NAPAWF-SD is mobilizing folks to boycott the upcoming “Asian Bar Crawl” in San Diego (http://www.facebook.com/events/194049470764732/).
Please read our letter below. If your organization would like to sign onto the letter, please let us know by Saturday (9/21) noon as we plan on sending the letter to the promoters and all 7 restaurant owners that afternoon. Please also spread the word.
Dear “Asian Bar Crawl” promoters and restaurant owners,
We recently learned about your Asian Bar Crawl event on Sunday, September 22nd, and we have concerns about the way the event is being represented and publicized, particularly the images of costume ideas you display on your website and Facebook event.
While the costume ideas may be seen as a joke or are intended to be “for fun” at the event, they are horribly offensive and inaccurate representations for many Asians and Asian Americans. They reduce Asian cultures and traditions to a few stale, narrow stereotypes, when ironically, the purpose of your event is to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, not demean it.
In the spirit of celebrating and respecting these cultures and their histories, we ask that you hold off on the “sexy geisha kimono.” Your costume suggestions are blatantly misogynistic and racist.
In fact, we ask that you remove the entire costume portion of the bar crawl.
If you are going to make a profit from this event, we suggest donating and supporting Mid-Autumn New Year Festivals organized by local Asian American communities, to get a better sense of the meaning and history behind the festival and the real communities that are a part of it. The history and spirit of the mid-autumn festival has nothing to do with cosplay.
Here are website links to a few local events and an article, which elaborates why the costumes you promote are offensive and not appropriate to advertise:
Little Saigon Foundation’s Lantern Festival
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum Family Moon Festival
“We’re a Culture, Not a Costume”
We hope to be able to resolve this situation with you soon. Until then, we will mobilize with Asian American, Pacific Islander and other supportive organizations to spread the word and boycott this event.
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – San Diego Chapter (NAPAWF-SD)