I have discussed the issue of “self-hate” earlier in my diary (see https://asianamericangfonskype.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/self-hatred/), and in that piece I talk about how people like myself, who are socialized, affected and influenced by Eurocentric standards of beauty get labeled as “self haters” when we start preferential White men and amplifying our Whiter traits (I’m half White/Asian but that’s a whole another can of worms). But after my experience with many (not all) members of the online Asian community and just my general experiences with the topic, I think there is actually a larger secondary level of self-hate going on, mostly towards Asian women.
In my diary, I’ve talked a lot about my experiences and how I sought support and was rejected so I sought it elsewhere, but unfortunately my experience with the bashing and criticism is not isolated.
Constance Wu is an Asian American actress who speaks out for Asian rights and lack of representation in the media (for example, she publicly criticized the Great Wall – starring the Matt Damon who is depicting as dashing White hero in Asia), she herself is doing her part in increasing that Asian presence, but because she is dating/dated a White man, suddenly all her thoughts are discounted and all of her efforts are ignored?
In fact, her own Asian community begins to become hateful and write derogatory messages to her, attempting to drag her name through the gutter. Here is an example of such hate:
Asian Activist blogger Erin Chew suffered some of the same criticism when she wrote about “Why some Asian Men Constantly Criticise Asian Women Online” (see https://www.yomyomf.com/chewing-the-fat-on-why-some-asian-men-constantly-criticise-asian-women-online/). Even though she writes for the blog site that removed my work, I have to give merit where merit is due. She makes a good point and I resonate with a lot of it, I guess that’s why I initially thought YOYOMF would be a good home for my views. In the piece she makes it clear that its an opinion piece based on her experiences and perceptions… like my diary! She talks about being on the back end of receiving attacks from her own Asian community, being called all kinds of derogatory names and how much wasted effort it is that the Asian community are targeting people like her and Constance Wu. But of course what happens when Erin talks about these issues, she’s hated on, made fun of, attacked and talked crap about behind her back and “unfriended” by her own community of Asians. This issue became so problematic she has a term for it – Asian Male Toxic Masculinity (http://www.yomyomf.com/chewing-the-fat-on-why-asian-male-toxic-masculinity-i/). The sad part is just like Constance, Erin Wu supports Asian representation on media to change the dominant social structures that shape our views (https://asianamericangfonskype.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/structural-forces-that-shape-us/).
As I mentioned before, I initially started out trying to seek help from the online Asian community for support, but when I did not receive such support, and the only one that would offer me some substantive help was a White Man named Tom, I took it. He introduced me to Tumblr (https://azngrl4whitegods.tumblr.com/post/158200012946/original-post-social-justice-warrior-turned-asian) and shaped my views. I often get criticized for working with Tom and listening to him, but nobody else had wanted to support me the way he did. When I realized Tumblr wasn’t for me, because the emphasis on sex overshadowed my message, I sought to leave and once again reach out to the Asian online community. Tom warned me they would not accept me but I was too naive to realize. The whole time I tried to get back in the “good graces” of the Asian online community, it was just endless in fighting – between me and other Asian members, between Asian members within the community, etc. I want to be clear not everyone was hostile, there were some Asians that were supportive but their voices were often drowned out by the public hatred and fighting that most of them did not even dare speak their support in public.
So much wasted effort, trying to villianize me and for what purpose? Because I tried to share my story in the supposed “safe space” or because I am trying to create a support group for people like myself so we can talk through our issues? People point to my Tumblr or the porn pics I reblogged under the advice of my mentor Tom, but remember that the first time I reached out, there was no Tumblr, there were no porn pics, there was just me and my diary.
Like Erin Chew and Constance Wu, my constant message has been that media heavily socialized me, which aligns with their view on the need for increased Asian representation. Instead of loading up their ammo and hatred towards us, why don’t the Asian SJW community fight the real enemy? Those that create the structures that make us feel less than others? Why don’t they consider allying with us so we can work together to change things so people don’t have to feel inferior? Where they can be proud of who they are and shape the cultural view of Asians in a more positive light.
All the infighting was ridiculous and literally the whole time Tom is laughing at us. The paranoia and self hate bred so much infighting that I finally gave up and just walked away. Tom told me this was a making of a super villain story, I’m hoping that’s not true but I could see it.
When Asians are influenced by the social norms and they feel to fit in they have to assimilate and “white wash” themselves, there is no place to go to talk about these issues. When they bring it up or even look like they are trying to “Americanize” themselves, they receive the same hatred and vitriol that Erin Chew, Constance Wu and myself received. How much of that can someone take before they turn to hating their “own.” To me, that explains why you have Asian girls who go from liking White guys to HATING Asians (those two are not synonymous, but they can become so when all she feels is hate from her “own”). Then you start to see things like this:
When we suffer from inferiority, self esteem or insecurity issues, instead of lending a helping hand we are forced to fight and fight and fight against our “own” community. Of course, when a third party comes to lend a helping hand, it makes it easier – especially in our vulnerable state. If the situation has become war, alliances must be made. Often these alliances amplifies animosity for us because they may come from the very people that we were told are the enemy. I know that the vulnerability opens us up to be taken advantage of, but I also know that when nobody is willing to publicly support you, then we are willing to risk that chance. All of that could have been avoided in an ideal world. I am working with some people to create a community so that those who are lost and feel isolated can rely on others for social support. Something I needed but couldn’t find.