In December of last year an Asian feminist conversation took Twitter by storm under the hashtag #Not Your Asian Sidekick.
Designed to create much-needed but difficult-to-find space for discussing justice in the Asian American community, participants tweeted about everything from “media representation of Asian women to the way the prison industrial complex erases Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in its demographic tracking”.
Veb live sexi irani - Feminism theory and interracial dating
Something that got quickly lost in the explosive hype surrounding the trend (which has since been solely credited to activist Suey Park) was that it was originally co-hosted by Park and fellow activist Juliet Shen.
To get the convo going, the 2 friends threw out a series of thoughtful questions with Park first up and Shen quickly following.
Now while I think overall #Not Your Asian Sidekick was and is a gorgeous and deeply needed movement to be heard, and even though plenty of mixed race people chimed in throughout – honestly I felt on the fringes of the conversation before it even began (as I usually do) being a multiracial person who can’t align fully with mono- categories like Asian.
There was really only one moment that jumped off the screen at me and really connected to my lived/mixed experience, when Shen asked: In fact hers was the only question that specifically addressed issues of interraciality possibly cracking the door to include a broader discussion of multiraciality in the hashtag and the Asian community at large.
But sadly just a handful of women (including Park & Shen) responded before the discussion dashed off in another direction: I thought #Not Your Asian Side Kick moved away from this topic too quickly and decided to to contact some of the brave women who had spoken up for a deeper exploration.
Interviews with several of these women follow, all words and images used here with their permission.
Juliet Shen @Juliet_Shen, Activist/Writer identifies as: Asian American, 2 generation Chinese “When I date interracially friends, especially within the Asian American community, are quick to criticize or judge.
There’s often that split second after I tell them the race of my partner that I see this change occur on their expression.
I suddenly lose credibility as a writer, activist, and member of the community. Because I blog, contacting me is easier than for the average person.
I usually get about 1 piece of hate mail a week, often more if I write on something ‘controversial’ such as interracial relationships.
The hate mail will range from disappointment to violent threats, to name calling, to everything negative under the sun.