Did Korean American graffiti artist David Choe confess to rape on podcast?

April 21, 2014
Artist David Choe along with some of his work. Photo credit: NY Times
Artist David Choe along with some of his work. Photo credit: NY Times

Artist David Choe is a local Los Angeles-area celebrity, who made his name as the artist who painted a mural for the small office of a little-known start-up called Facebook and who was paid by the man who hired him (Mark Zuckberg) in company stock; when the company went public in 2012, Choe became instantly independently wealthy with an estimated net worth of over $200 million dollars. Choe, who has collaborated frequently with Asian American magazine Giant Robot, also painted a portrait of newly-elected President Barack Obama that was chosen to hang in the White House.

Beyond his artwork, Choe also has aspirations of being a celebrity personality (i.e. “a person famous for being famous”): between 2007-2010, Choe co-hosted a web series called “Thumbs Up!” which followed his adventures hitchhiking across the country, and currently Choe co-hosts a podcast (available in both audio and video) called DVDASA with porn star Asa Akira, which is basically a poor man’s Asian American version of the Howard Stern Show.

It is on DVDASA that Choe has recently stirred new trouble. A writer on XOJane wrote earlier this week that in a March 10th podcast, Choe recounted his latest “sexual conquest”; but one that sounds disturbingly close to rape.

David Choe's portrait of then-Senator Barack Obama, which was chosen to hang in the White House.
David Choe’s portrait of then-Senator Barack Obama, which was chosen to hang in the White House.

In the last part of the March 10 episode of the 2-hour podcast — which takes the format of Choe, Asa and the other hosts sharing salacious stories of their lives on the LA scene — Choe tells a story about how he went to get a massage. After becoming sexually aroused (even though it’s “not that kind of massage place”), Choe begins to masturbate. Eventually, Choe gropes the masseuse and asks her to pour massage oil on his penis. He then asks her to masturbate him; when she reluctantly obliges, he forces her to masturbate him more firmly. Finally, he asks her to give him oral sex. When she says no, he recounts forcing her mouth onto him until he ejaculates (Buzzfeed has a transcript, and you can watch the 30 minute segment for yourself below, starting at about 1:13:00).

httpv://youtu.be/ZKgOtFUyDBs

Co-host Asa Akira immediately notes that Choe is basically confessing to rape, but Choe laughs her off, ultimately agreeing that his actions were “rapey” but that he “is not a rapist”. Instead, Choe insists that the masseuse was consenting — she repeatedly said no or was reluctant to do the things he asked for, but he asserts “she said yes with her eyes” — and afterwards, Choe alleges the masseuse asked for his number (at which point Choe gave her a fake number and has basically vowed not to return to the massage parlour ever again).

Now, let’s be clear on a couple of things: first, this is an alleged incident with no complaining victim and no corroborating evidence of any kind. Choe has not been arrested and is not charged with a crime, and there is the distinct possibility that he fabricated the entire incident — indeed, he insists as such in a statement released Friday on the podcast’s website — in order to appear more macho and to allow his listeners to live vicariously through a sexual fantasy (which, if true is pretty much the height of pathetic). So, before the internet lynch mob goes after David Choe, let’s remember that he is innocent until proven guilty; more specifically, he is an alleged rapist.

Second, and far more important, if we take Choe’s story at face-value, then it meets every hallmark of what we define as rape. Rape is a straightforward concept. There is no such thing as “rapey”. There is no “rape spectrum” wherein things are “kinda rape”. There is no consent grey area. Rape is one of the few things in the world that are a binary; either you have your partner’s consent or you do not. If your partner is not providing clear consent and you proceed with sex anyways, you are committing rape.

Choe provides a fantastic story, one wherein a woman is secretly infatuated with him but is reluctant to have sex with him in case she “falls in love” with him. She says “no” only to spur him to take more forceful action, but somehow she telepathically also communicates her consent “with her eyes”. Choe chooses to go not with her words, but with “his gut feeling” that she is a consenting partner. Sound like the revisionist history told by a narcissistic, delusional douchebag who kind of knows he’s guilty? Sure does to me.

Choe insists that “Rose” — the pseudonym he gives to his victim — never fought him off. She refused his money. She asked for his number afterwards. Never does he consider that her actions might be those of a victim trying to navigate the waters of sexual assault committed by someone who is basically her employer for an hour; someone who is far richer and more powerful than her; someone who could easily get her fired. He never considers that perhaps the story about being in love with him is a tale told to dissuade him from forcing himself on her further; he never imagines that her refusal of his money is because she views the act as rape and plans to go to the police; he never thinks that perhaps her attempt to get his contact information is so that she can press charges.

