What does Asian include? [East Asian, South Asian, South East Asian]


  • administrators

    Note: I intend to shelve this topic once the air is cleared.

    Abbreviations:

    East Asian [EA]
    South Asian [SA]
    South East Asian [SEA]

    There has been a debate over what constitutes “Asian”. The crux of the argument is that the groups are not the same and don’t suffer from the same problems nor do they share exactly the same culture. There are merits to these arguments. Let’s parse them. (the argument is focused on SA vs EA/SEA)

    ● SA have very low out marriage rates and the men generally out marry more than the women. One reason is that their features are more ‘white passing’.

    ● SA are racist towards EA. EA living in North Eastern India face discrimination and violence. This has to do with the 1962 border war that was setup by the British and egged on by the Americans http://www.amazon.com/Indias-China-War-Neville-Maxwell/dp/8181581466/. A lot of the racism SA towards EA is absorbed through Western media eg calling Chinese chinkies and this carries over sometimes to SA living in Western countries. Keep in mind, EA/SEA are not free from anti-SA prejudices either.

    ● SA men are like white males lite when it comes to the dating disparity. There are more sam/af than am/saf.

    ● SA men are more patriarchal. I’m not expert on SA culture. I have a suspicion this has more to do with poverty. During the Chinese civil war, young girls were sold as concubines and after the Korean War, SK employed large numbers of its women as sex workers for American GIs to accumulate capital to industrialize. However, the high profile but rare cases of violence towards women skews SA. So, that’s the perception. I can’t confirm more than that.

    Objectively, there are differences that complicate any debate of interracial dating disparities, problems with misogyny/patriarchy, and racism. On the whole, EA men see disadvantages of being associated with acts of patriarchy that are more prevalent within SA. Yet, they suffer more in dating than their SA counterparts. In short, it feels unfair.

    However, there are similarities where we can work together.

    Both are racially profiled: SA as terrorists; EA as easy victims and ching chong spies.
    Both are castrated in the media: Raj in The Big Bang Theory; Ken Jeong in every scene he’s in.
    Both suffer discrimination in selective college admissions
    Both suffer discrimination at work
    Both suffer gross miscarriages of justice by a corrupt system that devalues non-white lives
    Both suffer from Hollywood tentacles trying to infiltrate their homeland’s media landscape
    Both suffer from degenerate Western values trying to corrupt their more traditional and family and socially oriented cultures
    Both suffer from handpicked agents of white supremacy to incite gender wars: SA have Mandy Kaling and Priyanka Chopra; EA have Amy Tan, Maxine Hong Kingston, etc

    In short, there are many overlapping areas of interests for us all to fight beside each other against a common foe: white supremacy.

    I want to leave you one last thought. In the 1800’s, China’s Qing Dynasty had many competing groups that refused to work together and by splintering, whites abused China for 100 years. Imagine if they had worked together and crushed their common foe instead.

    Was their pride and quarreling worth it?


  • Empress of War

    @arcterex

    Or even within EA, I remember talking to a Korean girl who refused to be seen as “Asian”; who insisted Korean women were better looking than Chinese women and got angry if anyone compared the two.

    A lot of Asian women are gonna be uppity about a lot of things but regardless of how uppity they get or how “superior” they perceive themselves to be, the women they look down on (in your example, Chinese or SEA women) STILL won’t get defeminized or be considered unattractive by society at large. A SEA woman still won’t have issues getting with a NEA man nor any non-Asian man, no matter how much NEA women look down on them so regardless of whether we promote specifically just SEA female features or SEA female + NEA female features or SEA female + every other female features, it wouldn’t matter. In any case, Asian women, in general, are already fetishized to the extreme. A few conceited Asian women “looking down” on other Asian women shouldn’t hurt the esteem of sane women to the point that it’ll drive so big of a rift in the community (because I’m just gonna be real—most straight women don’t care about the opinion of other women that much, they mostly care about the men’s).

