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The Image Of Asian And Asian American Women

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Dragon Lady or Lotus Blossom

Some Characteristics in images of Asian and Asian American women are they are portrayed as sex objects, lotus blossom, and dragon lady. Asian women seemed naïve, exotic, and dangerous. Asian women are often stereotyped as either the dangerously “Dragon Lady” that seduces white men, leading to their inevitable downfall, or as the submissive “Lotus Blossom.” They were depicted as naïve sexualized women in early film for it to turn to women who are aggressive and mysterious in today’s modern world. This was contributed starting in the early 1900s in film to then Asian women being used as sex slaves for soldiers in the Vietnam war against America. US wars in Asia over sexualized Asian women.

Mainstream media has created one dimensional, sexualized representations of Asian women that have affected the way they are today. These images of prejudice are sexist and racist. These images and portrayals are still thought of Asian or Asian American women, especially western men today. Asian women are still expected to look a certain way, which is having black hair, thin body, and almond eyes. Another image in today modern world is Asian American women are expected to be quiet, smart, and wealthy. Asian American women are thought of to obey men, be smart; therefore, they can be a doctor when older, and wealthy as they have a professional career.

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The Dangers of Such Images

These culture images have created a danger to today’s Asian American women because they still are not taken serious in media and men discriminate again their race and gender. Asian women are over sexualized therefore, they are more prone to getting raped. Western men have Asian fetishes such as geishas and china dolls, they don’t see the woman for who she is, what values or emotions she carries.

Model minority in Asian American culture is toxic. The model minority contributes to Asian American women’s suicidal tendencies in two ways: the pressure to succeed creates unbearable stress for women as they try to live up to the image of Asian American success and two, the image of model success contributes to Asian American women becoming over-looked in the distribution of needed help and resources, furthering their suicidal tendencies. These pressures contribute to the high rate of mental illness in United States.

As Stuarts Halls explains “Ideologies produce different forms of social consciousness” which means these ideas of one another create false narratives. Asian American women are falsely stereotyped and idealized which is a disadvantage for them; they are seen as detail oriented, quiet, obedient, studious, and always well mannered. They are not only idealized by their own society and culture, but through years of continuous indoctrination, they have been idealized and been subject to the stereotype of the model minority by other cultures and societies. Asian American women, not only face an internal pressure but also an external pressure to fit the Asian American standard. Not until recent changes in the push for individualism and radical push for freedom of expression, any deviation from the “norm” caused Asian American women a lot of problems with their families, friends, and the general society. An Asian American woman who did not meet the norms of the idealization, were deemed to be unruly and undesirable.

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