Article about the contemporary situation of Asian American men and the cultural issues that they confront about their masculinity. It discusses the historical stereotypes and demeaning cultural images that Asian American men frequently have to confront as their try to assert their masculinity in American society. Wanting to know what the mostly Asian American class considered desirable, professor Darrell Hamamoto asked: What posters are on your bedroom walls? After an uncomfortable silence, Hamamoto got the names he expected -- celebrities such as Brad Pitt. There wasn't an Asian among them, which reinforced what he has long believed: that cliches and stereotypes about Asian men have rendered them sexual afterthoughts. You aren't creating your own images, the 55-year-old Japanese American told the UC Davis class.
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Make your own movies. You have to take it into your own hands. Like Hamamoto, hundreds of Asian American men are writing books and poems and creating websites in hopes of redefining themselves by combating the enduring notion that they are sub-masculine. Many are offended that Asian men are projected as power players when it comes to intellectual intercourse but bystanders in the world of romance. Racist myths and assumptions about smaller stature -- smaller eyes -- and less sexual and erotic drive -- have stymied the development and acceptance of Asian American men as full erotic beings, writes novelist and UCLA professor Russell Leong in the foreword of On a Bed of Rice, a collection of Asian American erotic literature.
Internet forums for Asians are saturated with discussion groups with titles such as Raise Your Hand if You Love Asian Men! ! A thread on http: //www. Modelminority.
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Com titled When the Asian Guy Tries Too Hard discusses the difficulty some Asian American men have attracting non-Asians -- often considered a successful sign of crossover appeal. It registered 6,689 hits in two weeks. Phil Yu, 75, a Korean American, was so angered by misconceptions about Asian Americans that he created a website, http: //www. Angryasianman.
Com, which he says receives 55,555 hits a month. A recent uproar on Yu's site erupted when Details magazine published a pictorial in its April issue titled Asian or Gay? Yu quickly rallied his readers by saying, It seriously pulls out every offensive, stereotypical Asian pop culture reference imaginable, objectifying and exoticizing Asian men into a sexual stereotype. A mid-January posting read: Bad week for Asian men on reality TV.
On the latest edition of 'The Bachelorette, ' Andy [Chang] got eliminated right away. But honestly, what did you expect? Like she was going to choose the lone, token Asian guy out of that bunch? After he was eliminated, he wondered what effect his ethnicity had. After the fact, I think it worked against me, said Chang, who beat out thousands of applicants to be on the series.
Chang, a Chinese American dentist based in a Dallas suburb, says he's the antithesis of the socially inept Asian typecast.