“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they’re untrue but they are incomplete.” — Chimamanda Adichie
Let’s play a game. It’s called Guess The Race.
Gentleman A was a hard partier. He did a lot of drugs and drinking in his youth. He almost failed out of college. He had a tumultuous relationship with his parents. He was in tremendous debt. He had a huge sense of entitlement. As he got older, he rarely exercised and gained weight. He cheated on his wife.
Gentleman B never drinks or does drugs. He prefers an evening at home programming or watching TV. If he stays out late, it’s to see a movie, listen to music, or talk about computers with his friends. He graduated from college in three years. He’s extremely fit. He always carries heavy loads. He cooks.
Which one is Asian? Which one is white? Keep reading »
We haven’t always gotten along. There have been some wicked fights over the years, starting in the sixth grade when I didn’t want to wear my ripe-for-teasing plaid shorts to school, or in ninth grade when you insisted a C minus in trig warranted summer school (it didn’t), or that visit during college when I threatened to leave and never come home again (though I don’t even remember what we were fighting about).
But this Mother’s Day, I wanted to tell you those three little words moms everywhere love to hear.
You were right. Keep reading »
This month marks the six-year anniversary of my divorce. A lot has changed since then. I’ve lived on my own (no parents, roommates, boyfriend, or husband). I dated again for the first time in a long time (how long? there was no internet the last time I dated). I changed jobs, got another degree, changed careers, moved across the country. Fell in love again.
I’m happy, extremely so. So why do people still act sorry for me when they hear I’m no longer married and the reason why? Keep reading »
When I first saw Wendi Deng Murdoch spike that foam-pie-throwing comedian-protestor’s head like a volleyball, I giggled with glee. Then I sighed with relief. Here, finally, was a portrayal of an Asian woman I could embrace. No timid China doll or obedient geisha, no mere trophy wife, Deng was the tiger wife, defending her assets – er, I mean husband – with a single, long-armed swipe.
But now I’m torn. While positive, tiger wife is still a stereotype, “a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals,” in this case Asian women of a certain age, and a tidy media invention banking on the popularity of Amy Chua’s tiger mother, and perhaps the Chinese phrase, lao hu, old tiger, said of ferocious older women. A stereotype with international appeal, and yet another one I’ll have to battle sooner or later. Keep reading »
I screwed up royally recently.
My boyfriend Alex and I needed to get a signed lease to our landlady who was having some legal troubles. I left it in the lobby for her to pick up, but before she could, it disappeared. I called new management, but they said they didn’t have it either.
When Alex came home, I told him what happened. “You made a copy though, right?” he said.
Crap. “Uh, no,” I admitted. Keep reading »
This is not a story of how abortion is right or wrong. Nor is it about what other people are doing with their bodies, or what I think about that (as though it’s any of my business). No: this is just my story of how Planned Parenthood made some hard times a little easier for me, and how “real” healthcare (i.e., via insurance plans) can make things difficult. Keep reading »