Promoted

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

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

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.


Suey Park

@suey_park

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

/ Via

Suey Park

@suey_park

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

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Suey Park

@suey_park

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

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


Juliet Shen

@Juliet_Shen

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

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

— suey_park (@Suey Park)

Suey Park

@suey_park

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

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

— suey_park (@Suey Park)

Suey Park

@suey_park

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

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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

— ridgek_lives (@ridgek)

ridgek

@ridgek_lives

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

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Hey mainstream white feminism, just in case y'all forgot, #race, #immigration, #class are feminist issues. #NotYourAsianSidekick

— sadiasmusings (@Sadia A.)

Sadia A.

@sadiasmusings

Hey mainstream white feminism, just in case y’all forgot, #race, #immigration, #class are feminist issues. #NotYourAsianSidekick

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

— jazzycrayon (@Jazzy Crayon)

Jazzy Crayon

@jazzycrayon

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

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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

— doloresonthedot (@Sook Min)

Sook Min

@doloresonthedot

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

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

— suey_park (@Suey Park)

Suey Park

@suey_park

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

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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

— Nicole_Cunanan1 (@Nicole Cunanan)

Nicole Cunanan

@Nicole_Cunanan1

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

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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.

— whatsnextwinnie (@Winnie Ye)

Winnie Ye

@whatsnextwinnie

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

/ Via

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

— mikekwan (@Mike Kwan)

Mike Kwan

@mikekwan

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

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

— NewEnglandite (@Peter)

Peter

@NewEnglandite

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

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

— joseiswriting (@Jose Antonio Vargas)

Jose Antonio Vargas

@joseiswriting

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

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18. And general grievances with everyday stereotypes.

High grades earned by Asian-Am students seen as "normal" rather than result of hard work #NotYourAsianSidekick http://t.co/qBrxiexdWx

— yingyingsmiles (@YingYing Shang)

YingYing Shang

@yingyingsmiles

High grades earned by Asian-Am students seen as “normal” rather than result of hard work #NotYourAsianSidekick http://t.co/qBrxiexdWx

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Not all #indians are doctors or engineers. And the rest of us do not answer phones for a living. #NotYourAsianSidekick

— aquietstrength (@ruthie | johnson)

ruthie | johnson

@aquietstrength

Not all #indians are doctors or engineers. And the rest of us do not answer phones for a living. #NotYourAsianSidekick

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

— soggyramen (@con)

con

@soggyramen

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

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such a powerful picture #NotYourAsianSidekick

— bootytbh (@cal)

cal

@bootytbh

such a powerful picture #NotYourAsianSidekick

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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 (@Justin Chan)

Justin Chan

@JChan1109

@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.

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

— AndreaGarVar (@Andrea Garc໚-Vargas)

Andrea Garc໚-Vargas

@AndreaGarVar

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

/ Via

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

— Juliet_Shen (@Juliet Shen)

Juliet Shen

@Juliet_Shen

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

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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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