Anne Ishii Writes About Eddie Huang And The Size Of Asian Men’s Penises. Read At Your Own Peril

Eddie Huang featured image

Anne Ishii, writer/translator in New York, writing in Slate:

Martin Luther King Jr. said…

Please stop.

…we should be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin, but no one said anything about what’s in our pants.

Oh fuck.

There is an unspeakable fallacy that all Asian-American men must decide early in their adulthood to acknowledge or not, one that concerns their manhood. Call it the elephant in the men’s room. An Asian elephant that America believes has a small penis.

There’s your first paragraph in Ishii’s book review of Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat, full of co-opted ideas that neither satirize nor skewer the idea of an “Asian masculinity fallacy,” but asks us to “attack” it with impudence, mindlessness, and — more specifically — one-night stands. No, seriously: Ishii suggests that Huang’s answer to the “Asian American Problem” is to fuck more girls. Bareback. In public. On a galloping horse of rocket fuel and five-hour energy, cause bros and YOLO.

Ishii summarizes Huang’s childhood as a Floridian delinquent and a drop-out who — the implication is clear — is so insecure about his dick size that he compensates by doing things like “shooting at the Indian kids’ car with a paintball gun.” Huang, who hosts the Vice TV show Fresh Off the Boat with Eddie Huang, eventually goes on the “offensive” (Ishii’s word) and transforms into a “big dick Asian” (Huang’s words), as if we should all aspire, as men, to become testosterone-powered meatheads who power-walk and feed on introversion while victimizing modesty, niceness, and pussy.

Ishii writes the following with no awareness that it encompasses everything that is wrong with the “popular culture” she accuses Huang of seeking:

It is worth noting that Huang’s offensive comes as Asian-American men start to infiltrate a category of manhood that hasn’t been available to them since Bruce Lee. This manhood has accrued the descriptors jock, or meathead. A pejorative when applied to other races, when it concerns the ever-elusive Asian masculinity, the image is almost endearing.

Surely that’s an indictment of American culture, which allows such terms as “jock” and “meathead” ever be terms of endearment, and also these “Asian-American men” who pursue such appellations in order to “endear” themselves to said culture, yes?

Ishii does not address this. Instead, we get this excerpt, an exchange between Huang and his cousin:

“Yo, you notice Asian people never get any pussy in movies? Jet Li rescued Aliyah, no pussy! Chow Yun-Fat saves Mira Sorvino, no pussy. Chris Tucker gets mu-shu, but Jackie Chan? No pussy!”

“Damn, son, you right! Even Long Duk Dong has to ride that stationary bicycle instead of fucking!”

And a little later:

By exchanging tropes of the emasculated Asian male and the “dick-swinging” black man, he demonstrates that all stereotypes are volatile and irrelevant.

Ignore that we’ve now begun applying offensive stereotypes to black men…

One could argue though, that he fetishizes the black size myth to neutralize the Asian one. Amid references to hip-hop and gangster rap, the author fantasizes about an America that fears the mentally unstable Asian-American man, just as it fears black male anger.

Ishii believes that the ultimate compliment, at least as it concerns one’s manhood, is to be feared. Success is confidence, not achievement. It means embracing the Napoleon complex at the risk of being a poseur, because style is more important than substance. Because a man’s ability to swindle with charisma is more meaningful in modern American society — never mind how offensive this belief is to America – than his willingness to engage in thoughtful, interesting, or meaningful exchanges.

Let’s skip ahead to Ishii’s final paragraph, published after an editor at Slate, I imagine, said, “Fuck it, I’m not editing this shit”:

For if the unspeakable fallacy is that Asian men have small penises, the crime against Huang’s humanity is that Asian men haven’t been allowed a proper phallus.


That phallus is to Asian men what a college education is to the underprivileged, and Fresh Off the Boat is affirmative action into “plates and plates and plates of titty.”


This is about, in other words, a Big Dick Asian suiting up against the status quo and rallying his “chinkstronauts” to venture with him into the great unknown—because this is America.


Because in America, it’s not the nice guy who finishes last. It’s the guy who has to believe size doesn’t matter.

The type of people who would nod to either Ishii’s review or Huang’s book are those who watch Jackass believing it earnestly glorifies that aspect of American idiocy. It appeals to the worst of our characters, but it’s offensive not because it dares to be controversial; it’s simply and mind-numbingly stupid.

Here’s Eddie Huang’s show on Vice TV:

“Holy shit! Peep the shitter. Bang! Shower next to the toilet. You could technically take a shit and shower at the same damn time. Future!”

Cool, dude.

    5 Responses to “Anne Ishii Writes About Eddie Huang And The Size Of Asian Men’s Penises. Read At Your Own Peril”

    1. Chackie Jan

      What is this I don’t even. Also, I seriously don’t get why some people would dress up and act (that’s the only way I can describe this if you haven’t grown up that way) like ‘black gangsters’ when you obviously have no street cred nor the background. It’s as lame as a white/black person walking in kung fu clothes the entire day, pretending to be down with all the ancestor worship, when you don’t have any ancestors to worship there.

      On top of that, dressing up and talking like a ‘black gangster’ is quite backwards. Why go back a step? Are young people in Beijing going to dress up like 农民 to embrace their badass background? I mean how does that even work? Does the attire and attitude have to resemble the image of a stereotypical black criminal? What about Italian mobsters? Come on! Wear that fedora with pride!

      It’s just sad to see suburbians and people whose closest encounter with ‘slinging dope’ is a trip to the pharmacy for aspirin trying to pull off some tough guy image. Imagining that the lyrics in Ice Cube’s song “Today was a good day” actually apply to their lives. Today I didn’t even have to use my AK. If by AK you mean Air Konditioning. Grow up.

    2. RhZ

      I am afraid to click through to the article. Slate has really turned to shit, hasn’t it? To think I read it regularly only 7-8 years ago…

    3. Ant Farm

      We have hacked into this site and have all IP addresses listed from comments made. We have had complaints about content here and we will be cross referencing who has said what over the past year with your IP addresses. If you are in China, we suggest you might want to think about what you are doing on this website. We can find you. We also have Anthony Tao’s email addressbook from
      You can help yourself by staying away while he cleans up his naughty mess he made here and those who helped. Otherwise we’ll be the men in green and sunglasses you’ll be seeing at BeijingUltimate or Kro and the other bars we know you like to hang out in. We can detain you for 30 days and cancel your student and work visas. If you don’t want us to come and say hello, stay away and give Kansas Anthony he chance to make amends and clean his site up.

      • Chackie Jan

        With sunglasses you’ll look mighty silly this season. If I were you I’d be worried about getting arrested by the fashion police.


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