Policing Black and Asian Femininity, a Guest Post

by Jules Nguyen


Policing Black and Asian femininity. Why are Asian women labeled 'submissive' anyway? Why are Black women labeled 'unattractive'? The answer is a bit obvious (don't expect subtlety from stupid people), and it's in the word 'unattractive'. But that leaves the question of: All this is attractive/unattractive to whom?

Submissiveness can only be attractive to some really pathetic folks. They have such a hard time dealing with women that they want us to look, smell, and act like marshmallows. From projecting Black women's bodies as 'trashy', all because of the biological feat that is breasts, butt and body, to stating Asian women 'perfectness' because of... the same thing in reverse. Simpleminded, much? It's just their Puritanism showing. Fear of sexuality. Like I said, there is no subtlety. Westerners will treat Asian peoples endlessly like pre-pubescent children, and our bodies better match up to that expectation too. On the flip side, Black peoples are universally treated by Westerners as grown-ups, again regardless of real ages and bodies, and minus the respect. Add females to these mixes and it only gets worse. Say tampon out loud. Blood moon. Menstruation. It doesn't fit the marshmallow narrative, isn't decent enough for public conversation.

We know that reality is quite different from marshmallowland but there are no 'exceptions' to these rules, only aberrations. We are told: "Lose weight, shut up and be tragic, Asian women. Kill yourself for me." Or, "You better have an ass to shake and a shoulder to lend, Black women." Black women are burdened with responsibility while Asian women are forced to relinquish all control. And why? It centers on men's fears. Why marshmallows? Go ask men's fears.They're the ones that demand it. BTW why would anyone want a marshmallow over a Woman?

Men don't see themselves living up to Women, clearly. Devaluing us seems the only way to reach that high. And pitting us Asian and Black on the two sides of the Model Minority Myth coin only reinforces that this is a White Power construct. They started it in the 1960s when they feared post-WWII Internment backlash and Black Power.

Women are the disposable commodity in the POC walk against imperialism. Our brothers sell us to the white man with all labels intact to gain that lil bit of power that is $$$. How else do you explain the degradation of Black women in rap lyrics and music videos? How else do you explain the epidemic of facial reconstructive surgery among K-Pop celebs? Who is this for again? Who are Black men selling their sisters, mothers and daughters to? Who [has] pays money for a fake, pretty child-like face? The less intimidating skinny body? Who but White Fetish? (all cred: Ankh).

Money-chasing. That's what binds us in our labels, to our social positions. White Fetish money pays to infantilize, fantasize and exotify Asian women (the musical 'Miss Saigon' broke box office records this year). White Fetish money pays to erase Black women (Jay Park and Mauika Hicks in recent conversation, and why is flat-assed twerking suddenly a thing if not because it's less intimidating than the real thing). Such a fragile thing, ego. Demonizing Black Women is the only way to justify the erasure. They want to see, hear and believe that BW deserve their degradation. They want to see, hear and believe that AW want their degradation. They pay money for this.

Excuse me while I spit bile into the toilet. Changing the subject....

Dear Brothers, being a second-class citizen isn't easy, I get it. But selling out women to get a step ahead isn't effective to shake off our social position. Under imperialism, our loved ones will continue to be murdered by cops, incarcerated, deported and dehumanized. You didn't change a thing with your $$$. And that step you bought, at the price of the women? It only promotes you to Minion. Not even Boss. I may be a lil twisted but I can imagine playing the devilBossman, but to settle for minion? Hm. There's a reason why #notyour(asian)sidekick trended, pay attention to the wording. Don't. Settle. For. Minion.

This topic started because I was ranting about the label of submissiveness: Does anyone find submissiveness attractive in their peers and loved ones? Who the hell would want a partner-in-crime who is submissive? To be submissive means to lie. Uh, so who wants a relationship with a liar again? Slave owners, for one.

Emancipation, what?

Servants, subservience, servitude. Oh, what's wrong, White Fetish? Can't take care of yourself by yourself?

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Damn. If there's one thing I need when I die, it's my self-respect. We, as self-respecting women are radical. Meanwhile, it's conventional, normal, acceptable and encouraged to be cowardly. Cheaters. And I don't mean the kind that cheat the system, I'm talking about the ones that cheat themselves, sell themselves cheap.

