I've often thought it was interesting that Asian activists seemed to direct their anger about Asian stereotypes to people who had nothing to do with creating them. It is my opinion that the stereotype about Asian females that have caused us to be seen as quiet and submissive comes from our parents and our own community who teach us as children to be "good," quiet and subservient. The Asian community we grow up in also polices our behavior with Asian social norms. It's the Asian elders, moms and dads, and the Asian men we're supposed to marry that want us Asian women to behave. Some of us may not realize our Eastern value system/upbringing is unconsciously creating a pattern for us to continue to act in a way that perpetuates stereotypes that may not work in our daily lives living in a Western culture. Anyway, I could go on. But I am limited by my comic strip format, so I will keep it to 6 panels. This is what I think…it's just musings of an Angry Little Asian Girl.
A young feminist woman called me "heteronormative" when I asked a guy if he was riding off the coattails of the women in his life. When I asked this question, she immediately took the guys side and scolded me with this term I hadn't heard of. Her scolding showed me that she thought it was okay that a woman supports a man. Sure there are times life happens, a man loses his job and his wife carries the family. But for an extended period of time? Her remark made me wonder if she realized all the things women do to support their households. Women carry a lot on their shoulders--the housework, child care, and bringing home a paycheck (for which women make 79 cents and not a full man's dollar). And now we have to stand up to the accusation of being "heteronormative" if we complain. So I wondered, was this feminist actually just being "heteronormative" herself by putting me in my place and telling me to stay quiet? It just makes you wonder if people use movements to justify their motives.
Have you ever given your Mom a gift and she just criticizes it? That's what my mom always ends up doing. She's gotten a tad better at saying thank you, but I think the reason Asian parents think showing love or gratitude to their children is that it shows weakness of their authority and it also makes their children lazy. So if your mom doesn't give you the reaction you were hoping for, don't be sad--just know she's being an Asian mom.
I drew this comic because I noticed the conversations I have with my mother are pretty much the same. She's always focused on her age, health, money and what my duty to her is. She focuses on age because age is important in Asian culture. In Asia, you are born a year old. And if you ever hang out with Asians, they are always trying to figure out who's the oldest so that the oldest can tell the other people what to do. My mom's goal is to be so old so that she can be respected for being an elder. Her birthday was last week and she actually added 2 years to her real age. As for health, I think she can't ask for attention, like, "hey give me hug sweetie, how are the grandkids?" She can't say it that way. So I think that's why she says her health is bad, so that we give her attention and it also serves double duty of focusing on her age. And then she likes to talk about money because she went through the war and she knew what it was like to be hungry. So she freaks out about wasting money. And then the age-appropriate obligation for the child is because Asian kids are supposed to be examples of their family and doing good for the "face" of the family is an obligation. All this is crystalized into this short little comic about how Asian parents talk and their 4 favorite topics. Is it the same in your family? Leave a comment below...
This comic I drew because this situation happened to me. It took me some time to decipher what happened because the woman who did this had cloaked her real intentions in the guise of "friendship." Women (and men) can be manipulative, so if you ever meet a person who overshares too quickly, don't fall into their trap. Here's a good article titled "Beware of the Overshare" http://tinyurl.com/zr2c6q2
Angry Little Girls
Read Angry Little Girls comics starring the Angry Little Asian Girl