    On the flipside, both EA and SEA men have it very bad in terms of being emasculated, so for that reason alone, they are deserving of a stage to themselves where only their features get promoted. Which one has it worst is arguable since China, Japan, and Korea may have the wealth, prestige, and soft power but they also tend to be stereotyped as “nerds” while SEA may not have the global recognition but are seen as “gangsters”, which more women seem to desire over “nerds”. But regardless, I’d say they both have it equally bad in terms of emasculation and I’d say a lot of it is due to western society not taking too kindly to their features (hence why I believe Asian dance crews tend to cover their faces up with masks). So it’s beneficial to focus solely on their standard appearances and promote them, rather than promote them side-by-side with others who look nothing like them. It’s like advertisement. Assuming everyone already loves iPhones but you wanna promote a phone that people generally don’t like, like Nokia. You wouldn’t want to advertise Nokia side-by-side with iPhone. You’d want the Nokia to have the spotlight all to itself. Same concept applies.

    Just from words of caution about the whole “they don’t look like us” argument, I’m sure you’re familiar that even within EA/SEA, there are divisions over this.

    There are going to be divisions in terms of looks between every race, including whites (blondes vs. redheads vs. brunettes, green eyes vs. blue eyes, Southern European vs. Northern European, etc…) or even blacks (lighter skin vs. darker skin). But the bottom line remains the same; whites, regardless of hair/eye/skin color, will still look more similar to each other than they will to another entirely different race. Same with blacks. And I’m sure both of those communities will agree that they rather see someone within their own community promoted, regardless of the insignificant differences (but still has some similarities) between them and the individual promoted as opposed to seeing someone of an entirely different background who looks tremendously different from them. Very similar to how most blacks, despite not looking similar to Beyonce, still love and promote her as their spokeswoman. Same background, slightly different features but still at least has more similarities to them than say, Britney Spears.

    I would just add- to the extent you permit regular attacks at the “out group”, you foster identity by way of Negative Identity, critiquing the out group to enhance in-group cohesion.

    That’s essentially how many activist groups seem to work, no? Attacking/critiquing/fighting whites seem to be the basis and foundation that holds most of these groups together to begin with.

    But I agree. Constantly bashing others, be it whites or other minorities (well, maybe whites can be an exception…haha, kidding. sorta) without constructive criticism is not a good mindset to have and can be psychologically draining for young Asians to absorb. That’s something that needs to be worked on.

    There either is unity or there’s not. Groups don’t just unite opportunistically if there is no underlying sense of cohesion

    There is unity, I’d say. Perhaps I’m optimistic but I do believe in the decency of a lot of people enough to unite when the time calls for it. Taking the Steve Harvey issue, for example. Not only did many Asians called him out for it, but I saw white feminists and even some blacks criticizing him for his comment. Or take Jennifer Murphy’s racist “neeja” video incident as another example. Sure, you could say that others called her out only because there was an AF involved and it could be different had an AM been there and not an AF, but I don’t think we can deny the fact that a number of non-Asians still united with us to help criticize her, when they could’ve easily just not cared at all. Or a bigger example would be Trump taking office. People from all backgrounds, religions, sexual orientations, and genders joined together to protest him. So I definitely say there is some unity.

    Imo, humans have layers like onions and we have the ability to love every single one of those layers that we have. Of course, for everyone, it’s different how they choose to prioritize those layers. Some people choose to identify with their gender first, then ethnic identity, then race, then national identity. Others choose to identify with ethnic identity, then religion, then gender, etc, etc…but whatever part of their identity that they feel the need to unite with when the time calls for it, most, I would say, are more than capable of doing so.





  • @secondstrike bear in mind that discrimination SA’s commit against EA’s (and I don’t disagree that this is something that should be addressed), that sounds like a problem that can better be addressed as a group than separately. Separately, I suppose it will be a little like getting blacks to recognize anti-Asian attitudes - which is to say, they are not listening. As a group, there is more opportunity for groupmembers to raise awareness in their own community that “racism” isn’t just something done against blacks. And the reverse is true as well; to the extent there is colorism against SEA and S. Asians, that is something that can be addressed in the same way. It’s not uncommon for example for S Asians to be snapped at by E Asian store-owners or at restaurants, while the place treats white customers unfailingly with respect. My guess is it would be very hard to address separately, if we get back to being distinct groups.

