There is a huge stereotype of Asian Women. They are often portrayed as mysterious and over sexualized. We have talked about this idea a few times in class. I think many tend to feel that this is a negative for the group. So, I have been puzzled as to why every book we have read so far has had some over sexualized woman in them. All of which fit the stereotype.
In Dogeaters, Lolita Luna captured the imagination of the men on the islands with her soft core pornography. She seemed to be a capable of standing up to the General and Severo Alcaran, but most of the time, she seemed like their puppet. She was also one of the few female characters in the play that wasn’t very strong. She was of great contrast to people like
In The Interpreter, Suzy has an affair with not one, but two white men. She represented a sort of fantasy for both of them. In away, this book progressed the negative ideas about Asian women the most. Two white men see Suzy as their fantasy, and she allows them to.
In The Interpreter of Maladies, Mrs. Das is the one who tells the interpreter about her sexual past. She is the one who tries to seduce the man, however unintentionally.
In School for Hawaiian Girls,
So here is my question. Why are all of these characteristics important to the characters? Don’t they progress the stereotype.
I think that the authors intended use the sexual ideas around Asians as a way to further explain their characters. Though they were progressing the stereotype, the women in these novels were much more complex.
Lolita Luna was sexualized, but the author informs us about her drug habit and her sad relationship with both the General and Severo. She is in contrast to the other female characters, like Daisy and
Suzy, though she had sexual mystique about her, dealt with constrictive parents and was constantly trying to figure out her identity. She had a reason for having problems.
Mrs. Das was a lonely housewife, not very happy in her marriage and living an all too common life. That was some explanation for her history.
Though each of the characters had interesting sexual habits, the authors took us around those ideas to reveal more complex people. Perhaps, they were all trying to make us look past the stereotype that dominate us, and see that these women are much more than meets the eye.