America is the Country of Immigrant!
America always is the dreamland of the immigrant, from a historical background of bullying new people, the majority from former immigrant try to blend in to become a real American and learn how to act like real American to separate them of the discriminated group. The Asian American was often associated with Model Minority which is a minority group that is superior to another minorities group. Each of Asian American is forced to discriminate like others to become a real American. Asian American that we know are also another case of racism; they talk about adverse problems of other ethnic groups such as African American. Immigrant are forced to leave their country without any preparation as the situation of war, natural disasters. They chose to go and seek for a better land of opportunity, to push and pull model and imperialism. In the other hand, immigrate help to facilitate family reunification and admit skilled workers needed by the US economy. They always stand in front of more problems and serious difficulties to blend in a new living environment. Especially, Asian American women do not only face discrimination as Asian but also as women.
The main motive within this country is that if you are immigrant, you only have two options: one is to make no distinction between real American or attached to your ethnic group. There is no doubt that the fact of the mass immigration to the U.S certainly are the brain drain, damages economies, grinding poverty and oversea “contract” workers. The immigrant’s chart over the years: – The 1950s: 2.5 Million immigrants – The 1970s: 4.5 Million immigrants – The 1990s: 10 Million immigrants Top sending countries of immigrants are: Mexico, Philipines, China, Vietnam, India This paper will sketch how Asian American is one of the minority group who always endeavors harder to live the American dream, while Asian American bring back a reverse purpose of the American dream. We almost impossible to be in this country if it was not because of the war, that explained the difference of the divide chapter in America’s land. Asian American in general and Asian American women in mainly is the embodiment of the profound versus role in America’s history and character. Asian American have experienced racism since they became the United States, people can easily find racism of Asian American women in real life and media.
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The media, including film, television, newspaper, and magazines does not only represent and reflect people in real life, but it also can reshape the world of viewers. In Geisha and Dragon Ladies: Counter-Narrative of Asian American Women Assistant Principals and Principals, Sharon Labao stated: “People rely on media to educate them in the unfamiliar topics, so the message plays a significant role in reinforcing or challenging what we know about people and group (48).” The press is a powerful tool that can draw people closer, but also create distance. Therefore, examining the images of Asians American women in the media will grant a better understanding of how society views them. From the historical background, Asian American women had to face many stereotypes and discrimination from America based on their gender, gender work, and gender role. Sexism, a general term appeared since the 20th century, a belief which represents for the comparison between the lower class and the higher class.
The word is used to refer the man to rule the world, that led to many racism movements which present under many forms and not only be used for women. In this particular term, we are discussing how men get more benefit than women in many cases; they got paid more than women as the world rewarding for their labor. In other words, Asian women in mainly were only accepted as a sexual partner but not as members of U.S families. Yen Li Espiritu stated “In the idealized American family, women are full – time homemakers and mothers and men are the breadwinners. US culture aligns these gender roles – the bread baker and the breadwinner – as complementary, ignoring the historical and political context of their conflict. This naturalized sexual division of labor engenders other sex-specific stereotypes; men are independent, capable, while women are dependent ineffectual and weak.” This legislation started the negative and stereotype of Asian American as an erotic Oriental, seductress women in the press and media. Although this legislation was eliminating, the portrays of Asian American women as erotic, temporary sexual partner had embedded in the sentiment of the majority of American. Until 1875, American law acknowledged Human (Minor v Happersett, 88 U.S.162) and women do not have any right to vote until 1920. The historical background showed that the racism between Asian and European women. According to “US Attitudes toward women of Asian ancestry: Legislative and media perspective” by Liang Tien, after the war ended, “the European wives of U.S servicemen were welcomed and quickly reunited with their husbands in the United States. In contrast, the legislative message about Asian women was that it was acceptable and even expected for servicemen to fraternize with Asian women but not to make them legitimate wives.” The aspects in orientalism are usually general, inaccurate and lack of expertise on the field when they include all appearance, culture, geography into a single word.
