Cultural Oppression Of Asian Women

655 Words3 Pages
The East has been a source of obsession for the West ever since the early seventeenth century, with Chinese artistic influences occurring in European art styles. Viewed as exotic creatures, the East was orientalised into a ‘sweeping generalization and an essentialized image [that] carried with it the taint of inferiority’. (Said, 1993) Asian women were feminized and seen as docile and shy, with this notion carried over into books, films and advertisements still seen today. This in turn desensitized society, with any mention of cultural appropriation dismissed without a second glance. This essay hence intends to examine how the misconstrued idea of the Asian female form can be debunked and made positive, as well as observing the effects this…show more content…
Femininity has become defined and restricted by boundaries which media creates, presenting images in a way that they become the norm of how society should be, and to a certain extent, even re-create the role of the female form. As more designers unknowingly extract specific cultural symbols and icons in order to fit a particular design brief, or to market these familiar tropes for the sake of profit, a constructed image of gender representation and culture will be created, with these images designating the kind of viewer they intend people to be, shaping them to believe such stereotypes are true. (Struken and Cartwright, 2003) In addition, the constant bombardment of such images will result in societal pressure to live up to these false standards and expectations, in order to become an ideal type. There is no space in the cultural landscape for an Asian woman to speak up, with them instead being approached by people who make misconstrued assumptions as a result of such preconceived…show more content…
Perceptions were established - paradigms that eased the discomfort of living in a diverse and multicultural world in order for people to better understand and identify with unfamiliar cultures. The most familiar symbols of a culture was therefore taken and reconstructed, without knowing that this trivialized and created social categorization. Out of these categories emerged the Oriental model, where anything predominantly Eastern was feminized, born out of a Western need to dominate what was perceived as “other”. (Said, 1994) Asian women were portrayed as aggressive or opportunistic sexual beings, servile, docile and shy, or even sexy and manipulative. (Prasso, 2005) Despite better understanding of the Orient, many contemporary images of Asian women retained these subtle notions due to the media catering to the prevalent public stereotype that society is saturated

More about Cultural Oppression Of Asian Women

Open Document