The Growing Movement Against Hypersexuality of Asian Women in Hollywood


Margaret Chow no longer goes outside.

While this sentence may seem unsurprising for life during a pandemic, Chu’s decision – and her fear – does not stem from the virus. Or, at least, not directly.

“I’m not leaving,” said the longtime comedian and actress in an interview from her Los Angeles home. “I’m an older Asian American woman. That’s like – all the things I see every day, we’re actually the ones under attack.”

Chu was referring to both Recently shot in Atlanta Eight people – including six Asian women – were killed along with a recent wave of anti-Asian violence and racism. As a result, S. says she weighs the dangers of going out in public: Asking herself whether she is prepared to document any attack she might be exposed to, whether she feels she will fight – or should – she resist.

“It’s a very real threat,” Chu said. “So it’s really weird to be wondering, like, ‘Oh, it’s cloudy with a chance for racism. ”

Watch | Rethinking anti-Asian racism in the media:

With attacks on Asians increasing, there is a growing campaign to change their image in the media, and more people in the entertainment industry are voicing frustrations about stereotypes. 2:11

Her fears are not isolated. in a Latest Statistics Canada SurveyThe Chinese, Korean and Southeast Asian participants were the groups most likely to experience more incidents of harassment or attacks based on their ethnicity since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

while, analyzing The Center for the Studies of Hate and Extremism at California State University found that hate crimes against Asian Americans rose nearly 150 percent in 2020, despite an overall decrease in such crimes.

In fact, the three women interviewed for this story expressed their fear of going out precisely because of the increasing attacks against Asian women. All three indicated a possible culprit.

“Invisibility is the problem,” Chu said.

She was referring to how Asians, especially Asian women, are pop culture. Instead, it was replaced by cartoons of an overly sexual nature, she said.

Margaret Choe hosts the closing ceremony for WorldPride NYC 2019 in Times Square on June 30, 2019 in New York City. Chu says she no longer goes abroad due to fears of escalating violence against Asians. (Roy Rochlin / Getty Images)

Chu says the lack of real images of Asian people in popular culture has contributed to making Asian women a sexual object, because for centuries “the characterization of Asians has been used in some way as a form of dehumanization.”

This pattern, Chu et al. Have argued, has implications in the real world. For example, the man accused of the Atlanta shooting in Atlanta later told police that the attack was not a hate crime, but rather that it stemmed from his “sexual addiction.”

Chou said excessive sex with Asian women is not new, in fact, it is in fact directly contributing to the violence perpetrated against them. Chu said Hollywood and the television industry has a history of portraying Asian women as sexual objects, one-dimensional, or no-picture “model minorities”.

She said, “We have gone from invisible to untouchable.” “And these two groups add to an inhuman effect, because we are either superhuman, or we are not there.”

A history of hypersexuality

Filmmaker Celine Barinas Shimizu has been researching this trend for years. In her book Hypersexuality of sweat, And documented how the trend of “submissive, submissive, and little suffering” Asian women was entrenched in early mass culture through works such as Madame Chrisanthime And Madame Batarafay.

Meanwhile, those stereotypes were also operating off stage. It happened in the same era Code PageThis effectively prevented Chinese women from immigrating to the United States due to the racist perception that they would likely work in the sex industry. Shimizu said these ideas spread in ways that reverberated for decades.

“We’ve heard these sayings attributed to Asian women that still resonate in popular culture today,” Shimizu said. “[Full Metal Jacket’s] “I love you for a long time,” or [The World of Suzie Wong‘s] “I stay with you until you tell me to go.” This broken and chopped English confirms this submissiveness and these words on the screen are repeated in scenes of daily life of Asian women. ”

Watch | Celine Barinas Shimizu on the historical representation of Asian women:

Film researcher and director Celine Barinas Shimizu explains how racial metaphors in the entertainment industry contribute to the hyper-sexualization of Asian women. 1:03

Shimizu said these photos are pervasive in popular media – from Hollywood classics to more everyday examples like Austin Powers, A man who loves family life And the desk, that was Recently criticized By guest star Kat Ahn on the way her character was portrayed in “A Benihana Christmas”.

Until very recently, Shimizu said, these examples have dominated popular culture. This left the Asian people forced to deal with either their refutation or embrace, Shimizu explained. But either way, it’s impossible to ignore or avoid the effect.

“Asian women – young, old, and all kinds of occupations – talk about their feelings of hypersexuality,” said Shimizu. “They feel this invitation, and this definition is imposed on them, which means that we must use the media in order to define ourselves.”

Some progress, but the way to go

This situation has improved somewhat, paving the way for what Shimizu calls the “wide medium” between the hyper-gendered characters and those who are treated as either one-dimensional pillars or simply excluded from the narrative.

Canadian actress and producer Amanda Joy, who created the series Jane II About two second-generation Canadian Asian women, agreed. She also said there is still more to be done.

She saw that the industry began to change in direct. She described how early in her career in the 2000s she was, when she said that an agent asked her to hide the fact that she was Filipina “unless all she wanted to do was play maids and nannies.”

Amanda Joy, right, appears alongside 2nd Jane star Samantha Wan. While the positive acting volume is improving for Asian actors, Joy said she is still in the minority. (Rogers)

A recent batch of projects have begun to reverse the trend – from 2019 Goodbye to The studded ring, For this year Minary And it was even canceled recently Kim’s rest.

But many of these examples depict personalities of East Asian ancestry. Joy said the portrayals of the characters in South and Southeast Asia did not reflect this progress.

And even when we see projects that break the tradition of submissive or hyperactive characters, she said they are exceptions, not the rule. Meanwhile, she says she and other Asian actors are often called on to introduce characters that serve “white heroes, white heroes, or white heroes.”

“The stereotypes we see in the media contribute to the way we see the world,” Joy said.

When Kim’s Convenience was canceled, fans fought to renew it – even starting the hashtag #SaveKimsConvenience to spread the campaign. Joy says the passion that has appeared in the sitcom now that it’s over is evidence that very few of the genre exist. (Rest CBC / Kim)

She indicated KimFor example: A popular show about a Canadian Canadian family sparked emotional outrage when it was recently canceled.

“When you have very few shows that represent a community … when you’re done, the impact is felt in a greater way,” said Joy.

“Of course, it’s sad that the show is ending. But also, why is this only show?”

More to track …
Bulletin Observer Showbiz, Fashion, Culture

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