    I think the way forward is to recognize where our interests overlap and educate on the differences and respect those differences enough that dialog can remain productive.

    I agree. I think on AI we can have this dialogue; and I’d like to be clearer to the community, that they are free to bring up these issues. It’s better they have this exchange in an environment committed to Pan-Asianism than one that isn’t - in which case, it’s not uncommon for it to become very negative very fast, as opposed to some constructive exchange where the goal is for all to come out more informed & actually do something about it.

    In the past, I think we’ve assumed that in the spirit of unity, we’d rather not have a free-for-all of this nature- that it may lead to disunity – as these inter-Asian discussions often go sideways. So our tendency has been to manage the dialogue. We should certainly try to have these discussions – there are inter-Asian issues that can’t be ignored- the best we can do is try to facilitate a constructive exchange.


  • administrators

    @arcterex

    This is a function of white society maligning the image of EA/SEA men to a larger degree.

    Agree

    solution appears to be improving the image of EA/SEA men (which is something Kulture has done a lot of. My guess is S. Asians can be a valuable ally in attacking the underlying cause of this dynamic.

    This is where I think the divergence occurs. Kulture is a godsend for EA/SEA. Everyone agrees. The complication arises when some SA partake in the same discrimination towards EA/SEA that whites do. I’m still not sure how to bridge this gap. EA are by default grouped as chinks upon arrival. The term, “Asian” does not draw this crucial distinction and educating SA on the complexities takes a long time.

    It doesn’t work in the West with its modern social culture so I’m guessing to whatever degree it remains, it doesn’t survive emigration to America all that well.

    I’m not so sure about this. EA f date/marry out at huge rates. EA m who go against this are shamed into submission by every group including lots of EA. The SA dynamic, at least from what I’ve read, seems very different. There is a widespread understanding that SA f are expected to date/marry within the tribe.

    We generally don’t pass for white- maybe 1 or 2 out of 100 - but very very few.

    True, but I’m referring more to features like more white-passing nose brides, eye shapes, etc. For example, being called a “chink” while some pink supremacist pulls their eyelids back is a thing that primarily EA suffer. SEA don’t suffer it to the same degree - SA even less so.

    I think the way forward is to recognize where our interests overlap and educate on the differences and respect those differences enough that dialog can remain productive.



  • @natalie_ng

    And speaking of attractiveness, narrowing down who we promote makes a more stronger statement than if we were so inclusive to the point that we end up promoting features that look nothing like ours at all. I’m sure a lot of you have already seen my blog and if so, you would’ve noticed that when it comes to people, I always, always posted/promoted images of EA/SEA men and women. There’s a reason for that. Because positive images of us, especially our men, are severely lacking.

    I agree. That’s why on Kulture, when we promote attractive Asian men, the emphasis in on SEA/EA. They look “nothing like me”, but that doesn’t stop me from promoting their perception as being attractive.

    https://twitter.com/kulturewatchdog/status/783097573942763520

    I think the work here to be done is reaching outside of our bubble, our echo chamber and getting to the general population.

    Just from words of caution about the whole “they don’t look like us” argument, I’m sure you’re familiar that even within EA/SEA, there are divisions over this. That SEA Asians are conscious of their facial features and being seen as “brown”. Or even within EA, I remember talking to a Korean girl who refused to be seen as “Asian”; who insisted Korean women were better looking than Chinese women and got angry if anyone compared the two. There are numerous fault lines even within whatever one might want to narrow to as ‘racially consistent’ – based on ‘appearances alone’. I do wonder where that leads. No one argues against having separate communities that are distinct; I would just add- to the extent you permit regular attacks at the “out group”, you foster identity by way of Negative Identity, critiquing the out group to enhance in-group cohesion, more division may lay ahead. I don’t think you would be surprised to know that this trend in white pride groups has resulted in endless internal castigation and purity spiraling…

    we can unite when needed.

