I'm sorry but I was not clear in directing my comment. I was not adressing people asking about your descent, but was instead adressing your comment towards Asian Boston Magazine (which is an enthocentic rag). Your statement was "You know what else bugs me? People who find Asian culture and peoples mysterious. Like the guy who started Asian Boston magazine, who is not Asian." I was replying to what seems to be anger directed against everday peoples' curiosity about the cultures of Asia, in general.
Craig, I am not disregarding human curiosity. I am just tired of being treated like a foreigner in my own country and being asked “Where I’m from.” The answer to that question, btw, is Texas. But this is not what people usually want to know. They want to know what my ancestry is. That’s fine. If that’s what you want to know, then ask me the correct question. Ask me what my ancestry is, or what my ethnic background is. Do not ask me where I’m from, which implies that I do not belong here.
While I am dismayed by the hypersexualizing and exoticising of women of any nationality. I am more so dismayed at Melissa's ignorant attitude and her disregard for human curiosity. Why should it be loathed that a man of european decent would be curious about cultures and customs far removed from his own experiences? If he views these cultures and customs as inferior it is another concern all together, but to hate curiosity about something different is simply atrocious. As an anthropologist who makes his living studying different cultural practices and elucidating the commonality of the human experience in combat against racist eurocentric explanations, I find your comment disheartening. Without a healthy curiosity about diffent cultural practices the world would be unbearbly xenophobic and racism would be even more rampant than it is now. Let's remember not to throw the baby out with the bathwater here!
BT - My name is Melissa because that's what my parents named me. Maybe like many Asian parents, my parents wanted to give me name that would help me fit in better in American society. Or maybe it's because they lived in a former British colony. Or maybe they just liked the sound of it. Or perhaps the year I was born, it was a popular name for girls. Or maybe they had a close friend named Melissa whom I am named after.Your name is Bryan. Is your name not “white,” then? What makes a name white?A Questioner - glad to see you writing in again. I agree that there's a lot of Asian Americans who say "American" to mean "white." This is a pet peeve of mind and I am constantly reminding people, "Hey, you're American too. If you mean white say white."As to this "American-lite" you bring up, I see what you're saying. People have so many different ways of identifying. I feel very much American but I identify as Asian American because I want to emphasize the commonalities between myself and other people of Asian descent in this country. It's a political thing, to express what we have in common when we are all so different. As Jeff Probt, the host of "Survivor" just discovered, “When you start talking to a person from Asia, you realize -- Wow! They have all different backgrounds!" and "they don't necessarily get along." (These are real quotes.)
In response to ecto who stated that the philippines have no official concept of enthic groups.... what about muslim mindanao and agta groups, the moro and negrito groups are marginalized by society at large and have definate complaints...
I think that it should be noted that race as a concept is invalid. Every person that has posted on this article is guilty of grouping people into what seems to be one of 4 socio/biological catagories (white, latino, black, asian).People in the real world are not so clear cut. Human biological variation is much smoother. Variation is clinal instead of modal. The noted biological anthropologist C. Lorring Brace gave the example that if one was to walk in the pre-columbian (this ethnocentric for ignoring institions such as the silk road and roman empire that lead to human displacement, nevertheless, it is still valid) 60 miles from any given point in the world that there would be no significant biological differece in any person encountered. The race concept in America developed in a modal fashion due to a complicated history of immegration, initially with large populations of english, africans, and the often overlooked native americans (in actuality showing small amounts of clinal variation between east asians). Later, east asian and latinos(native american/europeans) were added to the ethnic mix in the US. Here we have the 4 race concept emerging out of the forced proximity of people from widely far flung geographical regions, giving a false modal sense of human variation.To further support the clinal view one but has to look at the near east, do average Greeks (european), an Turks (asian), and an Egyptians (african) vary in appearence drastically? No, of course not.In liew of argueing about about harmful portrayal of ethnic minorities in media from within an outdated paradigm of seperate races, much more could be accomplished by argueing from the more plausible clinal paradigm. Here the concept of race can slowly be deteriorated and social equality could be facilitated.
yeah, there's racism alright, but it's intertwined with class bias.
So, Melissa, I have a question for you. Why is your name Melissa? Really? How? And by golly, WHY IN THE WORLD DO YOU HAVE SUCH A LILLY-WHITE NAME?
Mail Order Bride -- One Hell of a Ride...
