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Pet Sins May 2002

Female Asian martial artist faces racial/gender stereotypes

Every time I attend a martial arts/self-defense training or seminar outside my studio, there is bound to be some white guy who would either

  1. assume I cannot fight just because I did not use excessive force during practice,or
  2. make excessive eye contact with me or,
  3. try to say "Hello" to me in one East Asian language after another while in training (Hey, you're not supposed to talk while on the training floor) until they get the "right" language.
I am pretty sure this 'special treatment' is because of my race and gender. Other Asian female martial artists have also mentioned "special" condescending treatment from Asian fetishist white males.

Not all European American males are like that, of course. I've met a few white men in the martial arts who treat me as they would treat anyone else of any race or gender. These are the men I can muster some respect for. But they seem to be in the minoriy.

Asian female martial artist based in the US