(comic created by me using Rage Builder)
Using the Guess her race! route as a pick up line is an extremely common occurrence in my dating world. My female friend who is Taiwanese American also has man stories of how men have used race as an excuse to talk to her.
This may be linked to the fact that the word “Asian” is often used to lump together people of extremely different ethnic backgrounds, so it becomes some sort of curiosity.
There are also men who purposely seek Asian women because of Asian fetishes. I’ve asked some men why they prefer Asian women and the responses have included:
1. size (they think Asian women are petite)
2. subservient (see my pick up lines)
3. shape of eyes
4. cute accent
5. can cook
6. “creamy skin”
What is particularly interesting about the Guess Her Race! game is that nothing of significance ever happens when another person finds out what race I am, it is usually a superficial satisfaction. It’s not like we start speaking Filipino to each other.
I purposely avoid playing the race game when dating because I do not want that to matter to the other person.
The comic also brings up another point, the idea that I am not “really” from Ann Arbor, Michigan, even thought that is where I’ve been the last fifteen months of my life. And it’s interesting to receive an aggressive response. Why should how I answered the question offend the other person?
There are also a few other things I tend to “hide” from people because I feel I get put in a box as soon as the find out the following (the irony here is that I am revealing this very publicly): my age (I look considerably younger than I really am), which letter of LGBT I fall into, and the fact that I have a kid.
photo from phdoctopus.com
I’m reminded of a girl who I worked with who was very upset about Affirmative Action being implemented at the University of Michigan.
"It’s reverse racism!" she exclaimed.
There are two problems I have with her statement.
Why call it “reverse racism”? Isn’t racism just racism?
Also, she is a white female. Last I looked, white females benefitted the most from Affirmative Action?
All photos reblogged from tunayhanggangkatapusan I chose to re-blog this because it reminded me of conversations I’ve had with people who have this idea that Asians are rich doctors and don’t really have the experience of poverty and struggle in America.
I remember it being mentioned to me in a discussion panel about Affirmative Action. A woman felt Asian Americans should not be included in Affirmative Action because, “All the doctors she sees are Asian.” I found it especially interesting because she was a woman of color who had spoken about stereotypes she was tired of hearing about her own race.
More recently, another friend of mine stated she was surprised to find out that the first Asian graduate from the college she worked at had graduated in 1969. “That seems recent.” She also shared the assumption that Asians were usually well-educated doctors.
he Delano Grape Strike was a strike, boycott, and secondary boycott led by the United Farm Workers (UFW) against growers of table grapes in California. The strike began on September 8, 1965, and lasted more than five years. The strike was significant victory for the UFW, leading to a first contract with these growers.
The strike began when the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, mostly Filipino farm workers in Delano, California, led by Philip Vera Cruz, Larry Itliong, Benjamin Gines and Pete Velasco, walked off the farms of area table-grape growers, demanding wages equal to the federal minimum wage.
One week after the strike began, the predominantly Mexican-American National Farmworkers Association, led by Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Richard Chavez, joined the strike, and eventually the two groups merged, forming the United Farm Workers of America in August 1966. Quickly, the strike spread to over 2,000 workers.
Through its grassroots efforts—utilizing consumer boycotts, marches, community organizing and nonviolent resistance—the movement gained national attention for the plight of some of the nation’s lowest-paid workers. By 1970, the UFW had succeeded in reaching a collective bargaining agreement with the table-grape growers, affecting in excess of 10,000 farm workers.
photo from L’Oreal Paris
Skin Bleaching Among Filipino Women
When my college roommate came back from a trip to the Philippines with her mom, she brought back some soap to replace the bar of mine she used without asking.
(Sidenote: Who borrows someone else’s BAR soap? Isn’t that a little… eew?)
What she failed to tell me is that it had bleach in it, because Filipinos (particularly Filipino women) tend to want to lighten their skin. In fact, the above product is targeted towards Filipino women, given away by the link that has “Loreal Paris Philippines” in the strand.
Remembering this Melanin stripping bar of soap reminds me of comments on my “light skin” made by other Filipinos. “You must be American!” “Your mom must be part Chinese!” It’s about as bad as the dudes who play Guess Her Race at the bar.
It has often made me feel “weird” because I connect their desire of light skin with self-hating and also a fear of “dark skin”.
In the past I’d heard comments from relatives about having a child with someone else with darker skin (specifically someone who is black) would make the child “not look” like the other parent. My mother said that dating someone who is black would make society look down on me. For the longest time I was not allowed to have a black boyfriend, and for the longest time I went against her wishes.
Today I have a beautiful multiethnic child who my mom loves, and she also loves his father. I consistently showed her that there are assholes who exist no matter what race they are, just like there are sweethearts who exist regardless of skin color.
photo was reblogged from xtinetee
😂😂😂 my mom isn’t like this, but its still #hilarious. #filipinoproblems hahah
All insanity and craziness aside, I lucked out because my mom allowed me to follow my dreams of being a *gasp* artist and writer.
She also didn’t flip out too much when it took me ten years to finish my degree.
I witnessed my best friend in college suffering from severe depression because of the pressure she received from her parents to become a doctor. On several occasions she would tell me she hated it, and she dreamed of opening her own bar and dance club. I remember vividly one evening, she said, “Fuck it. I’m going to do it!” And she never did.
