Thursday, December 20, 2007

One Heck of a Brawl Over @ Rachel's Tavern

I'm done with the term! No thanks to the fool who woke me up way too early on Sunday and completely stole a day of grading from me. With my hormones in a delicate balance my sleep patterns are easily disrupted. However, I hunkered down, spent one night in my office and managed to get grades in with 20 minutes to spare. Yeah!

What that means is I'm completely behind on other things like writing projects and reading. I got over to Rachel's Tavern today to see this post: Nice Guys, Feminism and Asian “Women”. It's about how women had better treat their men like gods or else their men would all run into the arms of very grateful Asian women who are fleeing their misogynistic Asian men. The post is critical of this variant on feminist backlash because this whole threat approach that men have is tedious at best. My reply to these sorts of guys is "go...please and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

However, somehow the comments turned into a brawl about black women.

I thought that was funny because I was all geared up to chime in on how I see that attitude all the time here in Korea. White men here verbalize it often because it's at least one of the things they feel they have going for them. I'm surprised how often I hear it. One time I was at dinner and the topic came up. I was telling a story about a female Korean friend of mine who had a foreign boyfriend. A white man, who is married to a Korean woman, chimed in to say that Korean women love dating white men. Now in response to a story where the foreign beau was clearly white, okay, I would have let it slide. However, what was funny was my friend's foreign boyfriend was a black man. I'd just not bothered to mention his race and I forget that a lot of people preface stories about black people with that warning that the subject of the conversation happens to be black. However, as I'm black, I don't bother doing this. This guy just assumed the man HAD to be white.

Now sure, as a white man, I'm sure that's HIS perception. Maybe it's not odd that he'd assume this. But last I checked, I was black, so is it odd to also assume I know other black people here? Somehow, in his world, white men had a monopoly on being "foreign". I'm quite adept with the English language. Had I meant "white" I would have said "white", so I thought that was interesting. As someone who grew up in a multicultural city (which, yes, breaks out in race riots from time to time), I find that I really see the world differently in some ways. I make more "white people" jokes now because it's constantly pointed out to me that I'm the other here. That doesn't happen so much when I'm home. I thought his assumption that her boyfriend had to be white and that I was telling a story about a white man was hilarious. It was indicative of the assumptions based on race that just percolate under the surface here and are rarely challenged because the ESL market is dominated by white males. Of course, I challenged it and pointed out that the man I was talking about was a black man.

Anyway, like I said, the comments had taken a turn by the time I got to the post. When I started reading the comments somehow it ended up being a brawl about black women. I honestly don't know how it got there. I think a commentor said something that wasn't well thought out because the person who posted the blog is smart. I was reading the post in a coffee house and wasn't paying close attention to all of it. However, what did catch my attention were the first two comments by Ann, who has her own blog and is a frequent commentor there.

I agree with the gist of what she's saying for sure. I don't think she's overstating the issue as much as she's stating it bluntly and forcefully. I think too often the voices of black women are shushed and silenced, so I'm going to share it here.

Anyway, I've not had time to read all of the comments after hers in detail, but Ann has thrown down in her comment about how black women are perceived and stereotyped. I'm at a point of fatigue regarding it. However, it's more than clear to me being here where there are two types of women: Korean and white. I remember being on the bus when a Korean man was talking to my white female coworker and was simply ignoring me. That was fine as he was drunk, but when he asked her if she was an "American". She said yes and pointed out that I was American too. Do you know this man had the nerve to say "no, I mean an original American." I thought that was funny because 1) the original people living on what is now American soil weren't white people and 2) when you look at the black American population, the majority of black American families have been in the US longer than most white families. There are only a select few white Americans who can claim ancestry from that first wave of British colonists. I can't remember where I read or heard it but basically to make this point a teacher in the US told everyone in her class to stand up. She told them if they had a parent who had immigrated to the US to sit down. She then asked students who had grandparents who'd immigrated to the States to sit down. She continued and the last students standing were the black students. Black Americans come from multi-generational American families, so that "original American" comment made me laugh 'cause that man was simply ignorant, but it shows how much the world at large has bought into the pop culture images that flow out of the States.

I'm a novelty at best in Korea. I've got to admit it's one big reason I don't socialize as much as I used to. With such a focus on race, it's just not plesant. Thank goodness I've found a new network of black people to socialize with here.

Here are Ann's comments (the comments to this post start here):

“It would totally suck to be a white woman or an Asian woman. They are consistently objectified. White women are often reduced to body parts and a hair color and when men of color are involved, a skin color. Asian women are reduced to being submissive “dolls” or “flowers”. Way too much pressure there.”


I go away to get some much needed posting done on my blog, and I decide to stop over at Rachel’s and lo and behold, I see more of all the *love* that some people love to show towards black women.

White women objectified. Yes, the hells that white women have suffered at the hands of ALL MEN in America and the world.

