inspired by Gar's post about the movie Red Doors by Georgia Lee. Lee's come under some fire from some ppl for having a movie w/ 3 asian american sisters who all have white male love interests (i think). BTW gar, in my post i use "your" or "you" a lot, but that does not equal Gar, it's a general "you".
let me start by saying:
-I am an APA woman who finds APA men extremely sexy and lovable.
-It makes me really disgusted when i hear APA women say "i can't date an asian guy b/c it would be like kissing my brother" i think to myself, wow, you must also subscribe to the idea that all asians look alike b/c you can't tell your brother part from another APA man!
-I live in the Bay where yellow fever is rampant and often get annoyed by its huge presence. i try not to, but i def sometimes maddog these couples. (I *really* try to stop doing that)
back to red doors
i have not seen it or really followed the back and forth too closely. i did read michael kang's post on it. i ONLY read kang's post and Gar's post. i did not read all those comments on Kang's blog. here is an excerpt from kang: "Georgia didn't grow up in a predominately Asian community. She grew up in an upper-middle class suburb of Connecticutt. She probably didn't have much exposure to Asian men in her love life growing up. For her to write a story about these three sisters in relationships with Asian boys would have been false. She stuck by the old adage that you write what you know. When I see Red Doors, I believe she knows this material inside and out."
not only is this part of Georgia's reality, but also the reality of many many APA women and men (including myself up to age 17). that story deserves to be told as much as anyone elses (even if you think it doesn't further your APA agenda)
i often think about the large burden that artists of color are expected bear. it's not fair of communities of color to expect artists to dismantle negative images in all of their projects. when i think about supporting APA artists, yes, i def throw my support behind those whom i feel create new and refreshing representations of APAs, particularly those that fit in w/ my political agenda. HOWEVER, one of my many hopes for the APA community is not so focused on dismantling negative images of APAs but providing a diverse and complex representations of our experiences, INCLUDING white male/ asian female loving. mores stories, more voices right? we are not homogenous, our experiences certainly are not.
hopefully, Georgia's characters are complex. i know if i watch red doors, i will have to really try and remove my automatic dislike of white-on-rice to see if the characters are multi-dimensional, if the film is beautiful, if the story is solid, etc etc. my political beef on APA male representation can play a role in how I recieve the film, but hopefully it will not be the only role.
another thing i want to say is that APA men can be the harshest critics when it comes to this shit. for those of you who don't know why, i'm not going to take the time to explain it right now. anyway, i get frustrated b/c implicit in getting upset over asian female/ white male couples is that it becomes framed w/in ethnicity and sexuality (demasculinizing APA men, right?). however, SOMETIMES IT'S JUST AN ISSUE OF PATRIARCHY! it becomes a competition of ownership. "Who can legitimatley own APA women?"
this issue will always depress me. the outrage over representations of APAs can seem so silly to people on the outside, but it is def grounded in a sociohistorical context AND of course it affects our everyday lives. no doubt, it is very personal. it sickens me that there are so few APA artists/ writers/ filmmakers who are given acccess to resources, publicity, acceptance, etc that we must staunchly defend/ defeat them because the artists are not making an image that is palatable for our community. it's like we get someone and we have to immediately assess "For or Against"? because there's so few in the first place! FUCK MAN. you know white folks don't ever get slammed for showing trailer trash or their suburban counterparts. it's hard enough to break out and decide to follow your heart and your art, then get funding, then get publicity, and then also have to please all APAs? come on, now.
here are some related thoughts: on black male/ asian female relationships (an old post of mine)