In What does cultural competence look like? resistance of Resist racism discusses the problem of “cultural competence” through learning cultural “facts”. A recurrent problem with this is that white people often use some “fact” they learned in a text about how a non-white group allegedly behaves to stereotype individuals of that demographic.
Ironically, the racist stereotype that non-white people are more sexist than white people can actually result in white people acting sexist towards non-white women specifically.
For example, in my immediate family, my father is the only male. We are Chinese. A white man had dinner with us, and asked my father about our family’s position regarding a common political debate. My father is conservative, so he offered his standard conservative reply, which was incongruent with the rest of us, who were on average left of liberal. After hearing my elderly father’s opinion, however, instead of turning to us and hearing ours, the white man was satisfied with my father’s answer and began discussing another topic.
This white man assumed that there was no point in asking about our thoughts, because we were Chinese daughters and a Chinese mother, so our opinions must match that of my Chinese father. Before this incident, I had never had the experience of being shut out of a political debate because of my gender. Ironically, it was the racist stereotype of Chinese women being submissive to Chinese men that actually resulted our political voices being silenced.
When white people assume that members of a racialized group all share the same culture, and that this culture is more sexist than to what they are accustomed, they might actually adhere to the perceived sexist social norms and adopt a deplorably sexist attitude towards its female members.
Similarly, non-antiracist feminist movements which assume that Asian women lack agency are prone to being sexist towards and silencing the voices of racialized women specifically.