    I don’t think so. There either is unity or there’s not. Groups don’t just unite opportunistically if there is no underlying sense of cohesion; the ONLY time such groups unite is in times of war. An existential threat. White manipulation and domination has rarely reached that level. In other words, it wont’ happen. It will just be slow-bore divide and conquer with smaller groups finding reasons to have low-level conflict between one another instead of collaborating. The minute certain groups think they ‘don’t belong’ or worse find themselves targeted and attacked by another group; they won’t unite ‘just because’. You may be underestimating just how much work has gone into pan-Asian unity – that was started under Asian Masculinity and now AI. We all sacrifice a little to make it happen. We invest goodwill. Over a period of time, people begin to realize it makes sense to fight for each other. If you look at the campaigns we’ve fought - Steve Harvey for example - people arent’ asking ‘whats in it for them’ or ‘do the people affected look like me’. We are all pitching in and fighting because over years, we see ourselves as one unit.

    LLAG opens up another front in possible division.

    https://www.facebook.com/theLLAG/photos/a.493561587401992.1073741825.100744900016998/1295332230558253/?type=3&theater

    By calling out “East Asians” specifically. And saying that EA often discriminate against SEA for being ‘dark-skinned’ and the like. I think this foreshadows what happens when people opt for purity. The fault lines quickly appear. Absent an overarching unity, the fault lines become exposed. Together as a united group, we can condemn someone like him (and we have - https://twitter.com/kulturewatchdog/status/840731407500500993). But as we drift into our ‘own camps’, something like this will only be magnified. I’m sure this will bring cackles to white people- because it’s precisely what’s ensured their power over the years. People don’t need to be divided to be conquered; they divide themselves with little outside provocation.



  • said in What does Asian include? [East Asian, South Asian, South East Asian]:

    SA men are like white males lite when it comes to the dating disparity. There are more sam/af than am/saf.

    While this may be true, this is unfortunately true with most races and EA/SEA. If you take Hispanics or Blacks or Persians etc. there are more XM with AF than the reverse. So I don’t think this is a property specific to SA. This is a function of white society maligning the image of EA/SEA men to a larger degree - and the solution appears to be improving the image of EA/SEA men (which is something Kulture’s Twitter has done a bit of- promoting attractive Asian men) and combating Hollywood denigration (which Kulture has also done a lot of). My guess is S. Asians can be a valuable ally in attacking the underlying cause of this dynamic.

    SA men are more patriarchal.

    It’s possible I suppose. It’s not the easiest thing to quantify. Japan may be a relatively extreme example of EA and traditional gender roles. India has had a female Prime Minister, and separately a female President. So has Pakistan. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have as well. I’m not familiar enough with China’s history of leadership to know if there has been a female leader. I would say that in general, it would be hard to be successful in the West in any area of life- whether social life, dating, or even the workplace to be an old-school patriarch. It doesn’t work in the West with its modern social culture so I’m guessing to whatever degree it remains, it doesn’t survive emigration to America all that well.

    SA are racist towards EA in India

    I agree; it’s a problem and it’s something that needs to be addressed. India passed a law banning the word of an epithet towards NE Asians- a 5 year prison sentence- but it has not been enforced well. Which shows that there is intent to fight it - but this far that has merely been symbolic. I asked an Indian friend who lives in India if NE Indians were in Bollywood movies- and she said usually not, but if so in villain roles. The situation needs to change. The concerns of racial minorities arent’ the province of merely developed countries . I will say that there are a few voices on this subject that when they talk about - they foment images of crazy Indians intent on raping NE women; I think they are playing to people’s fears and resentments. I also am no expert on India; but I lived there for two years and frequently saw NE Indian men and women getting along well with the rest of Indians. Not to say problems don’t exist the but issue - in the hands of a demagogue- can’t paint a very different picture than reality.

