The term “soy boy” is popular with the far right. But here’s why the phrase is problematic itself.

If you have eaten sushi, or other East Asian food, you would be familiar with what soy tastes like. People say soy beans are healthy and have health benefits- which is why in the west, products like soy milk exist.

Let?s start off. Soy products are derived from a certain plant belonging in the legume family (Fabaceae) family. They can be used traditionally in many ways, like soy sauce or even edamame. However, soy beans MUST be cooked before consumption- as the plant itself, like most legumes, is potentially poisonous. Traditionally, soybeans originated from East Asia, especially China and Japan.

As much as the term Soy Boy is humourous (I know, sometimes the alt right creates names that are absurd, even laughable), it is definitely problematic. Let me explain to you why. The phrase itself is both racist and sexist (misogynistic undertones as well as misandry).

?Soy Boy? literally refers to men who are NOT ?masculine enough?, and also men who drink soy milk or eat soy products and are feminized as a result of it. It implies that a person is weak and feminine and that a man?s estrogen levels can increase just by consuming soy products- which has not been proven. (Ironically Neo Nazis LOVE drinking milk for ?racial purity?, which has lots of estrogen in it) This is problematic in a way, because not only is the term being used to give some false and unproven information to other people when used to describe masculinity and soy products, which can be harmful as some people eat soy products as part of a required diet, but in addition has misogynistic undertones as well as setting up stereotypes of how a man is expected to look- and behave as well which, in turn has misandrist tones to it and the phrase harms men as much as women. The phrase mocks East Asian products that is made from a plant of cultural significance because the word ?soy? is used as a slur.

The ironic thing of this is that soy products, which originate from East Asia, have been used in western and ?hipster? diets. Go to a cafe and you will find that they serve soy lattes as well as foods and drinks that are made out of soy. The western culture has appropriated soy foods from East Asian traditions. BUT the Neo Nazis have adopted the term ?soyboy?, appropriating it yet again as a word. But this time they take on an offensive meaning for it.

So ? the phrase has racial undertones and therefore racist to an extent because when you use the term ?soyboy? to attack ?feminine? men, or hipster men, you are actually using a food term from a culture who has consumed soybeans and soy products for thousands of years as an insult. You are reducing traditional Chinese, Japanese and other traditional Asian soy products down to an offensive insult. In other words, reducing Asian food products to insults is indirectly saying that traditional Asian food and products is not good for white men and therefore is responsible for causing them to lose their masculinity (there is no evidence for this). The phrase, simply put, is belittling Asian products that contain soy and Asian food culture (as soy originates from Asia).

The phrase is also sexist- which sadly, goes both ways on misogyny and misandry (Men who use the phrase as an insult to other men are internally misandrist towards their gender). Because it implies that a man is too ?feminine? or is a feminist, or not masculine enough setting harmful stereotypes (as mentioned above) against what a man should look like and how a man should behave. This is internalized misandry. It is misogynistic because it belittles men who are feminine or have a feminine appearance as well as attacking women. The word basically attacks feminism by implying that it is not good for a man to be a feminist and that a man is not masculine if he is a feminist and attacks men based on their feminist views. And when this happens, it directly attacks women.

So the next time you want to use the word ?soyboy?, please think carefully about context. If you are going to be THAT person and attack others on Twitter and Facebook who do not fit the definition of how a white man should look and behave like, expect to be blocked en-masse. Because the word is more than just downright ugly and unpleasant and sardonic (mocking, wittingly sarcastic), it is also hateful, dehumanizing, and degrading.

Remember: If someone calls you a ?soyboy? the best option is to end the conversation and mute it on Twitter. If that fails, then block. Of course, you can report it to Twitter as the word ?soyboy? technically violates the Twitter rules on grounds of abusive behaviour and hateful conduct. Same goes for Facebook- delete the person?s comment, if it persists then block the person from commenting from your business page. Also remember that Facebook has a way of blocking offensive words- learn more on blocking offensive words from your page here. If the person uses the word in a Direct Message on your profile, or on your Timeline, you can block the person.

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