Monday, January 21, 2008

The Hot Asian Bitch Stereotype

Once in a while, I like a good action flick. "Live Free Or Die Hard" lives up to its predecessors in its thrilling plot and special effects. However, one thing really put a damper on it. I was really annoyed by the stereotypical hot Asian female villain played by Maggie Q. Normally, I would be slightly miffed, but in this case, John McClane (Bruce Willis) actually calls her a "hot Asian bitch." This really made me mad. Today, I don't think Hollywood will ever have a line in a movie calling a woman a "hot black bitch" or a "hot Hispanic bitch." But they somehow can get away with calling someone a "hot Asian bitch." Is it because Asians let them? We're easy to pick on? Then I began to get mad at Maggie Q and other actresses (including Lucy Liu) who have taken on similar roles in the past.

There is a very negative stereotype of Asian women propagated by Hollywood, and what makes me uncomfortable is that I'm not sure if many Asian American women recognize just how negative this stereotype is. While there are "hot" Asian female roles out there, they are rarely ever the heroine--frequently mere objects or seductresses. Asian American women should not be flattered by the "hot" part of the image and really think about the implication of the entire pigeonhole that Hollywood created for us.


KYL said...

The phenomenon you identify is not limited to Asian women. Asian men in public roles in the US tend to submit to stereotypes in a similarly disgusting manner. Prominent bloggers Brian Lam and Jason Chen of gizmodo, for example, are extremely offensive in the ways in which they embrace and enact almost every imaginable negative Asian male stereotype.

I don't have a good theory that explains this other than a collective lack of pride and the strength to create a coherent racial narrative that would serve as counterweight to the overall negative identity-images that the non-Asian Western majority is sending to the community.

Vivian said...

Bitch is the new black!