Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"What is YOUR IMAGE of .....?"

These words have kept repeating themselves in the past few days. Compliments of my readings from ECE2112, one of the key things that was addressed in the powerpoint slides my lecturer prepared was, as an educator,

"WHAT is YOUR IMAGE of the child?".
"What is your image of the child that STOPS you from allowing the child of going further than what they are capable of and from achieving what they can possibly do?"

Of course, I really was not thinking much about that till yesterday, when a similar but almost alike statement was made when I was watching this documentary video, Mickey Mouse Monopoly by Media Education Foundation, produced and written by Chyng Feng Sun.

One of the key ideas in the video is that it explores the representations of gender, race and class that is portrayed in the cartoons that Disney has produced.

The videos that children watch unconsciously, and subconsciously, will portray images of what it takes to be a female, male, as well as the minority races in the media (and etc.)

Anyway, the key question that I am addressing here is something that my housemate brought up recently, and I have asked practically this entire year is:

What exactly are people's images of the female asian?

My experience with my housemates, especially in the past one year here, has informed me that people have this typical narrow stereotype of female asians as being demure, gentle, quiet, and obedient.

MY FOOT.

  • What exactly in the environment is it that keeps on perpetuating this image of the stereotypical asian female of who and what female asians ought to be?
  • Are we discerning, and filtering the kind of media that we watch, and which portrays the images of what people ought (or not ought to be) that it becomes imbedded in our minds?

If I were to get a penny for everytime I hear someone say what a female asian ought to be, I would be a very rich chinese woman now. Of course, the media ( including books, movies, commercials and videos) has totally neglected, and forgotten about the majority of the rest of the female population which does not fit this stereotype or mould.

The asian females which like me, and Annie (thank you very much Annie. I love you the way you are!) who do not fit the "typical" mould and are absolutely crazy, hyper, mad, lovable, loud, annoying, talkative, manja....and everything else rolled into it!

The thing I would like to ask is, do these images of the person as a male, female, or even as a specific race, stop us from getting to know the person for who they are and what they actually are?

Comments such as these I have received are not very encouraging. Of which, such as

  • "and you Alien who look like a Chinese, but do not act Chinese" by a previous housemate.
  • are you sure you are a female?
  • Chinese people are supposed to be able to speak, read and write Mandarin.
  • You are a female. Females should not be doing that.

Perhaps you as the discerning reader should reflect on these thoughts too.

4 comments:

SilverFOX said...

With all due respect, miss, I'd like my female to be everything feminine and not act like a tomboy, thank you very much. That should sum up what we sensible guys want :p

cheayee said...

Well, good luck to you then.

:-)

SilverFOX said...

too bad i can't wish the same to tomboys. they'll need something more than just plain luck... :p

cheayee said...

luckily for me, some tomboys are pretty.

Really nothing much to worry about.

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