As with the issue of female sexual submission, racial imagery in a BDSM context is an issue apt to cause heated debates, so I want to include both sides of the argument. Today, I'll examine the objections to the use of racialized imagery in kink, and in my next post I'll look at the responses by those who defend it.
I wish that The Hangover had hit theaters in 2007 to get that roundtable's perspective on Mr. Chow, because my immediate reaction to the role in the context of Asian American stereotyping was that it represented more of the same. Don't get me wrong: Ken Jeong is a hilarious scene-stealer. And I get the fact that the comedy intentionally flaunted stereotypes to elevate the oh-no-they-didn't factor, but I still give Mr. Chow a meh.
Many of you have likely seen, or even participated in, the comments sh*tstorm happening on Jessica Yee's post on Native appropriation from earlier this week. If you haven't, trust us that things have blown up over there, and not in a great way. We are working on a response to this blow up, as well as a change in our comments policy and perhaps an upping of our comment moderation (your input would be helpful here). As you may know, we aren't used to getting tons of comments here – most of our posts average about 15 comments or less – so we haven't felt the need to moderate with an iron fist in the past. Unfortunately, an iron fist would've likely helped in this case.
For now, we'd like to direct your attention to a great post by Thea Lim from our friends at Racialicious that responds to many of the comments Jessica's post has received. An excerpt:
Racialicious considers Bitch a friend – all year Racialicious bloggers will be guesting at the Bitch blog. But when Jessica sent out an email to the team with a link to said Bitch post and its comments, we shuddered a long, sad, collective sigh. This kind of blowback is so depressingly standard, and calls immediately to mind the dozens of times we've received these types of responses when we've asked for ourselves, our cultures and our experiences to be respected.
The resistance Jessica got is so standard that we can categorise it into three, typical responses that entitled folks make when called out for their privilege.