The rules of consenting sex are pretty simple: “no” means no, not “maybe”. If there is doubt, stop and ask for clear consent. If someone wants to have sex with you, they will let you know.

Honestly, what most disturbed me here was how David Choe’s story caters to a particular subset of the Asian American community: the highly misogynist counter-movement to the Asian American emasculation stereotype that emphasizes the objectification and sexual conquest of women to reinforce Asian American masculinity. It’s no coincidence that DVDASA’s panel is predominantly Asian American, or that Choe quips early in the segment about Asian American men being seen as non-threatening or not targets of sexual desire. DVDASA, like the Pick-up Artistry community, targets a subset of Asian American men who are so damaged by society’s denigration of their sexuality — itself a problem worth addressing — that they wrongheadedly react with an exaggerated caricature of locker room bro-culture that objectifies and demeans women.

That this sort of sub-culture breeds misogyny (and, allegedly, rape) is not surprising: here women are less equal sexual partners, and more a means towards a reinforced masculine end. Choe and company are less interested in finding intimacy and more interested in proving to the world at large that they are men, too. It’s a giant dick-waving contest, and one that treats the agency of women as collateral damage. These men are basically trying to fuck their way to sexual and political empowerment. Also, not surprisingly, this kind of mindset breeds subsequent hatred of feminism, of female agency, or of any other notion that women exist beyond mere tools for advancing the cause of Asian American masculinity and sexuality.

I don’t know if “Rose” was actually raped or not, or even if she exists or not. I do know that Choe thinks that a story about raping “Rose” was worth bragging about to his friends; and that tells you something about how Choe views women vis-a-vis the assertion of his own masculinity. For Choe, proving his (Asian American) masculinity is about the exaggerated, or even fictionalized, conquest and exploitation of women, where consent is optional and rape is entertainment.

If “Rose” is out there and is real and is reading this, and if you believe you were raped, I urge you to come forward and press charges. Asian American men should not be forced to live in a society where their masculinity and sexuality is deemed inferior or sub-par; but, nor should this small subset of Asian American men react by reclaiming their masculinity or sexuality at the expense of women like yourself.

Let me put out there a radical notion: it’s not masculine and empowering to force yourself on women. It’s masculine and empowering (and not to mention far more sexy) to respect women.

I don’t know if David Choe is a rapist, but I do know that he cares less about the humanity of women then he does about using a misogynist attitude to advance the “legend” of his own penis, and thereby prove he’s that much more a man.

Disgusting.

This post has been syndicated on BlogHer!

Update: Reader Carolyn S. has created a petition at WhiteHouse.gov asking for removal of the David Choe painting. I’m not sure if the painting still hangs in the White House, but I suggest you sign the petition regardless to request a response from the Obama Administration on regarding their policy on alleged rapists.

Did you like this content? Please consider becoming a patron of Reappropriate and get exclusive access to the brand new Reappropriate vlog!

  • @Klean

    He might have forced her head down so far that her mouth touched parts of his body but that is not rape either. That might not even be sexual assault. Consider this: would you be comfortable as a prosecutor charging someone with sexual assault (never mind rape) if the gender roles had been reversed; say that a woman exposed her breasts and forced a man’s hand or his head into her bosom when he had said ‘no’ to sexual touching?

    What makes you think I have a problem with role reversal accusations of rape? Men can be raped and sexually assaulted as readily as women can be. That’s just not particularly relevant to David Choe’s case.

  • @wordlessscribe

    You’re free to not comment on my site. I tend to think that the point of having a comments thread is for readers to be able to interface with the author.

  • R

    This in response to all the Asian male haters:

    I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to live your life thinking it’s so hard to be a man.

    Wait, I am one. It does suck! Especially if you’ve been living as a white monkey in Korea for the last 15 years.

    Guess what idiots: Masculinity has been under attack for a good 40 years. The so called patriarchy has already need undermined! It’s a good explanation for why I can get laid so much easier in Asia, since most of you morons are too busy being all momma’s boys.

    I didn’t want to respond to this, since whenever I hear a bunch of butthurt Asian hyphenated whatever guys going on how they are victims, and how so much worse everyone else is compared to them, I just think: I’m glad you’re enjoying your western liberal education mofo! Do you realize just how ironic and moronic you are representing??

    The lack of perspective astounds me, despite how I was a young ijit once too. Guess what: you’re enjoying the immigrant experience! you really think you’re that different being Asian or a minority? Have you even read Frederick Douglass, and do you know even know B166ER?

