(Re)Constructing Asian Masculinity: Trump and the “Racial Castration” of Kim Jong Un

Donald Trump (left) and Kim Jong Un (right). (Photo credit: Counter Currents)

The specter of war between North and South Korea has dominated headlines, particularly as President Donald Trump increasingly matches the bellicose posturing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un word-for-word (and tweet-for-tweet). Under the best of circumstances, the precarious relationship between North and South Korea requires precise and thoughtful diplomatic handling; that is no more true now that North Korea approaches the threshold of achieving nuclear weapons.

A better president might develop a program to halt North Korea’s nuclear advancement with a measured balance of diplomacy and international sanction. A better president would understand the devastatingly high price of war, and would seek to avoid that at all costs.

But, America elected Donald Trump, a self-aggrandizing buffoon who sees the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula as just another opportunity to provoke Kim Jong Un with belittling — and highly racially emasculating — language.

Continue reading “(Re)Constructing Asian Masculinity: Trump and the “Racial Castration” of Kim Jong Un”

Men of Color and Masculinity

Jeremy Lin, adapted from a photoshoot for Adidas.

By Guest Contributor: Sudip Bhattacharya

Recently, Brooklyn Nets star Jeremy Lin said to the New York Daily News, “A lot of times we have Asian girls go for non-Asian guys but you don’t see a lot of the opposite. You don’t see a lot of the opposite; you don’t see a lot of non-Asian girls go for Asian guys. When they said ‘Yellow Fever’ growing up, it wasn’t all these white girls going for Asian guys. It was the Asian girls going for the white guys.”

Although Lin was relatively thoughtful throughout his interview, his answers nonetheless reinforced a damaging myth: that Asian American women have more advantages than their male counterparts.

Lin represents a segment among men of color who have become obsessed with embodying a superficial and regressive “masculinity.” If our goal is to dismantle patriarchy, we must form a deeper, layered understanding of “masculinity” and its relationship to Black, Brown, and East Asian American men. That radical reexamination of the “masculine” must account for the marginalization that many men of color feel, while not absolving them of their role in perpetuating misogyny.

Continue reading “Men of Color and Masculinity”

Dwayne Johnson is first Pacific Islander to be named People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’

Sexiest Man Alive 2016 Dwayne Johnson The Rock photographed in Kailua, Hawaii on September 13, 2016 Photographer: Jeff Lipsky Barber: Rachel Solow Makeup: Merc Arceneaux/Merc Beauty Inc. Prop Stylist: Chris Reiner Stylist: Robert Mata Shirt: John Varvatos† Jeans: AG Jeans†
Sexiest Man Alive 2016: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson photographed in Kailua, Hawaii on September 13, 2016 (Photographer: Jeff Lipsky, Barber: Rachel Solow, Makeup: Merc Arceneaux/Merc Beauty Inc., Prop Stylist: Chris Reiner, Stylist: Robert Mata, Shirt: John Varvatos, Jeans: AG Jeans, Photo Credit: People)

People magazine announced today that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been crowned 2016’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” Johnson is a former college football player turned WWE wrestler turned Hollywood leading man. He is mixed race Black and Samoan, making him the first Pacific Islander American to be named People‘s Sexiest Man Alive.

Johnson is also only the second Black man (after Denzel Washington, who was named Sexiest Man in 1996) and the second AAPI man (after Keanu Reeves, who was retroactively named 1994’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2015) to receive the title.

Continue reading “Dwayne Johnson is first Pacific Islander to be named People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’”

Reappropriate: The Podcast – Ep. 7 | #AAPI and Interracial Relationships

Think you know what a BAD is? How about a SCAB?

Episode 7 of Reappropriate: The Podcast is now live! In this episode, I’m joined by guests Juliet Shen (@juliet_shen, Fascinasians), KJ Park (@kyungjunpark), and Trungles (@trungles) to discuss how the interracial relationship issue within the AAPI community informs — and is informed by — notions of gender, sexuality and white supremacy. Definitely worth checking out!

You can stream the audio and video of the episode through YouTube (above) or just the audio version (below). Subscribe to the podcast through the iTunes store or through YouTube.

Next episode: Please join me next week (October 6th, 9pm EST / 6pm PST) for part two of my conversation with Cayden Mak (@cayden) of 18MillionRising on digital activism as decolonial tools of social change. You can RSVP to watch here!


South Asian American man wanted to kill women at UW in emulation of Elliot Rodger

FBI report of threats published by Keshav Bhide under the screen-name "Foss Dark", declaring his intent to engage in a mass shooting like Elliot Rodger.
FBI report of threats published by Keshav Bhide under the screen-name “Foss Dark”, declaring his intent to engage in a mass shooting and then kill himself, like Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger.

(H/T Jeff Yang (@originalspin))

Less than a month ago, Elliot Rodger stabbed to death his three Asian American housemates and then went on a shooting spree in the residential college town of Isla Vista, randomly targeting women and their boyfriends as alleged punishment for society’s emasculation of him. I wrote about how Rodger’s actions were symptomatic of society’s larger definition of masculinity; I coined the term “misogylinity” to describe hegemonic masculinity’s toxic and misguided assertion that men should pursue and covet a masculinity defined relative to the sexual commodification of women.  I further discussed how issues of masculinity are of particular interest to the Asian American community, where the racial pain arising from stereotypes of emasculation is explicitly political, and which has rationalized the pursuit — often uncritically, and sometimes outright problematically — of misogylinistic notions of manhood.

I concluded that while misogyny, masculinity and misogylinity is America’s problem at-large, it is Asian America’s problem, too. In some corners of Asian America, radical misogyny incubates virtually unchecked.

Yesterday, a 23-year-old South Asian American man by the name of Keshav Mukund Bhide was arrested and held on $150,001 bail after posting numerous online comments idolizing Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger through YouTube and Google+, the latter through his account name “Foss Dark”. Bhide is a student at the University of Washington.

Bhide posted several comments calling Rodger’s “Day of Retribution” “perfectly justified”, and threatening to follow in Rodger’s footsteps. On May 30, Bhide wrote a comment on his own sharing of a YouTube video, saying that he “would have done exactly the same shit” but that he “would have killed only women”.

In explanation for his misogyny, Bhide cited a trope that again is all-too-familiar within the Asian American community: he rationalized his anger against women for society’s rejection of men who are “short” and who have an “ugly face”.

Continue reading “South Asian American man wanted to kill women at UW in emulation of Elliot Rodger”