friendly reminder that asian people do actually exist outside of the tropes of the delicate porcelain doll, the apathetic bookish overachiever, the teen with streaked hair rebelling against strict harsh parents, the dragon lady with ~~~exotic~~~ beauty and ~~~mysterious~~~ (always) evil aura and the wise old sage with all the answers to the world who exists solely to help the white protagonist discover his true purpose in life to be the greatest insert-asian-martial-arts-here master ever!!
friendly reminder that asian people are actually multidimensional people with different personalities, fears, dreams and goals and stereotyping us all in as just one of 5 types is actually incredibly harmful and racist!!
While we’ve known for a fact that our ancestors were often looked down upon by their colonizers as dark-skinned uneducated savages, the lowest point of this centuries-old discrimination came in the form of America’s human zoos in the early 1900s.
This is when thousands of Filipino tribesmen were taken from their homeland and displayed in exhibits for the American people to gawk at.
To put this shocking story in context, the 19th and early 20th century were periods of expansion by Western powers who were eager to display just how advanced their civilization were compared to the rest of the world. While exhibits featuring people from conquered territories have been recorded as early as 1400, the modern human zoo kicked off with infamous showman P.T. Barnum’s exhibition of Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker on February 25, 1835.
Going by this logic, the US government—also eager to justify its reason of annexing the Philippines—imported 1,300 indigenous Filipinos from different tribes to the tune of $1.5 million and displayed them at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. There the tribespeople—introduced to visitors as primitive dog-eating headhunters to emphasize the US government’s stance that Filipinos were not ready for self-government—were made to live out their daily lives in full view of the public.
Of course, a few enterprising Americans looking to make some money also brought in their own tribesmen. With the official sanction of the government, medical/showman/former lieutenant governor of Bontoc Truman Hunt brought with him a troupe of Igorots in 1905 to the US mainland where they travelled around and put on human exhibits. He was rivalled in his endeavor by another American, former cigar salesman Richard Schneidewind who was married to a Filipina. As rivals, both tried to outdo each other in showmanship by doing as many tours as they could.
I just wantto clarify what I meant by this post, which I admit is very brashly worded
because I wrote it while being frustrated by actual weebs in another post.
foremost, I need to emphasise that I do not condone bullying. When I used the word
”shame”, I used it in the sense that the word ‘weeb’ should have a negative
connotation that will bring shame and remorse to people whose behavior warrant
such a label, and that they will refrain from such behaviour in the future.
Before I go
further, I need to put a disclaimer that I am not of Japanese descent, and this
post only represents my view as a Han Chinese diaspora/mixed South East Asian
there a need for a negative connotation for weeb/weeaboo?
waste your time linking me to videos or articles on the long history of the
term weeaboo. The context I’m talking about right now is not white kids
watching anime the whole day in their mother’s basement. The context I’m
writing in is that of orientalism, of racism, of imperialism and imperialist
(and racist/xenophobic) complacency, of fetishisation, of infantalisation. This
is a handful to say all the time (“hey you racist imperialist fetishist trash don’t
do this” is harder to say than “hey you weeb don’t do this”). Words evolve to
fit the needs of different communities. Please let this one evolve this way.
lot of anime or listening to jpop doesn’t make it automatically weeb in this
sense. Engaging in racist, orientalist behaviours, fetishizing people of Japanese/East
Asian/Asian descent, homogenizing Asian cultures, and–this is the reason why I
made the earlier post in the first place–being apologists for Japanese
imperialism that permeate many popular Japanese pop cultural products–is what
warrants people like me, people of Asian descents who are actually hurt by such
fetishization and Japanese imperialist denial/apologists, to label you a weeb.
stop calling yourself a weeb ironically.
watch a lot of anime and read a lot of manga, you might jokingly call yourself
an anime trash (I certainly think I can fall under the category of a loser with
no life who consumes too much anime sometimes). But please don’t call yourself
a weeb ironically. You might say that the word hasn’t had a negative
connotation in the sense I’m talking about, but that’s because it hasn’t had
the chance to be. When people like me call people out for being weebs, I don’t
mean in the sense of shaming you for watching too much anime and having pastel
blog theme or whatever. I mean it in the sense of any of the above–which
really are too long to list all the time, hence the need for a shorter word.
personally think this also goes for Asians/East Asians; I’ve definitely met too
many Chinese weebs in the past few days. Basically, please just refrain from
describing yourself or using the word weeb ironically because it drains the
negative connotation and power from the word itself, when I think we really
need a word to describe that long list problematic behaviour. But this word especially is not for non-Asian anime fans to reclaim.
I think it
needs further reiteration that what I’m saying is not that we should bully
misfits who watch too much sports anime and cosplay Madoka. What I’m saying is
that we need to criticize weeb behavior, and to do that, we need that word with
all its power.
be weebs, unassumingly or ironically.
John Singer Sargent painted Smoke of Ambergris in 1880.
It is a romantic, orientalist scene, the woman catching smoke in the billowing folds of her gown. As the Clark writes, “the
details of the costume and setting come from different regions and
social classes…Therefore, the
scene must be viewed as an imaginary one.”
Even the substance is less romantic than presented—ambergris is actually a bile duct secretion from sperm whales, found on the beach after it has been excreted.