Hypersexuality of Race

Aaron Kim

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In this week’s reading within Shimizu’s Hypersexuality of Race Ch.3, we read that Asian American women especially portrayed within media, are expressed in the context of prostitution and the area of mysticism. In a sense, it not only raised awareness of the Asian American movement, but it also laid down stereotypes that many other people understood to be the Asian ‘nature’ and that the Asian aura is one that actress Lucy Liu embodied in Kill Bill as a dragon lady.

Last week, we went on a field trip to Pitzer College in Claremont to see Denise Uyehara’s performance. The performance itself was very mysterious, intrigued through abstract understandings, and mysticism. In a way, I felt that the role Asian women play in media as a mystic can be brought up as a positive experience just as Uyehara implemented such works into her message and ideal. Shimizu argues that Asian women in media and motion film are to be involved in the cast of such movie that fits the stereotype of “dragon lady”, and “mysticism”. Shimizu herself stated in the text that Uyehara deploys stereotypes “in order to articulate a critique of racial and sexual representation…”. Shimizu also talks about how appearance is key to Asian Americans within media and popular culture. Her example can be Lucy Liu when she was portrayed as a dominant Asian dragon lady, dressed in a kimono with environmental stereotypes such as snow, Japanese flowers/trees, and etc. But her portrayal also popularized Asians as one worthy of an opponent and in a way, her iron-clad dominance that showed Asian women not as inferior, but can be superior as well.

So, in a way, the idea that stereotypes are negative can be contrasted in the fact that there are artists out there that spreads awareness of such stereotypes through the use of them such as Uyehara within mysticism and the mystery as well as the shallow dominance-influence asian women typically have in their nature.

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