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Internalized Gendered Racism in Asian American Women’s Accounts of Asian and White Masculinities

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Abstract:

The intersectionality of race and gender inequality generate a variety of oppressive structures or “scattered hegemonies” that cannot be adequately understood by focusing exclusively on their gendered or racial components. There is a simultaneity to structures of domination which generate forms of racial oppression that are gendered and forms of gender oppression that are racialized. In this presentation I discuss those forms of racism that denigrate the masculinity of Asian males, which I refer to as gendered racism. The exaggerated and derogatory images of Asian American masculinity serve to glorify those forms of masculinity associated with white males. I examine the specific forms of gendered racism that second generation Korean and Vietnamese American males face, and describe how these demonizing myths and images shape the perceptions of Asian American women.
In an analysis of 100 interviews with daughters of Korean and Vietnamese immigrants, I find that they frequently juxtapose derogatory images of Asian masculinity with positive images of white masculinity that are circulated in the white-dominated society. In so doing, they (re)construct white males as more attractive and more gender egalitarian than Asian males. This form of internalized gendered racism is part of the process by which Asian American females are made available to white males (Espiritu, 1997). It also reaffirms the hegemonic positioning of white masculinity.
These data illustrate dynamics of internalized gendered racism among new Americans of Asian descent. Specifically, respondents reiterate the negative stereotypes of Asian males that are perpetuated in the white-dominated mainstream, while subscribing to views of white male supremacy. I argue that the processes of adaptation, acculturation and assimilation can entail forms of mental colonization whereby newcomers to the U.S. and their children are inundated with images and messages that promote notions of white supremacy, including the glorification of white masculinity, against which the cultures and bodies of non-whites are denigrated. This view challenges earlier notions of assimilation as a positive process that generates a common culture and opportunities of upward mobility for immigrants and their children. Rather, I argue that part of the process of becoming American can entail the gradual adoption of the gendered racism associated with the white mainstream, contributing to self-hatred . This study illustrates white patriarchal racism’s immense power in securing compliance by getting the oppressed to do it to themselves.

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male (146), asian (107), white (91), korean (82), american (57), like (53), domin (48), masculin (48), guy (39), men (38), vietnames (36), gender (32), ethnic (29), respond (28), women (27), cultur (26), one (26), think (25), egalitarian (21), form (19), construct (19),

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internalized racism, Asian Americans, racialized masculinities
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Name: American Sociological Association
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MLA Citation:

Pyke, Karen. "Internalized Gendered Racism in Asian American Women’s Accounts of Asian and White Masculinities" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA,, Aug 14, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p109437_index.html>

APA Citation:

Pyke, K. D. , 2004-08-14 "Internalized Gendered Racism in Asian American Women’s Accounts of Asian and White Masculinities" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA, Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p109437_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The intersectionality of race and gender inequality generate a variety of oppressive structures or “scattered hegemonies” that cannot be adequately understood by focusing exclusively on their gendered or racial components. There is a simultaneity to structures of domination which generate forms of racial oppression that are gendered and forms of gender oppression that are racialized. In this presentation I discuss those forms of racism that denigrate the masculinity of Asian males, which I refer to as gendered racism. The exaggerated and derogatory images of Asian American masculinity serve to glorify those forms of masculinity associated with white males. I examine the specific forms of gendered racism that second generation Korean and Vietnamese American males face, and describe how these demonizing myths and images shape the perceptions of Asian American women.
In an analysis of 100 interviews with daughters of Korean and Vietnamese immigrants, I find that they frequently juxtapose derogatory images of Asian masculinity with positive images of white masculinity that are circulated in the white-dominated society. In so doing, they (re)construct white males as more attractive and more gender egalitarian than Asian males. This form of internalized gendered racism is part of the process by which Asian American females are made available to white males (Espiritu, 1997). It also reaffirms the hegemonic positioning of white masculinity.
These data illustrate dynamics of internalized gendered racism among new Americans of Asian descent. Specifically, respondents reiterate the negative stereotypes of Asian males that are perpetuated in the white-dominated mainstream, while subscribing to views of white male supremacy. I argue that the processes of adaptation, acculturation and assimilation can entail forms of mental colonization whereby newcomers to the U.S. and their children are inundated with images and messages that promote notions of white supremacy, including the glorification of white masculinity, against which the cultures and bodies of non-whites are denigrated. This view challenges earlier notions of assimilation as a positive process that generates a common culture and opportunities of upward mobility for immigrants and their children. Rather, I argue that part of the process of becoming American can entail the gradual adoption of the gendered racism associated with the white mainstream, contributing to self-hatred . This study illustrates white patriarchal racism’s immense power in securing compliance by getting the oppressed to do it to themselves.

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Asian American Women’s Accounts of Asian and White Masculinities: An Example of Internalized Gendered Racism Karen Pyke Department of Sociology University of California Riverside CA 92521-0419 karen.pyke@ucr.edu Abstract The intersectionality of race and gender inequality generate a variety of oppressive structures or “scattered hegemonies” that cannot be adequately understood by focusing exclusively on their gendered or racial components. There is a simultaneity to structures of domination which generate forms of racial oppression that are gendered and forms of gender
In fact racialized expectations that white males are egalitarian while coethnic males are not could prompt a gross misreading of the gender preferences of individual men. Some women might engage a more 25 egalitarian display of femininity marked by greater assertiveness in the presence of white males including white males who actually prefer traditional gender hierarchies while displaying a more traditional form of femininity around coethnic males including those who are egalitarian. By engaging distinct forms of gender that


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