Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best asian dating site?
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The Disney peril?
According to the legend, Hua Mu Lan, sometimes called "the Chinese Joan of Arc," took her father's place in battle and led the Chinese troops to victory. I first met her as "Fa Mu Lan" in Maxine Hong Kingston's novel "The Woman Warrior." The tale's heroine raised my fist in the air. She was a virtuous, bad-ass sista.
But the film "Mulan," released in the midst of intensifying anti-Chinese sentiment in the United States, is yet another Hollywood treatment of Asians as exotic. Recently, heightened political interest in Asia has prompted a commodification of anything Eastern -- spirituality, fashion, food and even women, as the sheer number of female Asian roles in film shows. Suzy Wong, Madame Butterfly and geisha girls played this role in the recent past. The new Asian female characters may be more empowered and less passive this time around, but they are still sexual and are usually still paired with white men.
Since she impersonates a man for most of the movie, Mulan is thankfully not the clichéd object of "yellow fever," nor a Disney-style sexpot like Pocahontas, who ran around in a low-cut deerskin, or the Little Mermaid with her strapless tube top and sexy fishtail. Instead, Disney depicts the up-to-date Asian woman riding her horse with the Great Wall rolling in the distance, eating pot stickers, bowing to her father -- all nonthreatening images of what Westerners love about Asians. Disney's Americanized Hua Mu Lan is an affable character with G-rated allure -- she has Eastern looks with Western values. Her face, according to a Disney release, is "based on the Chinese ideal of beauty with its round egg-shape and cherry blossom lips." Her free-spirited personality and forthright manner make her palatable to Western audiences. She is a banana -- yellow outside, white within. With her anglicized name, her perfect unaccented English and her wild gesticulations, it is easy to see she is not a Chinese woman warrior, but an Asian-American feminist. My mother -- a first-generation Asian-American -- would say this film shows we've come a long way.
But this is Disney, after all. Most people my age are cynical about Disney's simplistic, hyperromantic epics, and too savvy to be manipulated. With our anti-corporate attitude in the age of takeovers and technology, Disney is an enemy. In "Mulan," the simplistic banality of the Wonderful World is evil because it is culturally imperialistic. By focusing on a girl whose "irrepressible spirit clashes with her tradition-bound society," the film shows China as an unfree society.
Indeed, the view of China is one-dimensional and stereotyped throughout. Mulan is summed up in fortune-cookie prose: "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all." A musical sequence ends with Mulan and other conscripts leaping in the air, giving a kung-fu kick and exclaiming "Hi-Ya!" A brass gong reverberates every so often. Mulan's sidekick, a dragon named "Mushu," shouts, "Call out for egg rolls" at the end of the film. Mulan's arch enemy, Shan-Yu, has slanted, malarial yellow eyes and an ominous, anthracitic visage. In their duels, there is a striking visual contrast between Mulan's western qualities and his "Oriental" features.
Of course, the film ends with a triumphant Mulan in the Forbidden Palace, throngs of Chinese bowing to her reverently, after she has sent the villain rocketing in the distance on a firecracker. In Disney, goodness will prevail. In Disney, the West will always win.
Something gives me the impression that you made this decision before seeing the movie. How dare the "enemy" even try to tell a story that impassioned you enough to raise your fist in the air.
Perhaps we should look at the fact that this story would never have been told by those original animators in the 40's & 50's that brought those classic Disney princess to life, like Cinderella & Snow White. Why wouldn't they? Because it never would have sold, in the end it is a business and they would have needed to create somthing that society was ready for. So even if this version of Mulan is not the classic Chinese version you prefer, maybe we can see it as a baby step, and in another 50 years a version will be done that lives up to your standards.
For a graduate paper (psychology). If your culture of descent is Asian, what do you wish those in the helping field knew about what discrimination you have to face in the United States? Can you be specific? Thank you so much!
helping field such as therapy, social workers, etc. can you be more specific, but i like where the answers are going, that is what i was thinking it might be. i appreciate it.
Uh can you explain what you mean by "helping field"? sorry, my brain isn't working right now.
Asian men are often desexualized by media --they get characterized as effeminate doofs, asexual martial arts practicers, etc. Basically, they're the sidekick or the comic relief, but rarely portrayed as the desirable man or hero who gets the girl. There are myths floating around about asian men being less endowed, about them being effeminate geeks, etc. They would have to face these ignorant beliefs, and thus might run into trouble in dating, etc.