There just ought to be a law against such cruel and hateful mistreatment that white women suffer in comparison to what black women experience in this country.

Black women have been objectified to being body parts:

Having men of all races look at you as if you are a walking life support system for a vagina, buttocks, legs. Having your beautiful gravity-defying hair degraded. Having your beautiful skin color denigrated as less than because it is not a pale, ghastly white.

Which is why so many Asian, Native American, Latino, white and black men run to the defense, protection, and adoration of white women, while they are stomping, stampeding and grinding black women into the ground to get to those white women. Running past, knocking out of the way black women they know nothing about because those same men have not the guts to get to know the black women.

Black women have MORE pressure on them because they are NOT considered women.

Always considered *masculine.
Always considered not *feminine*.
Never considered desirable, sought after——every man’s prize.


White women in no way suffer form the hateful vicious *objectification* that black women suffer through.

And white women know that black women suffer worse hells than all the white women in America.

White women know that THEIR objectification pales in comparison to what black women still face in this country.


White women have been objectified the hell out of, let me count the ways:

-Constantly called “bitch” by every race of men in America;
-Constantly called “whore” by every race of men in America;
-Considered as “unrapeable” by ALL MEN in America (remember, it was never against a black woman’s will when a white man raped us during slavery, Reconstruction and segregation);
-If a white woman is raped, her rapist gets a minimum of 10 years for the assault; A black woman’s rapists gets a *minimum* of 2 years;
-Due to white men creating lies that white women are virgins/pure/chaste (all the time, 24/7), after white men raped every black woman and GIRL in a one mile radius, black women are the most devalued women in this society because of the depraved filth done to them by white men, the perverted filth agreed to them by white women for 400 years (depravities that the poor put-upon *objectified* white woman was spared because her gentle, loving white man brutally and viciously forced his diseased-ridden penis into defenseless black women and girls throughout this country’s sick history.)


If any race of women have been OBJECTIFIED THE HELL OUT OF, it is black women living in America.

Have white women lived the lives of black woman? Do white women even into present day America live the lives of black women? Have white women been called every sick slur that a woman can be called by EVERY RACE OF MEN IN AMERICA? (And I say the word *men* with extreme reservation; only a man who has no balls would degrade a race of women because white Massa said do it.)

How many white women can truly say that they have ever been called bitch, ho, punta, tutsun, melanzana, majate?

How many white women can truly say they been looked at, looked past, looked upon with the worst kind of contempt and derision that any race of women can have done to them? Believe me, it is not a *blessing* in disguise where you are not even considered as being looked at because so many so-called men have bought into the lie of practicing sexualized gendered racist hatred against you just because you are a black woman. Where you are written off before you even open your mouth; where you are looked through like a sheet of glass—invisible—worthless—not worthy of even a nod, a smile, a greeting, a damn fucking GLANCE—because so many so-called men’s minds have been poisoned against you just because you are a black woman.

How many white women can truly say that they come from a race of women whose bloodline is polluted with the filthy, shitty blood of RAPISTS?

How many white women can truly say that they come from a race of women who were considered born sluts because white men decreed it so?

When was the last time white women of all women, were treated like shit on a daily basis?

Written off.

Looked at if they have no right to live, no right to be in this world?

What the hell do white women know about objectification of the most base, the most brutal, the most degrading kind?

I feel that white women and Asian women get it from EVERYONE. Black women get it from black men but, I’ve never really seen other races of men overly objectifying black women. They usually look right past us.”


Of course they look right past us.

They give not a damn about us, so why should they even look at us?

Black women DO get it from EVERY race of men.

They get disrespect.


Looked upon as not women, not humans, because black women are NOT protected in this white-woman-worshipping society.

Case in point.

Two women, a white and a black can both walk into a room at the same time. Both can be beautiful, intelligent, and have the same moral values.

Guess who will be looked upon as the born whore/slut/Jezebel?

The white woman?



Or will it be the black woman?

Which one will be looked upon as the virginal, beautiful, chaste woman?

The White woman? The Black woman?

Unless you have not lived in the United States, dollars to donuts the white woman will be looked upon as a woman, and the black woman will be looked upon as not only NOT a woman, but not human. An animal. Hyper-sexual, slutty animal.

Never mind that the white woman who walked in could have just fellatiated every man in the neighborhood. Never mind that the black woman can be a virgin or celibate.


Because the black woman has never been protected, praised, loved and treated with respect in this country, the lowest-behaving white woman is still considered as having the right to be accorded humanity by EVERY whiteness-worshipping-brain-dead-black-women-hating race of men in America when that same white woman is seen standing next to a black woman.

And that includes:

White men
Black men
Asian men
Native American men
Latino men
Arab men

ALL MEN have been taught to hate black women, no matter who the black woman is they see in their daily lives, and ALL MEN have been taught to bow down to, worship and shore up the worship and maintenance of white woman lies that white men have been vomitting forth for over 400 years.

