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And like most of the harassing messages I receive, it came from an Asian man.
In frustration, I shared the message on Twitter, and most people were appalled.
But this message arrived in August — #Asian August, some were calling it, because of the huge success of Asian-centered films like .
It was a moment when Asian-Americans were celebrating as a community, yet here was a hate message plummeting out of the blue into my inbox.
They told me they reduced their internet presence afterward — making it harder to share their work and get new work.
Some writers told me they shied away from writing about race, relationships, or identity. Although the messages come from many users, one particular subgroup on Reddit seems to be the root for most of this harassment.
Derogatory and misogynistic language is common: “Lu,” “self-hating AF” [Asian female], “colonial mentality,” “white worshipping.” On this board, all these terms are used liberally, and virtually interchangeably, to denigrate Asian women thought to be ashamed of Asian culture.
Almost always, the “proof” is that they have relationships with non-Asian men.
I’ve gotten messages like this for more than four years, ever since my first novel — featuring a family with an Asian father and a white mother — was published and my own mixed family became public knowledge.
Thus, in the eyes of these men, interracial relationships and multiracial children are “eugenics” — selectively “breeding” Asian men out of existence — but inter-Asian marrying to create “pure” Asians, as they put it, is commendable.
There’s a range of behavior from men who engage in this harassment on Reddit, Twitter, and other channels.
Writers Mimi Wong, journalist Clarissa Wei, and the vast majority of women I spoke to for this piece (including me) were all targeted after being highlighted on “AZNidentity” — which frequently calls out Asian women its members disapprove of.
Officially, AZNidentity describes itself as “a Pan Asian (East, Southeast, South, Central) community against all forms of anti Asian racism.” Though some of the posts on the forum do focus on Asian identity and fighting racism, on the day I checked, 18 of the 30 most recent posts — and 20 of the 30 top posts of all time — explicitly discussed Asian women’s choice of sexual partners.