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Asian women are more readily absorbed into society when their Asian brethren are essentially left by the wayside and are made to feel like they are unable to ask for help.White society may not overtly tell Asian men that there isn’t a place for them, but through real and perceived micro-aggressions and a system that denies men of color access to the same opportunities that other White men have, our privilege is reduced in comparison to White male privilege. While it depends on a case by case situation (as a male I’m less likely to be raped, for example), on a day to day basis in Western societies, White privilege can be better to have than male privilege.Studies have shown that people of color are less likely to be called back for a job interview simply due to their names sounding “non-White”, and many Asian women can bypass this through marriage to a White man.In a hypothetical situation, a woman named Katie Wong can marry a White male and become Katie Smith. Smith puts her name on a resume, she is, for all intents and purposes, a White woman.Asian female narratives are allowed in schools and society.
Although before I start that, I want to say to my Asian brothers first: You can both simultaneously recognize how WMAF relationships are a symptom of a much broader issue while also being friends and, dare I say, allies with WMAFs and Asian feminists. But how is it that I would be the one to represent Asian men?
I originally wrote this as a supplement to Erin Chew’s article on how Asian men could be allies to Asian women although it seems even more timely with the new You Tube documentary from Natalie Tran about WMAF relationships (Disclosure: This author was interviewed as part of the documentary).
Both Erin and Natalie’s outreach was met with both support and anger from Asian men and women of all walks of life, and it created a lot of debate between the two camps that either agreed or disagreed with her sentiments. Chew’s article telling Asian men who we can be allies to Asian feminists, I would also like to outline how Asian women may also become allies to the Asian men they’re asking allyship from.
Incidentally, if an Asian man marries a White woman, his wife will lose that small portion of White privilege, as she assumes an Asian identity on paper as far as outsiders are concerned.
Suddenly Ashley Johnson becomes Ashley Nguyen, and her job prospects will suffer accordingly.
I have learned first hand from my earliest days about not only how we are treated in Western society, our perceived slights and micro-aggressions, and our fears in regards to dating and other social interactions, but also how women – Asian or not – react to us.