. military bases in Japan, with 34 occupying ¼ of all the space on the island of Okinawa alone. The presence of over 50,000 U.S. military personnel and 40,000 of their dependents have taken a toll on the long-exploited locals, who have suffered countless thefts, burglaries, arsons, assaults, rapes, and murders over the last four decades⁸. Along with the lack of proper convictions for these crimes⁹, bases are killing the surrounding coral reefs and destroying marine habitats¹⁰.

In Marvel’s Endgame, Japanese lives are portrayed as disposable, as they have been since WWII.

unclesam(Anti-Japanese WWII propaganda)

Guest writer Jason Thinh expounds on this orientalist trope as he shares his thoughts on the film.

Hawkeye is the MCU’s version of Jeremy Renner: someone who nobody can really find any use for, yet he still gets chance after chance.

From his seat-filler role in the original Avengers movie to Captain America: Civil War — where even the other characters verbally expressed that they didn’t care about his existence — Marvel has tried and failed to make this character even remotely compelling.

rocket-raccoon_opt(Yet we can still root for a talking raccoon.)

Now, with Endgame out in theatres and everyone online taking turns dissecting their piece of this puzzle that’s been ten years in the making, let’s talk about what the hell they did with Hawkeye.

When the initial teasers for the film came out, we saw the original Avengers in various stages of grief due to Thanos’ snap. Our first glimpse of Clint Barton is him adopting his new Ronin persona, standing somewhere in Japan after he’s laid waste to countless faceless Japanese extras. Upon my first viewing, my racial spidey-senses were already tingling.

“Ugh, here we go again. Generic Japan. Dead Japanese men everywhere, likely yakuza. Great. But who knows, maybe I’m in for a surprise,” I foolishly thought.

The first scene of Endgame starts off with Hawkeye losing his entire family. So how does Legolas deal with this traumatic experience? Well, he certainly doesn’t go to his second family, The Avengers, who have been experiencing their own share of losses. Instead, he randomly decides to invent the identity of Ronin — which is vaguely based on Japanese culture — and proceeds to go on a mass murdering spree, going after some not-so-obvious targets.

Does he track down any remaining supervillains? Does he prowl the streets of New York for random, lowlife scum? Surely with such a sudden drop in the world’s population, crime would increase, right? And aren’t there more than enough white supremacists in the U.S. alone?

If you’re thinking that Barton went Nazi hunting during these first few years post-snap, then you are severely overestimating Hawkeye’s abilities when even generations of activists have been trying to rid the U.S. of one of its main exports.

Instead, he travels all the way to Mexico and Japan to kill people he deems unworthy of living for…reasons? The justification for these executions is that these people are members of drug cartels and the yakuza, therefore their lives must mean less. But like, how random is that? That’s like being upset that the waiter screwed up your order so you go home, see someone deliver a pizza to your neighbor down the street, and walk over to harass the delivery driver. Or something like that.

liamneeson(Sounds eerily familiar, actually.)

What made watching this movie, and specifically the yakuza scene, even more uncomfortable was that I was watching it in a theatre in Japan. Granted, the audience wasn’t too loud to begin with, but the scene really didn’t go over well. Imagine watching a foreign film, being excited about seeing not only your country but also one of your country’s most well-respected actors (Hiroyuki Sanada) in it, only to see everything reduced to stereotypes by some 3rd-tier character. Hawkeye is a guy who just randomly took pieces from Japanese culture to empower himself, motivated by his white man trauma to somehow both learn Japanese and beat the Japanese at their own game.

Look, I know that coping with grief can take on different shapes and people go down different paths, but this soured me for most of the movie. It doesn’t help that we’ve seen things like this play out in real life: someone who once served in the military, with little to contribute, spends the next phase of his life taking out his aggression on the “enemy” (aka random POC) under the false pretense of trying to “stop crime”. Maybe I’m being generous. Often times the incidents that make the news are committed by pitiful, directionless white men who have bought the idea of this power fantasy and have taken upon themselves to clean up the streets and go after POC who just so happen to commit all of the crime, all in the name of “freedom”, nationalism, or some other disingenuous garbage.

killbillwolverine(Slicing up those evil, faceless, Asians. Top: Kill Bill, Bottom: Wolverine)

It’s the same tired trope. We’ve seen it in Kill Bill, Netflix’s Daredevil, The Wolverine, and countless other Western movies and shows. When we do see any AAPI representation, our bodies are treated as disposable and our deaths are used for comedic effect (e.g. the gratuitous deaths of Nobu in Daredevil and a character’s ex-boyfriend in Agents of SHIELD). Now here we are, in a time where media, and Marvel specifically, is supposed to be doing better in terms of providing better POC representation. But instead, we get…this.

