Asian American Sexual Politics (Blog Post #7)

Asian American Sexual Politics by Rosalind S. Chou dives into the deep rooted sexualization and fetishization of Asian Americans over centuries. Chau uses Asian Americans of all different ethnicities, gender identities and sexual orientations to gather thoughts and feelings of how Asian culture and race has been dismissed, disregarded and discriminated against. Chau discusses how both men and women have been affected and stigmatized as centuries went on, and both are often hypersexualized, but over time, men have lost that hypersexualization and instead have become castrized, or denied manhood by society. These ideas have been around since the 1800’s and are still very prevalent in today’s society, as shown by the recent shooting in Atlanta, Georgia. 

“Women’s sexuaity is socially shaped in ways that sustain men’s social and political dominance”(Chau 2). This one sentence is a general summarization of the book in its entirety. Asian American women often face a stigma that they need to be “sexually pure” in order for a man to find them attractive and in a sense, loveable. Person’s of color, especially Asian women who deal with a hegemonic standard of beauty that is virtually impossible for them to obtain, and is a form of “racial domination”(Chau 77). Self image and confidence is a major player in Asian American beauty standards. Many women believe that in order to be skinny as an Asian American, they need to be skinny and pale, as mentioned on page 81 by one of the participants. 

It was really interesting to read about the demographics in regards to rates of depression in any racial/ethnic group. Asian American women have the highest rates of depressive symptoms, and racism over time has really harmful effects on the mind. This isn’t surprising whatsoever, it was just really shocking to see it in writing. 

In comparison to Asian American women, Asian American men have a far less significant support system. Men often deal with the constant threat of violence at the hands of other men and boys (Chau 99). Since toxic masculinity is overtly aggressive and, well, toxic, Asian American men have been painted in a more feminine light (even though there’s nothing to actually solidify that picture) and with this, men see Asian men as easy targets. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Many of the topics talked about I have always known, but never put as much thought into as Chau does. I came to terms with how ignorant I was when I came to how much discrimination Asian Americans actually recieve. Growing up I was taught to accept everyone, and all of my friends who are Asian American were thoroughly accepted into our society (as it should be), so I guess I just never had to think about how discriminated against they actually were/are. I hope as a society we’re able to become more accepting as no ethnic/racial group deserves to deal with the hate that they receive.

1 Comment

  1. Credit. Don’t misspell the author’s name. You have it correct in the first sentence and then misspell it throughout the blog.

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