Trying to break the mold

One of the main themes I pulled from this weeks readings, discussions, and documentaries is how female Asian American actresses are trying to take stereotypical roles and use them to their advantage of empowerment and awareness. These roles consists of either the dragon lady, who is a woman of sexual power and dominance, and the lotus blossom, who is younger with an innocent exotic appeal.

An example of literally crushing this stereotype is Lucy Liu as a dominatrix in the Mel Gibson movie. She initially comes off lustful and then changes positions into the dragon lady, crushing the man’s face with her foot and saying the line “me love you long time.” This line is crucial to Lucy Liu’s point of trying to empower Asian women.

But in contrast, a struggle that still pertains today is how Asian American women are objectified on screen, and in everyday life. One of the accounts shared in Slaying the Dragon was how this guy was interested in her after a date but after telling him she was Japanese (? I do not completely remember) he became increasingly interested. His comments revolved around the fact that she would revolve around this preconceived idea of Asian American women being exotic and docile. Unfortunately, that was not a common misconception in the making of movies at that time. Many other women were presented as women of objects, especially in war time movies. But overall, improvements of the identity of asian women have started to change in the industry.


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