I’ve always hated the stereotypes about Chinese women – that we are sexually subservient (but also sexually aggressive at the same time), mail order brides, gold diggers and more. I wrote this piece to highlight that there have been strong Chinese female role models for a long time now and will continue to be in to the future. The list I compiled includes politicians, fashionistas, chefs, television personalities and lawyers.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
The Strongest Chinese Women I Ever Looked Up To
by Eugenia Flynn
Here is a collection of memories: I remember my mother being accused (because it was such a terrible thing) of being a boat person, of my father being accused of having a mail order bride. I remember listening to a white woman on breakfast radio performing skits as Rose Porteous, complete with fake Filipino accent and exaggerated Asian gold digger stereotype. I remember being yelled at on the street to ‘go home’ during the height of Hansonism. I remember my sister being approached by white men speaking to her in Chinese, then being ‘disappointed’ and shaming her when she responded in English.
A craving to see strong Chinese women in the public eye was, in part, answer to this ignorance and, at times, outright hostility. I sought to combat the stereotypes that Chinese women are either soft and submissive or aggressive gold diggers by identifying strong Chinese women to look up to. Beyond the incredible tenacity and humour of my own mother, these women have all contributed something different to my ever-growing identity as a Chinese woman.
Read the full list of strong Chinese women, here.