tv The Stream Al Jazeera December 19, 2013 12:30pm-1:01pm EST
set role that you're expecting them to fill, then it causes all kinds of problems. >> well on twitter, sola tweets in, as a child i have kids slants their eyes at me, asked me if i ne accurate karate -- knew karate. , advocacy, i didn't feel crazy for once and finally aaron said, look, these stereotypes are frairvel in some cases. -- favorable in some cases. jenny i'm going to go with you. the ma'am of minority is missed, educated upwardly mobile, you take off your shoes before entering the home.
i would love to have these stereotypes. talk to us about how the model minority myth has shared with middle easterners? >> as an active student in coalition with other students of color i've learned that oftentimes we were used as a sort of wedge politics source that we're supposed to be perfect and therefore that makes all the other minorities bad. and i think at a certain point if you decide that you recognize it, as asian americans, we are part of the struggle we have to deny the stereotype that we are a model. as much as my parents want to just say oh man, chinese people we're awesome we're great. in the end it masks so many things that are happening in our communities that we don't talk about like mental health. it's like the deepest darkest secret that we don't talk about. the subgroup of asian american women are one of the most likely to self-harm and be depressed.
and so things like these don't get talked about. >> matthew, you've looked at this in a different realm. what does the asian american stereotype look like in the college system? >> one waves that the stereotype hurts americans is it makes the academic enrollments held to a higher standard than they are for just anybody. right? and so you have a kind of of cycle where asian americans need to study harder in order to get into the schools where they would ordinarilily get into with the scores and the grades and the extracurricular activities they have because of the -- because of the way the model minority method is working to keep enrollment to a certain number of asian americans. there are other asian americans have to work harder to kind of overcome a bar that is set
pretty arbitrarily and set out on a stereotype. >> i bet a lot of other people are wondering what the origin of these stereotypes is, can you help us out with that? >> the origin of these stereotypes? i think we have to focus on white supremacy itself, rather than looking at other stereotypes and wondering how they could be, we have to look meritocracy. in order to kind of pin us against one another and fight over limited resources. so i think that is where they really come into light and there is no such thing as positive stereotype. there are just stereotypes, created in a different way. >> are the norms that are expected within the asian community contributing to this at all? >> well, you know, that is what is complicated about being asian-american which makes it unique to our community, i think
is that there is always this sort of cultural negotiation between, you know, either your parents or your ancestors. and the traditions that are passed down which are often very different from the traditions that are here in the united states. but in terms of model minority, i think that it -- someone help me out here. >> where are the origination of it? like where did this come from, this whole idea of asians being the model minority? if you look at the stereotype, asians are perfect and you can't fail. >> can i chime in here? >> sure. >> i feel like there is a specific concrete history about how we became who we are as a community in comairk, right? if you look at the specification immigration that came, my parents are very educated from taiwan, i was born in taiwan.
there was a definite history potato 1960 that only a certain amount of asians were allowed to come to america. economic status, because we are all lumped together, we get this one statistic saying yes our median household income is awesome but it things. there are some groups that are doing better and therefore help to boost up our grade so to speak. but it's really rooted in history. i always tell people i'm like if at some point say the only people that went to china that emigrated from china are the ones that showed up on jersey shore, wore a tan and hard-partying, a statistic play out -- >> jenny hopefully that will never happen. >> i don't know. >> you were mentioning the effects it was having especially
owomen, the family secure says i'm not asian american but i've heard the model american stereotype may be contributing, very existent of native americans and problems of u.s. colonization. i want to get in this video comment. >> my parents are refugees from laos that emimmigrated to the ultimates in the 1980s. my brother and i grew up on a failing education system. a lot of my friends couldn't graduate high school, they joined gangs and started families early. only a handful of us went on to college. these stories are not unique to me. these experience are also experiences from southeast asian americans and are discredited by the model american stereotype. >> we are getting feedback that asian americans do not live up to this quote unquote model american stereotype.
>> that was a clip from debbie lum's documentary, seeking asian female, it may be considered a positive, but others say it's not welcome calling it a fetish. how harmful is it for asian americans to deal with this stereotype? >> growing up in the united states or anywhere else in the west, it's really impossible to not encounter someone who has asian fever or yellow fetish. it gets under the skin of us asian women and men. love should not be dependent on the color of your skin. yet some people are honing in on one race over any other races. and also it affects people outside who are not asian women who wonder why asian women in that new study get the most attention online?
and so, you know, that's one part of it. >> jenny, you know this must be very confusing to young asian women. >> oh yeah, of course. i mean here's the problem with this whole idea that asian women being desirable should be a good thing. i love that i can get a date. that's great, right? but the problem is, in the end i want to be loved for me as a whole person, right? and most people want that. but the problem is my round chinese face we're one fifth of the world population but it might be a mask if you are loving me if you have this fantasy of about who i'm supposed to be. >> is there some kind of internal conversation within the asian female community, when you go out on a date with someone not of this community, do you think this guy last yellow fever or? >> i got a little internal checklist a few questions just to make sure. >> what is it? >> it depends.
