So I wanted to bring up a topic that I’ve noticed recently. It seems to me that as far as racism, bigotry, or prejudice, Asian women have far less been subject to these things than Asian men. A good example of this is when I was growing up, having just arrived to America, I had to start going to elementary school in a predominantly white neighborhood…the valleys in Cali. And wow, kids can be mean! Or just really honest. Either way, it was a traumatic period in my life and to this day, I think back on it and cringe. Most of Asian American friends (guys only) have gone through the same type of experiences. But the Asian American girls…they have not.
I’ve learned that racism is much more prevalent for Asian men than Asian women. I’ve also learned that racist behavior is done more by non-Asian men than non-Asian women. Perhaps there are just as many racist women out there as racist men but men just tend to be more open, vocal, upfront whereas the women hide it more, keep it to themselves, and publicize it less. Having said that, racism in the most severe forms, such as hate crimes, against Asians is rare. However, you do hear in the media about isolated instances of hate crimes against Asians but this is not common.
I’ve noticed talking to many people throughout my life that Asian women are often NOT subject to racism at all as compared to Asian men. We Asian men have had to put up with alot of shit. But Asian women don’t seem to have shared these types of experiences, even as kids. Why? I think it’s because Asian women are viewed as attractive and highly desirable by white men. In fact, all men. I can’t remember a single time when I’ve seen or heard of white men picking on, ridiculing, taunting, or name calling Asian women. In fact, all they have to say about Asian women is that they’re hot. But when it comes to Asian men, the list of derogatory names and lables is endless.
I remember telling my Asian girlfriends and sharing my past experiences with racism and bigotry and they would have these blank faces. I asked, “These things never happened to you? Even as a young kid?” They would say no. In fact, they would say they would get asked out alot or stared at or leered at by white guys but never have they been called derogatory names or ridiculed or told to go back to their country. Ever! I’ve realized that most Asian American girls have had a different set of experiences than Asian American men, even though we may have similar backgrounds: Immigrants, same generation, and other experiences that were similar.
In contrast, so many of my Asian guy friends have been subject to cruel and egregious racism, prejudice, and stereotyping. Even to this day, we see and experience it. Thus, I have concluded that for Asian Americans in the realm of the Asian American social experience, there’s a big disparity in the experiences of racism that is based on gender. And this is not just relevant or valid in the every day lives of regular people. It’s also painfully reflected in the media, Hollywood, and pop culture.
Ladies, share with me your personal experiences of racism… or lack thereof. Because for me, as an Asian American man, I have a laundry list of racist things that have happened to me throughout my life. And most of my Asian guy friends have experienced the same.