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We inhabit an in-between space: At school, we were seen as too Asian.
Asian Dating in the US: Find True Love that Lasts
They get to do fancy things like host Olympics. Jungle Asians host diseases. And the interactions in the Subtle Asian Traits group highlights this problematic concept. Another member also expresses her anger at this erasure: Alice Walker, author of The Colour Purple, coined the term colourism to describe the preferential treatment people with light skin receive in ethnic groups, and the prejudice faced by individuals with darker skin tones.
We need to talk about 'Subtle Asian Traits'
Colourism is perpetuated in the group when the existence of South East Asians and South Asians are erased. East Asians — whose populations are commonly associated with having lighter skin — often receive the most visibility, with their experiences being front and centre in the group.
Also concerning was racially inflammatory content being posted when the group first experienced a massive influx of members. Rule One says any hate speech or bullying in the form of racist or colourist posts and comments will not be tolerated.
Subtle Asian Traits: The Facebook group taking Australia by storm
We need to move beyond acknowledging, with a laugh, the racist beliefs in our community — even from our loved ones To prevent any further problematic posts, the admin and moderators also decided to pre-approve posts. At the time of writing, the number of pending submissions is Moderating a group whose popularity has now spread to the United States continues to be a challenge for the small admin team.
Scrolling through the group, another trend that emerges is posts that call out racist attitudes of parents when it comes to dating: A meme posted on Subtle Asian Traits.
The first time I saw my best friend cry was when her parents stopped her from dating a boy who was of Sri Lankan descent. But we need to move beyond acknowledging, with a laugh, the racist beliefs in our community — even from our loved ones. By finding these posts funny, we are normalising racism, when we should be challenging it. But Asian women are understandably in a rush to change the status quo.
China's economic might makes stereotyping more 'acceptable', say experts She points to how British Chinese do well academically and professionally. Furthermore, stereotypes around timidness, not being outspoken or politically active also mean people can make such comments with no backlash, she says.
In the professional world, Ting Jacqueline Chen, a year-old Oxford graduate, is also battling stereotypes.
She tells me how she was instantly associated with being quiet, analytical and nice when she started working in London, and describes fighting for opportunities to speak and chair meetings. A new generation of Chinese women are educated to degree level But even at Stanford Business School, Ting feels that presumptions still linger, on a name: One of my friends of Hong Kong heritage put it best recently, perhaps, when talking about relationships involving Chinese women and Caucasian men.
The same applies to the workplace.
Until popular culture's depiction of Asian women changes for the better, it's up to us to stop the stereotypes. Yuan Ren is a freelance journalist who grew up in both London and Beijing.