Apr 1, 201110:03 AMChina Mom
Searching for role models among dragon ladies & China dolls
One of the biggest challenges I face as a mom is finding strong role models for my daughter. Not female role models in general – I can do that – but Asian female role models.
It’s difficult here in Middle America where, face it, there aren’t a lot of Asians. Fortunately, she has a great role model in her Chinese teacher, Min, and for that I am extremely grateful. But I yearn for more and it would be nice if Hollywood could help. But, as the trailer for a new 30-minute documentary, Slaying the Dragon: Reloaded shows, movie directors and producers are still portraying Asian women as dragon ladies and China dolls. The documentary is an update to the original, Slaying the Dragon, produced in 1988.
We haven’t come very far. Hollywood continues to perpetuate the myth of the exotic, sensual and mysterious woman from the Orient. I do realize women in general are objectified and that sex sells. I’m not naïve. But my daughter is. And as she grows up, I don’t want the only images of Asian women to be submissive “me love you long time” dolls or vampy, come-hither dragon ladies.
Now at five-years-old, my daughter isn’t watching these movies. Her big Asian female role models right now are her Chinese teacher Min and Ni Hao Kai Lan. But as she grows up, I hope she can be exposed to better role models in movies. Something tells me, that’s not going to happen.
Is this an issue for adoptive parents of other races and nationalities? Is it a challenge for you to find strong role models for your children? What about bio-parents? In general, Hollywood really isn’t doing any of us a favor these days in presenting good role models. What are the challenges you face?