Category Archives: east asian

Racialicious Crush Of The Week: Keni Styles

Racializens, you know we love some serious, head-sharpening news and analysis around here. But, shit, sometimes we gotta cavort and kick up our heels (to bite a phrase from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s Avery Brooks). And Friday is that day!

Sometimes it involves some interior-design loveliness (blame/credit that on me because I’m sometimes found daydreaming about what a brick-and-mortar Racialicious office would look like), some booty-shaking (that’s Arturo’s department, being a DJ and all), or some sort of smoove mischief (all Latoya, ’cause she rolls like that).

Somewhere in all of this, we’ll shoutout folks we wanna love up–heretofore to be known as The Racialicious Crush Of The Week.

Our first Crush is none other than porn star (and Tumblrer–so NSFW) Keni Styles.

Courtesy: http://vousetnulautrex.tumblr.com/post/10432750303

::slow clap::

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Miss(ed) Representations, Part One: ‘I’m a Culture, Not a Costume’ Campaign

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

Longtime Racialicious readers know this time on the calendar has prompted the R to read someone (or several folks) about their racist costumes or some other Halloween-related foolishness. Well, this year, Ohio University’s Students Teaching about Racism in Society (STARS) put on posters what we’ve been putting into words for quite a while.

I think that, for the most part, the campaign deserves the accolades, coverage, and support it’s been getting around the web, from Angry Asian Man to the 17,575 (and counting!) responses on the STARS president’s Tumblr to The Root to Bitch to the former Racialicious owner Carmen Sognonvi .

Of course, we can argue, among other things, that phenotypes don’t equal culture and cultures aren’t static or even talk about the historical-religious appropriation of Halloween itself.

My only quibble with the campaign is that I may have chosen photos where the models conveyed different body language. Not that the models didn’t pose how they wanted, being a student-driven campaign. What I do think is quite a few photographers rarely get The Shot in one shot; in fact, several photographers submit several photos for clients/collaborative partners to choose from.

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Quoted: Jeff Yang on David Sedaris’ Anti-Chinese Racism

So look, David: Chinese people eat weird food. There is a saying that “Chinese will eat anything with its back to the sky,” and another that says “Chinese will eat anything with legs but a table and anything with wings but an airplane.” These are Chinese sayings, I might point out — a sign that Chinese aren’t exactly unaware that the “delicacies” that send prim Westerners to their fainting couches are a little off the beaten path.

But Chinese are far from the only culture that eats weird food, and fuck, given that you’re from North Carolina, have you looked at what American Southerners traditionally eat? No? Chitlins! Possum! Muskrat! Bull testicles! Oh wait, you’re from suburban Raleigh, so probably not, given that most of the more exotic dishes in Southern cuisine, like in many culinary traditions, was the offspring of necessity — invention midwived by destitution. If you’re hungry enough, rodents will start to look tasty, as will chicken claws, stray innards and balls. And once you’ve eaten them long enough, all these things evolve into nostalgic signifiers — especially after you’ve pulled yourself out of poverty. They go from things you have to eat all the time to things you choose to eat once in a while, to remind yourself you don’t have to eat them all the time.

And this is what’s truly ugly about your piece, David: For someone who’s spent a lot of your career puncturing middle-class aspiration and self-delusion, your essay is unpleasantly blind to the fact that all of China is just a few generations removed from dire, desperate want, and that many people, like the peasant family you had such a bad experience sharing a meal with, continue to subsist on an annual income that’s a tiny fraction of what a sophisticated awesome American literary superstar like you loses in his sofa. And in a country of 1.3 billion people, even having braised pig’s stomach to occasionally go with your daily rice is a fucking luxury.

–From David Sedaris Thinks Chinese People (and Food) Are Repulsive, Which Makes Me Sad, Because I Used to Like David Sedaris

Go After the Privilege, Not the Tits: Afterthoughts on Alexandra Wallace and White Female Privilege

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

As soon-to-be-former UCLA student Alexandra Wallace packs her stuff and leaves the university due to fear for her life, I’ve watched how some people and the press reacted to her.  As Colorlines and other blogs noted, combating her anti-Asian racism with life-threatening misogyny really wasn’t the best social-justice idea:

Nor combatting racial stereotypes with…racialized sexual stereotypes:

and

Or even having a “yeah, you’re racist, but I’d still fuck ya” vibe, a la the guitar-strumming crooner, in an otherwise witty comeback song:

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Quoted: Hisaye Yamamoto, Short-Story Author, Dies

From LA Times:

Often compared to such short-story masters as Katherine Mansfield, Flannery O’Connor and Grace Paley, Yamamoto concentrated her imagination on the issei and nisei, the first- and second-generation Japanese Americans who were targets of the public hysteria unleashed after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Yamamoto was 20 when the attack sent the United States into war and her family into a Poston, Ariz., internment camp. Her most celebrated stories, such as “Seventeen Syllables” and “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara,” reflect the preoccupations and tensions of the Japanese immigrants and offspring who survived that era. Among her most powerful characters are women who struggle to nurture their romantic or creative selves despite the constraints of gender, racism and tradition.

