tw: bullying

Don't Call Yourself a Weeaboo

A Guide on the Word “Weeaboo”

Hello, you may be wondering why I have the text “If you’re not East Asian and call youself a weeaboo, don’t follow me” in my side bar. Here are a few quick disclaimers:

  • I am well aware that many people do it, especially in anime-related and related fandoms. 
  • If you have ever called yourself a weeaboo at some point in time that does not mean that you can never follow me or that I will never follow you. I follow people now who do it or have done it in the past, which is part of why this page exists.
  • I am Chinese, not Japanese. I cannot specifically speak about the pain that this causes me from a Japanese standpoint, but because many East Asian experiences with racism overlap, I am still affected by this.

Origins of the Word

The word weeaboo comes from a webcomic. It is literally a nonsense word. The word became popularized when people on 4chan were getting upset about being called “wapanese” (wannabe Japanese). The mods put in an auto-censor so the “weeaboo” would appear rather than “wapanese.”

Why Do People Call Themselves Weeaboos?

I have several explanations/theories.

  • People use this to refer to their past selves when they come to realize that what they were doing was racist and harmful. This usage is okay as long as you realize that you may mess up in the future and are willing to correct that too!
  • East Asian people use this word to joke about their experiences and joke about weeaboos. This is an okay usage as long as they are doing this for catharsis! If there are other issues about East Asian people doing this, it’s an inter-community discussion.
  • People do not understand the origins of this word and mistakenly believe it means that they are into anime/manga rather than being connected to a fetishist viewpoint of Japan.
  • People do not understand that anti-racists use this word to call out fetishists.

What is a Weeaboo?

A weeaboo is somebody who fetishizes Japanese culture, but it may not be limited to that. A weeaboo also may conflate multiple groups of Asian people, randomly start speaking Japanese at anyone that might look Japanese, put down non-Japanese Asian people for being the “wrong type of Asian,” and even promote imperialism because of their inaccurate viewpoint of Japan!

Why Non-East Asian People Should Not Call Themselves Weeaboos

  • Weeaboo is a term that Japanese people and other East Asians use to describe those who do them harm due to fetishized viewpoints.
  • It is a term that people use in solidarity with Japanese/East Asian people to recognize this specific harmful behavior. When you are against fetishization/racism/oppression, and you claim to be this word, you are stripping it of the meaning that we assign to classify people who are harmful to us.
  • To be clear, you are not specifically appropriating Japanese by doing this, but you are undermining East Asian people who try to steer clear of harm. I have experienced a lot of cognitive dissonance about what I will encounter since creating this blog.

What Is Really Wrong with Being a Weeaboo?

  • The amount of harm done varies, so I will speak from my own lived experience.
  • I live in a 99% white area, but in a place with a lot of weeaboos. People will get unfriendly fast where I live and have grown up; if you are not their complacent Asian fantasy when you are around them.
  • When my school had a Chinese teacher teach Mandarin, the children bullied her so ruthlessly that she quit halfway through the year. Some of the white kids were angry that the district did not bring in Japanese and showed it (though I doubt a Japanese teacher would have been treated any better). This environment was very alienating and made it hard for nonwhite (especially East Asian students) to speak up to all the white kids.
  • Weeaboos’ fetishized viewpoints of Japan can be very misogynistic specifically and build up a fantasy idea of what Asian women are like, “submissive, docile, etc.” and cause them to sexualize people on basis of being Asian. This has caused a great deal of harm to my education personally for speaking out against injustice because I am expected to be docile, and I have developed retroactive ways of coping with attention I do not want pulled to my ethnicity.
  • Weeaboos can influence people into thinking they are the “wrong kind of Asian” with a strange policing of someone’s Asianness that centers on whether or not they are Japanese.
  • Weeaboos will thoughtlessly call people inappropriate and alienating things for wearing their traditional clothing because it is vaguely Asian and start fawning over it because they think it’s Just So Cool That You’re Asian. This may or may not wear off if you are a different type of Asian than Japanese. Either way it can be humiliating or uncomfortable.
  • Weeaboos don’t understand how painful it is to be ostracized for not blending enough and trying to connect to your cultural roots and will act like it is the same thing when Japanese people speak up about appropriation.
  • Weeaboos have also defended Japanese imperialism and neofascism, nationalism etc. without any idea of the context and get upset when people who have heritage connected to the countries hurt by this call them out.

