When I found /r/AsianMasculinity, I was looking for a community of men that could help each other reach their full potentials, knowing the struggles and challenges that we face as Asian males. Even the strongest of us falter sometimes, and need a push to get going again, and a constructive community is a key part of that. I’m not sure this sub is there yet. Most of the posts I see here are about external factors – role models, media, dating, whatever. My personal opinion? None of that shit matters. Let’s talk. (I’m about to get feisty and dramatic. Fair warning.)
PART 2: SOCIETY
If you read Part 1, you may remember my analogy about the river of life. If you didn’t, I’m not going to type it out again, so go read it. :3 The river of life basically represents all these external factors that may (or may not) affect us. Basically, society. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is useful to discuss the challenges we face, but only to a certain point. Say we’re all pebbles floating around in this river, still getting buffeted around and stuff. We can talk about Asian women dating white men, the lack of strong Asian male leads in movies, and the latest racist thing that happened on TV till we’re blue in the face and nothing is going to change. A few little pebbles aren’t going to do shit to the flow of the river by complaining about the way it flows. Hell, for all we know, this river could flow this way forever and will never change. Seriously. Think about that. What if the world just never takes Asian men seriously? I mean, if we’re talking about our lifetimes, that might as well be possible. So what then? Are we just going continue as pebbles being knocked around, angrily cursing the river?
PffffffFUCK NO. Don’t be ridiculous. Beating these topics to death serves no purpose.
Role models are great but that’s all they are – models. We can use them as evidence of what Asian men can achieve but that’s it. I’m as big a fan of Bruce Lee as anyone, but I don’t want to be Bruce Lee. I know the man had his faults just like anyone else. I want to be my own kind of man.
Media? Dude, who cares about what white people are putting on TV? Sure, it’d be nice to see a great Asian male lead character, but let’s not kid ourselves – that won’t change anything for us. It would just be another role model, and a fictional one at that.
And oh man, dating. We talk about dating way too much. I mean yes, even I get a little pissed about the whole AF/WM thing, but come on – why do we care so much about the choices that someone else makes about their own lives? Forget those chicks, they’re missing out. Seriously, think about it – based on nothing else but race, those women have eliminated what, like, 50% of the world’s male population from their potential romantic partners? How sad is that, that they really think there are no Asian men out there who could make them happy? Pretty sad, dudes. Especially if we all cut the bitching and get to the improving. Being successful in romance doesn’t come from getting good at dating. It comes from being a willful, independent, and fulfilled human being.
The more that we rage about this stuff, the more we let that negativity seep in. It’s poison. We start believing the very lies we’re complaining about. Don’t believe me? Think about what it means to be Asian for a moment. Take the first thoughts that float into your head. Are they “strong”, “independent”, “masculine”, “cultured”? For most of us, probably not. But why not?
Did you forget that during its golden era, China was the greatest civilization in the world? I’m not talking just in sciences and math or something. I’m also talking about having some of the greatest military strategists, armies, and military technologies the world had ever seen. Did you forget that the Mongol Horde came out of fucking nowhere and completely decimated some of the best armies of the world with almost hilarious ease? Some historians think that if it weren’t for the Mongols invading China, the western world would not be in the dominant position it enjoys today. Most importantly, did you forget that perhaps only a couple of generations ago, your ancestors started from nothing, clawing out a life for themselves and their families so that eventually down the line, you could have a life that they literally could not have even dreamed of? Or that – as second-generation kids, as I assume many of us are – our parents had the determination and courage to totally uproot their lives to go live and work in a country whose culture and language was completely and totally alien, seeing their families and childhood homes only on rare opportunities?
Why have we forgotten that we come from a heritage of courage and tenacity? Fuck the media, and fuck society. What nerve they have to belittle our culture and our families. Don’t let the words of others plant seeds of insecurity in you. Our predecessors fought tooth and nail to give us the lives that we have now, and if nothing else, we owe it to them and ourselves to fight even a fraction as hard to fulfill our potentials.
Third Culture Kids
What the rest of society doesn’t realize is how great our potential is as a generation of men who grew up in not only one, but two very different cultures. Some of us lament that we don’t fit in either culture. I say, embrace it. Some discard their Asian-ness and assimilate to better fit in. I don’t blame them, but I do think that’s a shame. We stand in a unique position in history and culture where we can be some of the first to combine the strengths of the multiple cultures we’re a part of, and clearly see and avoid their weaknesses. This is something I truly believe, and if it’s a new idea to you, I encourage you to give it some thought.
I talked about vision in the previous post, but I only touched on why it’s important. It’s especially when society and popular culture throws caricatures of us, at us, that we most need to shut out the noise, and focus on the vision of who we want to be. This means limiting your consumption of media. This means shrugging off the negativity. This means coming to your senses and realizing how cool it is to be Asian, and especially Asian _______. The more you work on your vision, the less you care about what society thinks about you, because you know that only you truly understand the person that you’ve built. It may even become funny that society underestimates you to such a hilarious degree.
So stop caring so much about what others think. Let’s focus on us.
/leaps into space
Part 2.5: Money
Original Post: https://www.reddit.com/r/AsianMasculinity/comments/2cv1bi/power_leaps_guide_to_manhood_part_2_society/
Reposted with permission from /u/Power_Leap with slight modifications