ALL men treat women as less than human.

But, black women get it (hateful mistreatment, degrading comments, filthy remarks, shitty looks, literally being knocked down entering through a door, looked at as if you are a piece of feces on the heel of a shoe) from ALL so-called men.

Black women get it from everyone.

The face shown to white women by men of all races is nothing like the face that is shown to black women.

Black women stand naked in the eyes of ALL MEN in America, because America, white men, black men (those self-hating-black-race-hating-black-women-hating black men), men of other races give not a damn about the welfare and peace of mind of black women.

ALL men have bought into the lie that black women are NEVER to be loved and adored no matter how beautiful and accomplished they are.

Black women are treated as less than human by ALL MEN.

America hates black women for all that we have survived.

White men hate and fear BLACK WOMEN MORE THAN they hate and fear black men.

Any man who buys into and practices the worship of the lie that white women are better than all the other women in the world (especially the lie that they are better than black women),is not a man at all. He is a weak, spineless, ball-less, gutless wonder.

ALL the women are NOT white.

ALL the blacks are NOT men.

But, damn it…MANY of us are still BRAVE.

(And yes, I am aware how Asian men are *de-masculinized* in this society. I have addressed this subject over at my blog, but they too right along with men of all races treat black women as less than human as well.)

(I guess this comment will go through.)

And lest anyone get the wrong idea, my chastising is not meant for any race of women.

It is the group known as *men* who decide which group of women will be treated as women and as human beings, and which group of women will not be acorded the simplest of respect and humanity, that causes so much hell and pain for all women.

I lay that blame at the feet of men.

But, on the other hand, I do not see MANY white and Asian women being in a mad rush to dismantle the acknowledgement they at least are considered as women.

Many black women cannot say the same.

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  1. Good post. I am a regular reader of your blog, and it is almost always fascinating to read your posts (from rants about being a black person in Korea to thoughtful observations of the Korean society in general).

    Re the post, I agree that blacks (along with SE Asians or other non-white foreigners) face comparatively more difficult life. But hey, it can be worse in places like North Carolina, or Georgia. Merry Christmas.


  2. Merry Christmas to you too.

    Well, there are always worse places, but ideally, there shouldn't be. If people always said "well, it's worse over there" they'd never pushes or movements for change. As my parents and extended family are from Georgia and Atlanta is actually booming for young black professionals, many would disagree with you re Georgia.

    Plus, unless you're one of the people impacted by it, that falls on deaf ears. The reality is the issues faced by blacks and other minorities differ from whites worldwide and that shouldn't be the case.

    Ann's comment was pretty good and it resonated with me, so I wrote up an intro and posted it.

    The white guys here are ranting and complaining about Korea way more than I am ;-) Which is funny to me because most of them, unless they've lived abroad as minorities before, come from places where they're the majority, so adjusting to this place is a big shock. For me, not so much. However, the experiences are different and worth writing about.

    Thanks for reading. I truly appreciate it.

  3. Expat Jane once again a brilliant post and continue on posting these blogs. I agree with you as you can't just let things pass by anymore. Of course stereotypes will always exist but when I hear them I will check them everytime.
    In terms of South Korea, let them know what the real score is and it is they are getting their asses kicked in terms of global status and power. Would you like to take a guess at whose on top. Let me give you a hint According to an article in the Korea Times, Chinese rank South Koreans at the bottom of the list in terms of friendship, they even put Japan ahead of South Korea.
    My friend China is winning friends and influcening people all over the world .So tell some of the South Koreans that keep on with the ignorant and stupid stereotypes... they can keep their Nazi bars and their ORIGINAL AMERICAN comments and let China stomp their asses all over ASIA(so much for INTERNATIONAL HUB OF ASIA-LOL) Keep on blogging and I like WHAM too. Andrew Ridgley is the man.

  4. Thanks!

    I agree that in terms of influence they are getting their asses kicked. I, however, have warmed up to them (that happens after spending so much time in one place), so I hope they get it together because they're quickly being left behind.

  5. Exactly, like Malcolm X said "Act locally but think Globally." I know the newly elected president will be trying to forge even stronger ties with the US,Japan and even China but I am like you need to be forging ties with Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina,Venezuela,Canada and any other country in the world if you want to be a global superpower. The world doesnt start and end with one country.

  6. President elect Lee will have to heal tensions with the USA for sure. Roh screwed things up big time and having Bush in office made it worse.

    But Lee is a clever one, so we'll see what he does. I'm telling you he was great for Seoul. Now running a whole country is much harder than running a city, but I wanted him to win and I'm glad he did. In Korea I tend to support the convervatives because it seems that Korean liberals have to have tinge of anti-Americanism and that irks me considering how much, like it or not, the USA has been key in South Korea's development.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.