    I too can provide links upon links upon links of disparaging stereotypes of non Koreans in Korean media, and how Koreans in Korea treat their expat population. The whole discussion about how Asians are so badly portrayed in Hollywood is all about glass houses from this stupid white man’s perspective. Go on about how Hollywood is so much more influential as much as you want. All I know is how often I’ve been told I cannot even begin to understand, this coming from a bunch of kids who’ve sucked mommy and daddy’s money and never really experienced challenge. Ijits. Grow a pair or STFU.

  • Andrea

    OK, wow. This whole comment section ran right into the ground. A few comments I think need to made:
    1. Just because a specific demographic are statistically the least likely to commit a crime such as rape, or any crime really, does not mean that when a member of that demographic does (allegedly) admit to committing that crime, that we shouldn’t talk about it or call him out on it. That’s like saying, well not ALL Arabs are terrorists, so if one Arab does bomb a schoolbus, we shouldn’t discuss it because what about all the good stuff Arabs do? What about Hitler’s nice paintings? That’s a straw man at best and a ridiculous excuse at worst. Choe’s comments aren’t about ALL Asian-American men, nor are they about all men, period. They’re about David Choe. To go off on a tangent about how the author’s discussion of this (alleged) admission is somehow tantamount to her having a vendetta against Asian men is irrelevant. Even if she DOES have a vendetta (and she might, I have no idea nor do I care) it doesn’t matter. David Choe still made the comments that he made. The implications behind those comments (whether they’re true or not) are still important and are still part of a bigger cultural problem.

    2. I don’t know if the incident Choe recalled actually occurred. I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t. But for all the commenters (and there are sadly a lot) who are taking the, “Well then why didn’t she push him off?” angle, to defend Choe, the answer is: Because of fear. The same way that Asian men are emasculated to by Western culture to an unhealthy degree, so are Asian females also subjugated – as the author explains – into a submissive, also unhealthy object whose only purpose is to help men reclaim that masculinity. I think it’s almost like the men are punishing the women for emasculating them, like, “Oh you think I’m passive and I have a tiny penis? Watch me dominate you with my aggression and my penis.” So it makes sense for this “Rose” – if she exists – to have been afraid. Not every woman has the ability to defy a man (especially one who has authority over her) who is actively violating her. It is just this type of unhealthy submission that Asian women have been culturally indocrinated into that cause actual rape victims not to come forward.

    3. My only gripe with the author’s piece here is that I disagree that rape is black and white. There is a giant gray area (clear in Choe’s story, where the woman appears to give consent albeit reluctantly). All too often, women are trained to play coy so as not to be appear overtly sexual or “slutty.” This makes it difficult sometimes for men to gauge whether or not the “her eyes said yes” defense is actually true. Granted, I don’t think any guy should “go with his gut” in this sense and just hope for the best, but I do maintain that there IS indeed a HUGE gray area, and that that is often the problem with rape, identifying what actually occurred. The author’s statement that if a woman wants to have sex with you, she’ll let you know, isn’t always true. All I can say is that I hope Choe made up the story to give his listeners what he thought they wanted. The fact that that’s what listeners want to hear is just as troubling as the story itself.

  • Hey Andrea,

    Thanks for the comment, and a fair point about the “black and white” issue. I was not saying that rape is black and white, I was saying that consent is black and white, in the sense that either one has one’s partner’s consent or one does not. By this I mean informed and uncoerced consent. Power dynamics of course come into play, which I think obscures a partner’s ability to make a person’s consent both informed and uncoerced. A woman who is trained to “play coy” may initially say “no”; however, I also assert (like you) that the response here isn’t to “go with one’s gut” but to stop and clarify. A woman who initially refuses consent because she is playing coy is likely also to grant consent later when a partner establishes that he or she respects and will abide by her refusal; either way, your partner “playing coy” should not be an invitation to steamroll over her protestations.

    Instead what I was trying to say is that there’s no consent grey area; it is a binary. You have consent or you don’t. How the partner communicates their consent to you can be grey and that indeed is the complexity of prosecuting rape, but functionally speaking, the act of having consent is itself black-and-white: you can only have consent or you can only NOT have consent. You can’t have a grey area between informed, uncoerced consent and not. Hence, there is no such thing as “rapey”, which implies a sex act that is both non-consensual and consensual enough to be non-rape. The complexity lies in whether or not both partners were able to give informed and uncoerced consent, and if they were able to communicate their consent, not in their rights to have, give and receive consent.

