#NotYourAsianSidekick Unites Thousands To Discuss Asian-American Feminism And Stereotypes

“It was all of the things we were told to never talk about.” posted on

1. This is freelance writer Suey Park, an advocate for the Asian-American feminist and queer communities.

2. Last night, she scheduled a Twitter hashtag to open a conversation about Asian-American feminism.

Be warned. Tomorrow morning we will be have a convo about Asian American Feminism with hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick. Spread the word!!!!!!!

#NotYourAsianSidekick This is beginning b/c for too long I've complained about not having an AAPI space that represents me.

Nobody will GIVE us a space. We need to MAKE a space to use our voices, build community, and be heard. #NotYourAsianSidekick

5. The hashtag immediately caught on. First, to recognize the patriarchy that exists in Asian-American cultures.

3) Our cultures are family centered & makes it difficult to have critical conversations about sexism #NotYourAsianSidekick

3) In AAPI spaces, women have to be SMART and PRETTY to be heard. We are objectified by Asian men and White men. #NotYourAsianSidekick

3) Asian men slut shame if Asian women are dating non-Asians. They call us race traitors for dating outside AAPI. #NotYourAsianSidekick

8. It has also spurred conversations in many different directions, including toward one about white supremacy.

Keeping this hashtag trending so it can keep speaking truth to power, to hetero-patriarchy, to white supremacy. #NotYourAsianSidekick

I once told off a white classmate in high school that Asian people are no longer referred to as "oriental." #NotYourAsianSidekick

11. And difficulty with confronting mental illnesses in Asian households.

I am not allowed to express the mental illnesses I have struggled to cope with for years #NotYourAsianSidekick

Body image is important b/c I had an eating disorder for a long time due to strict expectations of Americans &Koreans. #NotYourAsianSidekick

When I want to lose lbs not for me but bc my mental health can't take the fatphobia, esp. in API spaces, it's an issue.#NotYourAsianSidekick

14. And the underrepresentation of Asian-Americans in media.

#NotYourAsianSidekick because I hope to one day see better representation of AAPIs in the media, government and beyond.

Asian representation in the mass media needs to catch up to the mass audiences of Asian personalities on YouTube #NotYourAsianSideKick

The way white-dominated media and pop culture still is. Something we whites need to address, instead of handwaving. #NotYourAsianSidekick

The last time Asian women where represented in film, in all their complexities: "The Joy Luck Club." 20 years ago. #NotYourAsianSidekick

18. And general grievances with everyday stereotypes.

"Do you know Korean?" "No, I speak Japanese." "they're pretty similar, right?" THEY ARE LITERALLY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES. #NotYourAsianSidekick

22. But as #NotYourAsianSidekick became a worldwide trending topic, some people took issue with the hashtag.

@AndreaGarVar I appreciate that this issue is being raised, but there's a lot of race-blaming here. I don't agree with all of it.

.@JChan1109 Yes, lots of interesting things about the hashtag—obviously, since ANYONE can use it, there's not one cohesive message

Friendly reminder that while the popularity of #NotYourAsianSidekick is great, it originated as talk on Asian American FEMINISM. #dontderail

25. Park told BuzzFeed via email:

“In Asian American spaces, particularly in the non-profit sector, I have been disappointed by the narrow ways in which we define Asian American and who we leave behind by way of those narrow definitions. #NotYourAsianSidekick is a new space, in which voices of those of us marginalized and silenced within Asian American circles get to tell our stories…

My dear friends and I have had growing critiques of how patriarchy in Asian American spaces hurts, while white feminism leaves much to be desired, so we created this space instead. We talked about queerness, disability, immigration, multiracial/biracial issues, compulsory coalitions, challenging anti-blackness, mental health, body image, and all things feminism. It was all of the things we were told to never talk about.

26. Follow the hashtag here.

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