I wanna respect everybodys opinion but some peoples opinions are just so terrible
I’m so happy to see another of Shing’s nonfiction comics! She is amazing and I have a giant crush on her brain.
I was grumbling on Twitter earlier today about writing comics that basically required a lot of work from the reader in terms of being socially aware of some pretty common concepts IF you read a lot about intersectional social justice things, such as cultural appropriation, and ingrained racism. Because, truthfully, I don’t really feel much of a desire to write a comic that explains institutionalized racism, but it is difficult sometimes to just write comics about my personal experience when my personal immigrant experience is rooted in a lot of history that really is not taught in schools.
Anyway, I wrote this comic, and it’s about the cultural appropriation of food - the tendency of people to easily co-opt “ethnic” cuisine as their own, while simultaneously obsessing over the “authenticity” of food.
Still, I’m writing from the viewpoint of a cranky immigrant, but also as someone who considers bell hooks’ “Eating the Other" and Edward Said’s Orientalism, as major touchstones that have informed a lot of my work(and viewpoint). How does this comic read to someone that doesn’t share that same viewpoint? Or background? I think even a lot of my white liberal friends would feel annoyed at me commenting on how they consume something they love(“ethnic” food). I think a lot of my asian friends would tell me I’m over thinking it.
It rambles, I know that. But I wrote it, and I want to share it. The “you” is not a single person, but an amalgamation of experiences I’ve had.
It’s directly informed by Soleil Ho’s Craving the Other from late 2013 - I’d started this comic before I read it, but once I did, it was several moments of “YES. THIS. EXACTLY THIS” It is a much more focused essay than my comic, and I really recommend you read it.
So. White woman here. I’ve sat on this collecting my thoughts for a while before reblogging. I’ve done this. Guilty as charged.
Worst one was when I was dating a chinese-american man and it came time to meet his grandparents. We went out to dinner. Not to the chinese or chinese-malay places his parents had always taken us to. But Hometown Buffet. The blandest of whitey-white food. And I personally have a huge aversion to buffets. I whined about it (thankfully only to him, I know better than to whine to grandparents). Because I was blind to my privilege as a 23 year old white girl. Here’s the thing… I look at it now as a parent and I know exactly what was happening… they didn’t care about their grandson’s girlfriend (white or otherwise) they just cared about making the rest of their younger grandchildren happy. And the kids were freaking ecstatic about it! It was not about me.
But here’s the other thing. On FB the other day I posted about being thrilled that one of the parents in my son’s class had talked about Chinese New Year and distributed red envelopes. And I really am pleased that happened. Because to my son, being white/jew(ish) is like air & water. He doesn’t know that it’s a cultural heritage when I argue with my FiL over politics and my FiL laughs when I score a point against him, that’s not culture, that’s just what people do. He exists within his culture and I don’t know how to consistently and persistently show him the “air & water” he lives in without sometimes using things like holidays and food as symbols.
Cultural exchange is important! Learning more about other cultures, especially as a kid, is super important. Specifically, the Chinese ang pau tradition is really great, although I think I liked it better before I was married(it’s the point where you’re expected to start giving them, as opposed to happily rolling around in the influx of cash from relatives).
It’s just important to not let these things exist in a vacuum, that’s all. Realize also that immigrants and *-gen immigrants may also not actually be as in tune with their cultural heritage as expected. I just think that the more stories there are, the more genuinely diverse a community is, and the more we talk about things like this, the less likely we all are to fall into difficult stereotypes.
Frankly, if I have them, I honestly don’t know how I’m going to teach my kids about Chinese/Malaysian culture, and I’m really sad about that.
i didnt choose the thug life my mom picked it out for me
it was on sale
i think you can tell a lot about a person by which harry potter death caused them the most pain