  • Al

    Some of you guys saying that it ain’t rape need to be face pushed onto the penis of a big, muscular strapping homosexual(no offense), and see if you still think the same.

    And None, Yun, and whoever else, stop spouting off about unrelated issues when an almost clear confession of rape is the topic at hand. Yes there are issues of racism against Asian men in society, but that pales greatly to whatever may have happened to this poor girl.

    By the way Jenn, I’m not sure if this entire thing is because Choe’s part of some Asian masculinity cult. I think he’s just another male animal who hasn’t grown up at all.

  • Razorek

    @Dong

    Nope. What you, Hollywood, and the rest of the racist media try to attribute to asians and asian-americans is not the norm.

    @R

    Your racist kind has been shoving the “links” in society’s faces for hundreds of years. You’ve been the one throwing the first punch and every punch after that. And when we finally react, you can’t stand it. You sound like Donald Sterling getting pissy that he gets called out for being racist.

  • AND

    @Andrea
    Too bad the filter doesn’t work in that direction but in the opposite in reality. One Asian does something bad, it’s a clear trend and pattern endemic of our culture. Asian man does something bad, it’s Asian male misogyny and all Asian men are bad instead of American misogyny. Jenn is racializing something that doesn’t need to be and does this on a constant basis. AngryAsianMan calls out guys like Choe all the time without the venom.

  • @ J. Lamb,

    You stated that: “Most Asian men, like most Black men, are not rapists.”

    Is that the issue? Or is it about the rate of rape between groups? And if you (personally) don’t want to be stereotyped by group behaviour, isn’t Jenn doing the same in reverse through David Choe?

  • isn’t Jenn doing the same in reverse through David Choe?

    Nope. I’m pointing to a sexist sub-culture within the AAPI community that goes unchallenged or defended (as per these comments). I have said throughout the post and comments that this is not generalizable to all or most AAPI men, unless those men are ALSO positioning themselves to defend a bro-culture that permits sexism, misogyny and ultimately rape.

    That there is a subset of AAPI men who combat emasculation stereotypes with misogyny does not perpetuate stereotypes of AAPI men. It is pointing out the bad behaviour of a subset of AAPI men who explicitly use their status as an aggrieved minority to justify sexism.

    Nowhere did I say that “all or most Asian men are rapists”.

  • Jenn, you are reading much more into what I asked of J. Lamb. You are using one man and extrapolating to a supposed “sexist sub-culture within the AAPI community”. This is akin to not wanting to be associated with group stereotypes but in reverse. All groups will have sexist sub-cultures so the need to use Choe as a proxy for your version of feminism is troubling and incorrect IMO. Also, why don’t you argue that the “subset of AAPI men” are ALSO victims of mental rape by US European and Hebrew cultural controllers? How exactly do you know that said men “explicitly use their status as an aggrieved minority to justify sexism”? They may simply be buying into US sexism, for instance.

  • @Chaz

    You are using one man and extrapolating to a supposed “sexist sub-culture within the AAPI community”.

    Which is why I provided subsequent examples.

    How exactly do you know that said men “explicitly use their status as an aggrieved minority to justify sexism”? They may simply be buying into US sexism, for instance.

    Because they say as such in forum boards and comment threads, as well as in JT Tran’s workshops and Choe’s podcast. They argue this culture to be a reaction to the emasculation stereotype, and that critics of the subculture must be brainwashed by the mainstream into believing Asian Americans should not be hypermasculine.

  • Jenn, if that be the case (I have not listened to Choe’s podcast), then your axe should be with the system perpetuated not by a subset of AAPIs, but by a subset of Euro-Hebrews typically found in the media.

  • “What makes you think I have a problem with role reversal accusations of rape? ”

    I never said you “had a problem with role reversal accusations of rape”. I gave a specific scenario and asked you if you’d be comfortable in charging a woman to rape or assault to which you have evaded. It’s clear to me why.

  • @KLean

    And I gave you an answer. No, I would not have a problem with a woman who is a rapist being charged with being a rapist. Why would you think I would be?

  • Then let it be on the record that you support charging someone with “rape” whose crime is putting a man’s hand on her bare breasts (and presumably imposes the common harsh punishment of long jail terms and sexual offender’s list on the offender).

    My scenario here represents a worse case scenario from what the evidence so far presented actually suggests.

