?

Log in

No account? Create an account
click opera
February 2010
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 01:19 am
Did Beatnik Grifter Play On Loathsome Hipster Negro Fetish?

102CommentReplyFlag

tropigalia
tropigalia
Dewy-Eyed Disney Bride
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)

"At the end of the day, can't this Jezebel-style commentary just be chalked up to the cultural tendency for women to just tear each other down and generally be evil to one another?"

It could be said that men have a part in pitting us against each other. Haha like when you said that white girls blame Asian girls for white guys dating them instead!

Also, I know that guy who thinks Natalie Portman-in-Garden-State-specifically is their dream girl. I know that guy several times over. It's not just conjecture by Jezebel.

"I don't think Momus's point stems from an attempted equivalence between "asian" and "negro," but rather from the fact that you'd never hear somebody actually try to perform the logic used vis a vis the Kari Ferrell situation on a black female "hipster grifter." It just wouldn't happen."

This is true, I'd concede that, for the most part. But as Momus's youtube dating post pointed out, it also wouldn't happen because so many men refuse to date black women because of racist assumptions about their characters.


ReplyThread Parent
krskrft
krskrft
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 04:52 am (UTC)

It could be said that men have a part in pitting us against each other. Haha like when you said that white girls blame Asian girls for white guys dating them instead!

Then why doesn't this seem to hold true for black women or hispanic women? I would contend that it doesn't hold true because black/hispanic women are not seen as "temptresses," and are rarely portrayed as such. Hence, if a white man ends up with a black or hispanic woman, the assumption is that there "must be something" there. It's not sexual magic or hocus-pocus, like with the devious and conniving, yet seemingly passive and submissive Asian women.

Also, I think part of the reason why it doesn't for black or hispanic women is because, when it comes to those ethnic backgrounds, we're for the most part dutifully decent and polite about what we say and think, and rightfully so. But these pernicious ideas about people of East Asian descent, on the other hand, are perfectly fine to air in polite conversation, primarily because there's usually never anybody Asian around to be offended by them. The closest referent we have is some Fu Manchu Dr. Evil character trapped in our mental registry, and so we ask "Hey Fu Manchu Dr. Evil guy, what would you think about these comments?" And of course, the brilliant answer most of us come up with is "Holy crap! I don't even care, because you're Fu Manchu Dr. Evil guy! Go twist your mustache and plot against our secret agents somewhere else!"

This is true, I'd concede that, for the most part. But as Momus's youtube dating post pointed out, it also wouldn't happen because so many men refuse to date black women because of racist assumptions about their characters.

But Momus's entire point is that there was a time when "hipsters" had quite a fixation on black people and black subcultures. A similar article could well have been printed in 1957, citing a "hipster grifter's" plan to take advantage of the "negro fetish" amongst hipster circles. And of course, if such an article were printed, we would be rightfully outraged. And yet the same article, with the substitution of "Asian fetish" strikes us as some sort of noble truth being spoken.



ReplyThread Parent
tropigalia
tropigalia
Dewy-Eyed Disney Bride
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)

The closest referent we have is some Fu Manchu Dr. Evil character trapped in our mental registry, and so we ask "Hey Fu Manchu Dr. Evil guy, what would you think about these comments?" And of course, the brilliant answer most of us come up with is "Holy crap! I don't even care, because you're Fu Manchu Dr. Evil guy! Go twist your mustache and plot against our secret agents somewhere else!"

haha ok that's awesome

I still don't know who thinks that Asian women are temptresses? I sure don't.

We make the assumption that with other mixed race couples that there "must be something" because with them, unlike with men who are vehement in their preference for Asian ladies, we don't see them broadcasting their preferences and justifying it with laughable generalizations all over the place.


If there were large legions of guys who constantly talked about the superiority of black or Latina women then maybe it'd receive the same backlash. But it can't receive the same backlash if they're not fetishized in the same way in the first place.

idk i'm just bitter 'cause i'm a fat white girl and the asian girls are taking my men in pedophile glasses and ironic t-shirts away :(


ReplyThread Parent
krskrft
krskrft
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)

Well, I should be clear that, when I lodge this complaint, I'm only lodging it against people like the person who wrote this article for Jezebel. Nevertheless, this idea does seem to carry some currency within the communities at issue here. Gawker had the whole thing about Michael Phelps dating an Asian girl, obviously because he's a nerd and nerds love Asians, and he can probably only get an Asian girl because he's a nerd, etc.

