Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Asian Stereotypes

I know I have said time and time again that anything racist or discriminatory, I hate. Well I do. As far as I'm concerned, we're all the same underneath. We just come in different packages and that's what makes us unique.
Here are some very rude and I mean VERY RUDE stereotypes about the kind Asian people of our world.

  • Asians are considered to be the perpetual foreigner
  • Shown as model minority, which is a very GOOD thing. They are seen as hardworking, studious, politically inactive, intelligent, productive and inoffensive people who raise their social standing through good will and merit.
  • 2 negative stereotypes of Asians include laziness and criminal tendencies
  • An example of the intelligence stereotype is: 25.2% of Asian Americans over 25 hold a Bachelor's Degree compared to 15.5% of general American population.
  • An example of the criminal tendency includes the recent Virginia Tech Massacre. The shooter was a Korean teen named Seung-Hui Cho. In 2007, Asians were implicated in cheating scandals, shooting sprees and political corruption.
When it comes to stories, there comes to mind 2 characters, Fu Manchu and Charlie Chan
  • Fu Manchu is a stereotypical 'evil Asian' created by 2 white authors, Sax Rohmer and Earl Derr Biggs. Fu Manchu was supposed to be an intelligent, yet evil Chinese murderer with dreams of world domination.Sax Rohmer tied many stereotypes to this character, including using East Asian methods of death or torture, such as death by silk rope.
  • Charlie Chan was the stereotypical Chinese -Hawaiian detective based on real Chinese-Hawaiian detective Chang Apana. This character handles cases that involve many racist insults being thrown at him by white American characters. But the funny thing is that not one actual Asian actor ever played Charlie, it has always been played by white British actors, or white actors in general, such as Warner Oland, Sidney Toler and Roland Winter. And Charlie always spoke with accented English, almost to suggest that Asians had difficulty with the English language.
Stereotypes of Asian Men
Emasculation and Asexuality
  • In the 1800s, Chinese did what most people on the West coast would call 'women's work', meaning child care, cooking, laundry
  • Also the Chinese laborers wore their hair in long braids behind their heads(queues), sported long silk gowns or martial arts-looking clothes.
  • Many Chinese were barred from getting any job except women's work kind of jobs because Chinese were seen as an economic threat.
  • In Hollywood movies, sometimes Asians will be seen as supergeeks, like that of Gedde Watanabe as Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles, or in 2001, Romeo Must Die. There was to be a scene at the end of the movie where Jet Li's Han Sing was supposed to share a romantic kiss with Aaliyah's Trish O'Day, but it was cut from the movie because some Asian people thought it would be bad to portray an Asian man in a sexual light.
Predators to white women
  • In many American made movies, Asians have been shown as predators to white women. Like for example, in the 1916 movie Patria, a group of fanantical Japanese invaders invade the US to rape a white woman. Who's idea was this anyways??? Another example is the movie The Bitter Tea of General Yen, which shows the supposed power an Oriental person would have over a white woman.
Misogynists aka Chauvinists
  • Most of the time, Asian men will be shown as misogynists or chauvinists, meaning they treat women disrespectfully. The book the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, even though it was praised by many people, some still say it portrays certain Asian stereotypes. How? It's about a Chinese family growing up in San Francisco
Changing Perceptions
  • Most of the stereotypes against Asians have been a little relaxed. Nowadays, you see Asians almost everywhere, in movies, like Jet Li, Chow Yun-fat, Lucy Liu or Michelle Yeoh, on TV, like B.D. Wong, Daniel Dae-Kim, Masi Oka, Brenda Song.
Asian Women
Hypersexuality and the Dragon Lady
  • Asian women will be shown as opportunistic, manipulative, aggressive sexual beings or predatory gold diggers. It always seems that Western film and TV may portray these stereotypes more prominently than elsewhere.
  • More stereotypes:
    • China Doll/Geisha Girl/Lotus Flower/Servant- submissive, docile, obedient, reverential
    • Vixen/Sex Nymph- sexy, coquettish, manipulative
    • Prostitute/Victim of Sex Trade- helpless, good natured, heart of gold
Physical Attributes and Traits
  • TV and film show Asians as people with having an epicanthic fold- positively called 'almond shaped' or negatively called 'slant eye' eyes, having yellow toned or brown skin, having a stereotypical haircut- boys: bowl cut, straight dark, girls: overgrown bangs.
