The recent mass shootings targeting Asian women highlight the intersection of racism and sexism. Harmful stereotypes about Asian women can be seen in movies, TV shows and in the comments on social media.
These stereotypes can lead to fetishization or overlooking of Asian females, which makes it harder for them to climb the career ladder and be leaders.
1. She’s a Geisha
The Lotus Blossom trope, also known as China Dolls or Geisha Girl, is the docile and submissive caricature of Asian women. This stereotype reinforces the notion that Asian women are sex objects that should only be used by men. This hypersexualization is linked to the increased risk of violence against Asian women.
For example, in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, Mineko is portrayed as a seductive dragon lady who attracts wealthy businessmen and politicians from all over Japan. Yet, it is her exploitation by her boss that causes her to quit her job at the Iwasaki Okiya. The exploitation comes in the form of financial, emotional and sexual exploitation.
2. She’s Submissive
Asian women have long been fetishized and hypersexualized as “China dolls” who are docile, selfless, and passive objects. It’s not just something that happens on message boards or darker corners of the internet; it’s a harmful stereotype that many Asian women believe is part of their identity.
It’s a stereotype that’s been perpetuated through TV shows, movies and other entertainment pieces where a white man saves the submissive, traditional and docile Asian woman. When these stereotypes are combined with racial prejudice and the assumption that Asian women are inferior, it can lead to deadly consequences. In fact, it’s already happening to some of my friends.
3. She’s Exotic
When it comes to Asian American women, exoticization isn’t just harmful — it’s a prison. As Asian women are polarized as either hypersexual or submissive, they find themselves objectified in every aspect of their lives, from being harassed on subways and streets to having their bodies used for sexual fetishes.
These stereotypes are a result of Asian history in America, including the “Model Minority” myth and the exploitation of Asian women during US-led wars in Asia. It’s also linked to the sex tourism industry and racialized representation in pornography. It’s important to acknowledge that these stereotypes exist and recognize how they affect the lives of Asian females.
4. She’s Smart
Many Asian women are extremely smart, particularly in STEM related fields. They are also hardworking, conscientious and devoted to their work and family.
But this is often not enough to counteract the harmful stereotypes that plague Asians in America, particularly in the workplace. Many participants experienced discrimination based on the “Model Minority” stereotype as well as other negative and harmful stereotypes like the Geisha Girl, the Dragon Lady or the Lotus Flower.
In order to break these harmful stereotypes, it is important to be able to present yourself in multiple ways https://thebestmailorderbrides.com/asian-countries/indian-mail-order-brides/ that will help you succeed. This means balancing your ability to be deferential and assertive in different situations.
5. She’s Small
Harmful stereotypes of Asian women are a complex mix of racism, sexism and anti-Asian sentiment. They can stem from xenophobic laws passed in the 1800s, United States military involvement in Asia and television and movie portrayals.
For example, many women who identify as ABG (Asian Baby Girl) are fetishized for their appearance. They dye their hair a shade of blond, wear bodycon clothes and use false eyelashes on the daily.
Despite progress such as the casting of hot Asian male leads in popular films and TV shows, some women still feel like they need to sort themselves into a box that fits one of these harmful stereotypes. This can lead to a sense of invisibility and marginalization.
6. She’s Invisible
Whether it’s a depiction of the exotic foreign “Geisha girl” or the docile Asian worker bee, these stereotypes lead to women being fetishized and objectified. This can lead to real-life experiences of harassment and even violence.
It also leads to Asian American women being a bigger target for sexual assault. For example, some girls from South-Korean girl groups are forced to appeal to men in their music videos by wearing tight clothes and displaying their body in ways that are childlike and attractive (SMtown, 2016).
As we work toward a theology of visibility, let us uplift those who have been silenced and empower them to claim their space in the kin-dom of God.