It's one thing if this formulation is obviously tongue-in-cheek, something common to the snark of hipster-targeted online media.

But the Jezebel article, as you note, really appears to have been forwarding its notions as a legit explanation of Ferrell's motives, as well as her successes. It's clear that they thought it was a salient attack on white male hipsters, but what they appear not to have thought of was what they were saying about Asian women when they made that attack. And at the end of the day, it was just needlessly indulgent of them, because Kari Ferrell--documented as incredibly pushy and stalkerish, once she obtained entry into a social circle--didn't even fit the profile they were attempting to create.

Needless to say, if you don't fit the profile, I'm not attributing these values to you. All I'm saying is that there may be cultural conditions which cause women of Asian descent to be subjected to special scrutiny by their white counterparts.


ReplyThread Parent
tropigalia
tropigalia
Dewy-Eyed Disney Bride
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)

"But the Jezebel article, as you note, really appears to have been forwarding its notions as a legit explanation of Ferrell's motives, as well as her successes. It's clear that they thought it was a salient attack on white male hipsters, but what they appear not to have thought of was what they were saying about Asian women when they made that attack. And at the end of the day, it was just needlessly indulgent of them, because Kari Ferrell--documented as incredibly pushy and stalkerish, once she obtained entry into a social circle--didn't even fit the profile they were attempting to create."

I think this is a good point and it helped me better understand the point Momus was making because I sort of dismiss everything he says with "He is a white guy who wants to bang Asian chicks and will always come to the Pinkerton's defense regardless of whether they are right or wrong".


ReplyThread Parent
qscrisp
qscrisp
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)

No idea about America, but I have noticed that in Britain it is still acceptable to use Asian racial stereotypes in cases where it would be completely unacceptable to use Black stereotypes. So, I certainly think Momus has a point here. I have long supposed it's because there's never been a conspicuous Asian civil rights movement in the West, and, also, that there are no conspicuous international white/Asian political tensions, as there are with some Muslim countries, to make the issue sensitive in people's minds.

I don't think racism is a good thing, but it does seem to me more and more that the issue has become a 'card' that is 'played', by people from all ethnic groups (whites, too). For instance, what to make of the nauseatingly fake moral outrage at the U.N. conference recently? The next logical step would be to discuss such things outside of such a card game. I wonder if humans are capable of that.


ReplyThread Parent
krskrft
krskrft
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 11:11 am (UTC)

Well, America actually put Japanese immigrants in detention camps on American soil during WW2, so you'd imagine that the general issue of racial sensitivity would expand to East Asians, but that's definitely not the case. In fact, it would seem the average American doesn't even recall that such a thing ever happened.

The reason why the argument about the lack of a conspicuous civil rights movement for Asians doesn't quite explain it for me is because plenty of other underrepresented, typically inconspicuous groups wouldn't be treated that way in a Jezebel article. I mean, what about people from India and other Aryan-Asian countries? I can't imagine such a thing being said about an Indian "hipster grifter," or one with a Middle Eastern background. And these groups haven't had conspicuous civil rights movements in America.

I think that the exception many otherwise progressive people make for Asians, when it comes to racial sensitivity, has to do with many things: long-standing isolation from the West; WW2 propaganda; troubled, late-era military incursions in the Asia-Pacific region; contemporary anxiety about Asia emerging as an economic competitor (it's fairly common to hear jokes in 80s movies about Japan "owning" America ... China is the current substitution); various ideas about the "exotic Orient" that have permeated the broad Western culture over hundreds of years; generations of Asians being portrayed in only a small number of ways in the various media, etc, etc, etc.

I don't think that this type of racism against Asians is as dangerous as racism against, say, black people in America, because it doesn't have nearly as much potential to stoke violent social discord. All racism is not created equal. It's always dependent on context. In other words, we shouldn't be worrying about whether or not there's an equivalence between this and other types of racism. I've always hated it when people, for example, say things like "How can gays try to draw on the black civil rights movement? Their plight is nothing like the plight of African-Americans!" because, at that point, you're not being productive, you're just arguing about--and trying to build cred from--being more fucked over than somebody else. Golf claps all around!

