These times have seen an unprecedented social upheaval in gender relations, and Asian women’s voices must be heard.
Eliza, Jess, and Christina offer fresh takes on feminism’s treatment of female sexuality, the unbearable whiteness of the Women’s March and #MeToo, and where Asian feminism needs to go.
The following are edited excerpts from “Asian Feminism vs. White Feminism”, the 11th episode of Plan A’s podcast, Escape From Plan A.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about with regard to this whole Aziz controversy is how much young men nowadays learn about sex from watching porn and how men are not incentivized to be emotionally mature adults anymore.
There’s a lot of meaning attached to [sex] that’s not just personal. It’s political. So I remember in college, feeling a lot of pressure to… You’d have to have it if you wanted to be considered a feminist. If you wanted to be considered “pro-women”, you’d have to go out and seek out all these experiences. If you weren’t ready for it or shy about it, it was interpreted as a political statement. That you were a conservative and you were against women’s rights or something. I think that coupling’s very dangerous.
In some ways, the whole movement that white feminists created is antithetical to all experiences to all women of color. White women were fighting for rights to the workplace, and women of color had already been working forever. In a lot of ways, white people created domesticity. They created the box that they’re trying to get out of.
And don’t center that BS, “I know I’m checking my privilege right now and I’m so guilty. Please everyone forgive me and let me know how I’m okay I am.” There’s that self-flagellating thing. It’s still an appeal for attention that I can’t fucking stand. If you want attention, at least have the ovaries to ask for it. I hate the self-flagellating white-girl artist.
Asian feminism is much different from other female social movements. It’s very different from mainstream white feminism and black feminism. We are usually lumped in with white women’s movements and we are not considered women of color like Latina and black women. We have different cultural influences than whites so of course, our feminism has to be completely different too. We are in a unique position because unlike black, Latina and white women, Asian women have more privilege then our male counterparts in the US. The problem is that nobody seems to agree on this, specifically, Asians themselves.
I have so many problems with Asian feminism that is derived from white feminism. Because white feminism’s goal is to ignore and completely delegitimize white males, which makes sense in how their patriarchy works. But for Asian females, we have to understand the Asian male experience… our situation of being “fetishized” is totally tied to the condition of Asian men in this country in a way that’s completely ignored if we even use white feminism as part of the framework of Asian feminism.