Asian women are hypersexualized --they get characterized as meek and submissive, eager to please sexually, etc (the 'cherry-blossom/lotus flower girls). Alternatively, they might be portrayed as ultra-b*tchy dominating "dragon ladies". Either way, they are usually portrayed as objects of sexual desire first and foremost over their other qualities. What asian girl hasn't gotten hit on by sleazy older guys who somehow think the girl will jump at a chance to date a non-asian male? And naturally, there are the guys who think because you're asian you must be submissive. Asian women tend to face a lot of unwanted sexual advances/harassment.
Mail Order Brides from Overseas?
In the 1950's my Dad worked with a guy who bought a mail order bride from Asia through a publication called, "Cherry Blossoms". The guy would get this magazine and it had photos and descriptions of women in it. I guess you were supposed to start a pen pal correspondence with one of these women and then she would agree to immigrate and become your wife.
These gals spoke no English. Often the woman who arrived was not the woman in the photo. Many of them would run away after awhile to larger cities where there were small neighborhoods of Asian ethnic clusters that spoke her language and would help her to find a job or whatever she wanted.
But imagine the sorry desperation of the guy who would choose a woman whom he cannot carry on a conversation with, whom he doesn't know and who comes from a different world than he does. Sure, she's poor and glad to come to America. What kind of a lifetime partner is this? HE chooses her but she is stuck with him totally. She has no family, no friends, no one to talk to, nothing. That's a pretty miserable existence for her and I don't know what the AMerican man would get out of a relationship like this.
Someone told me this mail order bride organization is still in business. I've heard that a lot of men have gotten taken for a ride by these overseas services.
What is the opinion of the Gender Studies members about this?
(I understand that they are now offering men for mail-order-brides or whatever, too. I guess everything for every taste if the money is right.)
Ladies and gentlemen, please. Your considered opinions.
The mail order brides who corresponded with American men had someone (at the agency) write their letters for them because they didn't speak, read or write English.
I think it's sad and stupid. I don't think it's a sound basis for a quality relationship.
Don't get me wrong. I completely understand wanting to avoid American women, at least those my age (Those who came of age in the late 80s/early 90s and have horrible senses of entitlement, where older and younger women both seem more often to be level-headed and aren't always trying to have it both ways.) and I also appreciate the beauty of women from the Far East (I had a brief fling with a Japanese schoolteacher who came over for a summer with a group of exchange students and she was smart, funny, and beautiful, and we shared an interest in linguistics and philosophy and taught each other a lot about our respective cultures.), but relationships need to be based on more than wishful thinking and cultural stereotypes.
There are much better ways to meet women from other cultures. It helps to learn the language. And the culture. Travel is good but so is the Internet. Above all, get to know the person. Marrying "a Japanese woman" is stupid. Marrying a woman who you relate to and whose company you enjoy who happens to be from Japan is quite a different matter.
And understand that no culture means that a woman doesn't have hopes and dreams of her own. No culture means that a woman's desires disappear and her sole aspiration is to please you. If that's your goal, I'd recommend therapy or some time for personal reflection, rather than daydreaming about women from other countries or thinking you can buy one.
The idea that because Japanese women tend to be be more subdued in their manner misleads people. If they understood the Confucian aspects of Japanese culture, they'd realize that once she has children, the most traditional Japanese woman will become quite assertive. Reason: her authority is the children and the house. That is her responsibility and she will do everything she can to ensure a well run household. If your habits conflict with her goals, watch out!
And modern Japanese women aren't that traditional anyway.
As I'd indicated, the woman I was involved with was educated and the interests we shared were intellectual. Others might have assumed, "Oh, he likes submissive women." Far from it!
Personally, I am more attracted to Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Indian women, in terms of physical appearance. And in terms of the culture and outlook, I tend to relate well to women from southern Europe. But the things I like have nothing to do with submissiveness (which they aren't noted for anyway). I appreciate their candor, their assertiveness, their passion, their romanticism... but if I were still looking for a partner, I wouldn't go through some dating service or mail order bride company. I'd travel. I'd meet people, build friendships, learn and respect the customs and the language, and get to know an INDIVIDUAL.
Yes, the cultural tendencies DO make a difference, but those are TENDENCIES and you don't love or marry and ethnicity or culture but a PERSON.
The idea of mail order brides seems to ignore that fundamental truth.