    SA have very low out marriage rates and the men generally out marry more than the women. One reason is that their features are more ‘white passing’.

    I’m not sure that’s the reason. Indians are dark. Growing up, I don’t know why- I always assumed that perhaps Indians were the same tone as Hispanics, and therefore wouldn’t stick out. As I looked at them and us more, I realized we are much darker than Hispanics. And Persians. And southern Europeans. It’s not even close. Even lighter-skinned Indians - not the outliers- are generally quite a bit darker than even Hispanics. Our features are distinct. We generally don’t pass for white- maybe 1 or 2 out of 100 - but very very few. In my social circle, I can’t think of one person who would pass for white. Whereas in a group of Hispanics I know, maybe 2 or 3 out of 5 could. I think the discrepancy has to do with the fact that for whatever reason, Indian men are more attracted to white women than East Asian men; I’ve noticed EA men on AI routinely state their preference for AF whereas SA men are split, with many preferring white women. I don’t think that’s a good thing; but that may explain the delta- Indian men are just more intent on finding and dating a white woman.

    I want to leave you one last thought. In the 1800’s, China’s Qing Dynasty had many competing groups that refused to work together and by splintering, whites abused China for 100 years. Imagine if they had worked together and crushed their common foe instead.

    It’s something we have to keep in mind. We have a very hard task at hand; harder than we may assume. Well, it is easy to state the problem and “imagine” solution- it is harder to drive change. We see that when we observe commentary from the 1940s or 1920s or 1960s from Asians that strongly resembles the ones we’re making today. We know that past generations have seen the same things we’re seeing in Hollywood, in white people - but we haven’t been able to seize the bull by the horns and get to where we want to be. We have a chance this generation; in part because of our strong economic position compared to the past. It’d be a shame if we just got diverted and fought over scraps instead.


  • Empress of War

    @secondstrike

    I’ve said this repeatedly but I don’t think anyone is arguing that we shouldn’t ally with other groups against our common foe, which is white male supremacy. And many groups, besides blacks, Latinos, Desis and Arabs also fight against (cis) WM supremacy, such as white feminists and gay rights activists. Should we ally with all of them as well because of a common foe? Absolutely! If we have overlapping issues, I don’t see why not.

    HOWEVER, we also need to be able to be respective of each others’ differences. Just as I don’t expect a white feminist to represent/speak out for all WOC, I also don’t expect to insert myself into a group such as BLM out of respect for our differences in issues and culture. I would essentially be insulting/slapping them across the face if I did that, even though, yes, all of us have the same common enemy that is WM.

    And personally, as a woman, while I’m definitely against racist police shootings of BMs, I CANNOT condone or support BMs’ tendency to irresponsibly leave their pregnant women behind to fend for herself nor can I condone BMs’ tendency to throw BFs under the bus to white worship. And this goes for every other group that may treat their women less respectfully than I’d like to see.

    Furthermore, not only do some of these cultural differences clash with the way I’d like to see my gender treated, but they also have a HUGE effect on who I feel comfortable speaking up for and who I do not. I want my argument against whites/feminists about AMs not being patriarchal at all or at the very least, the least patriarchal out of all men, to be solid. I cannot afford any loopholes or weaknesses in my argument, because if there is even just one loophole, they will definitely catch onto that fast and point out the fallacy of my logic and there goes my entire argument crashing down.

    Let’s be real. There are tons of Indian feminists like ragingfuck and moarroidzplz who like to lump all AMs together as if we’re all one and the same culture. Let’s say I argue with them using EA men as examples of why AMs are NOT sexist at all but they use their experiences of what they know to be AMs to verify that they are sexist. How am I going to defend against that? And since I would very much appreciate if these Indian feminists stop lumping my men in with theirs, I need to make my stance clear from the very start that I am only speaking up and defending my own men to prevent any loopholes or logical fallacies.