While we’re already talking about Hawkeye and his inability to cope, let’s briefly look at Black Widow, someone who has had “red in her ledger” and has done everything to atone for her sins. Throughout many of the MCU films, we’ve witnessed Ms. Romanoff’s transformation from a lone spy with questionable ethics to someone who has found a family and would do anything for them. She deserved to be in that final fight. But instead, her pain and eventual death are used for an arguably less-deserving character’s motivation.

Throughout Endgame, all of Hawkeye’s “redeeming” moments felt unearned. And even Black Widow’s response to his murder-spree, “I don’t judge you by your worst mistakes”, sounded more like complicity than consolation. He learned nothing from his toxic coping methods but he still managed to get the soul stone and some scenes of man-pain. He also got to run around the battlefield with the gauntlet and…that’s pretty much it.
As the story wraps up, the past is restored and he gets his family back. Clint’s arc throughout the movie and the past 10 years of the MCU is a peak example of white mediocrity: just add a little bit of racism and that character will still be deserving of a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th chance at redemption. Just slap on some tattoos and a vaguely ethnic-inspired aesthetic and you’re good to go.

While this is not necessarily an indictment of the movie as a whole, it’s unfortunate that with all the development we’ve seen over the course of the past 10 years, the writers continued to put white men first regardless of the quality of the character and their story, but that’s a whole different article.

As Marvel’s Endgame ties up loose ends from the beginning and plots come full circle, I hope that old, stale practices like these — elevating white men and using the slaughter of POC as a plot device — will finally be put to rest while we get ready for a more diverse main cast. At least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself.


Jason Thinh is a Bay Arean currently living in Tokyo. You can find him on Twitter at @JasonThinh.

[Edits and additions by J]


Endnotes:

  1. http://time.com/5527806/green-book-movie-controversy/
  2. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/peter-farrelly-direct-vietnam-war-film-greatest-beer-run-ever-1205077
  3. https://observer.com/2019/04/avengers-endgame-marvel-diversity/
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/apr/30/avengers-endgame-cinema-fat-shaming
  5. https://io9.gizmodo.com/avengers-endgames-women-deserved-more-1834388344
  6. https://film.avclub.com/avengers-endgame-doesn-t-earn-its-big-girl-power-mom-1834366317
  7. https://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2017/08/need-talk-mantis-abuse-guardians-galaxy-2/
  8. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/07/okinawa-japan-military-tension
  9. https://apjjf.org/2018/03/Mitchell.html
  10. https://truthout.org/articles/us-military-base-threatens-biodiversity-in-okinawa/

[JttW #45] Decolonial Love: Swipe Left On Internalized Racism

By Sen Tien

We unpack “A Very Offensive Rom-Com”, an episode of NPR’s Invisibilia podcast with special guest, Maka (@_fakeMT).

“A Very Offensive Rom-Com” (NPR):
https://www.npr.org/2019/04/04/709948132/a-very-offensive-rom-com

Breaking the ‘girl code’ and internalized racism (Vi Nguyen):

Breaking the ‘girl code’ and internalized racism

White Sexual Imperialism: A Theory of Asian Feminist Jurisprudence (Sunny Woan):
https://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/crsj/vol14/iss2/5/

[JttW #44] Orientalism

By Sen Tien

We expand upon Orientalism as not just a series of racist stereotypes but a structural arm of white supremacy. This includes feminization of Asia through colonialism and mass media.

Sources & Shoutouts:

I’m A Filipina USC Graduate — Stop Associating Students of Color with the College Bribery Scam (Medium):
https://link.medium.com/MwQiEssOpV

Joe Wong Wants Asian American to Speak Up (Plan A):
https://planamag.com/joe-wong-wants-asian-america-to-speak-up-7567adc19db4

Performance Review Gender Bias (Fortune):
http://fortune.com/2014/08/26/performance-review-gender-bias/

Examining Agency in Racial Preferences and Endorsements of Negative Stereotypes Across Sexualities (Part 1)

(10 min read)

An article by Tria Chang recently surfaced on the Huffington Post, where she expresses her frustrations and disappointment with the prevalence of white male-Asian female relationships and how they are rooted in fetishization, violence, and colonization¹. In it, she details her experiences with being romantically involved with non-Asian men (though it would come to no surprise if she is alluding solely to white men), albeit being fully cognizant of the hyper-sexualization of Asian women and how racist it is. She then goes on to talk about how she struggled with internalizing racist views of Asian women—she felt she was an anomaly and thereby unattractive, and thought that attraction towards women like her was a kink.

