I took a graduate level feminist theory class for fun, and we had an interesting discussion about the false dichotomy of gender. Basically, my professor was stating that the concepts of “man” and “woman” were more socially constructed concepts than they were a reflection of reality.
New to the field, I posed the question to my professor: “There are actual physical differences between men and women. So how can we say that gender is a false dichotomy when those physical differences do in fact exist?” In other words, I was just pointing out the simple facts that men and women were definitely different physiologically and even psychologically. There are even differences on the genetic level. How then could she argue that “man” and “woman” were just socially (made up) concepts humans just came up with?
Her answer? The physical human is not a simple “male” or “female”, there is a spectrum of genders, many shades of gray that lie in between the two perceived extremes. On top of that diversity, the physical body is alterable, and not just in terms of plastic surgery or other forms of bodily alteration.
To illustrate the fluidity of the physical body, she used herself as an immigrant example, explaining that when she returned to England, her family there was significantly physically smaller than she or her other American family counterparts were. Though she was from the same genetic background, the actual expression of her genes was heavily affected by the place, culture, climate, and diet in which she grew up in. Genotype is not phenotype. Biology 101. This immediately made perfect sense to me because I had the exact same experience with my relatives back in Asia. Asian Americans are not just culturally, linguistically, and psychological different than Asians. We are also very much physically different.
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Back in May, 2013 I wrote about the availability of information on the New Healthcare Law that was available in 10 different Asian languages The presentation titled “The Health Care Law and You” was translated into 10 different Asian languages and made available. I wrote about how this resource was translated by the Office of Public Engagement at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services into the following languages: Chinese, Tagalog, Korean, Vietnamese, Hindi, Bengali, Hmong, Khmer, Samoan and Tongan. Those that need an English version can find one here.
As mentioned in my blog article, these presentations were also planned to be recorded in language and these webinar recordings would be made available. The recorded versions in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Tongan, and Vietnamese are now available here. I’ll update again, as more languages get added.
With the Miami Heat winning the NBA championship last week, you would think the only thing happening between now and the new season would be the NBA draft, but you would be wrong.
As you know from my previous posts, I’ve attended a few Golden State Warriors games this season (via press pass and a pair of complimentary tickets), including two games when Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rocket played against his former team and my first ever NBA game without Jeremy Lin.
Well, during the off season, the NBA does do international outreach and is especially focused on expanding the popularity of the NBA in China. Due to my personal and work travel, I didn’t have a chance to mention that Golden State Warriors player Klay Thompson already made it to China (check out his Skype interview) traveled to Xi’an and Chengdu and Harrison Barnes will be traveling to China August 2-14.
The rest of the NBA schedule in China for the summer is, which will involve various different events including: Three-point Shootout, Team Shooting Contest, Slam Dunk Contest, Knockout Challenge, “Win From Within” Basketball Challenge, Skills Challenge, and an NBA 3×3 Tournament, are:
Later this Fall during the per-season (as the NBA has already announced), the LA Lakers and Golden State Warriors will be playing two exhibition games in Beijing (10/15) and Shanghai (10/18) and the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers will be playing in Manila (10/10) and Taipei (10/13). I’m thinking of even maybe scheduling a vacation around then to try to make it to some of those games – would be an interesting experience!
Incisive, perceptive, and thorough, Akrypti’s articles always get me thinking even when I totally disagree with her. With the ability to hit an issue right on the nose, many of her posts get thousands of hits within hours and then take the top spot for weeks. Get to know this veteran 8Asians writer in 8Questions:
1. Describe who you are.
I am not as unreasonable as my online written persona comes across. I am a feminist, but I can also be a hypocrite. I am a zealous advocate of Taiwan independence, but I married a Chinese national who has legacy ties to the CCP and the Chinese military. I pick my battles, but when I’ve picked one, I tend to scorch the earth…unintentionally. I am a lawyer, a writer, an editor, a conservative on most issues but liberal on the civil liberties front.
