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别再用可爱来“赞美”亚裔女性

更新时间:2019/3/25 21:25:38 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Stop Calling Asian Women Adorable
别再用可爱来“赞美”亚裔女性

It’s impossible for me to catalog all the times I’ve been in a professional setting when someone thought it appropriate to tell me about my appearance.

职场之中经常会遇到一些人觉得,他们可以把对我的外貌的评价告诉我,这样的遭遇不胜枚举。

Most recently, I was at a literary festival in Georgia. I had just talked about my book for a little under an hour: the 10 years of work I’d put into it, the research I conducted to feel confident inventing a cult of domestic terrorists, and the personal grief and loss underlying the novel. In the signing line afterward, a woman complimented me on my remarks and said she was excited about my book. Then she added: “You’re adorable. I wish I could adopt you.” With a big smile, she walked away.

最近,我参加了佐治亚州的一个文学节。我花了将近一个小时谈我的书:我如何投入10年时间来创作它;为了有足够底气去创造一个国内恐怖分子邪教,我做了哪些功课;还有这本小说中隐藏的个人悲伤与痛失。在随后的签名仪式上,一个女人称赞了我的发言,说很期待我的书。然后,她又说:“你好可爱。真希望我能收养你。”然后她笑着走开了。

There was also the bookstore event at which, during the question-and-answer portion of the evening — and in front of a packed crowd with whom I’d just been discussing craft, books, literature — a woman told me how cute she thought I was. There’s the time I guest-taught at a graduate program, and a fellow professor called me and my friend — both of us on the faculty and both of us Asian-American — “little lambs.” There are the innumerable times professional colleagues, people I barely know, strangers even, have told me my skin is alabaster, and my hair silklike and shiny. My skin’s not especially pale, and even if it were, this would be weird, and diminishing. It’s objectifying.

还有一个书店的活动,我和听众们谈起工艺、书籍和文学,在当晚随后的问答环节,一个女人告诉我,她觉得我很可爱。有一次,我在一个研究生项目担任客座教师,一位教授称呼我和我的朋友——我们都是教员,都是亚裔美国人——“小羊羔”。有无数次,我的同行、我几乎不认识的人、甚至是陌生人都对我说,我的皮肤像雪花石膏一样白,我的头发像丝绸一样光滑闪亮。其实我的皮肤不算特别苍白,就算是,这样说也显得奇怪,而且是一种贬低。这是物化。

Why is it so weird, you might be wondering. Aside from the colorist comments about my skin, some of these words — adorable, cute, silky, shiny — could be taken, incorrectly, as compliments. I acknowledge that there’s luck, and privilege, in inhabiting a body that others might find appealing. But when I’m at these events, I am at work. I am talking about my profession, not about my hair or skin or any perceived cuteness.

你可能会觉得,这样说有什么可奇怪的?除了对我皮肤颜色的评价,其中一些词——可爱、迷人、丝滑、闪亮——可能被不正确地当成赞美。我承认,拥有一个他人可能会觉得有吸引力的身体是一种幸运和优势。但当我参加这些活动时,我是在工作。我谈的是我的职业,而不是我的头发、皮肤或任何被认为可爱的东西。

Try to imagine someone commenting on a white male writer’s appearance during his Q. and A. Try to imagine having his appearance repeatedly brought up in a professional setting, as though it’s the part of him that matters most.

试想有人在一个白人男性作家的活动问答环节中评论他的外表。试想他的外表问题总在职业场合被谈到,好像他的外表才是最重要的事。

Then try to imagine an audience member at a literary festival eagerly addressing this author as Chris — when he is in fact Mark, and a full eight inches taller, with a different hairstyle and wearing glasses different from Chris’s. But white men don’t generally get elided like this. Asian people do. I have a running joke with close Asian-American writer friends that if we have never been called by each other’s names, we might not be friends. This is a joke born of pain, of a hundred too many times someone has called me by another Asian woman’s name, and vice versa. I’ve been mixed up with women many years younger or older than I am, and with East Asians and South Asians and Southeast Asians.

然后再试想一下,在一个文学节上,一位观众热情地管这位作家叫克里斯——事实上,他的名字是马克,而且比克里斯高整整八英寸,和克里斯留着不同的发型,戴着不同款式的眼镜。但是白人男性通常不会遭到这样的忽视。亚裔却会遇到。我和其他亚裔美国作家好朋友们开玩笑说,要不是我们的名字曾经被互相叫错,可能就当不上朋友了。这是在苦中作乐,别人用另一名亚裔女性的名字称呼我这种事,发生了一百多次,反之亦然。别人把我和比我年轻或年长许多的女性弄混过,把我和其他东亚人、南亚人和东南亚人弄混过。

In other words, it’s not just me, not at all. An Asian novelist friend tells me that at three separate events over three days, she was publicly called cute or beautiful three times. When the Netflix show featuring the tidying-up consultant Marie Kondo debuted, three prominent white feminists tweeted that Ms. Kondo was a “pretty little pixie” with “fairylike delicacy” and that her speaking Japanese on her show was symptomatic of America’s decline. When I spoke out against these statements, I was asked why I was getting bothered about a compliment. “You’re so cute when you’re angry,” a stranger told me. “Shut up, cutie,” another said.