Copywrite Chiarashine Photography, LLC Isabell Lin
Tria Chang and her fiancé [CHIARASHINE PHOTOGRAPHY]
After she dated a string of racist non-Asian men, married and divorced an Asian man, and dated another, she found herself attracted to a white man and is now engaged to him. She detailed how her relationship with him developed from that of acquaintances to partners and reveals that he, like other non-Asian men she has been romantically involved with, has had a history of dating Asian women. When confronted about it, her boyfriend got defensive and, like most men who pursue Asian women, gave a typical excuse: he “never thought about it.” Like a plethora of articles written by women like her, who choose to shoulder the burden of educating white men—much like the Beauty attempting to reform and tame the Beast from his misguided and ignorant ways—she proceeds to reprimand him for his behavior and remains wholly devoted to him. She concludes the article by expressing content with her current situation and alludes to how different her current relationship with her partner is from other white male-Asian female couples.

At one point, she refers to his defensive reaction to her calling him out on his dating history as “one of those hot white guy traits”. What on earth are “hot white guy traits,” and why is it relevant to what she’s been talking about?

Considering how many Instagram accounts², Medium articles³, YouTube videos⁴, Everyday Feminism articles⁵, Buzzfeed articles⁶, and even artists⁷ attempt to address yellow fever and tell white men how they should treat Asian women—typically women dating, seeking, or receptive to white men—Chang’s article reads like another drop in the sea of media uselessly highlighting this issue. Unfortunately, like every other article and video, it recycles the same pervasive ideology: white men should be held accountable for hyper-sexualizing, objectifying, and Orientalizing Asian women, but they are ultimately still worthy of an Asian woman’s affections, love, and time. In some cases, the author herself will insist that she does not care what others wish to believe and dilutes conversations regarding this topic by insisting “love is love”⁸, which ultimately masks the serious racial dynamics at play in these pairings.


Asian Feminism?

For me, one of the most concerning messages is the notion that it is perfectly acceptable to continually seek out that unicorn of a white man, because white men are still deserving of emotional labor and education from the Asian women they harm. It also creates a social climate where, regardless of what white men do, no matter how racist, sexist, and homophobic they are or how little they invest into challenging and overthrowing white supremacy, they will still be viewed as desirable—that is, if they are not perceived as overtly racist and sexist by the Asian women who covet them.

Why is the onus on Asian women to educate white men, who continually benefit from white supremacy? The very idea that other options are possible, ones where the burden of reforming white men’s racist and sexist behaviors and biases can be alleviated or completely eradicated, even if they have been previously explored, do not seem to cross these women’s minds. Why should any white man wish to change, outside of some measly, superficial attempts at placating his partner, when he undoubtedly benefits from his position at the top of a white supremacist racial hierarchy? Despite being hurt by white men’s willful ignorance when it comes to racism and their role in perpetuating and remaining complicit with the racist structures, notions, and cultures that they have imposed on Asians and other people of color, it seems that being intimate with white men is still quite a viable option.

Even Chang admits:

“It took me a little while to figure this out, but once I became more settled in college, I met my first Asian boyfriend, who ended up being my husband. Sadly, he also became my ex-husband. This relationship was followed by one with another Asian male. Suffice it to say, I went a decade without the thought of white men or Asian fetish even crossing my mind. Now it’s something I think about every day, because of said fiancé.”

“I rolled my eyes at the luxury white men have to not think about race in their daily lives. I, on the other hand, started obsessing over it. I couldn’t be the girlfriend of someone who had an Asian fetish because that would make me complicit in a pattern that was rooted in violence and colonization.”

Unfortunately, the lengths that some Asian women will go to defend their choices to date or marry white men come at the expense of Asian men.

An e-mail sent to Celeste Ng, author of the best-selling novel All the Things I’ve Never Told You, sparked controversy on Twitter last year. Presumably sent to her by an Asian man attending university, the message contained abusive and disparaging language, which led to her writing a series of threads in which she denounces Asian men for being misogynistic and initiating harassment of Asian women in online spaces. While the overall controversy will not be discussed here, the background information and links to the original threads can be read at the end of the article (Part 2).

