Memoirs Of A Geisha-American

Me No Luv You Long Time...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

White Boy Anti-Heroes Vs Asian Man Heroes

The West is in rapid cultural flux. The East is remote, distant and thus easily exoticized with Orientalism. This is a recipe for cultural illiteracy, misunderstanding and ignorance. So, I hope to help clear these problems up with this post.

Grab some tea...

HERO

a hero is any male or female who leaves the world of his or her everyday life to undergo a journey to a special world where challenges and fears are overcome in order to secure a reward (special knowledge, healing potion, etc.) which is then shared with other members of the hero’s community. - Joseph Campbell
For thousands of years, traditionally and cross-culturally, heroes have typically combined great power with great sacrifice for the welfare of others.
In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.

A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life

ANTI-HERO
anti-heroes can be awkward, antisocial, alienated, cowardly, cruel, obnoxious, passive, pitiful, obtuse, or just ordinary. When the anti-hero is a central character in a work of fiction the work will frequently deal with the effect their flawed character has on them and those they meet along the narrative. In other words, an anti-hero is a protagonist that lives by the guidance of their own moral compass, striving to define and construe their own values as opposed to those recognized by the society in which they live.

Many modern anti-heroes possess, or even encapsulate, the postmodern rejection of traditional values symptomatic of Modernist literature in general, as well as the disillusion felt after World War II and the Nuclear Age. It has been argued that continuing popularity of the anti-hero in modern literature and popular culture may be based on the recognition that a person is fraught with human frailties, unlike the archetypes of the white-hatted cowboy and the noble warrior, and is therefore more accessible to readers and viewers. This popularity may also be symptomatic of the rejection by the avant-garde of traditional values after the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s.
Without any real responsibilities or values to guide them anymore, these Gen-XYZ "anti-heroes" typically slide down slippery slopes into downward spirals of self-absorption and hedonistic self-indulgence. Sure, they "don't care" what gender you are - because they don't really care about anything! They only care about "you"...if you happen to have what they want to make them feel good at the moment (providing an "easier ejaculation" opportunity, drugs, etc.) But ultimately, they "don't care" about anything but themselves.

Why do you think:

40% of American babies are now born to single mothers?
The American divorce rate is 50%
55% of American men (and 59% of women!) cheat?

Do these stats show people who "really care" about each other? Or are just blind opportunists who care about nothing but their own self-gratification?

And what is a world, a nation, a society, a family, a relationship without true heroes anymore?

Just ask Britney...

CULTURE CLASH

The interesting thing is how these 2 archetypes would view each other. A hero would view an anti-hero as a weak, shiftless, irresponsible, defeatist loser with no loyalties but to his own. Whereas, an anti-hero would mock a hero as an oppressive, patriarchal, do-gooder egomaniac who is foolishly noble. Point being, either could be perceved as the good/bad guy depending on your particular era and milieu. Recent comic book adaptations like The Hulk and King Kong reflect our current post-modern counter-cultural predilection for anti-heroes, though.

So, the larger issue here is really a CULTURE CLASH between heroic culture and anti-heroic counterculture. Old World "hero" values that have worked for thousands of years vs the recent post-modern 60s "anti-hero" COUNTERCULTURE - which is still highly-experimental. Although the preliminary societal results (as seen above) already appear to be mildly devastating.

Perhaps the jury's still out... But, until post-modern counterculture can be proven over thousands of years to be SUPERIOR to the traditional "Old School" that got us here today, then I think it's premature to argue which is "less sexist"/"better"/etc. If anything, these are the same "looser" values that shortly preceded the fall of Rome.