Yeah, it's the same-o, same-o.No wonder considering that the Asians who "made it" are only too eager to appease the Man for lame morsels of bits and parts. Since these Asian actresses, actors, playwrights and writers all benefit from the Asian community by exploiting Asians while enjoying support from them (in various ways, including moral support, particularly from the "we'll take anything even if it's an Asian control-freak husband who can hunt fish and make sushi by instinct married to a sly, sneaky Asian wife who would rather be with some other man -- preferably non-Asian -- and possessing some ancient Chinese herbal secrets, as long as they are found on primetime tv, even if they are lost on some stupid island).Not only are the stats the same, the status of Asians in America are still the same -- FOB (in LOST, FOP),If only these Asian "celebrities" did something. But that would be like blaming my dog for wagging its tail when I toss him leftovers...Too much to ask, I guess.
The fact of the matter is that these people were doing something wrong - they were selling excess quantities of pseudoephedrine.Why do you look for a racial motive, first, rather than noting the bayesian prior probabilities? Given that a person is a convenience store owner in the bay area, the probability that a person is a south asian is higher than almost any individual other race. (To quantify P(South Asian | convenience store owner) > P( | convenience store owner), etc. I'm going off personal observation here (as a South Asian), but I'm sure there are ownership statistics to back me up here.
Man these kids were gay. Wannabes they were, who idolized the U.S's gangs and troubled ways. A bunch of Canadian kids, it's kind of funny when you think about how they were. I hope all those little fuckers, get whats coming to them. And I hope that Warren guy, becomes someones bitch behide bars. And they should have made, Kelly die for what she did. Let us watch that evil bitch die, girls like her need to be thought a lesson. That ho with the blue eyes, that started it all needs to get over herself. She is already an adult, and still claims everyones hates her because of her beauty. Those kids thought they were so bad ass, acting like american hard core kids. Because Canada has no bad crimes out there, so they say.
Thank you very much Melissa for bringing the Asian Boston magazine to my attention. I think I will return to Singapore and start an American Caucasian Singapore magazine and show all scantily clad white American women to begin with. Perhaps my cousin who is an editor in a newspaper can join me in this venture.
I was friends with Michelle from 1996 until she moved to New Jersey with her husband and family in 1999. They came back for a Visit in 2000. Michelle was isolated from Friends in New Jersey and she really missed her parents,and siblings in the Phillipines. She was always talking about how much she wanted them to see her children and how Jonathan kept telling her she had to wait longer until they bought a nicer home. He finally let her visit the Phillipines;but Jonathan wouldn't allow her to bring her children with her to the Phillipines to see her family.She was the primary caregiver to her children and did her own housework-she was very busy when I knew her when she lived in Greenville,N.C. She never got a break with 3 small children and nobody to really help her. Jonathan-her husband was always working and trying to start up and expand Epigenesis. I know he loved her and their children very much. The problem is-he had somewhat of a controlling personality with Michelle and the children. He was very particular about them riding with other parents of their children's friends. The car had to be practically brand new and meet all safety criteria. I remember Jonathan becoming extremely angry with Michelle for going to Barnes and Nobles with a girl friend and not getting home exactly at the time he specified for her to get home. I always remember Michelle saying-whatever Jonathan wants is what I'll do. Jonathan always told her to do as he said and she could have anything she wanted-expensive cars,clothes,etc... I really don't think Michelle cared that much about expensive things-until Jonathan started buying her all this expensive stuff to almost entice her to agree with abiding by his strict rules:such as she wasn't allowed to drive outside of the town of Greenville,N.C.that we lived in unless he was with her. I know for a fact that Michelle never cheated on Jonathan when they lived in Greenville and she certainly never seemed to have a desire to. She was always talking about Jonathan and pleasing him. She seemed to really love him. She was always playing with her children-games,taking them to the park,etc... She spent so much time with her children and was so loving. This is the Michelle I knew-In Greenville,N.C. She was so sweet and you couldn't help but want to be her friend. Her son Alex and my son Zachary were friends. We all just lost touch with her when she moved to New Jersey. She did call me several times;but I was too busy with my life to go see her or keep in touch. Now I regret that!!! Sincerely,Rebecca .
Also, side note: I have met several women in SF who have left Japan and never want to return, precisely because they feel repressed/oppressed as women.
