These are the effects that racism and sexism has had on me:
1. I don’t want to have kids. (This is more from sexism, due to the fact that I had an abusive dad.)
2. I think obsessively about what I’m going to wear so as to hopefully get harassed the least amount before I go out. (And yes, I have gotten harassed wearing sweatpants.)
3. I hate seeing white women wearing any kind of Asian garb (unless it’s my best friend attending an Indian wedding and she’s a bridesmaid).
4. When any white guy writes to me on an online dating site I wonder if one of the main reasons he is writing to me is because he likes that I’m Asian.
5. I feel relieved when I’m dating an Asian guy that that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about.
6. I feel a huge sigh of relief and ‘at home’ in a majority Asian place.
7. I feel an extra need to ‘prove myself’ amongst white girls.
8. I feel an extra need for my Asian sisters to prove themselves too!
9. I can’t walk down the street with a white guy without feeling stigmatized, and wonder “what other Asian women must think.”
10. I can’t be fully, relaxedly myself and am on guard and tense at all times. (At the same time I am numbed out and used to it.)
Racism in Pop Culture #1:
Recently, Victoria Secret played into the racist, sexist stereotype of Asian women by launching a “Go East” lingerie line:
Racism in Pop Culture #2:
Apparently a white male comedian was punched recently for making a “me love you long time” joke.
Here are three awesomely bold Asian women daring to be themselves, break the stereotypes, and say a big Fuck You to racism and sexism:
Kristina Wong entraps those who are looking for Asian mail-order brides in her Big Bad Chinese Mama website. She, for one, does not ”dance around the fact that deeply imbedded anger and frustration are realities in our communities that should be addressed.”
For a combination of hip-hop, rock, spoken word, and stand-up comedy, the Slanty Eyed Mama duo is politically in your face and rockin it.
My Taiwanese sister, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a beautiful spoken word poet as well as a talented one-woman performer. I can attest to her mesmerizing presence by being completely riveted while watching her for more than an hour.
Racism and sexism do suck. But you don’t need to surround yourself with people who believe it. Even better you can find your own ways to combat it—whether it’s painting, writing, speaking up, etc about it. This is my way.
Questions: What do you imagine your life would be like without racism and sexism? Are there ways that racism and sexism has affected you subconsciously that you don’t even realize? What ways?