….

Yamamoto was born in Redondo Beach on Aug. 23, 1921. The daughter of immigrant strawberry farmers from Kumamoto, Japan, she was a voracious reader and published her first story when she was 14. At Compton College, where she earned an associate of arts degree, she studied French, Spanish, German and Latin. She wrote stories for Japanese American newspapers using the pseudonym “Napoleon.”

During World War II, she wrote for the Poston camp newspaper, which published her serialized mystery “Death Rides the Rail to Poston.” She briefly left the camp to work in Springfield, Mass., but returned when her 19-year-old brother died while fighting with the U.S. Army‘s 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy.

After the war ended in 1945, she returned to Los Angeles and became a reporter and columnist for the Los Angeles Tribune, an African American weekly. Her experiences there deepened her awareness of racism to a point of nearly unbearable anguish. She wrote a story about the intimidation of a black family named Short by white neighbors in segregated Fontana. She attempted to hew to journalistic standards of impartiality, cautiously describing the threats against the family as “alleged” or “claims.”

After her story ran, the Shorts were killed in an apparent arson fire. Yamamoto castigated herself for failing to convey the urgency of their situation.

“I should have been an evangelist at Seventh and Broadway, shouting out the name of the Short family and their predicament in Fontana,” she wrote decades later in a 1985 essay called “A Fire in Fontana.” Instead, she pronounced her effort to communicate as pathetic as “the bit of saliva which occasionally trickled” from the corner of a feeble man’s mouth.

She left the newspaper and rode trains and buses across the country. “Something was unsettling my innards,” she wrote of her dawning multiethnic consciousness. “I continued to look like the Nisei I was, with my height remaining at slightly over four feet ten, my hair straight, my vision myopic. Yet I know that this event transpired within me; sometimes I see it as my inward self being burnt black in a certain fire.”

She drew from this well in the burst of writing that followed. Her breakthrough came with the 1948 publication in Partisan Review of “The High-Heeled Shoes, a Memoir,” a shockingly contemporary story about sexual harassment. She weaved intercultural conflicts and bonds into “Seventeen Syllables” (1949), in which a nisei girl’s blooming romance with a Mexican American classmate offers an achingly innocent counterpoint to her issei mother’s arranged marriage. “Wilshire Bus” (1950) explores a Japanese American woman’s silence during a white man’s racist harangue against a Chinese couple on the bus they are riding.

 

Image credit: goodreads.com

Princely Tails

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

(WARNING:  Totally NSFW)

Reader Grace nearly caused a pearl-clutching moment amongst us Special Correspondents with a link to these, ahem, enhanced drawings:

David Lilio and StitchAladdin

I look at these images as I do hentai and plushies:  some people getting off on the frisson of (hyper)sexualized ideals of taboo images and items connoted to belong to the kiddie world, like Disney cartoons and stuffed animals.   So, I do understand the squick with seeing these resemblances of lust-inspiring Calvin Klein and Armani underwear images because it’s like fucking with someone’s childhood.  And childhood, regardless of quite a few people’s realities about their early years on this earth, is held as sacrosanct in its idyllic innocence—especially sexual innocence– in US culture. Continue reading

When Racefail Meets Playboy: The John Mayer Interview

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

My gut-honest reaction to finding out singer John Mayer admits that he doesn’t romantically or sexually like Black women is like finding out Tom Cruise saying doesn’t dig us sistahs: I’m not shocked because I didn’t get that vibe from him.  Douchey John Mayers

Mayer’s highlighted history of dating the crowning White women of Hollywood, like yeah-folks-think-she’s-doornail-dumb-but-00000-her-blonde-hair-and-big-tits Jessica Simpson and always-wronged-Golden-Girl-by-Golden-Boy-Brad-Pitt-on-the-sexual-strength-of-coded-as-“colored”-superfreak-temptress-Angelina-Jolie Jennifer Aniston—along with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Friday Night Lights’ Minka Kelly, and gets-coded-as-White Cameron Diaz–just tipped me to his preference. And, no matter what I feel about/think about/hold a moral stance on racial preferences in dating, the unpleasantly hard reality is people seem to have them. Mayer, being human, really isn’t that different. That’s not a justification, mind y’all; that’s just my facing the facts about folks. I mean, I get it. I may not agree with it—I’m definitely more of the rainbow-dating-and-fucking kind–but I get it.