  • I’m going to skip over the fact that you’re letting the story of an admitted rapist color your perception of Asian men who are determined to overcome the sexual stereotypes thrown at them just because they’re pickup artists (like these: http://www.abcsofattraction.com/blog/do-asian-men-have-small-penises-the-stereotypes-and-how-to-fight-them/). I find that the problem with Asian men who feel emasculated is that they let THEMSELVES become emasculated. Yes, Hollywood doesn’t portray them in the best of ways. But so what? When Hollywood tells a girl certain things about you as an Asian man, that’s when you show her something different. Far too often Asian men just lay back and accept the roles given to them. It’s not entirely Hollywood’s fault; it’s also yours for shrugging your shoulders and accepting it when you’re told you have no chance with women. If you like women with blonde hair and blue eyes, by all means go after them. How is that any different from guys who like girls with a nice ass or great tits, or girls who like guys with muscle? But don’t blame society when you’re not moving a muscle to make things better.

  • Mirina Kim

    let me dissect your language and post.

    firstly, you use privileged language to identify Choe as “Korean-American” and by doing so you are further compartmentalizing him as “other”. is “Artist David Choe” not good enough?
    furthermore, by spewing the same shit that baby boomer media has, tying Choe to FaceBook which is immediately recognizable to people of older generations, and calling him an L.A. artist, this just tells me more about your ignorance.

    secondly, you qualify Asa as “porn star”; no shit sherlock, who the fuck are you going on about this to about? if you’ve actually done any women’s studies, you would know that the fastest growing demographic for heterosexual and lesbian porn is women. that includes feature films and gonzo.

    thirdly, you call DVDASA “the poor man’s Howard Stern” show. isn’t this a little judgmental; aren’t feminists concerned about class too? is $500,000 a painting rich enough for you? this line tells me and everyone else who has listened to the podcast that you have not listened to the podcast. you haven’t the slightest clue as to the audience or motivation of the members of DVDASA.

    i agree with you, rape is rape, but only when the aggrieved says it is and as you’ve stated, there are no police reports or lawsuits. yes, there are many reasons, that if this was an instance of rape, that the masseuse may not have come forth. could one of these reasons be that it wasn’t rape?

    Asa likes to use the word rapey and rapish throughout the podcast because these words are not only funny but are telling about these caricatured instances of what is consent and what is not and how convoluted sexual relationships and encounters can be. maybe you should listen to the episodes where Bobby Lee is retelling his story of being molested or perhaps raped by a mentally ill neighbor in exchange for fun dip– and he keeps going back for the fun dip.

    the truth is, there are many truths and there is no knowing what happened or what was experienced by two entities who are not you, nor me. you’re telling the internet flame throwers to chill out until there’s some hard evidence but then why write about it or mention it at all?

    you’re claiming that the podcast is a big wankoffathon for Asian men who are like the men in the Asian American Pickup Artist circles and are misogynists and encourage misogyny. listen, Bobby Namba, Bobby Lee, Val, Critter, the Pooner and Money Mark are not even offended that you would say something like that about them. the aforementioned gentleman do not exude high school jock nor college frat boy behavior or language– listen to the podcast. also, you seem to be forgetting the women who are also rotation on this podcast like Heather Leather.

    here’s what DVDASA is about, controlled intimacy. it’s a way for highly public figures like Choe and Asa to speak openly about their thoughts, feelings and motivations. listening to DVDASA is about controlled intimacy. there’s a reason they were the number one health podcast for a few weeks. they speak openly of sex, sexuality and gender. the podcast affirms the agency of sex workers and is sex positive. they don’t slut shame women or men. the podcast offers solidarity to addicts, artists and misfits. listening to the podcast is a way that people who may not have such a close knit group of friends can broach salacious topics without rebuke.

    the problem with your article is that you’re coming from a high makka makka place of ivory tower, academic feminism. no first hand research into the subject, sentimental and full of indignation about something that may or may not have happened, grouping two unlike groups together and saying that Choe’s frank talks about his shitting and fucking habits are parallel to beliefs and attitudes found in a small subset of asian american pickup artists. so as some people are asking, what are you doing to subvert patriarchy instead of pointing fingers?

  • @Mirina

    Thanks for your comment

    firstly, you use privileged language to identify Choe as “Korean-American” and by doing so you are further compartmentalizing him as “other”. is “Artist David Choe” not good enough?

    I added the Korean American qualifier because I believe that Choe both runs an Asian American-focused podcast, and also because this podcast is focused on Asian American misogylinity. I did waffle a bit on the inclusion of the identifier, but ultimately decided that for the purposes of this post, it was important to signify in the title that the purpose of this post was to explore issues of rape and sexuality from an Asian America perspective.

    secondly, you qualify Asa as “porn star”; no shit sherlock, who the fuck are you going on about this to about? if you’ve actually done any women’s studies, you would know that the fastest growing demographic for heterosexual and lesbian porn is women. that includes feature films and gonzo.