  • Another one is Asians will be the person who everyone assumes can do martial arts like a pro, basically the martial arts expert, having difficulty with the English language, and often being short in stature, not being very tall. But there are some Asian people who break that stereotype, like Chow Yun-fat, who's a Chinese born actor who is 6'1, or Ken Watanabe, a Japanese born actor who is 6'1.
Media stereotypes
Many TV shows/films may have a stereotype or 2 about someone, and I have noticed something-- when it comes to stereotypes, it's always America that seems to be the stereotype creator. Here are some of the more prominent Asian stereotypes in the media:
  • First of all, the term Asian American doesn't just cover China, Japan. It can cover any country in Asia, such as India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, etc.
  • Another one is that all Asians act and look alike.
  • In movies, Asian men will almost always be shown as waiters, cooks, servants, laundry workers, gangsters, nerds, villains or martial arts experts. And they speak with heavy accented English. Luckily for me, I don't think that. What kind of girl who watches anything with Jet Li in it or Chow Yun-fat in it would think that and also find these 2 really sexy???
  • A long time ago, in movies when Asian characters were needed, an American actor/actress would often go to makeup to have their eyes taped into position to give them a look of Chinese heritage or Japanese heritage and also wear makeup to darken or lighten their skin tone to a yellowish color or tan color. And in the Charlie Chan movies, what really didn't make sense was that his character's wife and all the children of his in the movies were all actually Asian in ancestry.
  • Nowadays, Asians fall under these categories:
    • Dangerous, evil, villains. Asians can be shown as villains who are also masters of martial arts and will use it to get their point across. An example is the character Wah Sing Ku, played by Jet Li, in Lethal Weapon 4. The main 2, a white actor and black actor, both together kill Jet Li's character, Mel Gibson's character fights with him underwater and drives a metal rod thru him and finds an AK-47 there from one of other dead gangsters and shoots him, to suggest overcoming evil. Asian communities, like Chinatown, will be shown as a den for gambling, drug trafficking, prostitution, and gang wars. 
    • Unaccultured and Unfriendly Individuals. On the TV show Heroes, Japanese actor Masi Oka plays Hiro Nakamura, a level 3 programmer at Yamagato Industries in Tokyo, Japan, who one day discovers how to manipulate time and space. He uses it for good, and his character speaks very little English, but over the course, speaks more. Another example is Daniel Dae-Kim's character on the show LOST. He plays Jin Kwon, who is stranded on an island with other passengers on a plane that crashed. His character speaks only Korean, suggesting he can't speak English, and shows no attempt to talk to the other passengers, suggesting he is mean in nature. His character is an unfortunate example of how Asians are "supposed" to act in a crowd: untalkative, unfriendly, rude, unhelpful
    • Masters of Martial Arts. Ever since the 1970s, Bruce Lee was the first Asian to break into the American movie scene, with his Kung-Fu skills. He was strong, muscular, good looking and in the movies, sometimes involved him beating up someone white. In the children's game Parappa the Rappa, he learns Kung Fu from a very old man. There are many stereotypes present here, such as the old man speaking in heavily accented gibberish, mocking the sounds of Chinese language, the old man speaking in poor English, teaching the character Parappa how to use martial arts
    • Undesirable Male Partners. Most Asian males would be shown as someone who are not capable of finding love with in their own ethnic group. There are hardly any films or anything in the media portraying an Asian male in a relationship with a white woman or someone else. But slowly but surely, this is changing. On the HBO show Entourage, the character Lloyd is Asian, but also homosexual, loud, talkative and funny. And a cool thing is that some of our favorite actors and actresses and entertainers may just be part Asian and will not look it, with the eye shape or whatever. They may have Asian ancestors but not look Asian. Some of those people include:
      • Keanu Reeves
      • David 'Batista' Bautista
      • APL from the Black Eyed Peas
      • Enrique Iglesias
      • Kirk Hammet- Metallica
      • Michael Copon
Here's a list of some of your fave celebs, whether Chinese, Chinese American, Japanese, Japanese American etc.
Jet Li

Michelle Yeoh

Daniel Dae Kim

B.D. Wong

Lucy Liu

James Shigeta

Ming Na

Jason Wu

Connie Chung

Ken Leung

Carrie Ann Inaba

Jackie Chan

Chow Yun-fat

James Hong

Ken Watanabe

Gedde Watanabe

Archie Kao

Kristy Yamaguchi

Bruce Lee

Michelle Kwan

Ziyi Zhang

Vern Yip

Brenda Song

Yo-Yo Ma

Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita

Hiroyuki Sanada

Grace Park

    No comments:

    Post a Comment