You may have noticed the hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick popping up on your Twitter account a lot over the past few days and wondered where it came from. The worldwide Twitter conversation began with writer and graduate student Suey Park.
On Dec. 14, she tweeted:
Be warned. Tomorrow morning we will be have a convo about Asian American Feminism with hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick. Spread the word!!!!!!!— Suey Park (@suey_park) December 15, 2013
Since then, the hashtag has been used nearly 50,000 times and become a nationwide trend. The tweets range in tone from humorous to accusatory.
Because if you can pronounce Lord Of The Rings character names with ease, you sure as hell can pronounce mine #NotYourAsianSidekick— Wi'am (@UncolonisedMind) December 15, 2013
Many of the tweets point out specific behaviors, questions or comments that people notice or receive in regards to their ethnicity.
#NotYourAsianSidekick because its not a compliment when someone says "you dont look full Asian"— LuDow (@LuDowMusic) December 16, 2013
the clothes I wear to weddings aren't for you to wear on halloween #NotYourAsianSidekick— Samia, The Bagel (@SamiaTheBagel) December 16, 2013
The last time Asian women where represented in film, in all their complexities: "The Joy Luck Club." 20 years ago. #NotYourAsianSidekick— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) December 16, 2013
When the hashtag began, the tweets were largely related to feminist issues, but soon broadened to racism, stereotypes and the portrayal of Asians in media and pop culture. Many of the tweets include photos or cartoons that take a lighter look at the issues.
There has been backlash against some of tweets and even some people who have called them "anti-white," but the hashtag is still trending and sparking conversations around the world.
I'm #NotYourAsianSidekick because my immigrant parents sacrificed everything except self-respect.— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) December 15, 2013
Park did not immediately respond to request for comment.