But, while we're here at least let me clear up the 4 biggest Western misconceptions about Chinese culture:

1) Footbinding was Chinese patriarchal oppression. FALSE.
No man ever forced a Chinese woman to bind her feet. It was an elite women's fashion fad that started from the imitation of Western "ballet dancers," and was eventually passed down matriarchally to lower classes after that. It was essentially the Tang Dynasty version of boob jobs or corsets.
"Tang court women followed Persian and Turkish fashions, wearing dresses with tight-fitting bodices, pleated skirts, and hats with enormous veils. And it was apparently imitation of foreign toe-dancing groups that originally led upper-class Chinese women to bind their feet. At first it was just palace dancers who bound their feet slightly, like ballet dancers, to stand on their toes." - When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433 by Louise Levathes
2) Female infantcide is epidemic in China. FALSE.
Some sex-selective abortions do occur, like anywhere. However, they have ALREADY been ILLEGAL for years now. And post-birth infantcide is rare to begin with. So, most of the slightly elevated M/F baby ratio is due to underreporting of female births and a higher prevalence of Hepatitis B (which naturally increases male births) - NOT "female infantcides."

3) Sons are preferred in China. TRUE.
...But only because they are seen as beasts of burden in Chinese culture. They are the ultimate providers expected to take care of their parents in their decrepit old age, their wife & kid and their wife's family as well. Parents see them as human 401Ks. Wives as walking paychecks. The country as cannon-fodder and manual labor machines. So, everybody has a vested interest in more sons being born in bondage. But as times change, girls are actually now favored in areas like Shanghai where their looks may help them excel more in business. So really, whoever can provide the highest potential benefits get favored, not necessarily just boys.

So this "son preference" is more due to self-serving traditions and only made uniquely visible in China by their socially & ecologically-responsible 1-child policy. Ok, but what about other non-Asian countries with less external motivations/"justifications"?
Dahl and Moretti offer several reasons to believe that American parents also have a strong preference...for boys over girls.

At least since 1941, men have told pollsters by more than a two-to-one margin that they would rather have a boy. Women have only a slight preference for daughters. Taking all of this evidence together, the authors conclude that parents in the United States do have a preference for boys over girls.
Hmm, so who really has the innate gender bias here?

Only reason Americans don't get any flack for this is because they have no 1-child policy to make it more obvious...and they are loathe to criticize themselves anyways. But fact is, abortions are a national pasttime in this country and girl babies would get the brunt of that if families were forced to make a single choice.

4) Chinese eat dogs. TRUE.
...But it's a rare, backwoods novelty dish that's about as popular as rattlesnake or frog legs here. The primary mammalian meat staples in China are beef, chicken, pork and mutton. Dog is only served in a few restaurants in a few areas. Probably the vast majority of Chinese have never even tasted dog, or perhaps only once out of curiosity.

IRONY & HYPOCRISY

The greatest irony here though is that the very same White men who accuse Asian men as being too "sexist," will also complain that White women are "too liberated/bitchy/self-entitled." So they then specifically target women from "Old World" cultures that they perceive as "more sexist/traditional/respectful." So, they are exploiting the very same thing that they condemn! Never underestimate the power of a White man to speak through both sides of his mouth!

And meanwhile, Asian men are forced into a similar contradiction:
Coincidentally, if the stereotype of Asian American males is that we are more "submissive, respectful and obedient" than the typical non-Asian American, wouldn't we then be less domineering and more sensitive than the average American male, and thus, a better catch? I have asked many white women who have dated Asian men about this, and the majority have told me that the men that they dated treated them with more respect and were less domineering than the "typical" American man.
Which is why personally, I think it's all a red herring false paradigm - and one that I'm past myself now. Truth be told, the Asian men I've dated tend to be over-romantic, over-doting and over-accommodating, if anything. And I guess I don't really have a problem with that. =)

Thanks to all those who helped me write this article (whether they knew it or not),
Rebecca Yu

17 Comments:

At Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 9:26:00 PM PST, Blogger Michael Kwak said...

Did you know that Anna Nicole Smith made a video before her death in which she reached out to Britney Spears and asked to be friends?

Anyway, like Anna Nicole Smith, I think it is pretty obvious by now that Ms Spears is a very troubled woman who also happens to be a celebrity.

What is the significance of her shaving her hair off like that? Why did she do it? What does it mean? I'd like to hear your opinion since, you are a professional psychologist and a full-time female as well.

 
At Monday, February 26, 2007 at 6:30:00 PM PST, Blogger Rebecca Yu said...

