If television didn’t exist, would the world be just a little better? The influences of television shapes our view of gender roles and creates stereotypes on race. In particular, Asians/Asian Americans, African Americans, and Whites are portrayed in very distinct ways according to their gender and race. All forms of media “reflects how our society understands itself and also what it deems worthy of knowing.”
If “Americas ‘racialized notions of gender’ in television” is allowed to continue, it will create a never ending cycle of false representation and hate. All races are portrayed in stereotypical ways; however, the focus will be on the most common ways some genders and races are stereotypically shown in the television.
Asian Portrayal in Television
When compared with other races, Asians and Asian Americans are “Presented as overachieving and inferior.” This stereotype leads to the notion that Asians can steal away “American jobs, money, and status.” Because of this, there are few variety of Asians on television and in film.
Asian characters are often played by the same type of actor or actress. This limits the characteristics of other Asians, and it basically says that this is what the acceptable Asian should look like. As a race, Asians are not portrayed in their various traditional roles, but they are also not portrayed realistically in their gender roles.
Asian women are often represented as being overt with their appearances in a sexualized way. To viewers, but specifically the White male audience, the Asian female body is seen as an “object of desire to be possessed.” This is sickening, and it puts them at risk of “racial and gender stereotypes.”
Specifically speaking, during the Philippine, Korean and Vietnamese wars, as well as Japan and China in WWII, a large number of Asian women were prostitutes; they would “take care” of the American soldiers. These actions played out in the media through movies, which led to the stereotype that all Asian women were overly sexualized characters and objects.
Asian men were no exception from this misrepresentation. Asian men mostly received roles such as cooks, nerds, or kung-Fu masters. These roles limited the possibility that Asian men could be office workers, lawyers, and even doctors, and viewers began to develop their own ideas of what Asian men were like.
There were even times when White men would dress up and put make up on to depict how Asian men looked. Not only does this change the actual characteristics of Asian men, it also says that Asian men are inferior to white men. Why are there so many Asian women with White men? Think about it.
Cheng, J., Hsieh, C., Lu, S., & Talgo, S. Asian Americans in the Media: Asian American Men. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://sitemaker.umich.edu/psy457_tizzle/asian_american_men
Cheng, J., Hsieh, C., Lu, S., & Talgo, S. Asian Americans in the Media: Sexploitation of the Asian American Female Body. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://sitemaker.umich.edu/psy457_tizzle/asian_american_women
Thakore, B. K. (2013). Just like everyone else? locating south asians in 21st century american popular media (Order No. 3566573). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1416425214). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1416425214?accountid=14407