    The second sentence has virtually nothing to do with the first sentence. I identify Asa as a porn star for the same reason I identify Choe as an artist; these are their professions. You are placing a judgement there, not I.

    thirdly, you call DVDASA “the poor man’s Howard Stern” show. isn’t this a little judgmental; aren’t feminists concerned about class too? is $500,000 a painting rich enough for you? this line tells me and everyone else who has listened to the podcast that you have not listened to the podcast. you haven’t the slightest clue as to the audience or motivation of the members of DVDASA.

    1) No, I do not think it is judgemental; I think this describes aptly what DVDASA is attempting to do, but without the benefit of being on Sirius. The format is very similar, only the production quality differs.

    2) The second half of your paragraph — $500,000 cost of a painting — makes zero sense to me. If there is some meaning intended by strining those sentences together, it has been lost somewhere.

    i agree with you, rape is rape, but only when the aggrieved says it is and as you’ve stated, there are no police reports or lawsuits. yes, there are many reasons, that if this was an instance of rape, that the masseuse may not have come forth. could one of these reasons be that it wasn’t rape?

    I agree: the prosecution of rape typically requires a victim. This post is therefore a thought exercise asserting that under the condition that Rose exists AND the events in the room unfolded exactly as Choe describes it, the events describe a rape (one that could not be prosecuted without a complaining witness at least filing a report). But, to get at your second point, the fact of a rape does not require that a victim come forward. 60% of rapes go unreported, and only 3% of rapists ever serve a day in jail. There are many reasons rape go unreported, but it would be faulty to conclude from this that an unreported rape is not really a rape. Under the hypothetical qualifications under which this post is written, Rose not coming forward does not mitigate the fact of a rape occurring.

    Asa likes to use the word rapey and rapish throughout the podcast because these words are not only funny

    Rape isn’t funny.

    here’s what DVDASA is about, controlled intimacy. it’s a way for highly public figures like Choe and Asa to speak openly about their thoughts, feelings and motivations. listening to DVDASA is about controlled intimacy. there’s a reason they were the number one health podcast for a few weeks. they speak openly of sex, sexuality and gender. the podcast affirms the agency of sex workers and is sex positive. they don’t slut shame women or men. the podcast offers solidarity to addicts, artists and misfits. listening to the podcast is a way that people who may not have such a close knit group of friends can broach salacious topics without rebuke.

    That’s absolutely fine, and I’m glad people can get this out of the podcast.

    But, the podcast also normalizes and defends rape. When the podcast members make jokes about rape, use a word like “rapey” and generally encourage David Choe to tell salacious stories that are about a (real? fictionalized?) rape of a woman, he is suggesting that there is a grey area when it comes to sexual consent. For rape survivors, as well as women at-risk for sexual assault and rape, our ongoing perpetuation of rape culture — which is defined specifically by the myth of a consent grey area — is highly damaging. That’s what this post is about.

    This post is less about whether or not David Choe needs to go to jail. This post is about whether or not David Choe — like others who prey on Asian American misogylinity insecurities, like pick-up artists — are reinforcing rape culture by reinforcing the connection between masculinity and sexual conquest.

    You ask me what I’m doing to subvert patriarchy? That would be actually exploring the institutions of patriarchy that continue to victimize women, which includes David Choe’s unfortunate choice of a rape culture story for the podcast topic in this episode.

  • Junwei

    She is absolutely right to draw attention to the rape fiction of this podcast example. It is a rape narrative. No doubt about it. David Choe is rich and have some popularity. So he is the right target for an Asian American feminist.

    The content is disturbing, but it is not different from rape fantasies you can find in erotic fiction on the internet and filesharing sites. Several lawyer argue that pornography prevents sexual violence and we should stay with liberal mindset and permit rape narrative. Ostracism of rape narrative telling and retelling is important to show the borders and draw a red line between fiction and reality.

    I am not fully convinced that the existence of Asian geek stereotype get people to rape or shoot Asian American female. Early Asian immigration creates a bachelor society and the men are prevented from exercising sexual agency. They perform women work with launderette and cooking – there was asexual stereotyping of Asian immigrants in the past before the Asian geek stereotype exist. These cohorts are not known for developing a hypermasculine identity similar to black poors.

    Do you know of any Asian American rapist who formulate a sexualized world view on race-relation similar to the essay “White Woman, Black Man” by the black panther leader Eldridge Cleaver who was a rapist who trained himself with the rape of black women and then continue with white women. Or something like the writings of James Baldwin about the effect of black hypermasculinity on black gays.