Hi Mikey,

Well, this one is actually very simple. Women often cut or change their hair when they want a change in life.

In this case, Britney literally wants a clean new slate...and to cut herself off from her past. A do-over from her roots. Obviously, she's made some choices in life that she is now feeling the consequences of...and she wishes she could escape them.

Hey, we've all been there...(in fact, that's what this blog is for).

Unfortunately for her...it's not as easy as simply cutting your hair off. Where's all the real soul-searching and personal inventory behind the feel-good symbolism? I don't see any?

And that in itself shows what an immature, impulsive young women she still is. She's still primarily-driven by 2 of the primary traits that got her in the jam she is in today. Careful Britney - don't end up like ya "pal" Anna!

Make sense?

Well thanks for asking then Mr. Kawk, eh Kwak, lol
Rebecca

 
At Monday, February 26, 2007 at 9:21:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rebecca,

Is that really a picture of you? If so, you're one hot babe.

I can't understand why such an intelligent babe such as yourself could ever let herself be a white man whore.

Would you really turn down Brad Pitt if he asked you to sleep with him? Tom Cruise or pick any famous, handsome white actor.

Can genuine love ever exist between a man and a woman of different races? If so , how can you tell?

 
At Monday, February 26, 2007 at 10:10:00 PM PST, Blogger Michael Kwak said...

Yes, your explanation of the underlying reasons for why she would cut her hair off makes lots of sense, although why it should manifest itself in the form of shaving off one's hair, in a rather grotesque way at that, is still peculiar.

Anyway, getting back to your OP, I agree with you that associating foot-binding with the so-called 'Asian patriarchy' is wrong-headed. It even betrays a poor understanding of what foot-binding was all about. It's basically the manipulation of a woman's body to enhance physical feminine beauty. If that is the case, we are abound in such practices today, such as liposuction, stomach-stapling (which stuck me as positively medieval when I first heard about it), breast enhancement. What are all these but contemporary versions of foot-binding?

 
At Thursday, April 5, 2007 at 6:20:00 PM PDT, Blogger Cassandra Says said...

OK, so anonymous dude has issues.
About the actual post...well, I'm a white woman married to an Asian man and I can confirm that he is indeed probably the most considerate, affectionate and all-around great guy I ever dated, which is why I married him. In terms of more general dating patterns, comparing guys who I've dated who were Asian to guys I've dated who were white...the Asian guys were in general a lot less stupidly macho (although there was one guy with way too much testosterone) and a lot easier to get along with, and also generally a more comfortable openly showing affection.
That's my two cents, FWIW.
Followed you home from my blog, BTW. Glad to see you appreciated the pics of Kaoru!

 
At Thursday, April 5, 2007 at 6:29:00 PM PDT, Blogger Cassandra Says said...

And about the whole idea of patriarchy in different cultures in general...I think it's easy for people to see and point fingers at other cultures, harder to critically examine their own.
The USA has the highest recorded rate of rape of all First World counties. That seems like a pretty good indicator of toxic levels of patriachy/sexism to me.
The lowest rate in the First World? Japan.
And I suspect that the difference has everything to do with how men are brought up to think about how responsibility relates to what it means to be a man.

 
At Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 4:34:00 PM PDT, Blogger TabooTruth said...

You bring up very interesting issues about Asians. I am actually relieved to see a defense of Asians after the bombard of PC rhetoric from the left arguing for diversity of our minorities that drag us down.

I'm curious whether you differentiate between cultural differences between Asians and Whites or genetic differences? I argued that genetic endowments create culture.

Anyway, if you compare the philosophy of East and West, don't pay attention to the Judeo-Christian stuff. That's garbage. Pay attention to post-enlightenment philosophy.

Also, Buddhism came from Hinduism, which came from Caucasian Aryan invaders into India. Just letting you know.

What have Jews done lately? Uh, just look at the list of Jewish Nobel Prize winners relative to their population size.

 
At Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at 8:05:00 PM PDT, Blogger Rebecca Yu said...

I can confirm that he is indeed probably the most considerate, affectionate and all-around great guy I ever dated, which is why I married him.

