When Jokes Go Too Far: The Dangerous Path of Stereotypes


By: Jingmei Zeng (@mei.z on Instagram)

Stereotypes have always surrounded the community of young Asian women. One image, in particular, showed us as weak, and submissive to the world. This idea has been specially presented in the Western culture and viewed us as a quiet, and meek mouse that did what they were told. From the soft-spoken Marie Kondo to the delicate Angelababy, our ladylike features were seen as an easy target for men.

Too often were we described as “submissive” and “obedient” in dating guides. These dating guides were written on behalf of men who don’t even know who we are. They assumed that because of our gentleness, we could take on the abuse that depended on their mood. We’re described as different from the women in Western and European countries. The difference was that they had a temper, and we did not.

The description of our submissiveness has led to many men taking advantage of young Asian women. These men have been sexually forceful and even regarded rape as a sickening achievement. We were seen as nothing but easy prey to be dominated by; a doll ready at the hands to please men.

This poisonous stereotype needs to stop. It has caused many harmful incidents that have scarred us for the rest of our lives. Our culture has implanted the image that we must be devoted and dutiful servants to our significant others. But we are human too. We cannot allow men to take advantage, and control the use of our bodies at the disposal of their pleasure. We are more than a docile creature that cannot speak up or fight back. We are hardworking students, artists, doctors, mothers, and we have our rights. Our body is ours and only we have the power to control the use of our bodies. We will not allow ourselves to be violated in the hands of others. I ask of you, my strong and beautiful sisters to fight back, and break the stereotype. Our tiger moms did not raise us with her iron fist, to be ruined by the actions of a man. We can be soft and fierce simultaneously. Let us not be passive, but fight for our dignity and rights.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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