Supporting Women Beyond Celebrations


The entire article is published here.

For Women’s History Month in 2018, the Civic Engagement Committee explored different topics on misogyny, gendered microaggressions, pay inequity, and more. Snippets of the article can be found below:

Tying these social constraints, for Asian women, it is extremely difficult to navigate this area affecting many aspects of life. If they are not smiling, they are immediately placed into the “Dragon Lady” caricature. The “Dragon Lady” trope carries a negative connotation and is often used to describe Asian women in power who are viewed as a combination of cold, abrasive, and villainous such as Soong Mei-ling or Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu. The broader term “resting bitch face” is constantly thrown around in daily conversations, and although it may be used colloquially in innocent conversations, the problem is that the expression is almost always attached to women. Studies have shown that both men and women exhibit the same contempt-like expression in equal amounts yet women are much more often criticized. Another stereotype that Asian women are thrown into is the “Geisha”, “China Doll”, or “Lotus Flower” archetype. If not the extreme of a “Dragon Lady”, it’s the opposite: passive, docile, obedient, and subservient women. A stereotype dangerous since its “based on western male fantasies, a product of colonial and military powers interwoven with sexual domination, stated by Celeste Fowles Nguyen in Asian American Women Faculty: Stereotypes and Triumphs. This personality type also doesn’t have to give consent and displays “the hard to get” mentality. Often displayed in many past to modern day depiction of Asian women in films, television, and porn. These depictions, both Dragon Ladies, and Lotus Flowers lead to objectification and sexualization.
Why are women always expected to be composed? Why do women have to smile so men don’t feel uncomfortable? When are women allowed to express their own discomfort, or anger when it comes to their own oppression? Which leads to the bigger question of: How can we help and support women?

Posted on

March 30, 2018