Of course, this isn’t an experience specific to Asian Americans. In the movie Gross Anatomy a guy commits suicide over test scores. Parental pressures is something universal.
However there is a sense of urgency when your parents are immigrants.
My mom was never ashamed of me. All around us, her friends kids were in med school and becoming engineers, but she always encouraged me to follow my dreams.
And she was proud of me for doing so.
Pretty sure if I was forced into being a the stereotypical doctor or nurse, I would have accidentally hooked someone’s IV to their bedpan. #yeahisaidit
When I was in kindergarten, my teacher told my mother that I should see a speech therapist because I wasn’t enunciating properly.
That pissed my mother off to no end so she pulled me out of that school and put me in a different one.
Apparently, not only was I enunciating “properly”, I was also way ahead of the books in terms of speech, vocabulary, and writing.
Here are some other comments I have gotten throughout the years in regards to how people think I should speak:
1.) You talk like a black person.
2.) Wow, you speak English really GOOD.
3.) I like your accent.
The comment on my accent is interesting because I’m not sure what kind of accent they think I have. Unless they maybe thing my thick, nasally midwest accent is particularly sexy?
Alpha Kenny Body
There are first generation Filipino Americans who like to make fun of their parents accents. Sometimes they do it out of endearment, sometimes it’s harsh and cruel like bullying, sometimes it’s all of the above.
I admit when I was growing up I was embarrassed of my mom and brother speaking Filipino in public. I would often get made fun of in school for looking different. “Ching chong ching chong” was a common taunt that was used. I felt the two of them speaking Filipino drew more attention to my “otherness”.
My mom doesn’t have what is a “strong” accent, I am often told my my friends that her accent is “cute”.
What’s interesting is that people who have problems with other people’s accents usually do not speak a second language themselves.
I remember a girl was saying, “Her English isn’t very good.” And started laughing about it. I do not remember who she was referencing, but I think it was a Graduate Student Instructor who’s first language was not English.
My friend Diana replied. “Do you speak any other languages?”
"Spanish," she replied.
Diana responded, “And how well do you speak that?”
"Not very well," the girl answered.
"Maybe you should think about that, then."
photo from memegenerator.net
One of my favorite hashtags right now is #filipinoproblems.
And yeah, it’s based on generalizations.
But it also clicks on this lightbulb inside. Yes, I’m sick of getting white rice stuck on the bottom of my socks. Yes, I feel this makes me different somehow.
In the end it helps me laugh at all those Awful Pick Up lines and the time I thought my mom was completely insane. It helps this identity not feel so lonely.
I’ve had people get mad at me when I tell them I am not whatever race they guessed I was. A woman started talking to me in Chinese once and I had no idea what she was saying.
I’ve also been accused of lying. “Oh, come on, are you sure you’re not Chinese? You have a little bit in you?” Yeah, no really, I’m not.
photo from sxc.hu, by geoX
This was my Filipino mom’s reaction when I told her I’m not Catholic anymore.
We were sitting at a Filipino restaurant (one of the few in Michigan) called Royal Kubo. It was complete with a karaoke, and I remember a couple singing a Peabo Bryson duet. They were breaking a cardinal rule of karaoke: Don’t karaoke if you’re a good singer.
I remember my mom and I were seated at a cramped table for two. There were bright decorations hanging from the ceiling. The dish before us was bangus, a pungent fish filled with tomatoes, ginger, and chopped garlic.
I didn’t think my mom would flip out that much to be honest. When I told her I wasn’t that into Catholicism anymore, she got very quiet and clamped her hand over her heart.
She also refused to believe me.
I think she lives in a fantasy world where I am still Catholic and I still have a strong desire to go to church. I find her once in awhile asking me, “You’re still Catholic, right?”
And because I do not want to argue, I choose to remain quiet.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jerome S. Tayborn)
I met my brother when I was three years old.
He was fifteen.
He remained behind in the Philippines when my mom came to work as a nurse in the United States in the 1960s. She took advantage in a lift in an immigration law that prevented Asians to come to the US. It was lifted for Filipino nurses specifially.
Finally, after 12 years, he was allowed to follow my mother.
He joined the US military at 17 hoping that it would help him get US citizenship. However, he faced many troubles getting his citizenship.
When he finally got it, they even misspelled his name.
World War II poster with the message, “The Fighting Filipinos,” ca. 1942 - ca. 1943.
Poster from the records of War Production Board, U.S. National Archives
photo from blogs.inquierer.net
It was interesting to learn about this book because it was published in 2008. A description said it was about the Filipino reaction to Barack Obama as president.
Wasn’t he elected in 2008? How can they have a reaction yet?
I think it is an interesting topic though. My mother is an avid Obama supporter and cried and thanked God when he was elected his second time through. This coming from a woman who had been racist against black people when I was growing up.
It would be interesting to listen to the Filipino American reaction to Obama now after he’s served a full term.
I would like to say though, that in 2004, I sent an email to a friend that said, “Obama for President! In the next four years baby!” He forwarded it to me again recently, I had forgotten that I predicted that before it was a thought in most people’s minds.