While many were sickened with dissentery over the fake-blackness and cultural co-option of the ever-morphing white women of election season 2016,and white women who choose their race(…) are a hot ticket in “progressive” neo-con politics, Lisa See gets rave reviews from Asian-American women who don’t feel Asian enough. Why is that, I wonder?
“She may not look Asian but she’s definitely more Asian than I am!”
The odd paradox of white women who “choose” what race they want to be, no matter what others see.
What You See is Not What You Get: Meeting Author Lisa See, her Movie and Latest Book UPDATED
What nationality do you think Lisa See is? Would you be shocked if I said she’s Asian American?
I went to Lisa See’s book signing last week with two work friends, Nat and Annie, both Asian. Confession: none of us had read her books but we’ve all heard of them and even were planning to read them someday. We were a tad late so we had to sit in the aisle on stools because the room was chock full of Empty-Nester aged women, some who seemed to have traveled a great distance to see Lisa See. An introduction was made and Lisa See stepped out. We all did a double-take … WTF? Lisa See is not what we expected to see. Described as an Asian American author, she didn’t look Asian at all. Furiously typing into our iPhones, we Googled her nationality. Yes, she is indeed 1/8 Asian (and we calculated: so that means a great-grand parent is Asian), and then, over our initial shock, we settled down to listen to her speak.
She’s fascinating and lovely. And in fact, more Asian than I am though I am 50% Chinese and 50% Chinese (and married to a Korean). She grew up in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. That alone makes her more Chinese than I am. I grew up driving one hour once a month to eat and shop there. (I wonder if we ate at the same restaurants??) She spent 5 years learning and speaking Mandarin. I spent one tortured year studying Chinese from a group of cold calling Tiger Moms and remember nothing.
OK, we’re the same. Lisa claims to retain nothing as well. I don’t believe her. She does speak her family’s dialect which I didn’t catch. I don’t. In fact, I don’t know what dialect my father’s town speaks. She knows an amazing amount of Chinese history. I studied Japanese history in college because it was a shorter period of time.
She may not look Asian but she’s definitely more Asian than I am!
Lisa See’s website, where she discusses growing up in Los Angeles Chinatown.
Related Story: Rachel Dolezal, the now discredited black-white female race poseur as she is confronted about her “chosen” racial identity.