    Moreover, just as with black feminism, I am certainly very supportive of Indian feminism, given that they DO NOT throw my men under the bus/lump them in with theirs. As I’ve said before, as a woman, there are certainly things that BMs and IMs do to their women that I simply cannot rally behind. Just as with black feminism, I understand why Indian feminism needs to exist. I do not want to make enemies with them and on that note, I’d like to make the message clear to them that when I am fighting back against accusations of AM misogyny, I am only doing so for my own men (EA/SEA). I understand that black women, Indian women, and EA/SEA men all suffer from being categorized as sexually undesirable by whites and are considered low on the social ranking scale by whites and I certainly think that this needs to be addressed and combatted, even if that means challenging BMs, IMs, and yes, AFs’ tendencies to uphold white stereotypes of their opposite gender counterparts (by chasing after whites themselves and considering their own unattractive).

    And speaking of attractiveness, narrowing down who we promote makes a more stronger statement than if we were so inclusive to the point that we end up promoting features that look nothing like ours at all. I’m sure a lot of you have already seen my blog and if so, you would’ve noticed that when it comes to people, I always, always posted/promoted images of EA/SEA men and women. There’s a reason for that. Because positive images of us, especially our men, are severely lacking. And when sites like buzzfeed DO attempt to promote our men, their images get mixed up with images of other ethnicities who look nothing like us but because they happen to be on the same continent, buzzfeed thought it would be a great idea to include them as well. Well, what ends up happening is that half of that list ended up promoting features that are extremely Caucasianish which just further promotes white/Caucasian features than anything else. We NEED a list, a space, a site dedicated solely to just us.

    Additionally, yes, too much in-fighting and division between POC groups is bad but I continue to stand by what I said; ally on issues where we overlap but be mindful/respectful of each others’ differences. It REALLY shouldn’t be that hard to do that. Should we have a group dedicated solely to just fighting WM supremacy and that involves every single sexual orientation, race/ethnicity and gender? Definitely. That’s called the Democratic Party (on the surface, at least). Should we also have groups organized by religion, geography, ethnicity, common issues, gender, political party, shared culture, sexual orientation, etc…as well for network and support? Absolutely, I don’t see why not, because in the end, if we’re all for fighting against WM supremacy, we can unite when needed. Very similar to how r/Sino and r/SouthKorean is dedicated solely to just their ethnicities but both will probably quickly unite against WMs if needed, I’m sure all Asian groups are willing to do the same, regardless if we represent a continent or if we represent a specific set of issues and/or shared culture.

    If we’re specifically just discussing the definition of “Asian”, I’d like to quote ap0lly0n here:

    It’s about time to retire the term “Asian” as it is not useful. All it does is to confuse people and obscure issues of race, ethnicity, geography etc. It was also assigned to us, we did not choose it ourselves. We need to come up with our own terms.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/EasternSunRising/comments/63w62w/what_if_an_indian_says_indians_are_asian_to/dfxhowx/


  • Level 1 - Sergeant

    @secondstrike I agree that we should be diplomatic with each other. However, to use a slippery slope argument: would it not make sense for us to ally with the local Ku Klux Klan chapter if some of their goals aligned with ours?

    If yes, then we are simply practicing realist politics, where the ends justify the means.

    If no, then we lose out on a potential source of allyship.

    There’s no right answer here.



  • @secondstrike

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Chinese_Indians

    The state-perpetrated internment of Chinese Indians was authorised by the Defence of India Act, 1962. After the brief Sino-Indian War, India incarcerated thousands of Chinese-Indians in an internment camp in Deoli, Rajasthan, where they were held for years without trial. The last internees were not released until 1967. Thousands more Chinese-Indians were forcibly deported or coerced to leave India. Nearly all internees had their properties sold off or looted.

    Indian officials openly compare the internment of Chinese-Indians with the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. However, unlike the United States, the Indian government has not apologised or offered compensation to the internees.

    I will reply more extensively later.


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