Dear Graffiti Artist David Choe: "Yes With Her Eyes" Is Rape


The rules of consenting sex are pretty simple: “No” means no, not “maybe.” If there is doubt, stop and ask for clear consent. If someone wants to have sex with you, she will let you know.

Honestly, what most disturbed me here was how David Choe’s story caters to a particular subset of the Asian American community: the highly misogynist counter-movement to the Asian American emasculation stereotype, which emphasizes the objectification and sexual conquest of women to reinforce Asian American masculinity. I doubt it's a coincidence that DVDASA’s hosts are predominantly Asian American, or that Choe quips early in the segment that Asian American men are seen as non-threatening and are not targets of sexual desire. DVDASA, like the Pick-up Artistry community, targets a subset of Asian American men who are so damaged by society’s denigration of their sexuality—itself a problem worth addressing— that they wrongheadedly react with an exaggerated caricature of locker-room bro culture that objectifies and demeans women.

That this sort of subculture breeds misogyny (and, allegedly, rape) is not surprising: Here, women are not so much equal sexual partners as a means towards a reinforced masculine end. Choe and company are less interested in finding intimacy, and more interested in proving to the world at large that they are men, too. It’s a giant dick-waving contest, and one that treats the agency of women as collateral damage. These men are basically trying to fuck their way to sexual and political empowerment. Not surprisingly, this kind of mindset breeds subsequent hatred of feminism, of female agency, or of any other notion that women exist beyond mere tools for advancing the cause of Asian American masculinity and sexuality.

I don’t know if “Rose” was actually raped or not, or even whether she exists or not. I do know that Choe thinks that a story about raping “Rose” was worth bragging about to his friends and his podcast audience; and that tells you something about how Choe views women vis-a-vis the assertion of his own masculinity. For Choe, proving his (Asian American) masculinity is about the depiction of the conquest and exploitation of women, where consent is optional and rape is entertainment. This applies whether or not this depiction was, as Choe insists, fictional.

If “Rose” is out there and is real and is reading this: Rose, if you believe you were raped, I urge you to come forward and press charges. Asian American men should not be forced to live in a society where their masculinity and sexuality is deemed inferior or sub-par; but, nor should this small subset of Asian American men react by reclaiming their masculinity or sexuality at the expense of women like yourself.

Let me put out there a radical notion: It’s not masculine and empowering to force yourself on women. It’s masculine and empowering (and not to mention far more sexy) to respect women.

I don’t know if David Choe is a rapist, but I do know that he cares less about the humanity of women then he does about using a misogynist attitude to advance the “legend” of his own penis, and thereby prove he’s that much more a man.



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