Lately, people in general, and specifically white women, have been telling me that I’m “too confident.” They say my confidence is overwhelming, overblown and false. I DO have a certain way of moving my hips when I walk, and I refuse to suppress or silence my ideas. But, I’m also self-reflective and I listen when people express discomfort around my behavior. Because my boundaries and safety are frequently ignored, I try to respect social and personal limits. However, in this instance, calling me “too confident” is a form of white-liberal-feminist racial control. Confidence, for womyn of color, is loaded, political, radical, and should not be policed.
When white women say I’m too confident, it’s because they have a set idea of who I, as an Asian American queer womyn, am supposed to be. For white liberal feminism, confidence has become the ideal way to take the corporate workplace by storm. I would venture to say that if I were a high powered white woman, like Sheryl Sandberg, no one would be calling me too confident. But, as an Asian American womyn, I am expected to be more quiet and less aggressive. Why? Because stereotypes, or controlling images, work differently in different communities. Unlike white women, Asian American women have been pervasively defined by a history of forced sex work, colonialism and American imperialism.
Read more over at Black Girl Dangerous!