Thursday, May 22, 2008

stuff that bothers the hell out of me

This is rehashing every race essentialist/race betrayal argument I have ever heard throughout high school, college, and law school by white and Asians alike. It is a subject that turns family dinners into shouting matches. It also reminds me of that awful movie, Something New. The best movie on this remains Guess Who's Coming For Dinner (1967! We are still talking about this, and will for generations more!), and I refused to see the execrable Guess Who. Am I missing any other movies on interracial dating? Save the Last Dance? Sorry, I only watched it for the last five minute dance scene.

Mildred Loving died very recently. California just ruled against the ban on same-sex marriage. I'd like to think that we're in a post-____ (fill in the blank) world and one in which identity politics and essentialism don't transform every personal choice into a political debate, but very clearly we are not, and I wonder if we are ever going to be. I am not saying that my Asian identity isn't important, or that Asian American political/cultural/legal issues are not distinct and worthy of attention. I definitely am not saying that. But as the daughter of immigrants, I've long resigned to having this specific debate be something I have still have to deal with (although I hate the fact that there are still public conversations about this as if this mattered on a policy level).

But I really hope that my kids won't be having the same conversations among friends, in student organizations, and in school newspapers. Oh yeah. I was about to link to a bunch of articles on interracial "trendspotting" (why do Asian women date white men? Why do white men fetishize Asian women?Why aren't Asian men desirable? Asian men are angry! Wait, Asian men are the new trend among White women seeking "respectful" partners!) but they are all stupid articles full of bad arguments, and I have real work to do.

Without getting too much into it, this does remind me how I've come round to my friend Jim Chen's position on this issue.