How the ‘Asian Man’ meme began: Asians become ‘asian boys’
As Asian Americans get to know each other, we begin to see some of the darker sides of the community.
Nowhere is this more visible than in the #AsianMan hashtag, which has gained steam on social media and now has over 3,000 followers.
It’s become a source of humor for Asian Americans, with people who feel uncomfortable expressing themselves publicly being dubbed as “Asian men.”
But the term has also sparked controversy in the Asian community, with Asian men being accused of racism, and the term being misused.
Here are some of those claims:I’m Asian and this isn’t offensive to me.
If it’s offensive to you, you can go fuck yourself.
— Dax Kwan (@daxkwan) November 17, 2018While some people say that Asian men don’t have a right to be offended, others say the term is harmful.
“I think it’s very offensive,” said David Wong, a PhD student in sociology at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
“If you’re not comfortable being a part of a community that makes jokes about you, then you’re part of the problem.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a straight, white male, a person of color, or an Asian American.”
The term, Wong told VICE News, “is an easy way to demean Asians and Asian Americans without acknowledging the issues or the struggles that we face.”
This isn’t the first time that Asian Americans have been the target of racist jokes.
In 2015, a YouTube video by comedian Aziz Ansari made a joke about Asians being the only Asians in the United States and that he hoped to “make a movie about it.”
Ansari later apologized, saying he was “shocked and saddened” by the video.
However, Asian American comedian Kari Cates has since said that the racist jokes in his show aren’t aimed at Asians, but instead “Asian women.”
“They were just jokes that I would make as a joke.
They were made for a comedy show,” he told HuffPost.
“That was all I cared about was that Asian women didn’t look Asian and I was a racist.
And I hope that I’m not the first.”
And in 2017, comedian Kaley Cuoco said in an interview that she would “take off my pants and punch [Asian] men” if they “were in front of me.”