Yes, I agree and so have a number of wommen I've heard from. :)

I am actually relieved to see a defense of Asians after the bombard of PC rhetoric from the left arguing for diversity of our minorities that drag us down.

I'm curious whether you differentiate between cultural differences between Asians and Whites or genetic differences? I argued that genetic endowments create culture.


Thnx! :)

And I'd say both. I'd think of genetics as tides and culture as waves. In other words, genetics may have a deeper influence, but culture may have more pronounced short-term effects.

As far as the associative connection between Aryans and Buddhism - I've heard that whole topic is debateable but am personally not able to debate it.

Nobel Prize winners are a pretty subjective list. A better measure is tabulating who's involved in the latest scientific and medical research and discoveries. And these papers and patents are filled with Asian names like Chinese phonebooks.

 
At Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at 7:08:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Rob said...

Good site and I bumped into it by mistake.

Good to see an Asian sister sticking up for Asian guys even though you ladies are still somewhat rare. Most Asian women support their men but there are many bad apples out there that sadly turn Asian men into Asian female haters.

Though I must admit, when I came to your site, I too was skeptical that you were really a woman.

 
At Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 8:30:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Tammia said...

Actually, I heard the real reason why Britney shaved her head may have been far more simple...

She was supposed to take a drug test and if she failed - she might have lost custody of her kids to K-Fed.

Since drugs stay in your hair really long - she knew she'd be screwed if they could take a hair sample.

Yea, she's pretty much dirty White trash. =)

 
At Sunday, May 20, 2007 at 4:37:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Chaz said...

Buddhism came from Hinduism, which came from Caucasian Aryan invaders into India

Actually, the indigenous Taoist practice is far more advanced than Buddhism. It is just far less known and so most Westerners don't realize this. And lots of Taoism and Buddhism got mixed up. But the highest masters in the world today are basically all Chinese purist Taoists.

 
At Monday, August 13, 2007 at 8:31:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great site! Keep up the good report. I am glad to find an Asian woman taking a stand on some of these sensitive issues. Thanks again for the great blog!

 
At Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at 8:05:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Hobagger Vance said...

Damn straight girl...we LOVE you slopes cuz you ARE the "easiest ejaculation" opportunities around! As soon as you slants see our master White faces, your bushy trapdoors spring open and beg for the cream of the crop!

Serisously, Asian bitches are the easiest lays around - if you're a White guy like me! We literally are gods to their race!

 
At Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 6:26:00 AM PST, Anonymous asian guy said...

Your blog is like a breath of fresh air after being drowned in an ocean of white male supremacy and Asian females with cultural self esteem issues. I wish there were more women like you in America.

 
At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 4:46:00 PM PDT, Anonymous hitork said...

AWESUM POST!!!!!!!!!

 
At Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 7:41:00 PM PDT, Anonymous deliverme said...

RIP fellas. Stay strong.

 
At Friday, June 24, 2011 at 6:38:00 PM PDT, Anonymous damnyankees said...

3) American men prefer sons.

If they were only allowed to have one child, more Americans would prefer it be a boy rather than a girl, a new survey finds.

Despite the intervening woman's movement, the results are very similar to those found when the same question was asked of Americans in 1941.

The Gallup polling agency asked a random sample of 1,020 American adults whether they'd prefer to have a girl or a boy if they could only chose one. Forty percent said they'd pick a boy, 28 percent said they would want a girl, and the rest didn't mind either way or weren't sure.

In 1941, Americans asked a similar question responded with 38 percent preferring a boy, 24 percent preferring a girl, and the rest with no preference. The question has been asked eight other times in the intervening years, with the numbers remaining fairly constant.

The preference for boys over girls is driven by men, 49 percent of whom said they'd want a son. Only 22 percent said they'd prefer a daughter. Women, in contrast, showed no significant preference, with 31 percent preferring a boy and 32 percent preferring a girl.

Americans younger than 30 are the most likely to say they'd prefer a boy, with 54 percent making that choice, and 27 percent preferring a baby girl.

 

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