While engaging in discourse with other users online, a number of notable Tweets stood out:

2agency
3agency

This phenomenon is not new. A plethora of Asian American women, faux feminists, and pseudo-intellectuals have regurgitated similar talking points against Asian American men and, more specifically, expressed their disdain for any and all criticism of white men-Asian women relationships:

4agency5agency

6agency7agency
8agency9agency

10agency11agency

12agency13agency

14agency

15agency

16agency17agency

Even Ng expresses this problematic view in a Tweet back in 2015:

18agency

Upon viewing these Tweets, one might wonder what is wrong with these claims, since sexist and racist Asian men do exist. But while the users vehemently speak out against the misogynistic and patriarchal behaviors of Asian men, they seem completely supportive of works like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, a film featuring an Asian American girl whose love interests who are white-passing. Save for the token Black boy, who is conveniently homosexual, they all adhere to the Eurocentric masculine ideals. Much like the token men of color on mainstream television shows like The Bachelorette, the single man of color in the film is not a viable partner. Despite the rise of movements like #MeToo, created by Tarana Burke to address sexual harassment and assault against women—one where the behaviors of prominent white men were called into question—there appears to be little to no criticism of white men’s abuse of privilege and power. Considering that a vast majority of these women are born or living in Western countries, specifically the United States, institutionalized white male patriarchy is far more prevalent and influential than Asian male patriarchy.

Look at these following Tweets, one made from Celeste and one made from Jenny Han, author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before:

19agency

20agency21agency22agency

Notice how different the tone is, despite the fact that both of these men have clearly externalized their racist views towards Asians. McCain has unabashedly justified his usage of the term “gook,” a racial slur that is often thrown at Koreans and Vietnamese. He fought in a war where soldiers were instructed to murder as many Vietnamese civilians as possible⁹ and were free to rape Vietnamese women and girls¹⁰. Jenny Han, a Korean American herself, appears content with overlooking that aspect of his history and hails him as a hero. Likewise, in Ng’s experience, a Vietnam war veteran verbally abuses her and her family with racial slurs, yet she urges others to respond with the kind of sympathy and understanding that she refuses to give Asian men who also suffer under white patriarchy.

The language used in the e-mail Ng received was unacceptable and the individual in question, if Asian, should be shunned by the community. But for her to take the action of a single individual or vocal minority and generalize this behavior to apply to a collective of Asian men, weaponizing her followers with false narratives that harm and defame Asian men is not acceptable either.

While engaging in related discourse with people online, she also received a comment from a white man spewing racists against Asian men, and surprisingly enough, she fails to unabashedly condemn his behavior and centers herself instead.

23agency

Her overall lack of empathy for the hurdles that Asian men face, to which she has directly contributed with earlier statements emphasizing that she does not find them attractive, can be seen again in the following Tweet:

24agency

She even wrote an article for The Cut to address the events that transpired¹¹. In it, she acknowledges the hurdles that Asian men face while navigating through the world and how she has only exacerbated the negative stereotypes afflicting them—a tactic similar to “lampshading”¹², where a writer expresses self-awareness about racism, homophobia, etcetera, through humor while failing to critique or challenge bigotry—but ultimately continue to paint diasporic Asian men as race purists, misogynistic overlords, and abusive.

“Acknowledging bigotry is not the same thing as critiquing bigotry.”

— from Pop Culture Detective’s “The Adorkable Misogyny of The Big Bang Theory”

(Part 2)


Written by Jia


Endnotes:

  1. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/unlearning-asian-fetish_us_5c547bb1e4b09293b203b7ed
  2. https://nextshark.com/woman-exposes-creeps-asian-fetishes-tinder-turns-memes/
  3. https://medium.com/call-me-a-theorist/im-not-your-little-china-girl-an-open-letter-to-men-who-have-hit-on-me-33a162ae1646
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3fxquPe1-Y
  5. https://everydayfeminism.com/2014/10/talk-race-white-boyfriend/
  6. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/xtinehlee/how-to-watch-fresh-off-the-boat-with-your-white-boyfriend
  7. https://nextshark.com/ada-chen-asian-fetish-jewelry/
  8. https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/relationships/article/2018/02/13/im-not-your-asian-dating-stereotype
  9. https://www.npr.org/2013/01/28/169076259/anything-that-moves-civilians-and-the-vietnam-war
  10. https://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/20667
  11. https://www.thecut.com/2018/10/when-asian-women-are-harassed-for-marrying-non-asian-men.html
  12. https://youtu.be/X3-hOigoxHs?t=792

 

[JttW #41] “Tribalism”

By Sen Tien

On topical news, we talk about Yuja Wang and the Igudesman Joo duo’s show The Clone and the difference between satire and just terrible racist jokes. Additionally, we touch on how some have adopted dog whistles of “tribalism”.

NYT Article on The Clone: https://nyti.ms/2Ec5djw
Joe Wong on the Late Show: https://youtu.be/36v9GSOFMFc