If you read this list and thought that you would never do any of that, maybe it is time to stop calling yourself a weeaboo and evaluate your behavior. I am not insinuating that you are doing these things by listing them. I am saying that these are some of the things weeaboos do. Even if they are being less violently harmful than harrassing, they still buy into and perpetuate a larger culture of fetishization. These are the type of people that I, and other East Asians who speak about racism talk about when we refer to weeaboos.

If you are in anime/manga or related fandoms and this is the first you have heard weeaboo used in a negative manner regarding fetishism, I strongly suggest that you do some reading. If you want referrals, I am happy to provide them. Just ask me privately because I am not comfortable setting racist anons on blogs that already deal with enough vitriol.

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EDIT: FYF has been taken down!! Thank you all so much for your support, for recognizing injustice when you see it, and for setting such a wonderful precedent of taking down hate blogs. I kiss you all deeply.

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Hey guys, I need your help taking down a major pain in my ass hate blog: fuck-your-fanart.

They have long enjoyed bullying young artists with unnecessary “criticism” that’s often just a personal attack on the artist, a mockery of a certain element of the work, or, most poignantly, saying that characters are burn victims, autistic, or have down’s syndrome as a form of insult.  They use slurs like “downie,” “faggot” and “retard,” often in response to being called out.  In my experience, when I compile posts with legitimate well-worded criticism with links to posts as evidence, they delete the posts immediately.  What they’re doing is not funny, it’s not criticism, it’s bullying.

Not only this, but they have begun vindictively posting untagged sherlock spoilers in the sherlock tag, and are threatening to directly send spoilers to peoples’ ask boxes who have asked them not to, or have stood up to them.  Why? Who knows, they probably get some sort of power complex from doing so. 

They’ve also recently started a slew of hatred against some of the sexualities that they don’t understand, specifically gray-asexuality, telling people they assume made-up sexualities just to be special, and tells them to “bury themselves.”

They implied someone should kill themselves over a piece of crossover fanart.

I get that it’s their right to be as offensive as they want, but they do not have the right to bring the rest of us down with them. This includes the young artists they’ve bullied, and, apparently, anyone who stands up for them, identifies as a sexuality they don’t understand, or doesn’t want sherlock spoilers.

With this evidence in mind, they are in direct policy violation of Community Guidelines such as:

  • Malicious Bigotry
  • Harm to Minors
  • Promotion and Glorification of Self-Harm
  • Spam (both unwanted messages and tagging)
  • Impersonation, Stalking, or Harassment (especially towards tumblr user bennyslegs, who has been threatened to recieve alternate-blog hatred and spoilers) (Shoutout @ Paula btw, you’re fantastic)

Please don’t send them messages, they get off on the conflict they cause. I’m just asking all of you guys to quietly report them to tumblr using the link at the bottom of the page. DO NOT visit their blog, don’t reply to them, don’t give them the satisfaction of your pageviews.  Use this evidence if you need.  If enough of us report them, something has to be done.

Thank you so much for all of your time.

2

TW for racism, bullying

NY Teen Overcomes ‘Dark-Skinned’ Taunts to Earn $10,000 Scholarship

“Nosa Akol, 17, was called “burnt toast,” among other hurtful names, but now the Binghamton, N.Y., teen will be the recipient of the 2015 4-H Youth in Action Award, which includes a $10,000 scholarship.

 “Burnt toast.”

“Dark as night.”

“Your mother kept you in the oven too long.”

These were the kinds of racially charged comments that Nosa Akol walked into on her very first day of middle school, which would mark the first time in her life she’d ever been subjected to bullying.

The results were damaging. Nosa admits to The Root that insecurities started to take over. “I felt really insecure,” the 17-year-old student from Binghamton, N.Y., recalls. “Middle school [is] kind of where people start breaking off into their groups, and that’s where I first experienced bullying, and that’s where my insecurities began taking over and just really started to deteriorate me mentally, emotionally and physically.”

Originally from South Sudan, Nosa, who has a rich, dark skin tone, came to the U.S. with her parents when she was 5 years old.