So equivalence is not the issue. I think real recognition that people who say X, Y, or Z are being racist pieces of shit is the point. And what's so infuriating about the Jezebel thing is that these are people who, in any other circumstances, would be decrying sexism and racism, and yet they're completely oblivious to the fact that they've just created a document that advances both dreadful agendas.

As far as racism being a "card," I think anything that one can use to stop the conversation, change the subject, or otherwise feign outrage over in order to demonize or whatever, can be considered a "card." It happens all the time, not just with race, or even with identity issues in general. I honestly feel like the bar for defining something as having been "played" like a "card" has gotten way too low. We've reached the point where, as soon as race even comes up, it's dismissed as the "race card" and completely rejected as a topic of discussion.

If a racial critique is a red herring--if it bears nothing more than a tangential relation to the argument, and its introduction is merely an attempt to disrupt and steer the argument in a direction advantageous to the person making the racial critique--then that's "playing the race card." But if a racial critique cuts straight to the point of the argument--as it clearly does in the case of this Jezebel article--then I think we can safely say that nobody is playing the race card.


ReplyThread Parent
qscrisp
qscrisp
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 11:42 am (UTC)

Good points.

I knew about the detention camps, actually, but they're not very prominent in my consciousness. Being 37 this week, as a Briton, I am old enough to have grown up with lingering British resentment towards the Japanese for the treatment of British POWs during WWII. I think generations younger than mine are not really aware of this resentment, probably.

About the race card, America may well be ahead of Britain on dismissivemess here. I'm not the best person to judge. I just thought I'd try and make myself a bit clearer. Is something that someone is saying actually promoting social injustice? I just don't think we should slip into a situation where it's possible for people to say things that boil down to, "I am offended, therefore you are racist!" as if the personal feelings of offence of all have to be catered to.

In the case of the U.N. conference, the card itself is, well, as far as I can see, being used to promote injustice.


ReplyThread Parent
krskrft
krskrft
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)

Well, I mean, the entire point of the Jezebel article is to presume that Kari Ferrell's race played a significant, even central, role in her fraudulent activities, even though everything we know about Ferrell tells us that she was basically the opposite of the stereotype presented in the article. In this case, I don't think it counts as "playing the race card" to call Jezebel out, since the forwarding of this racial stereotype was central to the point the article made. In this case, the "racist" claim isn't just there to distract from the argument or grab an easy victory, but actually plays a distinct role in directly rebutting the arguments made in the article.

But yeah, America has been going through this rough phase for a while now, where this vocal segment of the conservative movement is convinced that every single time race is brought up, it's a case of somebody playing the race card. We are supposed to be post-racial now, which apparently means we no longer discuss race, because we're totally beyond it. So if somebody at a rally holds up a sign referring to Obama as a "Kenyan pirate" and you call it racist, OMG you're just unfairly tainting the guy's reputation, because it's so EASY to just call somebody racist and DEMONIZE them. I guess if it's easy to call somebody a racist, that must mean they're not a racist.


ReplyThread Parent
qscrisp
qscrisp
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)

Well, I mean, the entire point of the Jezebel article is to presume that Kari Ferrell's race played a significant, even central, role in her fraudulent activities, even though everything we know about Ferrell tells us that she was basically the opposite of the stereotype presented in the article. In this case, I don't think it counts as "playing the race card" to call Jezebel out

No, I think you're right, hence my comment somewhere further down in response to another comment of yours. My criticism would have been more appropriate if it had been about this not being the equivalent of white-on-black racism.


ReplyThread Parent
palaeologos
palaeologos
Matt
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)

Whose nauseatingly fake moral outrage? Ahmadinejad's, or those who walked out on him?


ReplyThread Parent
qscrisp
qscrisp
Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)

Good question. I suppose I was thinking of the latter.


ReplyThread Parent
vermilionborder.blogspot.com
vermilionborder.blogspot.com
Thu, Apr. 23rd, 2009 10:34 am (UTC)

Then why doesn't this seem to hold true for black women or hispanic women?

There's less mainstream scrutiny of white dude+black/hispanic woman couples simply because there are fewer of them than of white dude+asian woman couples. White men with asian women are ubiquitous these days and it's only natural that people try and account for the sudden trend. The common explanation is "white guys have weird fantasies about asian women," and while that obviously isn't true for every couple in that demographic, I think you'll agree when I say that our society as a whole has some ugly ideas about asian women.

