“Motivational speaker” John Burk effectively grew his audience last year by pulling a Nicole Arbour, his viral fat-shaming Facebook video describing overweight people as “utterly repulsive and disgusting” under the guise of motivating them to “exercise.”
This week, the controversial United States Army vet caught the attention of netizens outside his usual audience by making a not-so-subtle jab at Asian men.
In a post that has since been taken down by Facebook, Burk wrote:
“I tried drawing a dick in the sky. Turned out to be too small so I called it an Asian dick.”
The post naturally drew some like-minded people to chime in with the ridicule, immediately generating hundreds of likes and comments.
To some extent, it is not surprising to still hear jokes about Asian penises these days, notably from the same group of people still obsessed with a stereotype that has already been debunked by science multiple times. As we have recently pointed out, obsession with Asian penises among many White males is a relic of America’s racist past dating as far back as the mid-1800s.
Over 200 years ago. not only were Asian men targeted by laws stripping them of rights (job opportunities, property ownership), they were also largely painted by local media as less than White men in the cultural campaign known as the “Yellow Peril”.
While often masked as harmless jokes, these deliberate discriminatory jabs at Asian male masculinity definitely contributes to a perception bias against Asian men. This is certainly magnified if, like John Burk, the perpetrator has an audience of half a million people.
If not deliberately racist, why then would a person be so obsessed with Asian penis? According to science, there’s another reason — some insecure men resort to this in order to elevate their own fragile masculinity.
As researchers Murray J. N. Drummond and Shaun M. Filiault pointed out in their 2007 study of gay men’s perception of penis size, a White male’s obsession with his penis is related to how he perceives himself to be manly. Thus, the importance of repeatedly playing on a stereotype becomes evident, as it provides for him an advantage — albeit imaginary.
“Stereotypically, men’s penis size is linked with Western cultural notions of masculinity. That is, a large penis is indicative of one being ‘more’ of a man. As Pope and colleagues state; ‘genitals symbolize virility, procreative potency, and power’ all of which are critical to accessing what is termed ‘hegemonic masculinity’ Furthermore, other analyses of Western masculinity suggest men are expected to occupy space or ‘penetrate’ space, dictums which both lend credence to the need for a large, penetrating penis.
“Accordingly, and based on such cultural stereotypes, a small penis draws into question a man’s sexual prowess and his overall masculinity. Based on such symbolism and cultural observations, it is little wonder that a large number of men present each year for penile augmentation surgery, despite the risky nature of the procedure and the fact that many of those men are of a normal size. Seemingly, then, penis size is a major body image concern for many if not most men living in Western nations.”
Renowned scientist Robert W. Fuller linked such assertion of perceived superiority to enable rankism, which is “what people who think they’re Somebodies do to people they take for nobodies.”
“Discrimination disadvantages targets by denying them equal opportunity, and it advantages those not targeted. THAT is why we do it to give ourselves an advantage. THAT is the real reason. We’ve kept it a secret because it diminishes our achievement to admit the game was rigged in our favor. Fixing the game is the real reason for rankism. If we can handicap or eliminate the competition, we improve our chances of coming away with the spoils.”
Of course, in the case of Burk, we could only assume his bullied past may have contributed to his habit of putting down others to elevate himself in the imaginary status hierarchy of the world’s top penises. But then again, even if it was an Asian kid with a huge penis that made him cry during his teens, it would probably be best for him to find closure from that painful experience. Yes, it does take a considerable amount of balls to do so, but we assume that the “motivational speaker” who gets paid for his “inspirational messages” overcoming stress and psychological issues should have it in him not fight dirty and get over it.
Unless there’s another reason why he thinks he needs to put Asian men down?
Featured image via Facebook / John Burk