Except for a lot of her writings on Asian Masculinity which, quite frankly, is very superficial. Of course, it’s not her primary concern and it doesn’t have to be, but I see this with other Asian feminist writers where they talk AT Asian men, but not WITH them.
For example, this article which in principal is fine, but misses key points that (if you put aside motherland patriarchy and just concentrate on America for now) for an entire generation, a minority (large but vocal) practiced toxic Asian femininity where they BRAGGED about their own white conquests. In other words #ToxicAsianFemininity. And somehow that’s the equivalent of what Asian men are doing. It’s not.
AMs don’t get access to white privilege and power. Where the hell is my white privilege if I date and marry white? There is none. But AFWM pairings do get instant access to very real and very measurable white privilege.
And this idea that it’s bragging when (and sure, many of it is), in fact, it’s trying to counteract internalized racism created by not only society, and the media, but also the vocal minority of Asian American women who- in their bragging- put DOWN Asian men. You don’t really see that in AMWF: it’s mostly about, “Hey if I can do it, so can you! Fuck what Hollywood says about Asian men!”
But a significant trend in AFWM is, “I don’t date Asians because they look like my dad/brother/abusive.” You can date outside your race without putting your race down, but there are a LOT of bad apples in AFWM who do both. So there’s a FALSE EQUIVALENCY to the effects and comparison of AMWF/AFWM.
So when Erin writes about how AMs can be better allies to AFs, in principal I agree. But the gender rift started first (and again, if we simply set aside the motherland’s patriarchy which is problematic as I know first hand) with a generation of Asian American women and still continues to this day.
This discrepancy is being writ large now too in if you take the two biggest Asian American novels that are being or have been turned into film, there’s Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club with it’s depiction of AM and AFs/WM, versus Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan where the AM and AF protagonists are positive portrayals. But you cannot say that about the one-sided portrayal of the Joy Luck Club.
And yeah, the Asianwoman-splaining about how I should feel about my own masculinity and gender identity vis-a-vis our shared American culture is annoying. A lot of Asian female writers talk ABOUT us Asian men and AT us but not WITH us.
Thus, in the Asian American sphere, there’s a lot of Asian feminist writing lambasting toxic Asian masculinity (fairly and un-fairly), but opposing toxic Asian masculinity doesn’t automatically mean they support a healthy Asian masculinity.
If anything, I tend to see an AF push towards Asian men being more like Hollywood portrayals of liberally progressive white men. Which is just another white male construct and not one of Asian men’s making. We have the right to create our own space and identity of our own making and not just become a yellow clone with liberal white male sensibilities.
So before asking us to be allies with Asian feminists, it’d be nice if they became allies to AMs first.