    The evidence you provide with PUA and extensive bodybuilding are symptoms of heterosexism. Heterosexism is of course very bad for women and gays, but I am not on your side with the labelling of the phenomenon as hypermasculinity.

    Aryan cowboys are a white male identity movement with hypermasculine racialized gender identity with the aim to prevent white women of miscegenation I would define as an example of hypermasculinity.

    I cannot see anything similar to white and black hypermasculinity in Asian America, because of an inferiority complex. The example of Indian Americans do not convince me either, because Indian people use caste ideology and colorism for ostracism and ranking men.

    JT Tran exploits a niche market of insecure Asian American men with expensive PUA seminars. David Choe is an artist and many artistic movements like futurism, kubism,… are known for their misogynistic ideas. My random sampling of commenters profile of DVDdasa shows no evidence that his audience consists primarily of Asian American geeks or Asian Americans. He seems to attract a very racially very diverse audience. DVDdasa indeed nourish heterosexim, but we do not know the coding and encoding of the messages. You as feminist obviously use other background information to interpret the narrative. We need a survey to measure the attitude change with the treatment of content from DVDdasa.

    There was a co-host who is a porn star and David Choe is telling a porn star a rape narrative. It is a clear alienation of the rape narrative and intends to ridicule the content and make the audience ambivalent about the authenticity of the narrative.

    The only source of rape narrative who can catch an Asian American male audience are Japanese rape porn. We need an IP geography of access to Japanese rape porn which is congruent with cities with high Asian American male population to have evidence of high consumption of rape narratives.

    If Asian American feminists want to show a proof that rape narratives are indeed contributing to more rapes, I suggest a adaption of porn studies in the lab with fMRI brainscanning of test persons with treatment with Japanese rape porn and a following survey study. It is easily done, because you must only imitate white porn studies.

    In a similar way I think that we must use randomized sampling of Asian American bodybuilders and PUA seminarist.

    I will assume that an extensive Asian American bodybuilder get less pityful stares from other men because they pity him with his lack of an attractive body. He will be in a homosocial men network of bodybuilders and talk lots of fluff about getting dates. Does this influence not already diminish the toxic internal monologue which results from racial castration in the media – simply because they find comfort in actual do something in changing their situation ?

    And I will expect that a PUA seminarist actually approach women more frequently. The more a PUA seminarist approach women the more rejection he will get – some women will accept the approach. Real female rejections should establish a more laid-back emotional structure to deal with rejections, because female rejections actually are really harmless. The men should learn the causal relationship between frequency of dating approaches and the actual numbers of rejections. Why should PUA contribute to the development of a hypermasculine identity ?

    And additionaly why should a Asian American men – even he belongs to the dorky type – should rape a women, if he can pay a prostitute for sexual service. I will expect that a less successful group of dorky men in the dating market are more likely to become a customer of sexual services from prostitutes.

    The police must have case studies of authentic rape performed by Asian American men to compile perpetrator profiles. I want to see evidence that they are the type of hypermasculine Asian American.

    I want to see real murdering cases of Asian American gays with hypermasculine Asian American as murderer or at least several convincing cases of organized hunting of Asian American gays that confirm the existence of a hypermasculine Asian American identity.

    I am on your side that extensive bodybuilding and PUA are very strange reactions to deal with racial castration. It is individualistic and will never solve the problem.

    It is more likely to have success with the retelling the history of white atrocities during the Vietnam war, Korean war and the Pacific war to force whites to rework public historical consciousness in their mass media to feel better of themselves. There are several Asian American soldiers who participates in the wars and dying for the fatherland is normally a part of citizenship and male duty. I would try to subvert the perpetual foreigner stereotyp with war narratives from the perspective of Asian American soldiers and let them tell their stories in proper American english.

    It is impossible that extensive bodybuilding and PUA protects the Asian American communities from ostracism in the age of the China paranoia. The Anglosphere thinks that all Asians are Chinese. Anti-Asian racism rise naturally with rivalry with Pacific Asian powers. So you must raise the the awareness of Asian American citizens who sacrifice their lifes for American democracy and patriotism.

    Do Asian Americans never notice that men have a fascination with male death in war movies ? Create some blockbuster with bloody scenes about self-sacrificing Asian American soldiers in US wars – that will create the emotional bonds among American men even across the color lines. I think this is hypermasculinity enough and the measures fit the current stage of race relations.