If I die a cheater, a coward, a lying self-hating fool, that means I died with an empty heart and a stupid head. I'd have to come back as a hungry ghost and haunt you all out of spite. If I live... if I live as a cheater, a coward, a lying self-hating fool... that would be a living hell but at least I'd have a chance to change before I die.

All I'm saying is that it's really stupid to play into these lying narratives. We are not our conditioning.

Comments

  1. great post. The brothers are definitely selling us out for quick money and temporary fame.

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    1. And while I realize that some brothers will get upset over this notion, it's true. Pursuit of white folks' money has blinded them and misguided them into believe that WOC are an acceptable casualty in the pursuit of cash and the rebellion against imperialism.

      We're not an acceptable commodity or casualty ever.

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    2. This is why I will never reject an Asian female protagonist over a male one. Asian males are denigrated in Western media but guess who they stomped on for hundreds of years before then and continue to stomp on? Asian women don't leave Asian men behind, so this whole 'blaming us for our own portrayal and brainwashing in Western society' is deeply resented. At least by me.

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    3. Thank you Julie. I never realized the similarities we Black and Asian women have in our communities until this post. Everyone wants to be excepted in society no matter who they have to step on to get there and unfortunately both of our male counterparts would rather step on us instead of help us.
      AC

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    4. I didn't realize it either until Jules started asking me questions which made me really think about the situation with new eyes.

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    5. Ankhesen Mié thanks for your comment on black women being a casualty in black men's misguided rebellion against imperialism. One of the things I have grown tired of, is online in discussions when engaged in discussions online I am treated more deferentially if men think I am male (they can't always tell by my handle). However if I make an argument that a male (irrespective of race) cannot intellectually deconstruct, when they have figured out I am female I will get "bitch" and if its a white male with race issues its "girl'. I feel like I was prepared most of my life to deal with race, but was completely unprepared to respond to misogyny. I find Africa- American males have a sense of entitlement in upholding misogyny even when pointed out to them that they are simultaneously upholding white supremacist values when holding on to their misogyny.

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  2. God knows you're telling the truth. This world has become a sell out society. It doesn't matter how a group may feel about an issue, the power of money of money prevails and its pathetic. I was thinking about Jay-Z for example. I admit, I did like his music at one point but my lack of respect began when he told a magazine that he stopped using the "B"word when Beyonce and their daughter came into the picture and I completely lost respect for them when continued his business with a store (Barney's) that disrespected a Black guy after purchasing a belt from them. I'm at a point where Jay Z and Beyonce are becoming nobody's in my book and the seemingly on going news about her is making her incredibly yesterday's news. I'm tired of hearing about them.Its like they're the only Black couple they know..

    I guess this is why I have been slow to watch a lot of today's programs because of the subtle and not so subtle messages of racial exploitation behind them. Just look at the "reality" shows (I don't even know why they call it that when it isn't), talk shows and music... its full of them. I grew in the Blaxploitation era and to me all of this is nothing but a modern version of it. I think about shows like The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Basketball Wives. Wendy Williams believe that native ATLiens like me love this show....NOT! I've never watched either show as neither interest me because its exploitation and it really offends me to see these women and men make a quick to perpetrate stereotypes of Black women and tomake the White man even richer.

    I remembered not too long ago when a group(out duo,I think) came out with a song perpetuating degrading stereotypes about Asian women. At the end, I was laughing at these guys,not because I like the song (I thought that the song was racist and in very poor taste)but the big surprise that they were being chastised by the Asian community and others. It was like they didn't expect that kind of reaction.
    I guess they thought that Asians was going to overlook the ugliness from that song .

    Things has changed so much but not for the better. Its so bad that I look at programs from around the world. Substance has been replaced by racial crappy programming. How long will they get it ...if ever before they realize how racist and junky TV has become? Hollywood is dying because of stuff like this.

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  3. Jules, this post is so magnificent in its entirety that I can't even pick which parts I like the best. You are spot-on with every single word. I'm so over all of this bullshit that I can't even get outraged at times. I never realized the distinct similarities (and mirrored misogynistic perceptions) between Asian women and sistahs until I read this post.

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    1. Ankhesen is the brains behind this. It came together from a series of convos between us and our ideas just mixed.

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  4. That surreal moment when your artist buddy blows her cover and reveals herself as a sleeper assassin and delivers a takedown that is both elegant and nuanced as her artwork.

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