Infographic source: Asiasociety.org
A new study released by the Asia Society found that Asian Americans overall liked their jobs (61% had job satisfaction), felt they really care about their employer (90% said they really care about their company’s success), but over 40% of Asian Americans said they don’t have a sense of belonging in their organization or are indifferent. The survey looked at thousands of Asian American employees of Fortune 500 and similar sized companies.
From the Asia Society survey:
“Fifty percent of the APA population over the age of 25 has a bachelor’s degree and 20.7 percent has a professional degree, both nearly double the U.S. average,” noted Asia Society’s Mike Kulma. “Their overall job satisfaction and engagement are critical to the success of U.S. businesses. As Asia Society’s survey proves, cultural and religious acceptance is the main driver of engagement among this group. As such, organizations with a strong focus on supporting and embracing the unique attributes of this group are bound to rise to the top as preferred employers among APAs.”
Along with these findings, the survey also discovered that for Asian Americans, cultural acceptance would be the number one driver towards engagement in the workplace for Asian Americans, which ranked higher in importance than opportunities for career growth and development. And along those lines only 43% reported that their company had leadership development and skill building programs for Asian Americans.
The survey also looked at how many companies utilize their employees when dealing with customers of the same cultural background. With the amount of business interaction with Asia, you would think that companies would take advantage of Asian Americans when interacting with customers from the employee’s cultural background. It turns out only 54% of companies utilize Asian Americans when interacting with customers from Asia.
Personally, I didn’t find any of the findings of this survey surprising. In my own company, I’m extremely loyal, but I can’t say I feel like I belong in the rank and file of my company either. And as an Asian American, my company certainly hasn’t taken advantage of the fact I speak both Mandarin and Taiwanese. While I’ve traveled around the globe, I still haven’t been to Taiwan or China for my current company, although I’ve offered my services quite a few times for those customers. If you work in corporate America and you’re an Asian American, does this survey surprise you?
As an incoming Freshman at UC-Irvine, I was amazed to see that more than half the tables at the student activities fair were ethnic, not interest, organizations. There were three Chinese groups, a Korean students association and a Korean Christian Association, and tables for nearly every Asian country, along with a few token groups for the 40% non-Asian student population (Hispanic Students Association, Young Baptists). Upperclassmen sitting at each booth were scanning the crowd, looking for their ethnic kin, ready to pounce. They didn’t seem to want to have me join.
Then, at the end of the row, a pair of eyes came looking right for me. An Indian from the table with a sign, in English but with horizontal lines above the letters mimicking Hindi script, “Indian Sub-Continental Club.”
“Hey there, come to our first meeting this Wednesday,” he said, thrusting a yellow flyer into my hand.
Intially I didn’t want to go, but after seeing that all my fellow dormmates were attending their ethnic clubs first meetings, I succumbed to pressure and went. It was in the same lecture hall that my Humanities course was. Over 300 Indian-American students showed up. I found an empty seat, already feeling out of place.
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Well, kind of. See for yourself what happened when Jeremy Lin visited the home of KevJumba and PapaJumba.
About a year ago, Dino-Ray of 8Asians mused that the new TBS show Sullivan & Son looked sort of intriguing because of its ethnically diverse cast, but would commit only to the possibility that he might see it when he got around to it.
Most of me doesn’t blame him: the promos for this show featured one-line zingers that seemed to think political incorrectness was by itself funny, or that a bar populated with colorful characters shooting insults at one another could recreate the magic of Cheers or Friends. I also don’t blame Dino-Ray for missing a critical, significant mile-marker in television history: a main character of mixed Asian and Caucasian ethnicities. Unless I’m missing something, Steve Byrne’s character in Sullivan & Son is the first hapa central character in a television series, and that’s reason enough for me to make this regular viewing.
I am not one of those who thinks the mass media owes it to me to represent me and my ethnicity in a responsible way. I was never offended by Arnold, Mr. Sulu, Long Duk Dong, or anyone on All-American Girl. Yes, I was keenly aware, even at a very young age, that none of the moms on TV looked anything like my own American mom, but as vaguely irritating as that all was, I didn’t blame networks or producers so much as the market. After all, I’m from Hawaii, a state so culturally, economically, and politically insignificant that there was a time in my life (I’m 44) when all the prime-time shows aired a week later than in the rest of the country. Even MTV’s New Year’s Eve broadcast aired on January 6.
