One way of orienting a genealogy of Asian American feminist media studies is through the dialectic of pain and pleasure that has come to dominate the way we understand images of Asian American sexuality. We can begin with Renee Tajima's 1989 article “Lotus Blossoms Don't Bleed: Images of Asian Women,” in which she describes how the mainstream media has caused Asian American women pain through its consistent portrayals of hypersexualized stereotypes, including lotus blossom babies, geishas, prostitutes, picture brides, mama-sans, concubines, China dolls, and dragon ladies.1 These simplistic figures are reduced to the availability of their sexual bodies and often serve as expendable mates for white male leads. Gina Marchetti notes that such representations have allowed white audiences to flirt with the titillating taboo of interracial sexual mixing without actually disrupting Western dominance.2 These various injustices are of course matched only by the general dearth of Asian women...
Asian American Media Studies
Lori Kido Lopez is an associate professor of media and cultural studies in the Communication Arts Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also affiliate faculty in the Asian American Studies Program and the Department of Gender and Women's Studies. She is the author of Asian American Media Activism: Fighting for Cultural Citizenship (New York University Press, 2016) and coeditor of The Routledge Companion to Asian American Media (Routledge, 2017).
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Lori Kido Lopez; Asian American Media Studies. Feminist Media Histories 1 April 2018; 4 (2): 20–24. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2018.4.2.20
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