Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fuck You Amy Tan's of the World

To the beloved Amy Tan's of the World,

Two simple words.  Fuck you.  Let me put it in bold as well for even more emphasis. Fuck you If you are wondering why I have so much animosity for this despicable, poor excuse for an Asian American, please proceed. 

This so-called "author", known for her anecdotal diatribes on Asian American men in The Joy Fuck - excuse me - Luck Club, is at best an abomination to the entire Asian community and I say "Asian community" since these notions can extend beyond the borders of North America.  It was just recently that I had ran across her book and movie again which triggered my recollections of one of the story's main themes - burlesquing, criticizing and betraying the integrity of Asian American men. Talk about throwing your own men under the bus!!  Tan's literature has been subliminally planting seeds of ethnic chagrin and cultural self-degradation in the hearts and minds of many Americans since her book became mainstream.  She is the quintessential SELL OUT of the Asian American community while undermining her fellow brothers in the process.

By no means am I claiming that we, Asian American men, are completely excused from the dating mishaps and stereotypes which the rest of America is all too familiar with.  Though I have witnessed this within my social circle, it has been the exception not the rule.  I do relate and concur with Tan that for 2nd generation Asian Americans or recent immigrants, there is a cultural and generational gap between between parents and children that may serve as a plausible explanation to some of the issues addressed in JLC. However, was it really necessary to taint the image of Asian men in almost every way, shape or form imaginable?  JLC essentially gives any non-Asian person the ammunition to shoot down our character and aspirations of being a normal, sought after, or God forbid to the Amy Tans of the world, American lover.

Luckily we have real Asian American women who see through the deplorable pretenses and laughable stereotypes in JLC,
My angst with JLC is that it plays upon all of the Asian stereotypes that were described in my opening paragraph. Asian women are depicted as lonely miserable characters whose ultimate salvation comes when united in marriage with a white male. Furthermore, the author mercilessly smears all of the Asian male characters, confining them to the role of the wife-abuser, or the nit-picking egomaniac.
I support Julia Oh in her campaign to replace or supplement Amy Tan's garbage with literature that is a more accurate portrayal of Asian Americans.  The AA community will not turn a blind eye to the racist rhetoric that either Tan or anyone else in her sphere of influence continues to beckon. Enough is enough.

Sometimes I wonder, did Tan ever acknowledge the fact that Chinese mothers - yes, women - are partially responsible for all of the wretched behaviors and attitudes found in the very men she ridicules? These men had to have learned their mannerisms from someone in the family!  If not, perhaps they were the few bad apples of the group. What about the rest?  For some inexplicable reason, she wasn't able to find a single example of a decent Chinese guy as an exceptional husband.  Was Tan the perfect woman to all of her AM counterparts?  I highly doubt it.  Look Amy, if reincarnation does exist then you must have been one helluva bitch to all Chinese men in your previous life to have encountered so many assholes.  

Go fuck yourself.


  1. Hear hear. It's about time people recognized that Joy Luck Club is inaccurate.

  2. Unfortunately, most of the people who do recognize the inaccuracies of JLC are Asian American. I'm sure there is a disproportionate number of non-AA who believe we behave the way Tan portrays us. Its inevitable when the literature becomes part of the school's curriculum!!

    I just wish she would've titled her book for what it is, "An Ugly Asian Female's Perspective: 10 Reasons To Date A White Guy Over An Asian."

  3. What timing dude! My wife loves JLC and recently bought the DVD. She said it would be nice to have, since we're expecting a baby girl. I said to her, "Don't you think this movie does more harm than good?"

    of course she argued that she identified with the stories and the mother-daughter relationships. The people who love JLC the most are Asian American women born pre 80's and white women. I think Asian American women born later don't quite identify with JLC. I have a feeling my daughter is going to grow up, watch JLC and think to herself, "WTF is this BS?"

    I met Amy Tan, and she is a major bitch. Her husband, a white dude, was a nice guy.

    What's worse is that the movie goes farther than the book to bash Asian men. I can't remember, but I think the cheapskate husband was Jewish in the book, not Asian like in the movie.

  4. Well that's not hard to fathom since it was directed by Oliver STONE...hmmm...I wonder if that had anything to do with it?? Unlike Uncle Tan, he doesn't throw his people under the bus.

    Let's just reinforce every negative stereotype there is about Asian men and while we're at it, how about we create some new ones!

    But don't worry my lovely ladies of exotic joy, because luck would have it that your White-American knight in shining armor is here to rescue you from those annoying brothers and inept lovers who fail to please you time and time again.

    I can relate to the cultural aspects of the movie to some degree but not even a single normal Asian guy? They even made Russell Wong play as the wife-beater! Damn...