换句话说,不只是我遇到过这种事,根本不是。一位亚裔小说家朋友告诉我,在三天里的三个不同活动中,她三次在公开场合被形容为可爱或美丽。Netflix关于家务整理顾问近藤麻理惠(Marie Kondo)的节目首播时,三位著名的白人女权主义者在Twitter上写道,近藤是个“漂亮的小精灵”,有着“小仙女般的纤细”,她在节目中说日语是美国衰落的象征。当我公开反对这些说法时,有人问我为什么要为赞美而烦恼。“你生气的时候真可爱,”一个陌生人告诉我。“闭嘴吧,小可爱,”另一个说。

“Cute.” “Adorable.” “I wish I could adopt you.” “Pixie.” These are things said by feminists, writers and people who take time out of their weekends to attend a literary festival. A lot of progressive people, and would-be well-meaning people, many of whom, I imagine, would be dismayed to learn anything they’ve done could be thought racist. Because that’s what it is — however well intentioned, it’s racism.

“可爱。”“迷人。“我希望我能收养你。”“小精灵”。这些话都是女权主义者、作家和周末抽出时间参加文学节的人说的。很多进步人士,以及那些可能是好意的人,我想,他们当中许多人如果知道自己做的事可能被视为种族主义,一定会感到沮丧。但那就是种族主义——不管本意有多好,它都是种族主义。

Hollywood is another place full of progressive people who participate, nonetheless, in racism toward Asian people. In the past few years, the white actors Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone acted in yellowface, playing Asian characters. At the Oscars in 2016, Sacha Baron Cohen asked why there was no “Oscar for them very hardworking, little yellow people.” His punch line was “Minions,” but it was clearly a joke made at the expense of Asians.

好莱坞也是一个进步人士大量参与对亚洲人种族歧视的地方。在过去几年里,白人演员斯嘉丽·约翰松(Scarlett Johansson)和艾玛·斯通(Emma Stone)出演本应是黄皮肤亚裔的角色。在2016年的奥斯卡颁奖典礼上,萨沙·拜伦·科恩(Sacha Baron Cohen)问,为什么没有“给那些非常勤奋的小黄人颁发奥斯卡奖”。他这个玩笑指的是电影《小黄人大眼萌》(Minions),但显然是在拿亚洲人寻开心。

In the past year, we’ve seen some improvement. In August, “Crazy Rich Asians” was released, the first mainstream Hollywood movie with an all-Asian cast in 25 years. It was a huge commercial success, and many East Asian-Americans said they saw themselves represented in a meaningful way at the movies for the first time. For a while, it seemed that everyone I knew was streaming the Netflix movie “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” based on Jenny Han’s best-selling novel and with Lana Condor as the lead.

在过去的一年里,我们看到了一些进步。今年8月,《疯狂的亚洲富人》(Crazy Rich Asians)上映,这是25年来第一部由全亚裔演员出演的主流好莱坞电影。它是一个巨大的商业成功,许多东亚裔美国人表示,他们第一次看到自己的族裔在电影中以一种有意义的方式出现。有一段时间,我认识的每个人似乎都在网上看Netflix的电影《致我爱过的所有男孩》(To All the Boys I have love Before),它根据珍妮·韩(Jenny Han)的畅销小说改编,由拉娜·康多(Lana Condor)主演。

Constance Wu, the lead in “Crazy Rich Asians” and one of the best-known Asian-American actors, has become a vocal advocate for better, wider representation. At the Women’s March in 2018, she said: “I march today for Asian-American women who have been ignored, or judged, or fetishized, or expected to be a certain way to fulfill a certain idea of what a sweet girl should be. To that, I say you can be anyone you want to be.”

《疯狂的亚洲富人》的主演、最知名的亚裔美国演员之一吴恬敏(Constance Wu)一直在呼吁对亚裔更好、更广泛的描述。在2018年的女性大游行上,她说:“我今天代表亚裔美国女性游行,她们遭到忽视、评判、癖恋化,或者被期待以某种方式实现某种甜美女孩的理想。对此,我想说的是,你可以成为任何你想成为的人。”

What Ms. Wu described is a racism of flattening and erasure, a continuing unwillingness to recognize Asian people as full human beings. It’s also, in even the most progressive corners of this country, an acceptable variety of racism, one that dresses up its violence in praise.

吴恬敏描述的是一种简单化、抹杀性的种族主义,一种坚持不愿承认亚洲人是完整人类的种族主义。甚至在这个国家最进步的角落里,也存在着一种可接受的变相种族主义,一种用赞美来粉饰其暴力的种族主义。

This is on a spectrum with Asian-Americans being termed the “model minority,” a toxic label intended to separate us from other people of color, meant to press us into the service of white supremacy. It’s not just the obvious villains, the neo-Nazis, who espouse and support racism. Sometimes it’s also those of us who believe ourselves to be firmly on the side of inclusion.

亚裔美国人被称为“模范少数族裔”,这是一个有毒的标签,旨在把我们与其他有色人种区分开来,迫使我们为白人至上主义服务。拥护支持种族主义的,不仅仅是那些显而易见的恶棍,那些新纳粹分子。有时也正是我们这些坚信自己站在包容这一边的人。

I think of that book-signing line at the Georgia literary festival and of the regret I felt afterward at not having responded to the stranger’s remark. I wish I’d said more; I’m saying it now. If someone is talking to you about her work, consider not calling her adorable. In fact, don’t comment on her appearance at all.

我想起了佐治亚州文学节签售活动时的那句话,也想起了我事后因为没有回应那个陌生人而感到多么遗憾。我真希望我当时能多说几句;让我现在说出来。如果有人跟你探讨她的工作,请不要说她可爱。事实上,根本就不要评论她的外表。

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