But dang. Here is a character around my age who’s got a Korean mom and an Irish dad, someone who, despite a different Asian identity and a very different hometown, is interpreting some of the things I’ve known, some of the things that make growing up hapa different from growing up Asian American or any other kind of American, and I have to admit that it gives me an unexpected feeling of inclusion.
And I don’t want that to go away. If Sullivan & Son fails, it will fail because it’s in a weird spot on the dial, or because the writers are playing to lower common denominators of humor, or because the network isn’t supporting it well enough. I don’t think it will fail because of its hapa-ness, and it certainly won’t fail because some mid-forties guy in Honolulu watched or didn’t watch it. Still, if it fades into oblivion, I don’t want it to so without something to mark it, as if nobody were appreciative of the one thing that makes it unlike anything that’s come before. So for the next eight weeks (two episodes have already aired in the show’s ten-episode second season), I will offer quick, next-morning reviews of Sullivan & Son, which will be the exercises in brevity this little rant clearly is not.
Before I review the two episodes that have already aired, here is a CliffsNotes run-down of what you’ve been missing.
By Lianne Lin
So by now it has been two and a half months since I came back to California after living in Taiwan for three years. People ask me how my love life was during that time, and I can safely say that what ended up happening was not what most people would expect, least of all me.
In California I was accustomed to guys approaching me, or guy friends showing interest from time to time. I always felt if I didn’t have one dating option, I’d have one on the horizon relatively soon. I took it for granted, even deciding at one point to completely shut off my dating life. I stayed abstinent for nearly two years, purposely staying away from potential drama while trying to “find my own independence” and “learn to love myself” and such crap.
But after moving to Taiwan, I experienced a sudden change.
We can’t seem to agree on a designation, which makes sense: we can’t ever seem to agree on anything. As Asians, unity isn’t really our thing. (Although for purposes of this post, let’s assume we all agree “mongoloid race” and “the yellow people” are out.)
“Asian American” has pretty much always been used, though at times hyphenated to “Asian-American.” Ah, yes, the hyphenated Americana.
When I was in college on the east coast, Asian American studies taught me to use the term “APA” for “Asian Pacific American.” So thinking I was some well-informed activist, I went around using the term APA.
Then I went to grad school on the west coast, met west coast activists, and learned that the preferred term of use is “API” for “Asian Pacific Islander.” You wouldn’t want to leave out the Hawaiians and Polynesians, would you? There’s also a bit of a dispute as to whether Filipinos, Malaysians, Singaporeans, and Indonesians are Pacific Islander. Some say they identify more as Pacific Islander than Asians; others say the opposite.
But if you’re talking about the diaspora in the United States, we’re American and proud. So to say API and leave out the A for American feels wrong. Thus we put in the extra A to get “APIA.” After all, with us tiger Asians, the more As the better, right? Recently I was taught to use that term officially, APIA, for Asian Pacific Islander American. As for APIA, is that with or without the virgule, or slash punctuation? Is it Asian/Pacific Islander or just Asian Pacific Islander?
This Chinglish clip is amusing, the lost-in-translation between Chinese and English so ridiculous it’s almost not funny. But this is between international business collaborators, with veritable strangers. Can you imagine what it’s like to experience this in your home with your own family?
When I’m hanging out in LA’s Little Tokyo, sometimes an adorable pair of obasan (grandmas) would walk by and say something like “Oh, they’ve got a sale” or “My son just transferred to this company” in gorgeously lucid Southern Californian English. It ALWAYS weirds me out. Why? Because growing up in Asian American suburbs of mostly recent immigrant families, I grew up accustomed to the older generations (read parents, aunts/uncles, grandparents etc.) not being very fluent in English if they’re able to speak it at all. So I’m simply not used to older Asian heritage Americans who speak fluent English. I guess I can understand how a non-Asian heritage Americans who aren’t usually around APIA can get a little thrown off when they see Asians opening their “foreign-looking” mouths and speaking with, say, a Brooklyn accent. Or maybe a Southern one. See Korean American comedian Henry Cho below:
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