Boston Asian Mag

March 28, 2006

Read about it here.

It says he knows little about Asian culture. What's more audacious is that anyone thinks he can do this. Our media (or more like, our parents' and parents' parents media) is strong, with so many ethnic newspapers and magazines everywhere.

Splattering images of half-naked Asian women does not scream "for me." It's offensive when Asian guys (think Sam) do it, much moreso when it's a white guy.

C'mon, are we THAT silent that other people can make up media "for us"? I don't mean to turn this post into a plug for Hyphen, but we need ya'll to support us. Like, through subscriptions and financially. Hyphen ain't perfect, but we need to feel the love from the community, otherwise we're left, again and again, with people who think they can speak for us. And we're not crazy like that white dude who's willing to run up his credit card just to see his fantasy come true in print. We're crazy, but not that crazy.


Momo Chang

Senior Contributing Editor

Momo Chang is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media, and freelances for magazines, online publications, and weeklies. Her writings focus on Asian American communities, communities of color, and youth culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Her stories range from uncovering working conditions in nail salons, to stories about “invisible minorities” like Tongan youth and Iu Mien farmers. She has freelances The New York Times, WIRED, and East Bay Express, among other publications.



If you guys are passionate about this issue, contribute to the wikipedia article:
I think all you East-Coast people cry too much.I also know everone has free speach to talk about anything thay want to.But when you bring RACE in to it,I'm from Las-Vegas,and i don't know anyone in Mass.but I will let you know that when I visit my friends in Taiwan,Japan,Hong Kong,and Mainland China next month,I will let them know never too go to a F'n racist city.( RAGE )And fars the person your all chatting about,why hate,when your on top M.F. wanna bring you down.I only joined this site to leave this comment.If the Asian women don't like to be stereo typed,then come out with your own magazine,or move to the West Coast..........
Ugh. Gotcha. Renewing sub. Right. Now.
what i love is the whole "asian culture" thing. there IS no asian culture. there's an asian american culture, but he doesn't seem to be entirely aware of that. or at all.
Ewww!!!Here's a quote from the guy in the story: ''I just think they're a beautiful people, and I respect their culture," he says. ''It's everything about them -- their food, traditional dress, their arts and entertainment. I feel I connect to them in a way that's hard to describe. I hope they appreciate me for appreciating them."And how about the tagline on the cover which features this over a model's midriff: ''the essence of the Far-East Asian Women of New England."Let's see, loves "everything" about "Asian culture" (whatever that is) and wants to introduce those ladies from the far-far-far-away-East. Hmm, can we say Asian fetish?
Asian culture(s). Collect them all!Much love to Hyphen mag. Y'all deserve it.
right there with you girl. yo i never heard of sam mag before. they been around for a sec?all i really got to say is: FUCK WHITEY! sometimes people need a good ass whoopin!holla at me if ever...
oh yea...SUPPORT Hyphen!!! shoooooooot.
It's offensive when Asian guys (think Sam) do it, much moreso when it's a white guy.I agree about it being offensive, but why is it "much moreso" when it's a white guy. The guy sounds like a clueless and idiotic white guy - and the aims of this magazine are definitely exploitative. However, would you feel the same way if an asian american male was made editor-in-chief of Maxim or FHM magazine, which primarily display scantily clad white models/actresses. Would it only be culturally legitimate for a white person to be in that position?
i live in boston. i met that cat. the magazine is everything you think it is.
To Claire's point: I think saying there's an Asian American culture is about as valid as saying there's an Asian culture (not disputing that the Boston Globe folks probably need to get the A/AA distinction figured out)- having lived in the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, and the SF Bay Area, I don't think it's true to say there's any cohesive Asian American culture, other than possibly defining it a la Britney Spears, ie not a yellow, not yet a white. Immediate connections I've made to Asian Americans all over have tended to start with percieved ethnicity, not culture.To Eggbert's point: The hyphothetical Maxim situation doesn't work because the Asian American:American (primarily white) relationship isn't analagous to white American:Asian/Asian American. What's the inversion of a banana? Oh, there isn't one. This isn't about sexism, it's about racism, ie it's not that he's "a clueless and idiotic white guy", it's that he's also sexist *and* racist human being, however much you want to diminish his own responsibility for his actions by by claiming ignorance.
another Asian woman with a real winner boyfriend.
yeah, and I bet the dude is not a looker either.