i grew up in southern california. even if i'm dating a latino guy, what are the types of girls you dated in the past, if the first answer they council up with, oh yeah, asians, that is a red flag. san gabriel valley, this one guy i dated, he said i grew up in alhambra. okay, you might have more of an exposure to us as human beings rather than a stereotype on full metal jacket or something. >> a lot of the men have been tweeting with the hashtag, not your asian side kick. i believe men have a role, i don't have enough information to know the cause but all men should help in this movement. sean says, constructively undoing patriarchy on men. while maintaining the focus on the needs of asian american women as the primary conversation.
matthew i want to go to you with this. do men have a space and a role in this conversation? i know sui has an opinion. want to go to you first. >> you want me first? i don't believe in enpowerment that some people are disempowered. i think we all have to take an active voice in trying to change things and that it's -- i don't know if i believe that you can change a stereotype just by aiming at that stereotype, aiming a target on -- putting a target on one stereotype and putting the pressure on from one group of people. you kind of have to change the entire idea that you can look at a person and know who they are, right? so it's more of a general cultural phenomenon than it is a specific -- you can't change a specific thing. >> yeah, you know hey matt though it's not just asian women who are stereotyped but asian
men who deal with their own set of circumstances. sometimes these guys feeling like they have to claim or reclaim their masculinity. what about stereotypes that specifically affect asian american guys. >> they are often felt as of quiet, effeminate, you are seen automatically as someone who will follow the rules or do what your boss tells you to do. i think you know the problems that we run into, when in asian american men think you know the way to change these stereotypes is to kind of endorse a certain kind of traditional masculinity, is the idea that we're kind of conforming ourselves to fit into the system rather than trying to change the system so that we can be who we are and have that be acknowledged and celebrated and have that matter.
>> jenny i see you nodding your head. >> yeah, you know, i -- i always, it's like such a touchy issue among men and women who are asian american. because they -- there is just the sense of betrayal that i think asian men feel when women out-date, date out of the group. i want to feel like we can come to a place where we can support or asian american brothers in their masculinity without sort of reinforcing patriarchal dominate idea that they need to be hoorah alpha american dudes. >> answering to this, as a transnational and asian american, it has meant a really skewed picture of mass clint. mike says the bad guy image by hollywood suggests we're numb.
the idea of the quote, weak asia man, sui? i've seen you make lots of faces. is there a space where asian american women and men can work together to defeat these stereotypes or do you think that each have carved out their roles? >> i think my good friends here, my big concern here is we're recenterring this conversation around men and ouren own whiteness. men can also be feminists and we're supposed to support that on that journey. it subtracts entirely from the violence against women of color. it really is harmful too, it really reinforces their role of many dominant, we are reinforcing them of positive views of themselves to then be good to deal with us as asian american women. when in reality i don't think that needs to happen.
like i think that it's really unfortunate that because asian men feel hurt by white heteropatriarchy, and you know you have all this negative stereotypes about you or you have to be quiet and submissive so we feel confident in these asian american progressive spaces. so i think that's really concerning. in these conversation we have become the side kicks in conversations around white people. >> i don't know about that. these also saying we want to do our part to push these stereotypes out of the picture that affect asian american women about what i'm getting from you, you think your power is diminished somehow if a man wants to step in and help subvert these stereotypes. >> i just don't think that we need allies in these situations to step in. i think we're completely capable
of feeling our own movements and if women want to participate and do the work they can be on the sidelines and listen and take action. they don't need to be branded as the ones saving us. >> what is it going to take to flip the script on some of the these representations and can the power of the internet change these thoughts? while you wait tweet about this.
traction, not your asian side kick hashtag got globally. these so-called positive stereotypes, jenny, how do you move forward, how do you create positive change, we've seen what this hashtag did to open up the conversation. but it takes pop culture. you have just started an all female asian comedy troop, stand up comedy. tell me why you did that and how that can have effect on the issue. >> somebody who's not seen on a mainstream comedy club stage. we've been selling out our shows. there's a need. people want to see us entertaining ourselves. honestly i'm a comic and a writer. we're the punch line at most
comedy shows, women, men, trans-men. whether that's on a standup comedy stage online or other medium. >> our community has a lot of comments. jay said asian rear get the hot chick. break that stereotype, hashtag diversity. we asked the question, nosy is cynical. that's a resounding no. in pitch perfect, the movie, who asian americans are passive types, the other is becca, i'm assuming beck c becca is the protagonist, will not associate with becca who is the protagonist. when will the side kicks when and how will the side kicks become the protagonists of their own narrative? >> i think that will happen when
we start to realize that we're not looking for a seat at the table of white feminists and moult culturallism and simply having us on tv once a a while is not enough. so it's about deconstructing and rejecting that narrative and at the same time being really conscientious that we are not producing new dominant narratives. i get a lot of feedback saying i'm feisty. i'm saying that's not what feminists have to be. we need to be careful how we are depicting the new answered asian american. multiracial and biracial people. >> debbie, who do you look like as the stereotype shatterer that is very publicly visible? >> look here, sui park i'm so
excited to be on the show with you. >> i love your documentary! >> somebody that's broadly visible, lisa ling, there are people out there that you look to that you're saying yeah, they're really moving this forward for us. >> actually i tend to look at the comedians like aly wong and -- >> jenny yang. >> je jenni yang. >> we don't have enough role models out there actually. it's not that there aren't great and talented people out there. there's not necessarily the opportunities given. >> and on that note, thanks oall of our guests for a great conversation. online. it is is >>
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