Sunday, 25 April 2021

The Desexualisation of the Asian American Man

The construction of Asian masculinity is one defined by otherness, a contrast to Western masculinity. One rather disturbing stereotype is the effeminate Asian male. The body is stigmatised, the smoother skin and lack of hair associated with a boyish and feminine look (Atkins, 2005). Asian (American) male sexuality is probably best described by a "discourse of nothingness", his absence or inferiority in the coloniser's sexual hierarchy, in films often portrayed as a "sexually impotent voyeur or pervert" (Kee, 1998), generally castrated by media (Eng, 2001).

"The West thinks of itself as masculine - big guns, big industry, big money - so the East is feminine - weak, delicate, poor."
Liling (cited in Atkins, 2005)

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- Atkins, G. L. (2005). My Man Fridae: Re-Producing Asian Masculinity. Seattle Journal for Social Justice, 4(1), 67-100.
-Eng, D. I. (2001). Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America. Durham: Duke University Press.
- Kee, J. (1998). (Re)sexualizing the Desexualized Asian Male in the Works of Ken Chu and Michael Joo; link
- photograph by Dorothea Lange via