Movies as Platform to Shift Stereotypes of Asian Women
G 0971330 T
WRIT001/Term 1 – 2010/2011
I declare that this Assignment is my original work and all information obtained from other sources has been cited accordingly.
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Course Instructor: Charlotte Arlene Bastion
Movies are still the most seductive and powerful of artistic mediums, manipulating us with ease by a powerful combination of sound and images (Hagedorn, 1994, p.79). This quote by Hagedorn summarizes the impact of movies in the current situation. Along with the effect of globalization taking place, the influence of movies had been brought to even a greater level. This so-called phenomenon of globalization has been utilized by Asian women to alter their previously negative, stereotypical potrayals in Western movies that shaped the image in their audiences’ eyes. Women were often being portrayed in medias as submissive, eager for sex, obedient and passive with their body features being the focus of their existence (Hagedorn, 1994; Uchida, 1998; Klein, 1993). It’s apparent that that is how women were supposed to be recognized; by accentuating their sexualism (Lee, 2008). However, Hagedorn, Uchida and Lee showed that Asian women’s stereotypes didn’t end there. Other than being portrayed as the one who’s good at doing domestic things and are therefore, suitable for ‘family-centered comedies’ (Hagedorn, 1994; Tuchman, 1979), they’re also portrayed as the tragic victim types and this is what the Asian women actually believe and take pride of, their passion and sacrifices for their loved ones (Hagedorn, 1994; Lee, 2008). And apparently, if they are nor victim or submissive, then they are the demonized Dragon Ladies (Hagedorn, 1994, p.74;Uchida, 1998, p. 162). How these stereotypes of the Asian women emerged is actually the result of the restricted access to the Eastern world in which the only direct contact between Westerners and Asian people was during their immigration to Western countries during 20th century, in which their inability to fulfill their economic needs caused the women to be involved in prostitution. This lead to the Westerners having no corrected insight about the truth of Asian women and they start to reconstruct the image of Asian women based on what they perceived. This is how Asian women are then being further associated with ‘sexual corruption’, ‘demoralizing’ and ‘tainting the blood of white American youths’ (Uchida, 1998, p. 163). As globalization occurs and the formerly existed barrier between the Eastern countries started to diminish, the Westerners gained the chance of exploring and exposing the Eastern culture internationally through the lens of cameras. At the other side, Eastern countries started to open up to the world and being given the chances, the Asian women start to emerge through the globalized media, in this case movies, as their platform to try to resist (Uchida, 1998) and shift the negative stereotypical portrayal of them and show that they are more than what have been portrayed about them. Apparently under the influence of globalization, Eastern movies started to emerge internationally, bringing out the Asian cultures through the Asian perspectives. It’s a new experience for international audiences to enjoy, when formerly the images of Asian can only be explored through Western movies that tried to portray them merely as a breakthrough to gain more income, but then keep their stereotypes of them without doing any research and even keep using white people for the Asian characters. By watching these ‘true’ Asian movies, audiences are being served the ‘real taste’ of Asian perspectives and culture with Asian actors and actresses that grew up in Asian culture, thus certainly have deep personal connections towards Asian culture. As an example is the movie ‘Curse of Golden Flower’ which is an Asian produced...
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