Is it even relevant that a white manis the editor of this paper?How many Asian-American magazinesare actually out there, taking afinancial risk. If anyone is willingto take the plunge i applaud them.I think we should judge the qualityof his work rather than just onhis ass.Have any of you actually read themagazine before u started ridingthe bitch-wagon?
So Seng, does this.."... I don't think it's true to say there's any cohesive Asian American culture, other than possibly defining it a la Britney Spears, ie not a yellow, not yet a white. ..."mean that Asians/Asian Americans are waiting for their "Honorary White People" cards to come in the mail like the Eastern Europe waits for EU membership? Maybe that little grating feeling that some other 'not on the list' minorities experience is not quite as imaginary as they have been told. And what does Brittney Spears have to do with it?Also, why is Eggbert's analogy so off target? Because there is no pithy 'pet name' to give an inverse banana? How about an 'egg'? White shell, yellow yolk.Wouldn't the AsAm male publisher of Maxim be just as guilty of criminal assholeism if he uttered the same kind of garbage? No excuses for nobody.And Erin, if this Boston bozo is an example of the 'winner' for.."another Asian woman with a real winner boyfriend."Why does SHE pick him?????? What explanation do you have? Have any of your girlfriends confided in what the attraction is?I mean I see this complaint all the time and it is so often framed as though the woman - the ASIAN or AsAm woman is some how hypnotized or otherwise not responsible for the dating\coupling choice she makes.I think we should revisit that 'honorary white' thing.Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. What the hell kind of shame do you get if you marry the guy??
re Britney: I was actually making a bit of a bubbaism, but actually reading the lyrics of the song, I've found it to be more appropriate than I sexist publishing: don't the isms explain where the lines of Other lies? There is a difference between objectification on gender lines (across ethnic lines) and objectification on ethnic lines but not across gender lines. If you want to propose that we do away with all the othering, that's fine with me, but understand which are at play here first. I propose Mr. Ballou show sexualized non-Asian women in traditional Asian dress so those people are still missing the point can hypothesize more off-target defenses and analogies.
Seng, I don't know if your above post was meant as an answer to mine or not, but Brittney Spears as a 'bubba done good' thing I get. But which song of her's are you refering to? i have to admit my shortcomings - i couldn't name a 'brittney' song if you had a gun to my head.On the 'ism' thing, is it that you feel that the Boston bozo's interests in showing sexualized or objectified women is limited to Asian women only? and that to force him to flip the script at least half a page - show non-Asian women in the same fashion - would possibly snap someones' head around to a concious position?I didn't get the vibe that people were defending him, but that such behaviour would be just as offensive if an AznAm male did them.
Letter from Giles Li (who posted above) to the Globe over here:
when i checked the Globe article on Ballou I came away with the same general opinion - that the guy was looking to capitalize on a 'market' that he thought was not served and would offer little competition or resistance.he is making money on other people's base desires. not many times have there been complaints about merchants moving into neighborhoods other than their own and selling less than worthwhile products to less than well served communities?"I'm just selling what people want" - an age old excuse isn't it?
to q'er: the Britney Spears song is "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman". The bubbaism was making reference to a low-brow as a way of using self-effacement to poke fun at seriousness of a discussion.My point about the isms and the other was that if Ballou put white women in Asian dress there might be some who would defend his exotification of his current model lineup by saying he's carrying it across all ethnic lines while missing that exoticization of a living culture is the bigger point. That is why the men's magazine comparison doesn't work- because the "other" in that case is woman (not a woman, not women) of all ethnicities. (Btw, Hyphen issue 8 cover model Meng Lau was a Maxim Hometown Hottie where she pointed out that in Cambodia, her thinness is not considered attractive because being big means you've got money to eat).
Seng, thanks for clearing up the Spears song.Hmmm, seems to me a 'defense' of Ballou if he was to Asian-ize everyone that basically reads 'hey, don't be pissed. he insults everyone' is kind of weak. that said, it wouldn't be possible for him to put any woman model in any sort of context without banging into some culture or another. I suppose the thing that is most annoying is his clear and obvious ignorance of the 'culture' to which he professes to be so enamored with. Never did see many comments on what might be motivating his Vietnamese girlfriend.As for Ms. Lau, i hadn't seen her before so i googled her. Ummm, at the risk of being pelted with e-stones...i like that 'unattractive' Cambodian woman! She can be 'unattractive' around me all day. I'll 'take the bullet' so those Cambodian guys don't have to.