“Growing up in Sudan, everyone there has the same skin tone; no one points that out. And then, growing up in America, everyone has a different skin tone, so [my parents] wouldn’t, even if I had told them about it, there wouldn’t be any understanding. They wouldn’t really know how to deal with it,” she explains, saying that for this reason, she kept the bullying bottled up inside her.

But Nosa’s story is one of triumph and overcoming her insecurities. The Binghamton High School student, who joined Citizen U 4-H as a freshman, has been announced as the 2015 recipient of the 4-H Youth in Action Award, the highest honor in the organization.

Still, the humble teen says she’s still processing the fact that she was chosen for the award, which will also make her the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship to a college of her choosing.

This triumphant day might have not come if Nosa had let the bullying get to her. According to the teen, the torment got so bad and had such an impact on her, she would make up excuses so she wouldn’t have to go to school. “I didn’t want to wake up in the morning and go to school. I’d come up with excuses as to why I had stay home,” she acknowledges.

Right now the college-bound teen is hoping to study political science and international agriculture, her mind set on using her degrees to empower women in South Sudan.

“I know that agriculture just does not stop at farming … so I want to find a way to take agriculture and turn it into an education for the women of South Sudan and make that into a business, and hopefully by empowering the women, it empowers the entire community and makes a change and a difference to try and end the violence there,” Nosa tells The Root. “I like to travel, so I don’t think I’d ever stay in one place, so hopefully I’d be able to work in many other countries as well as South Sudan … I just want to travel and help people.”

The ambitious teen also hopes that her story can inspire other kids who want to do something to help their communities, showing them it is possible to effect change, even as youth.

“This generation, we can’t wait for the generations before us or the generations after us to make a change; it’s up to us if we want a better world for ourselves,” she points out.  “We need to stand up and we need to do something about it.”  

Read the full piece and watch the video here

out.com
First Look: 'Check It' Documentary Follows a LGBT Gang in D.C.
The documentary will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this April.

Victims of bullying and abuse, five LGBT friends between the ages of 14 and 22 decided to defend themselves. The members of Check It sport knives, brass knuckles, and mace in stylish Louis Vuitton bags in hopes of keeping themselves (and their gang family) safe. Now an investigative feature-length documentary (aptly titled Check It) further explores what might be the only all-LGBT gang in the United States, following the members’ journey from a turbulent D.C. toward entrepreneurship.

CLICK THE HEADER LINK TO WATCH THE TRAILER.

I don’t and won’t ever fathom how some people can be so utterly ignorant and rude it disgusts me. How can you possibly sit behind a screen and physically type out “Kill yourself.”, press send and not feel absolutely disgusting and pathetic with yourself? How. I just don’t understand.

Stop Transgender bullying at “On The Road Again” shows

Our fandom has a lot of people from different gender identities beyond cisgender. All of them should be respected.

At the Pittsburgh stop of the OTRA tour, an 18 year old trans girl and volunteer of Rainbow Direction was pointed and laughed at, and was also photographed without her consent. She reported that the bullying didn’t come from younger fans, but adults.

This kind of behavior isn’t acceptable. Most trans teens are still coming at terms with who they are, they shouldn’t have to deal with this on top of it as bullying will trigger their insecurities and oppress them.

It is also important to refer that concerts are supposed to be an environment of safety, comfort and community. If you see your friends, family or even a complete stranger attempting to bully someone and it is safe for you to do so, please educate them and explain to them that it is wrong.

Make it clear that derogatory jokes/remarques shouldn’t be excused or tolerated.

If you have become a victim of bullying, harassing or abuse, these resources can be helpful.

You can inform yourself about transgender and transexual people in our TMHFN Trans Series.

You can learn more about fighting transphobia here.

And you can learn more about how to act around a trans person here.

Snape: Not The Hero We Deserve

Snape has largely been considered a heroic character within the Potter fandom, with apologists going so far as to suggest that he did nothing wrong. However, anyone who reads the books with a critical eye knows that Severus Snape, one of the most well-written and interesting characters of the series, was a complete toolshed. This panel, which will be open to screaming and boos from the audience, is designed to separate impressions of Snape’s value as a literary character from his values as a person within the books.

Keep reading