But did Mayer have go into full racefail about his preferences—and in Playboy no less? (Warning: this and the very next link are NSFW.)

Hold that thought.

Mr. Wonderland goes into all sorts of fail in this interview. And, being human in an ism-filled world—which, as quite a few of us know here at Racialicious, no one is exempt from them due to the kind of music they like or like to play, with whom they collaborate, at whose funeral they performed, or which school they attended–Mayer has them….and decides to vent to them. As an ex-friend once said, -isms and -phobias tend to come in bundles.

There’s the ageism, in that “too old to get it” sense:

MAYER: If Jennifer Aniston knows how to use BitTorrent I’ll eat my fucking shoe. One of the most significant differences between us was that I was tweeting. There was a rumor that I had been dumped because I was tweeting too much. That wasn’t it, but that was a big difference. The brunt of her success came before TMZ and Twitter. I think she’s still hoping it goes back to 1998. She saw my involvement in technology as courting distraction. And I always said, “These are the new rules.”

The slut-shaming:

MAYER: I feel like women are getting their comeuppance against men now. I hear about man-whores more than I hear about whores. When women are whorish, they’re owning their sexuality. When men are whorish, they’re disgusting beasts. I think they’re paying us back for a double standard that’s lasted for a hundred years.

And misandry:

MAYER: Because I want to show her I’m not like every other guy. Because I hate other men. When I’m fucking you, I’m trying to fuck every man who’s ever fucked you, but in his ass, so you’ll say “No one’s ever done that to me in bed.”

Followed by some full-on homophobia:

MAYER: The only man I’ve kissed is Perez Hilton. It was New Year’s Eve and I decided to go out and destroy myself. I was dating Jessica at the time, and I remember seeing Perez Hilton flitting about this club and acting as though he had just invented homosexuality. All of a sudden I thought, I can outgay this guy right now. I grabbed him and gave him the dirtiest, tongue-iest kiss I have ever put on anybody—almost as if I hated fags. I don’t think my mouth was even touching when I was tongue kissing him, that’s how disgusting this kiss was. I’m a little ashamed. I think it lasted about half a minute. I really think it went on too long.

Circling back to the racefail, there’s some offhanded anti-Semitism:

MAYER: I’m half Jewish. People say, “Well, which side of your family is Jewish?” I say, “My dad’s.” And they always say it doesn’t count. But I will say I keep my pool at 92 degrees, so you do the math. [Emphasis mine.] I find myself relating to Judaism. One of my best friends is Jewish beyond all Jews—I went to my first Passover seder at his house—and I train in Krav Maga with a lot of Israelis.

With a side of “how-do-these-two-things-even-go-together?” East Asian stereotypes:

I want to get on an airplane and be like a ninja.

Some gawd-awful inverted-shoutout to us Negroes:

MAYER: …I am a very…I’m just very. V-E-R-Y. And if you can’t handle very, then I’m a douche bag. But I think the world needs a little very. That’s why black people love me. [Emphasis mine] Continue reading

Bound Japanese Women: Violence or Sexual Liberation?

By Deputy Editor Thea Lim

Last night while I was browsing the Sociological Images website, I saw this:

Sociological Images explains that the ad is for Swiss company Max Shoes, to advertises its sturdy laces.  The ad made me immediately think of these cell phone charms that my bf’s friend brought back from Japan:

Called Oshibari Girls (does anyone know what “oshibari” means?), the cell phone charms come in six different styles, including school girl, office lady and police officer.

The sight of a bound East Asian woman hanging from a cell phone upset me deeply, but I didn’t know how to articulate that to my bf’s friend in a way he would understand, especially not over Saturday drinks on a summer night.

But the commenters on Sociological Images’ shoe post had an interesting take on the tied-up Japanese woman thing:

Some people enjoy bondage, and she has a stereotypical but realistic come-hither look on her face. The Kimono is a bit much, but I don’t find this violent at all.

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