I get what you're saying about white women couching their own racist beliefs in more PC terms, but I don't think that's as wide spread as you seem to think it is, nor do I think it's present in the Jezebel article. You're right that it depicts Kari Ferrell as a "temptress," but that's because she's a con artist, not because she's asian. It isn't about asian women in general seducing white men with their *~*~mysterious eastern wiles~*~*, it's about one particular woman who made a living charming and seducing half of Brooklyn.

The question the article poses (well, tries to pose) is: did Farrell use stereotypes about Asian women to her advantage? I think it's a valid question, and one that could lead to an interesting discussion (not that that's likely to happen on Jezebel, but...)

I think it's pretty obvious that she did.

You and Momus use her raunchy come-ons as evidence against this, claiming that such behavior flies in the face of the submissive stereotype. It clearly doesn't conform to image of the meek geisha walking three steps behind her man, but everyone knows that that stereotype fell out of fashion long ago. Today asian women are associated less with mail order brides and more with eccentrically attired school girls and the stars of Japan's famously weird porn; cute, quirky, up for anything, and above all, nonthreatening. Ferrell's quirky, horny little notes are forward, but they are by no means intimidating.

But hey, what do I know, right? I'm just bitter that all the azns done took my men :C


ReplyThread Parent
krskrft
krskrft
Thu, Apr. 23rd, 2009 11:39 am (UTC)

1) I don't necessarily buy that there are more Asian women with white men than there are hispanics and blacks. Where are your stats? And even if it were true, there are plenty of men who have a "black thing" or a "Latin thing." These would never be called "fetishes," yet any attraction to Asian women is almost universally deemed an "Asian fetish." I think this is an important point, because our attachment of the word "fetish," I think, says something about our conceptions of Asian women. Why is it that, when two men have the same type of fixation, focused on two different ethnicities, one is a "thing" and the other is a "fetish." And the bottom line is that an attraction to Asian women doesn't even have to approach fixation or obsession before it is thought of as a fetish. As we've seen from this whole ordeal, somebody can be labeled an Asian fetishist upon simply being seen dating an Asian woman.

2) The article depicts Kari Ferrell as a particularly adept temptress, because she supposedly used the innate charm of her ethnicity to lure hipsters--who absolutely could not resist her Asianness--into her confidence games. The Jezebel article puts her race right out front. I'm not sure how you can fail to see that.

3) The article defines the stereotype: the meek, childish, passive, subservient Asian woman. And then it asks: Was Ferrell aware of her allure among hipster men, and did she actively use that allure to her advantage? Well, if the allure--the stereotype--would dictate that she should be passive, meek, childish, and subservient, I'm not sure exactly how one could argue that Ferrell knowingly used it in order to con people. First off, by all accounts, she didn't appear meek, passive, or subservient. And moreover, once she got into the bedroom with these guys, she had a big fat tat across the top of her chest. So we can cross childish off the list. Moreover, as people got to know her, she revealed her craziness, and really freaked people out. So we can cross nonthreatening off the list, too.

4) The problem is not whether she did or didn't use her ethnicity to her advantage. The problem is that, at the end of the day, there's no particularly noteworthy evidence that she did, yet Jezebel still saw fit to post an article about it ... an article, which, by the way, would never have gone up, been written, or probably even been thought of, had she been hispanic or black or whatever else. It's interesting how Jezebel laments the fact that we "sexualize" Asian women, and then goes ahead and prints an article sexualizing an Asian woman whose documented actions don't even appear to fit the stereotype that's supposed to have made her particularly alluring to hipster men in the first place.

5) I think it's pretty clear that this Jezebel piece was nothing more than an attempt to twist the story of a screwed up con artist in need of professional help into a passive aggressive jab at white male hipsters. Don't get me wrong ... I'm all about taking jabs at hipsters, fair or unfair. I do it all the time, myself. But it goes wrong when it crosses into pretty blatant racism, and reveals that the racists in question are basically oblivious about it. And again, this is the same type of racism that filled the comments in Jezebel's "Rapelay" article, as well. But it's not just Jezebel. I think that most westerners are typically unaware of the racist they have about East Asia.


ReplyThread Parent