Asian American Male vs Society

In Eng’s article Racial Castration, he discusses the separation between the Asian american male and american society. First he points out the “legislative racism,” has put the Asian american male in a state of disillusionment about who he is and where he fits into society. The stereotypes being portrayed by white america were either “effeminate closet queens, like charlie Chan” or “homosexual menaces like Fu Manchu.” These roles are emasculating and create a separation between Asian american males and the hegemony. With only these stereotypes as models Asian american males became less and less connected with their Asian american heritage. It was the continual perpetuation of these stereotypes that led to a divide in the public and private aspects of the domestic sphere. The public life was supposed to be the masculine one in American society, and the private one as feminine. The traits of private life including meekness and housework. Asian american males were portrayed as “efficient house workers” and meek so in some sense were more part of the private world than the public. In other words more part of the feminine world than the masculine.

In order to combat these feminized stereotypes a “prototypical” Asian american male was imagined. He was created strong, vocal, oppositional and by definition heterosexual.By doing so they created a role that lacked any femininity. They did so in direct response to the overly feminized stereotypes they were trying to change, but this had the unseen effect of further alienating homosexuals among the Asian American male community. That is this new stereotype if you will help to continue to force sexual identity conformity upon the Asian american male identity. Eng further argues that the addition of the hyphen in Asian-american is separation of the Asian and american culture on a grammatical level. To remove the hyphen would link both Asian and american in to one suggesting a breakthrough in the domestic spheres.

2 thoughts on “Asian American Male vs Society

  1. Though Asian Americans do lack a sense of masculinity in terms of build, body size should not determine who is more eligible in society. In Eng’s article “Racial Castration”, he mentions the different sizes in male genital and how that affects their masculinity. This provides a sense of illusion for male in America, for no one knows each others’ penis size. They cannot use this to judge one another because it is literally impossible to know everyone’s size. Despite the stereotypes, I agree with Eng on creating a new masculine voice for the Asian American community. Throughout the history of America, Asian Americans have always been discriminated against and belittled.

    • I think you may have confused Fung and Eng. And from my understanding, it’s less about size and more about visibility. Are Asian male (gay) pornographic actors visible, and how are they visualized? Much of the discussion about size is about an imposition of expectation or desire, oftentimes to reinforce stereotypes.

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