What kind of person calls themselves exotic??

Mainstream music is weird: the faster and louder a song, and the more effects it has, the less its lyrics matter. The words become more vulgar but more acceptable, because as long as the song is exciting and hype, it is easy to brush off the lyrics. I’m certainly no exception to this. I’m not…

A Room of One’s Own*

*disclaimer: author has not read Virginia Woolf’s book so my title is an apt but really pseudo-intellectual nod. by Woojae Julia Song The command “Go to your room!” requires a pre-condition many children might not have: their own room. My parents never used this time-out tactic in my upbringing, but as a gal who grew up sharing…

The Invisible Perpetrators (CW: Sexual Violence)

Hoping to learn about the experiences of Asian American men in sexuality education, I reached out to of my two friends for interviews. Peter*, a junior, and Walter*, a senior, are both East Asian males at Northwestern University. In addition to their experiences with sex education in middle and high school, Peter and Walter also…

The Problem with Acts of Betrayal

A friend recently linked me some statistics on suicide rates across different races. The conversation was completely random but the discussion that followed was pretty interesting. We found that Asian Americans’ suicide rate is about half of the national rate. In fact, it is American Indian and Alaskan Native women that have the highest suicide…

A Reading of “Gran Torino” by Clint Eastwood [Revised]

In 2008, Clint Eastwood directed, produced, and starred in a film called Gran Torino. Gran Torino tells the story of an old, retired, and cantankerous Korean War veteran, Walt Kowalski, who lives in Detroit and reluctantly befriends a young Hmong teen that initially tries to steal Kowalski’s car, an old Ford Gran Torino (thus the name of the film). After…

“Can I take a picture of you, you look amazing.”

In the spirit of Halloween and the everlasting appeal of occupying another persona, other than the clumsy, awkward one I normally inhabit, I have recently been scouring DeviantArt for inspiring cosplays of my favourite anime/video game characters – my particular nerd niche (you too can fall down this rabbit-hole). Wading through these embodiments of our…

Who Is MC Jin?

Who is MC Jin? Until recently, I had no idea. MC Jin was one of the first Asian Americans to be signed under a major record label, but he met with lots of criticism as one of the most famous Asian American rappers. From a comparison of an early song, Learn Chinese, to a recently released song, Comin’…

Radical Anger and Poetic Activism

Excerpt from How I Got That Name Marilyn Chin an essay on assimilation I am Marilyn Mei Ling Chin Oh, how I love the resoluteness of that first person singular followed by that stalwart indicative of “be,” without the uncertain i-n-g of “becoming.” Of course, the name had been changed somewhere between Angel Island and…

Racemoji and False Infinity

Last year, Apple introduced skin tone as an option for emoji characters, or ‘racemoji’. Suddenly, race and skin color was introduced into everyday conversation. Interestingly, the Atlantic found a year later that the lightest two skin tones were the least used on twitter. While white twitter users outnumber black twitter users 4-to-1, the analysis of 18,000…

Police Accountability

On February 11, Peter Liang became one of the few police officers to be indicted for shooting and killing a citizen while on duty. Liang had his firearm drawn while patrolling a dark stairwell of a public housing development. He fired his gun from the eighth floor while on the “vertical patrol” assignment. The bullet…

Society’s Masculinity vs. Rape Culture

  In our discussion of Richard Fung’s, Looking for My Penis, we discussed how there is an assumption in society that men’s sexual desire is “natural,” and is “normal.” This got me thinking about masculinity and its values that are pressed on to society as what a guy “should be like.” In a study by…