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The term “Dragon Lady”Refers to a stereotype of Asian women depicted both in Hollywood films and the mainstream American media. Their appearance is emphasized in their overly exotic visual representation. Some examples of this can be seen in such movies such as Memoirs of a Geisha, Kill Bill, and to Sin City. Though “Dragon Ladies” were originally introduced during the silent films of 1920s, their role has changed over the years, essentially dependent upon America’s racial imagery and stereotypes. Illustrations of the “Dragon Ladies” often a reflection of how mainstream American society views Asian American women, during any particular time. In that sense the image of the “Dragon Lady” was birthed out of phobia but became a philia in the subjective portrayal of East Asian Women. These stereotypical “femme fatales” are categorized by three major characteristics, they first appear to be extremely exotic in appearance, secondly they are portrayed as treacherous and scheming, thirdly they are seductive and highly sexualized. In this sense they relate to the metonymic aspect of Japnophila. In “fabricating” this image of Asian women to be either evil, scheming, or docile, the media is portraying a metonymic aspect of Japanophilia to stand for the whole of all East Asian women. In that sense the portrayal of the “Dragon Ladies” continues to be a prevalent stereotype that dictates the roles available to Asian American women. However, recent role for Asian American women on T.V. shows such as Lost and Battlestar Gallatica suggest that mainstream opinions about Asian Americans in general are changing.

boliva — Last modified Mar 30 2011 8:00 p.m.


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