Asian women particularly the
I n the weeks since eight people, six of whom were Asian women , were killed in a mass shooting at three massage businesses in the Atlanta area, the conversations prompted by the event have continued—as has the fear felt by many Asian and Asian American women, for whom the violence in Georgia felt intimately familiar. The mass shooting followed a year of increased anti-Asian violence and racist attacks , which advocates say has been fueled by xenophobic rhetoric about the COVID pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting database created at the start of the pandemic as a way to chart the attacks, received 3, reports of anti-Asian discrimination between March 19, and Feb. However, in a press conference following the shooting spree, Captain Jay Baker, a spokesperson for the Cherokee County, Ga. But to see those two forces as entirely separate is to erase an important layer of context. As many Asian American women pointed out in the wake of the attack, racism and misogyny reinforce a shared narrative—and, due in large part to historical factors, Asian American women often experience that connection in a unique and troubling way.
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The model minority myth hides the racist and sexist violence experienced by Asian women
Anti-Asian racism and violence are real and have a long history in the United States. The mass murder of Asian women in Atlanta is just the latest horror in the history of violence against Asian Americans that reaches as far back as the racially motivated massacre of Chinese immigrants in in Los Angeles. Asian American women are particularly vulnerable and targeted due to the triple jeopardy of racism, colonialism and misogyny. I knew where this was going. As the reports repeated the phrase, Asian massage parlors , Asian women victims were rendered only as sex workers, or even immoral temptresses, devoid of humanity. Reading those headlines, my mind flashed back to the March murder of Susana Blackwell, her unborn child, and her friends Phoebe Dizon and Veronica Laureta, at the King County Courthouse. On the morning when the story broke, news outlets reported the murders as a domestic violence killing.
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The history of fetishizing Asian women
The official, Capt. But the implication was clear: It had to be one motive or the other, not both. That suggestion was met with incredulity by many Asian-American women, for whom racism and sexism have always been inextricably intertwined. For them, racism often takes the form of unwanted sexual come-ons, and sexual harassment is often overtly racist.
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