Tuesday, February 14, 2012

“Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight.”

Ok, so let’s just say you are watching a basketball game. The game is dominated by a young man who was a virtual unknown a week ago, yet has suddenly exploded on the scene as an exciting emerging talent. He leads his previously struggling team to victory with an extraordinary 38-point game.

Which is your immediate reaction:

(a) Appreciate the skill and talent of the young star to inspire his team to the win?
(b) Grumble because you support the team that he helped defeat? 
(c) Shrug, change the channel and watch something else?
(d) Get on twitter and make a joke about how due to his race, you think the player’s penis is probably quite small?

If you answered (a),( b) or (c), you are probably a normal and well-adjusted human being. Answer (d) and you might have cause to wonder: Why did my mind go there? It’s a basketball game. It doesn’t really have anything to do with penises.

If you answered (d), you are probably Jason Whitlock from Fox Sports, who today apologised for his offensive tweet.

Now, since Twitter is the world's premier forum for idiots to express their every idiotic waking thought to the world, I tend to forgo commenting on racist tweets. Gosh, someone tweeted something stupid and offensive? I'm amazed. Who would have ever imagined such a thing could happen on a medium on which the two most commonly-used words are probably "OMG" and "LOL"?

But I thought this deserved further comment for a couple of reasons.

First, why are so many people obsessed with Asian men's junk? As I've mentioned before on this blog, the vagaries of internet search engines mean that a disturbing proportion of the views I get everyday are people googling "Asian cock" or "is Ken Jeong's penis real?" (And yes, it's rather saddening to be the go-to blog for people who have nothing better to do but obsess over Ken Jeong's tiny genitalia. But I digress.)

But I understand why someone who watched The Hangover would have some fascination with Ken Jeong's tackle. But it's less clear perhaps why someone like Jason Whitlock thought to make an Asian-dick-joke after watching Jeremy Lin torch the Lakers for 38 points. It's also less clear why he thought it was funny. Or why he thought the world needed to hear yet another Asian-dick-joke at all.

Don't get me wrong, I’m quite open to humour based on ethnic stereotypes. Yes, such jokes can often be extremely offensive, but within the right context and with sufficient level of wit, they can be extremely funny. I admit: I’ve certainly made my share of Asian-dick jokes in my time, often about myself. A Chinese-Indonesian close friend of mine once quipped about me, after hearing me sing, "He has the soul of a black man but the genitals of a Chinaman". Come on, admit it, that's some funny shit.

The problem is that within a form of humour that by its very nature dances around the borders of what is racially offensive and inappropriate, not everyone is clever enough to tell an ethnic-stereotype-joke that is funny and witty enough to transcend its inherent uncomfortableness.

And the context around which the joke is told can go some way to making it more acceptable or less. If Jeremy Lin was caught making a sex tape, or made Ken Jeong-style nude cameos in films, it might be somewhat understandable (and sadly inevitable) that someone is going to dredge up the small-penis stereotype in a joke. But when a basketballer who happens to be Asian-American scores 38 points in a game, I’m not sure why the first thoughts of someone like Jason Whitlock appear to be all about the sex he thinks Jeremy Lin is going to be getting, post-game (which is unlikely to happen anyway if Lin’s very public religious beliefs are any indication), but also about the dimensions of Lin’s genitalia in such a situation.

Just think on that for a second: if you watch someone produce a fantastic basketball performance and immediately start thinking about how big his penis is, that's probably something you need to sort out with your therapist.

See also:

The Asian penis in popular culture

"Tim Tam from Vietnam". Or, how NOT to make jokes about Asians.

Race, IQ and penis size


  1. You're a phony human being. People comment on human genitalia all the time. The idea that Asians have small genitalia and blacks have hugh ones are on everyone's mind. You mentioned context. Here's an Asian guy with the supposedly smallest dick on the court outplaying guys with the biggest dicks. If you're not thinking about that on some level then you're not as witty as you think you are. Just imagine them all naked running down the court. I bet in your mind Lin's got the smallest dick. You're enforcing political correctness. People twitter so much that some times political correctness falls to the wayside. I'm Asian and I'm not offended.

    1. Asianman, I've watched a lot of basketball in my lifetime, and I can honestly say that while viewing it, the players' genitalia are the furthest thing on my mind. Does that make me weird? I don't think so. Basketball is played with the hands, not with the penis, after all.
      It's good that you're not offended. However maybe you should understand why some others are. It's a shame that when an Asian-American guy achieves something spectactular, someone straight away wants to detract from that moment with an unprompted negative racial stereotype. Whitlock said as much in his apology.

    2. Jezza the Veneto SuperstarFebruary 14, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Thats some funny shit Mitchell. I cant believe some anonymous would take the time to reply about this stuff. For the record, small dick or not, even black men wish they were Jeremy Lin right now ! hence the jealous rants

  2. If it helps, at least people obsess over Black men's penises almost as much as they do over Asian mens'. That said, I'd be more inclined to believe Jeremy Lin is "well-hung", mostly because he's got all this sudden badassery on the court. That, or he's doping.

    I can't help getting skeptical when people go from nobody to superstar overnight.

    Still, glad to see Asian peeps got a role model to look up to in basketball now besides fricking Yao Ming.

    1. I can't help getting skeptical when people go from nobody to superstar overnight.

      I very much doubt he's doping. Lin was a star in high school but surprisingly overlooked for college scholarships. He was college player of the year in his division, yet not drafted. His talent has been clear for a while, although surely no one predicted his performances this past week.

      Lin's rise is more about opportunity. No one really rated him enough to give him more than a few minutes here and there, not enough to make an impression. Once he got a proper shot, due to injuries in his team, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

      As to why he was so overlooked for so long ... while I'm sure it happens to lots of other deserving players too, you'd have to guess that race had some role in it.

    2. Eurasian,

      Yeah, I doubt he's doping too after reading more about him. Never would've guessed he was such a great player, with an astounding record, yet nary a peep till now!

      Go figure.

      I agree that his race probably had a role in it too. But even more than that -- I think it comes back to that "old school" mentality whereby insignificant personal details define a player that sports drafters have held for YEARS. It's the kind of mentality that Oakland dropped in the 2000's when they had that amazing winning streak.

      Oh well. We'll see how Lin does the rest of this season.

  3. Forget Jeremy Lin, Jason Whitlock needs to twitter some jokes about tiny White boy penises.

    You can never have enough of that humor, and White America just eats that sh*t up big time. LOL.

  4. “Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight.”

    Errr....pretty sure you could say that about any black/tall man...and Lin is 6'3 tall.

    I'm british-chinese, and the little bitches shouting racism are just painting the chinese as a bunch of touchy pussies. Which is actually a stereotype which needs removing.

    Please think before you post something pathetic. You're the only one getting self conscious over penis size. There is nothing in the quoted statement which suggests small. In fact, it suggests the opposite.

    1. @ Anon:

      If you don't see how the quote is racist in implication, that's up to you. This post is for the benefit of people who know how to read things.

      Whitlock himself apologised for the stupidity of his comment. He didn't claim to be misunderstood or taken out of context.

      Please think before you post something pathetic.

  5. “Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight.”

    ...and if you think racism against Lin is bad now, wait until the lucky lady turns out to be white. Knew a heavy set ethnic Chinese guy from Singapore who dated and married a daughter of an American missionary living in India. She was not from the US south but extended family were (are) and they did not approve of the relationship, but her parents were ok with it, becuase like Lin he was a devout evangelical Christian. However, due to racism they decided not to raise their family in the US South. They now live in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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