I'm quite late on the game in this conversation.As as to the talent of Japanese photographers, it is true; there are a great many. The photo series by van Meene, however, shows significantly less fetishization than, for instance, Araki's women in tied up. I believe an earlier commenter noted that the Japanese culture itself perpetuates the fetishization of Japanese women--this should not be overlooked.The excerpt you quoted from ('Van Meene says she does not conceive of her portrait photographs in the traditional documentary way: while she does not exactly ''stage'' her subjects, neither does she try to capture their true, underlying personality or state of mind. Instead, she chooses to see her subjects as the raw material of her own fictions. ''This is not just you, now,'' she explains. ''This is a sense of you, created by me.'') is an acknowledgement of the art historical arguments surrounding the documentary tradition, and is to my mind a clear acknowledgement of the inherently exploitive nature documentary-type photography, especially portraits. Some might even say the exploitive nature of photography itself.To take a photograph, to paint a portrait, to write a character portrait based on your acquaintance--it is all in a sense to change the "meaning" of a person, to distort it for your own purposes. It seems to me that in saying, ''This is not just you, now... This is a sense of you, created by me,'' she is merely being honest in that postmodern sort of way. People are actually taught that sort of language as a skill in their studio art critiques.Let's consider, briefly, that the photographer is a woman, taking a photograph of girls. What could be going on in her mind as she introduces herself to them, on the street, and asks whether she can take their picture? What is she thinking as she is snapping away at these girls? If "in today's Japanese youth culture--or at least in the forms of it that have international cachet--innocence is pulled in multiple directions," and van Meene already has a body of work consisting of portraits of girls, possibly she is thinking about burgeoning womanhood. Possibly she is thinking about the Other, trying to confront her own ideas of the exotic. Undoubtedly she has seen Araki and all the rest. Was she, perhaps, attempting to photograph girls in a counter to the women tied up in knots? Maybe not. But maybe she was.The schoolgirl photo shows the girls with attitude, not the "distorted and sexualized in the submissive schoolgirls of the country's anime." Note that the NYTM commenter has called the representation "distorted," despite emanating from within the country's own culture.Disclosure: I am an Asian American female.
White men haven't done themselves any favours by heading off to do the whole mail order thing... perhaps if white guys were to fight that kind of attitude amongst themselves white women and asian men would think differently about them with asian women.On the otherhand, I know of white women and men now married to chinese partners who previously had not much luck with the respective white opposites, yet now their partners sing their praises and both couples are popping out kiddies and smiles all round. Some times just takes a different angle to see the good side of someone. one man's 'boring' is another man's princess. Personally, I think white chicks and asian lads should be more friendly to each other... the amount of times I have overheard Chinese guys talk about getting a 'pure' partner, makes me want to forget Chinese as a language
I think the point Claire is making is more the fascination with Japanese girls as the sole subject matter of a photo shoot, and whilst they tried to make it not so sexualised, they succeeded in perpetuating the fascination with Japanese girls. Just today I was in the UNSW Bookshop and there were postcards of Cosplay girls all over a wall (for sale). If the equivalent wall was covered of 12-18yr Australian girls in similar clothing, there would be uproar about the sexualisation of teens.
"does it bother anyone that she has claimed the term "harajuku girl" as her own? Harajuku is a place in Tokyo that is well-known because it reigns as a fashion showcase. It is an amazing place where most people go to shop because it has the best clothing. Girls that hang out there are considered Harajuku girls. The term does not belong to Gwen Stefani."Mikhala? i dont think she is, and myself have never been lead to believe this. she's never subscribed to 'own' harajuku, and quotes both in media terms and artistically to be inspired by the culture, and admire/look up to this sub culture. she clearly identifies this as a japanese sub-culture, and portrays herself clearly as an italian-american. i respect both her and her music, but funny you never heard about her 'stealing' the 'ska'/'punk' subcultures from us Brits. and they say colour doesnt come into it....
firstly - i dont think the issue is steroetyping. they are harajuku girls acting as harajuku girls. as steroetype would surely be portraying all asian women or japanese women as this subculture - which i dont think is hapenning. the whole attraction of harajuku is to be segregated (in terms of fashion and culture).also, i think many readers need to lighten up a bit - and need to focus on the bigger issue. is it so wrong for Gwen to cash in on something she loves - and for her 'business associates' to do the same?i find it more disturbing that people (black and white) are still using the 'N' word and (rappers especially) glamoring being a 'gangsta' - shown as being women haters and crime lovers.in all - is it really that bad?? - just think before you protest so heavily.
This case needs a superstar like Vanita Gupta, 32, who overturned 35 wrongful convictions in Tulia, Texas by proving the arrests were based on racial profiling.
we did a piece on Binh Danh's work in Issue 4 (the art one). it's still one of my favorite spreads -- and one of the reasons i joined Hyphen. :)
We know, If you read any of the previous blogs we already covered the question you are asking. Anything you can possibly ask was covered it. Its just an old subject, time to retire this blog.
does it bother anyone that she has claimed the term "harajuku girl" as her own? Harajuku is a place in Tokyo that is well-known because it reigns as a fashion showcase. It is an amazing place where most people go to shop because it has the best clothing. Girls that hang out there are considered Harajuku girls. The term does not belong to Gwen Stefani.
The previous issue of Hyphen is available in its entirety for your perusing pleasure. Almost as good as having it right in your hands!