Quoted: Jen Wang On XOJane’s ‘I’m An Asian Woman’ Posts

First things first. I don’t give a f-ck who these women f-ck or, really, what any woman chooses to do with her own vagina. Because it’s her own vagina, get it? And because it’s her own vagina, she doesn’t need to justify what she does with it. It should go without saying that a woman can do whatever she wants with her own body. But when she feels the need to explain why she does what she does with it, which is what these posts boil down to for me, she’s just playing into this very old and very male idea that a woman needs to justify what she does with her own body because, ultimately, she doesn’t have authority over, I repeat, her own body. Sound familiar? It should (see: “the war on women”).

The other problem with these posts is that they put race and gender at odds with one another, like they have this mutually exclusive relationship, and you have to choose one or the other to have some kind of cohesive identity. If you believe An’s argument–which she later backpedaled on, calling it “a character” designed to provoke discussion–as an Asian woman, in order to reject “patriarchy and cultural sexism,” you have to be a racist dick and hate your people.

–From “I’m An Asian Woman And I Think Blog Posts Defining That Identity By Who Someone Like Me Would Or Wouldn’t Date Are Bullshit,” at Disgrasian

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000709864513 Michelle Kirkwood

    I posted a response to An about her article on the site where this article came from—luckily, I wasn’t the only one on there who took her to task for what comes off as obvious lack of confidence in herself/major insecurities on her part. Granted, she explained her issues with Asian men, but still, what’s sad is that she makes it sound like this racialized obssession with white men is perfectly normal and that she needs to do that to fit in and make herself feel good—-she clearly has major issues with herself, which other commenters on that article get into. Even the other article praising Asian men by Wei plays up that stereotype of the good,family-oriented Asian guy, as if there aren’t non-Asian guys who do the exact same thing her sig nif does. It’s just that as a non-Asian myself, who knew non-Asian guys like that (including my family-oriented brother, whose spouse–my sister-in-law–happens to be of Asian descent herself) . I mean, how can she be so sure her sig nif won’t just up and say, “The hell with being a doctor, I’m gonna go to New York and become a rap star!” one of these days? Just because someone’s predictable dosen’t mean they’re stay that way forever a day. No matter how much we love to cram people into a predictable, stereotypical box that’s comfortable for us, in the end, they’re still people with their own minds,feelings and thoughts, regardless.

  • Sarah

    Okay, so I’m a little nervous about posting this comment because, you know, the internet, but I’m going to say it anyway: I have a few problems with this “analysis.”

    “First things first. I don’t give a f-ck who these women f-ck or, really, what any woman chooses to do with her own vagina.”

    Except, what they wrote wasn’t just about effing. In fact, Jenny An specifically mentioned that it wasn’t about sex. It was about a relationship which, usually, encompasses more than sex. It was about why she preferred dating white men, which had really nothing to do with the sex aspect of the relationship at all but the desire to escape her own race. To dilute Jenny An’s argument to “f-cking” is disingenuous.

    “But when she feels the need to explain why she does what she does with it, which is what these posts boil down to for me, she’s just playing into this very old and very male idea that a woman needs to justify what she does with her own body because, ultimately, she doesn’t have authority over, I repeat, her own body. Sound familiar?”

    What what what?? Okay, hold on. She’s dissecting internalized racism, which isn’t a “male” thing to do. And actually, sometimes knowing how we internalize racist assumptions can be, oh I don’t know, valuable? I am doing my best to understand this line of reasoning, but all it seems to boil down to is an advocacy of avoiding self-awareness. And the fact that the author from Disgrasion seems to be diluting Jenny An’s argument to “the body” shows to me that she’s missed the point: it’s not about sex; it’s about the symbols people place on bodies– which, absolutely, must be dissected. This is the first time that I’ve seen someone link introspection with oppression. I am still just stunned reading this.

    Were there problems with the post? Yes, absolutely, especially the second back-peddling article where she states that the first article wasn’t 100% honest. But I don’t think it was was problematic for the reasons you stated. I think if someone is full of self-loathing and wants to show others that that these are the consequences of internalized racism, then go for it. A lot of people have stated that Jenny An’s article doesn’t make sense, which tells us a lot doesn’t it? Internalized racism never makes sense, but that’s how self-loathing works.

    • MMJames

      Well said. Would those who have “voted down” Sarah’s opinion mind writing down the specifics of what he/she disagreed with? I (and likely many others) would like to know. We can all then learn something new.