Koji Steven Sakai has contributed several articles to 8asians.com, a relatively popular Asian American blog, including: “Do Asian Women Have the Smallest Breasts?,” “Asian Men and Penis Size,” and “Do Asian Women Have the Smallest Vaginas?”
I will explain how these articles are sexist and only serve to perpetuate stereotypes about Asian women and also why someone would feel the need to write them. (That he mentions Asian penises does not make the other two articles any less harmful.)
There are many layers going on here. And I will go more at length with these topics in other posts, but for now I will try to lay a basic groundwork of information:
All of us are hurt when young by not getting enough closeness and affection. But boys are especially hurt by the expectation that they do not need closeness or affection (after the age of seven or even five) and grow up with even more isolation and loneliness than women. So by the time they are in their twenties and thirties they usually do not have a clue how to reach out and be close to women even if they are craving that closeness. Asian men have also been doubly hurt in this society— by the racism towards Asian men in this country which then adds onto the early hurts. They already feel bad about themselves so it is not so hard to convince them to internalize the racism as well.
In Koji’s articles he brandishes “scientific study” as his reason for setting out on his quest for “the truth” about Asian female breasts and vaginas. However, I’d venture that his reasons for setting out to write these articles, including Asian men’s penis sizes, is quite personal. (Unlike Roger Fan in his short film, The Quest for Length, where Fan is very open and honest about his insecurities.) Why is Koji so curious to know about the exact measurements of Asian women’s body parts? Why doesn’t he ask about what it’s in their minds? I propose that these writings suggest a loneliness and desperation for contact with another human being, specifically women.
All of this does not excuse Koji from the fact that he is being blatantly sexist and oppressive to women when he publishes articles like these. It is one thing to think such thoughts, another to publicly declare them. I also believe 8asians.com should be held responsible for permitting and publishing such sexist content.
What do I mean by sexism? Another way to explain sexism is to use the term “male domination.” That usually helps clarify it for people. We live in a world where rape is commonly and intentionally used as a weapon of war. Where the widespread violence against women and their bodies is worldwide, and media and capitalism combine to convince women to seriously harm our own bodies. And we as Asian women have an added layer because of the double oppression of both sexism and racism.
And it is within this context that a relatively prominent Asian American male feels he has the right to talk about women’s body parts and, specifically, Asian women’s body parts carelessly and with no regard for oppressions at large. He is dehumanizing and objectifying women by doing so. Koji says, “According to the World Map of Average Breast Size… South Asian women are bigger with an average “B” breast cup. Go South Asians!” He does not consider the rampant violence on women’s bodies in our society, including sex trafficking, child trafficking, or domestic violence. He uses examples of soft porn as supposed science. He ends with a plea, “Please email photos of your boobs to koji[a]8asians.com. I wouldn’t say no to an inbox full of ‘research.’ ” Joking is really an excuse to say what one really wants without taking any responsibility for it.
The Asian American community generally is still more aware of racism than sexism. In all of my years studying Asian American studies in high school and in college not once do I remember learning about sexism within the Asian American community or sexism in Asian American history. I learned about a few Asian American women’s achievements, but not about sexism specifically. It would have made a huge difference to me if I had.
Men are not aware of their sexism, nor do they want to hear about it since it makes them feel bad. The “bad feelings” then turn to anger and defensiveness since they already feel bad underneath. Meanwhile, women are not aware of sexism either. We women have a general pattern of not taking charge of our relationships with men and instead want to blame them for our difficulties. This is something men and women both need to work on.
No one is bad for having oppressor patterns. We all carry them. The first step is to become aware of them. One can do so by listening to those in the oppressed groups and by learning from them.
EDIT: Sign the petition to request 8asians to stop posting sexist content!