For example, when talking about Indian, we think about brown skin or short body frame, alternatively, when the yellow skin with small eyes and small body frame, it would be Asian Ethnic. Therefore, “Orientalism” creates the myth surrounding on Asian American ethnic group and makes people believe in those identifications. In the past, women do not allow them to have high degrees. Until when they are accepted to educate higher, they are highly recommended to study fewer brainpower articles. Researches proved that the discrimination still appears until today. Women, in general, do not allow to participate in men’s job. Early film portrayals of Asian American women depicted how women were treated back in the time. Back then, women did not have independence as they do now. Thus, how their own culture viewed them transitioned to how Hollywood portrayed them. Hollywood exaggerated and turned them into the sex symbolized and damsel in distress, who always needed saving by men. Perhaps, the problem comes from the lacking of knowledge of Caucasians director or writer leading to the wrong images. Children are the group of people who are easily affected by the external environment, so watching media could shift their mind from one to another. Sun suggested that “Movie had substantial influences on children… young females often defined romance and courtship from movies and become disillusioned with real-life relationships” (Sun, 2002).
In the movie “The Toll of the Sea” which is about a young Chinese female, Lotus Flower, rescues an American man. They fall in love and have children, but the guy leaves her, come back to America and marry an American wife. This movie will affect young female in a way that makes them think that they are supposed to be demure, subservient, and delicate like Lotus Flower and would not deserve a white man. This movie is an example of a group, where Asian women from different places but have the same sole purpose of white men’s pleasure. Therefore, media should be careful in building their characteristic that does not stereotype any group of people because when children, especially girl see their group act as villain, thief or prostitute, they would think they will be the same when they grow up. That thinking could lead to a decrease in hope and build a dark negative mental future road for children. Discrimination is an incurable disease to America, been hidden as a polychromatic picture behind a prosperous economy and never stopping a violent contradiction between every ethnic which only waiting for the chance to explode. Research from French says that discrimination in America like AIDS, the virus HIV only stays there itself, impossible to be obliterated. For this reason, America will face the result of disagreement and the opportunity of increasing violent and insecure security even though America always proud to be a multicolor country.
Former president, Barack Obama once said that “Being a color people, I surely know the feeling to come across the women in the street, she will shunt very quickly to the different way.” Color people had positive contributions to the U.S society, and their authority of having a particular position is improved. In America, Color people only accepted to take the average jobs like cleaning, serves as the hotels, bars, etc. only minority of Color people keep the higher position in the big company, only just a small number. One of the most famous images of Asian American in the media is the concept of “Yellow Peril.” This word “combines racist and enveloped by the irresistible, dark, occult forces of the East… the threat of rape, the rape of white society, dominated the action of the yellow formula. In other words, for white people, Asian American on media is threatening to them. The question is whether the white people think the same when they are on the same street with Asian American or not, their mind will flash back those images that they have seen on television does not matter high or low because only a step away will immediately create the different. The discriminated action of White people would hurt Asian American, mainly women, and children. Therefore, the media have significant impacts on how a person perceives their surroundings and interact with others. The negative screen on the screen will have a residual effect on both White people and Asian American in real life. Being Asian women, I had the experiences of the discrimination throughout daily activities, being Asian women in particular and women, in general, is never easy.
Especially living and fulfilling the American dream seem unreachable. Zianna Oliphan – the 9 years old girl – as a Color people lives in Charlotte, North Carolina speech has moved the world, she said “We are black people, and we shouldn’t have to feel like this. We shouldn’t have to protest cause you all are treating us wrong. We do this because we have rights.” Children are so prided for their parents; they can’t pick the color of their own; neither of us can! They are like shoots and so pure that they must be treated in the right way, Asian American are strict with their children because they do not want their children to feel ashamed or inadequate about their ancestor. Now media invest in a television series about Asian American which gives more opportunity for viewers to have more dimension on characters, especially women. Since Asian American are under pressure of talent, successful and smart group and receiving high expectation from people, they will try their best to match the line and feel embarrassed to not line up with the “normal.” Images of women also present through her parenting styles. With Asian American women, “Tiger mom” is a popular term, and most of them often will be related in a certain way. Tiger mom describes those mothers who are compelling, authoritative and magnetic. They want their children to be successful even if it means tremendous hours of studying, practicing and no hanging out with friends. The problem is the social constructions that have forced Asian American and another minority group to ensure their social status; they are known as hard – working people.
Therefore, these groups choose to maintain their good images and their values in society by obtaining higher education to improve their finances. In conclusion, the term “People of color” was and will be used to describe a “non – white” people, to emphasize the universal system of racism. It also discourages Asian American to speak out and to break the social norm and them afraid to raise the feeling like it never good enough. But each woman ethnic group will have varied of how the discrimination happens. Nevertheless, Asian American women do not accept how their images are perceived. They actively want to prove that they are more than what most of society is seeing.