  5. The good looking guy as the wife beater????

    This kills me. :(

  6. When the JLC first came out, I found it very curious. Everyone seemed to love it and applaud it. It was somehow supposed to be good for Asian-Americans. I thought it was just the opposite. It's funny how Asian Americans are perhaps coming around to realize that what a lot of Asian women are doing isn't so cool anymore . . . Ignoring or looking the other way isn't the right thing to do anymore . . . there has to be some responsibility and accountability . . .

  7. To be honest I too fell into this trap. I was blinded by the fact that an Asian American writer was becoming mainstream and happy for her. It wasn't until many years later when I saw the movie did it actually start clicking. These women are throwing us under the bus just to give themselves some exposure and cater to White America.

  8. Um, the movie was directed by Wayne Wang, a Chinese guy.

  9. [EDIT] Thank you for the correction. I got Oliver Stone mixed up with the distributer Touchstone Pictures.

    A Chinese guy?? THEN THAT'S EVEN WORSE! G-YAAAA!!!

  10. Had a major disagreement with family on this topic just today. I'm an Asian man, and I think Joy Luck Club, both the movie and book, are the height of exploitation fiction. Amy Tan follows a very clever, cynical formula:

    1) Create an Asian male character.
    2) Crown him with a false reputation for bad behavior, neglect and wrongdoing, piggy-backing on years of bias and xenophobia from the misinformed past.
    3) Profit!

    Gee thanks, Amy Tan. Hope you don't have an Asian-looking son. Not one who's planning on dating in the United States, at least!

    All that said, I think Asian men need to take a stand. Hit the media industry where it hurts. Be a great example in private and in public. Speak out whenever you see discrimination and slander. And point out to people's faces the hypocrisy and bias at the heart of the Joy Luck Club and its like.

  11. Asian men are finally steppin' up to the plate taking responsibility for their dating woes and voicing themselves against media's lust for castrating us.

  12. Um, the movie was directed by Wayne Wang, a Chinese guy.

    So what? An Asian guy can still have a piece of white supremacist ideology lodged in his subconscious. Not every Asian guy is my friend and not every white guy or Black guy is my enemy. People should be judged first by behavior.

  13. Sadly, I don't think anyone is listen. Least of all Asian women. It is a lost cause. Visit your respect Asian country and spread this message to the native. Asian American will be extinct in a few generations. Only Asian in Asia can save the world from complete being whitewashed and Christianized.

  14. Just finished JLC and found this post after searching for others who caught the disturbing stereotypes of Asian men in the novel. I have to agree that this book presents an incredibly one-sided portrayal that fails to engender any believability through its disregard for kind and strong Asian men. Amy Tan is obviously only concerned with the struggles of her female characters that perhaps unsurprisingly mirror her own immigrant experience. Her vigor for championing feminism amongst the Asian-American community, however is undermined by her singling out of Asian men as while placing Caucasian men on a pedestal.

    Amy Tan gives with one hand and takes with another, dealing feminism and dishing racism. As mentioned by previous posters, Asian male characters are portrayed in turn as abusive, oppressive, cold and lacking decency. Such traits do not have a racial bias and can be found in all cultures, however according to Amy Tan they are ubiquitous amongst Asian males. With regards to the White male characters in the book, these traits are no where to be found. Amy Tan's handsome and rich White men are the paragons of virtue and serve only to lift the female characters of the novel above their lowly Asian station through marriage. Not only this but Tan insists that Asian women do not need Asian men to be culturally versed as the book details the bonding that occurs amongst the immigrant women by sharing their stories of hardship caused primary by these same men.

    Such a portrayal helps no one. It does not help Asian women, whom are helpless and hapless until rescued by their White suitors. It does not help Asian men, whom only mire in their depravity and never seek to right their wrongs. And, it does not help White men, who remain aloof and unquestioned in their behavior.

    How this book was so popular eludes me. Amy Tan caters only to the gullible reader who does not question racial or gender stereotypes. I believe such less-discerning readers are disappearing which hopefully means that so will Amy Tan.

  15. Correction on above post: *"her mothers own immigrant experience".*

  16. This makes me lol. I watched her TED talk because when I saw her name on TED I was like W.T.F. its just as bad as JLC. It disgusts me that she never smiles throughout the speech and I hate how she translated her mother with broken english for a few cheap laughs. What saddened me the most was how loud those laughs were.

  17. I know that Amy Tan's father and brother both died of a strange "brain condition." Has anyone explored the possibility that they were poisoned? Poison is the method of choice for female serial killers.

  18. I read a couple of her books a long time ago. Don't remember much about them except that her Chinese characters were one dimensional.

  19. LOL, the cheapskate was a Jew? No wonder Hollywood changed that. I only saw the movie. Didn't read the book.


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