This post was written in response to the horrific racist hate crime that took place in March 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia resulting in the death of 8 individuals, 6 of whom were Asian women.
***TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT/ABUSE***
At the beginning of the pandemic, I read the following from a fellow Asian American woman: “I wanted to make sure you all were consciously aware of the fact that the entire world is out to destroy us and control us. You must constantly and actively fight to retain a sense of your worth and to love yourself.”
I almost couldn’t believe there was someone in this world who could succinctly describe the thought I always had lingering in the back of my mind, but never said out loud. I agreed with it then and it feels so true now.
If you’re not aware of the existence of anti-Asian racism, or the insane rise in violence towards Asians since the pandemic, you need to broaden your network.
Anti-Asian racism DID NOT start with COVID-19. It has been present for a long time, ignored and minimized.
Additionally, hypersexualization of Asian women, plays a huge part in the violence we face.
I’ve been told I should take it as a “compliment” that I’m sexually preferred based on my Asianness.
That I should be “flattered” that men, of various identities, use my Asianness as a litmus test by asking me “Where are you from” and “What are you” so that they could gain a lead in to ask me out on dates.
When I was 7, I was sexually abused by two cousins, and I share this trauma with another sibling.
Since 11, I’ve had multiple unwelcome sexual encounters from strangers and people I thought were my family.
In my 20s, I experienced 2 other forms of sexual assault, forced by strangers and people I thought I could trust.
Asian women experience a very specific form of misogyny and sexism linking to the ongoing perpetuation of stereotypes around Asian women being exotic, submissive and a fetish.
These stereotypes create a perception that we are less of a threat and easier to take advantage of because we aren’t going to fight back. That we are easily manipulated and supremely tolerant.
The misogyny of Asia regards intrinsic worth where girls are less valued and underinvested. The misogyny of the West objectifies and marginalizes us.
We are stereotyped, belittled, and gaslighted. We are seen as prizes to be conquered and a potential fulfillment of other people’s fantasies no matter where we turn.
Many of the denials I’m seeing around anti-Asian racism and the microaggressions we endure are echoes of archaic beliefs that uphold the model minority myth or feed into fetishizing of Asian women.
We can’t call ourselves anti-racists until we acknowledge all marginalized communities, including Asian Americans.
To my AAPI friends, I’m hurt that our world minimizes us, and that we’ve learned to minimize ourselves.
Sending all my light and love to those of you who need it especially right now.