Our final questions in this study were open response. The first one was:
"In your opinion, what is the best thing about being an Asian American man?"
The responses had a couple themes, including the fact that Asian American stereotypes sometimes worked to their benefit, that growing up in two cultures helped give them a powerful perspective, that their upbringing instilled positive values, and they avoided the overt racism that other minority groups often experience.
You learn from an early age family values, respect to elders. You will have an edge in Asian commerce or emerging markets.
Undue positive bias for work in technical industries
Being able to share Filipino culture - our stories, languages, foods, traditions, struggles, histories, victories - with other Americans. To be able to speak to and bring those experiences and perspectives to communities beyond the motherland is a humbling opportunity.
I don't worry about traffic stops the way African Americans have described it. I don't worry about personal safety generally the way women have described it.
Overcoming stereotypes. Underdog mentality makes us stronger.
Broadened horizons. Somehow being "other" gives me access to others' "other" -- I'm able to connect with many different folks who are happier to share their stories and cultures with me because they assume that I get it.
Our second question asked the opposite:
"In your opinion, what is the most difficult thing about being an Asian American man?"
These answers revolved around dating and assumed lack of masculinity, other negative stereotypes around being a perpetual foreigner or dismissing intellect or ability, not being seen as a leader. Some men did acknowledge that all things considered, they didn't have too much to complain about.
Dating. I've been raised to think that Asian men are amongst the most unattractive type of men to most women in the US. It scares me away from dating other ethnicities more often.
The infinite (negative) stereotypes. Even if they're unspoken or unconscious, people obviously treat Asians differently than they do other races. There are very few Asian men of power in the US in all industries, making it hard to find role models and mentors.
I wish I didn't have to respond to people telling me that I need to feel victimized about my ethnicity. I wish others could feel as confident as I do, and I hope I can draw this out in Asian men in the future in a way that doesn't force them to address a social construction that imposes upon them to accept a myth of inferiority.
Constantly being made to feel foreign in a place where my family roots go back over a hundred years.
It's generally assumed that I either have a small penis or undateable just because I'm Asian.
Being used as a wedge by conservatives to discredit systemic racism, not being represented in media, that fucking Jesse Watters bullshit, being seen as a foreigner, stereotypes, whitewashing of Asian culture/media.