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New research is out showing African American and Asian American women react differently to racists. Basically, black women are more likely to confront racists directly, while Asian women are more likely to poison them with disgusting-flavored jellybeans. Or something like that. Here’s a summary of the research, as described in The Atlantic:
PROBLEM: Previous studies have demonstrated variations in the way people of distinct cultures communicate and manage conflict. Do their reactions to racial slurs differ as well?
METHODOLOGY: Researchers Elizabeth Lee and José Soto asked Asian and black American women to talk to another person online using an instant messenger. The conversation partner was a research assistant trained to make either a racist comment, such as “Dating [blacks/Asians] is for tools who let [blacks/Asians] control them” or a rude comment unrelated to race. The subjects then took part in a supposedly unrelated taste test, for which they chose a jellybean for their conversation partner. The jellybean flavors available ranged from delicious (e.g. cherry, lemon) to “bad-tasting” (e.g. earwax, dirt).
RESULTS: The African-American participants were more likely to directly respond to their racist partners than the Asian-American women, who preferred to retaliate in secret by not giving the good jellybeans.
The results of that study (full PDF here) sound pretty stereotype-y to me, and one Continue reading New Study Shows Black Women Confront Racists, While Asian Women Just Feed Them Nasty Jellybeans
Filed under: 1.5 Generation, 2nd Generation, African American Women, Angry Black Women, Asian American Women, Asian Women, Black Women, Black Women and Asian Women Respond Differently to Racism, Cultural Behavior, Research, Stereotypes, Studies, Submissive Asian Women
ABCNews.com–under its “Entertainment” section, it should be noted–posted a disturbing portrait Tuesday of Mayumi Heene, Balloon Boy’s mother. The story, “Balloon Boy Mom: Co-Conspirator or Abused Wife?” not only suggests that Mayumi may be a victim in this saga, but that her being Japanese has something to do with it.
The piece brings up the 911 call that brought police to the Heene house last February, when Mayumi appeared to have been hit in the face, and centers largely around allegations made by Richard Heene’s former business partner, Barbara Slusser, who worked with him on his “Psyience Detectives” web show. Slusser told ABCNews.com that Mayumi’s “Japanese background has kept her in a subservient relationship with her husband and three boys,” and also called the mother of three “the most stoic person” and “basically (Richard’s) slave.”
Another former Richard Heene friend and colleague, Scott Stevens, echoed Slusser’s statements.
It’s a cultural thing and (Richard) leveraged that knowledge,” Stevens said. “He believed that Asian women can be subservient and that’s what he wanted. But it takes two to tango and she was with him for more than a decade. Every day that was the dynamic in play.”
The story went on to note how, for the Heenes’ first of two appearances on Wife Swap, the show promo painted the following picture of the couple: “While Richard devotes every moment to his research, he expects Mayumi to cook, clean and run the house without any help.” And how, in that October 2008 episode, Richard screamed at the woman who swapped places with his wife for two weeks, “You’re a man’s nightmare. I’m so glad my wife was born in Japan.”
So, if we’re to believe this report, Mayumi Heene is essentially a sad, suffering-in-silence, subservient–a word used three times to describe her–Asian woman cliche (and Richard Heene, as everyone’s suspected all along, a gaping, raging asshole). There is, however, one startling revelation in the story that prevents us from writing off Mayumi as a total victim: she and Richard have SEPARATE legal representation. In other words, if the Heenes are going to go down like their little Mylar balloon for this hoax, they’re not going to go down together.
Lee Christian, Mayumi’s lawyer, said the accounts given by Slusser and others indicate that the woman should not be accused of being a co-conspirator in any alleged hoax.
“I can’t comment on the specific allegations here but if those statements are indeed true, then the district attorney needs to seriously think about whether to charge Mrs. Heene in this case,” Christian said.
Selling out your domineering husband when faced with criminal charges? That’s one helluva way to show him who’s boss.
Filed under: Balloon Boy, Battered Women, Clichés, Falcon Heene, Hoaxes, Long-Suffering Wives, Mayumi Heene, Media Frenzy, Media Whores, Richard Heene, Scandals, Stereotypes, Submissive Asian Women, Subservient Women
What can I say about Ying Chu’s recent Marie Claire piece “The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women” that hasn’t already been said?
Our pals Joz at 8 Asians and Latoya Peterson, editor of Racialicious who’s guest-blogging at Jezebel for the next two weeks, have both written terrific posts on Chu’s story already, pointing out how, in an effort to dispel certain stereotypes, it only further reinforces them. (Click here for Joz’s post and here for Latoya’s.)
Not to mention the fact that “The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women” is just a hot mess of half-baked, garbled ideas: Asian women of different ages with incredibly diverse backgrounds and experiences are all lumped together as alike fetish objects; Chu quotes Richard Bernstein, author of the recent book, The East, the West, and Sex, as an authority on the subject–”author Richard Bernstein found that the Orientalist illusion continues to influence”–even though Bernstein’s book has been taken to task in multiple publications (here at Salon and here in the NY Times and here at Slate) for perpetuating that very “Orientalist illusion”; “globalization” is cited as an influencing factor in the fetishization of Asian women, but only some random collection of mumbo-jumbo about the popularity of Mandarin classes, Malcolm Gladwell’s theory on why Asian kids are good at math, and China’s dominance in world trade is provided to support that argument; oh, and how about the fact that this whole phenomenon is being presented as something that’s “new”?!
“Asian women dating white men may never really know if it’s a fetish thing.”
Um, excuse me? Really? So Asian women are not only submissive Suzie Wongs and geishas, we’re also fucking brain-dead, too?
The complications of sexual politics notwithstanding, fetishists are easy to spot. They come at you with their prayer-bead bracelets and their suspiciously in-depth knowledge of your “culture.” They come with transparent dating histories, and many of them are more than happy to offer up that their last eight girlfriends have been Asian and unabashedly expound–based on their dating experience alone–on the fundamental difference between, say, Korean women and Chinese women. Fetishists tend to talk about you like you’re only a member of a larger group; e.g. instead of saying, “I really like your shiny hair,” they’ll say, “I really like Asian girls’ hair.” And, frankly, they’re creepy, like noticeably-remarkably-right-off-the-bat-creepy, like konichiwa-ni hao ma-what are you?-as-an-opening-line creepy, and stalk-you-on-Facebook-where-they-have-381-friends-who-all-happen-to-be-Asian-women-creepy, and follow-you-to-your-car-in-a-parking-garage-after-you’ve-shared-two-minutes-riding-an-elevator-together-creepy. It’s not rocket science, people.
And if we’re going to traffic in stereotypes here, did Marie Claire forget that Asians are supposed to be smart, too?
[Marie Claire: The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women]
[8 Asians: Marie Claire article declares: Asian Women are The New Trophy Wives]
[Jezebel: Stereotypes Run Rampant In Marie Claire's Asian Trophy Wives Article]