ISSUE SPRING 2013
Recent shocking headlines make Associate editor Kanara Ty realize we are NOT living in a post-sexist society.
Some time ago, I was talking to one of my good guy friends about the challenges women have in dating. I said, “Women have it worse than men — we have a lot more to lose when it comes to dating.”
He was taken aback by my statement and said, “You know, you sound incredibly sexist right now.” An argument ensued, and inevitably, I was upset.
As much as people like to believe that we live in a post- racial society, they also like to believe we live in a post-sexist world, where women have equal standing and equal opportuni- ties as men. In actuality, we don’t. The shocking case of the New Delhi gang rape of a physiotherapy intern last December was a brutal reminder. And it wasn’t just the rape. When female protesters emerged demanding the safety and respect for women, they were met with cries of misogynistic Indian males who went so far as to say that the protesters should be raped for even daring to speak out.
Why would these men take to the streets to speak out against these women? I believe it was because they do not believe rape is a crime. And they don’t believe sexual violence (and on a larger scale, violence in general) against women is a crime if she was deserving of it. And it’s not just men in poorer parts of the world; it happens here too, like in the Steubenville rape case, where a gang of football players raped a high school student and then posted the photos on various social media. They didn’t think the rape was a crime because she deserved it.
It’s the same sort of sexist mindset that affects how women are often treated in the Asian entertainment industry. One of the more recent cases was Minami Minegishi, a member of the Japanese girl group AKB48, who was caught by a Japanese tabloid magazine spending the night at her boyfriend’s house. In addition to posting a tearful apology and being demoted to a research student within AKB48, the 20-year-old also shaved off her hair (supposedly of her own accord). Minegishi was punished because of AKB48’s chastity clause — no member is allowed to have a relationship — and there are grounds for punishment (including dismissal) if the rule is broken. It’s baffling that a multi-million-dollar pop group is aggressively marketed as sex symbols, and yet the members themselves are not allowed to have sex.
Cases like this make it clear: We still have a long way to go in the fight for women’s rights — and more specifically, the rights of women of color. Even while we find more women taking on increasingly powerful positions, the fact of the matter is that men are still in control of the message that are being projected on women, especially in the entertainment industry.
Lisa Ling, Margaret Cho, and Jan Yanahiro have joined other females to speak out on media’s poor representation of women in a new documentary out aptly entitled Miss Representation.
With shocking stats of the low percentage of women in power, combined with tell-tale images captured from various music videos, television shows, and computer games from the media, the trailer for the doc has already caught on like fire over the internet.
“The media can be an instrument for change, it can awaken people and change minds. It depends on who’s piloting the plane.” — Katie Couric.
What are your thoughts on the stats and statements made from the Miss Representation trailer?
Throughout the years, Asian Americans have yearned to see faces like theirs on the small screen. With Nickelodeon’s new show Supah Ninjas, the Asian American family is returning for the first time in 16 years as the star of a mainstream television series. While teen-oriented shows are saying they’re committed to diversity, do AA teens today really feel well-represented?
ISSUE: Spring 2011
STORY: Janice Jann
There’s a new family moving into TV-land this spring. The dad, a bumbling cop. The grandfather, a wise old man. And the son, a doe-eyed high-schooler named Mike who just wants to win over the girl of his dreams.