    I read Arthur Chu linking of nerd culture with rape culture. The idea is insane and I think he helps perpetuating the myth that extensive media consumption creates social pathologies. This fears always emerge with every new media since the invention of the alphabet. There is an entire track of convincing counter narrative in cultural studies starting with the work of Henry Jenkins Textual Poachers that shows that fan/nerd culture supports the development of a participative culture with fan fiction & fan communities. An entire new literary genre – interactive fiction – challenge dominant monolithic interpretations of cultural texts. Video games are prototypical interactive fiction. You can explore alternative plots with the choosing of your actions. It is like gamification of existentialism which supports ethical reasoning after the death of god and the perdition of mankind to freedom of will and the lost of convincing grand narratives.

    Asian American culture cannot get out of their niche if they do not start the broad reception of modern anglophone literary genres like Webfiction and Interactive fiction to learn to produce media narrative with in-built ambivalent interpretations and plot outcomes. Nerd and fan culture is nothing bad – but Hollywood narrative like The Fan tries to demonize fan cultures.

    I do not think that you should continue helping to link nerd culture with rape culture, because there is already a discourse of fans gone wild who stalk female stars. The linking of “fans gone wild” ideological fragments with minority feminism, video games and Asian nerd culture have potential to cement Anti-Asian discourse.

    I think Asian American nerds should employ a ghost writer who create a geek detective who hunt white serial women murderers to provide a positive geek stereotype in media. He shoud solve the cases with GIS data mining for profiling of murderers habits and write fan fictions about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who.

    Or the ghost writer should create a protagonist who use social network algorithms to filter out Jihadist terrorists and hunt him down on his own because his stupid female boss knows nothing about Big Data mining. He should be sent to help overthrow foreign government to get a more cooperative US government to help with Islamic terrorism, but in the end he regrets the evil acts of the US government and act like Edward Joseph Snowden or Julian Paul Assange.

    Or maybe the ghost writer create a trickster figure for nerd identification who is an Asian american art thief who steals stolen art which get into the hands of criminals during the US wars of the several decades. He uses his hacker abilities to circumvent the security with cyber warfare. He should have a dorky look and knows everything about the art of disguise to reach his aims.

    I think this is a proper approach to get the wallowing in self-pity out of the head of dorky Asian American men and subvert the perceptions of the general public about dorky Asian American men.

    They only need to see an alter ego of themselves in the role of a protagonist. White mass media will never cast them in such a role. So do it yourself and alter the plots of existing genres to fit your needs. How difficult can it be ?

Comment Policy

Before posting, please review the following guidelines:

  • No ad hominem attacks: A person's identity, personal history, or background is not up for debate. Talk about ideas, not people.
  • Be courteous: Respect everyone else in this space.
  • Present evidence: This space endeavours to encourage academic and rational debate around identity politics. Do your best to build an argument backed not just with your own ideas, but also with science.
  • Don't be pedantic: Listen to those debating you not just for places to attack, but also where you might learn and even change your own opinion. Repeatedly arguing the same point irrespective of presented counterfacts will now be considered a violation of this site's comment policy.
  • Respect the humanity of all groups: To elevate the quality of debate, this site will no longer tolerate (racial, cultural, gender, etc.) supremacist or inferiority lines of argumentation. There are other places on the internet where nationalist arguments can be expressed; this blog is not those places.
  • Don't be an asshole: If you think your behaviour would get you punched in the face outside of the internets, don't say it on the internets.
  • Don't abuse Disqus features: Don't upvote your own comments. Don't flag other people's comments without reasonable cause. Basically, don't try to game the system. You are not being slick.

Is your comment not approved, unpublished, or deleted? Here are some common reasons why:

  • Did you sign in? You are required to register an account with Disqus or one of your social media accounts in order to comment.
  • Did your comment get caught in the spam filter? Disqus is set to automatically detect and filter out spam comments. Sometimes, its algorithm gets over-zealous, particularly if you post multiple comments in rapid succession, if your comment contains keywords often associated with spam, and/or if your comment contains multiple links. If your comment has been erroneously caught in the spam filter, contact me and I will retrieve it.
  • Did a comment get flagged? Comments will be default be published but flagged comments will be temporarily removed from view until they are reviewed by me.
  • Did you not play nice? You may have gotten banned and a bunch of your comments may have been therefore deleted. Sorry.

I monitor all comment threads, and try to address comments requiring moderation within 24-48 hours. Comments that violate this comment policy may receive a warning and removal of offensive content; overt or repeat violations are subject to deletion and/or banning of comment authors without warning.

I reserve final decision over how this comment policy will be enforced.

Summary:

Play nice and don't be a jerk, and you'll do just fine.