I have started and stopped my Daily 15 for today at least 5 times just now. My husband is waiting for me to finish so we can watch Killing Eve together. It’s nice when we actually watch something together. It’s a rare thing indeed.
I’m obsessed with Killing Eve.
[clickToTweet tweet=”I wish my kids could watch @KillingEve. But as mediocre of a parent I am, I am not quite ready for them to watch the show. Maybe in another year. (I kid. I kid.) #killingeve #representationmatters #asianblogger #asianwriter #asianmom” quote=”I wish my kids could watch Killing Eve. But as mediocre of a parent I am, I am not quite ready for them to watch the show. Maybe in another year. (I kid. I kid.)” theme=”style1″]
I read a story where Sandra Oh, the actress who plays the titular character, says that when her agent sent her the script, she couldn’t figure out who she was supposed to be reading for. When Oh asked her agent, the agent said she was supposed to be reading for the lead.
Oh was shocked that she had bought into the lie Hollywood sold her about what roles Asians could and could not play. That part of the interview broke my heart.
I cannot tell you how much I longed to see Asian Americans – let Chinese Americans – in the media when growing up. I think we had Claudia Kishi from The Babysitter’s Club, the kid from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom/Goonies, and Long Duk Dong from the racist Sixteen Candles.
I didn’t know I longed for them, but I did.
I made plenty of characters honorary Asians though. All characters needed was black hair and some barest resemblance to Asians.
Bianca from Beverly Hills Teens (her black hair).
Superman/Clark Kent (black hair and glasses).
I think that was it.
I didn’t realize it, but until a few years ago, when I daydreamed and imagined myself in stories, I was always a white woman.
That’s why I’m so excited that Sandra Oh is the main character. The protagonist. And that she is human. She’s not the nerd or tech person. She isn’t a human trafficking victim. She’s just a normal person in an extraordinary situation.
We have been listening to the Chronicles of Narnia in Chinese and my daughter asked why Lucy and Susan don’t fight. I said that some people think that girls can’t fight. I asked her if thought it was true. I’m very pleased that Gamera (6) said it wasn’t true. Girls could fight. So why was this story telling something that wasn’t true?
I explained that perhaps the person who made up the story didn’t believe that girls could fight. That he lived a long time ago and back then, they didn’t think girls could fight. But now, we know that girls can fight and fight well.
It pleases me that Gamera fights against the lies of the world, telling her that girls can’t fight or do things that boys can. I love how she tears apart stories and examines the ways they are ridiculous or limiting in what they say about who she is, what she can do, and who she could be.
I will not lie. I’m proud of the fact that I taught her how to do these things.
I wish my kids could watch Killing Eve. But as mediocre of a parent I am, I am not quite ready for them to watch the show. Maybe in another year. (I kid. I kid.)
This is why I’m glad that our pursuit of Chinese has led me to buy materials made in Taiwan or China for Taiwanes or Chinese people. It was super important to me that my children were represented in their books in normal, everyday situations vs. some very special episode about Chinese New Year or discrimination or something teaching Chinese. I’m grateful that thus far, I have been able to skew lots of Chinese representation (even though they consume lots of US media, so they see a lot of white people on TV, too).
[clickToTweet tweet=”I didn’t realize it, but until a few years ago, when I daydreamed and imagined myself in stories, I was always a white woman. #representationmatters #asianblogger #asianwriter” quote=”I didn’t realize it, but until a few years ago, when I daydreamed and imagined myself in stories, I was always a white woman.” theme=”style1″]
I guess, this is just my meandering way to say that I’m grateful for Killing Eve. The show is clever, thrilling, and hilarious. My younger self would have killed to watch it as a teen. I’m glad I get to watch it now as an adult. My inner kid squeals in delight at finally having someone look at me be powerful, funny, and amazing.