My friend and bestselling author, Sheena Yap Chan, wrote a LinkedIn post on Friday admonishing The Austin Chronicle for publishing a sponsored article on Asian mail order brides...
I made a comment on the LinkedIn thread and I went to read the ridiculous article on The Austin Chronicle, which I can't share with you because they actually took it down, but it described different Asian ethnicities and what women were like from China, Japan, the Phillipines, Vietnam, and Thailand (which someone screenshot, before they took it down):
After over 60 comments underneath my friend's post about how disgusting this is, how they're using derogatory and outdated words like "oriental" to describe these Asian women, how dangerous and offensive it, and how this is connected to human trafficking and I don't know how many comments underneath the sponsored content (my comment was the first and only one when I wrote it), The Austin Chronicle took down the article, and they issued an apology on Twitter.
So, it does make a difference to comment and speak up...to use our voices to align with our own values. My comment may not have done anything on its own, but along with other comments either on the actual article or even in this LinkedIn thread, then it made a difference.
Last year, when the Atlanta area shootings happened and the violence against Asian Americans were happening almost weekly, I shared a vulnerable story of how walking down a street in the Los Angeles area, a man yelled to my husband something about me being a mail order bride. I was in so much shock, that I couldn't use my voice. So, my husband stood up for me. It's on this IG post.
Besides perpetuating the harmful stereotypes and fetishizing of Asian women as submissive, sexual, or as "pretty" objects, the mail order bride industry and articles in "legit" newspapers like this one are also dangerous because of the economics of human trafficking.
Women in Asia and other parts of the world, where there is extreme poverty, are likelier targets, whether it's to make a mail order bride company richer (paying a small sum to the family), or it's to trick women to move to a different country, with the promise of a good paying job, and then essentially selling them into a life of slavery and servitude.
I'm glad The Austin Chronicle took down the "sponsored content," but apparently, someone researched it and said this kind of article has been around for a number of years. We all have to speak up for our values and make sure that we create the world we want, one where compassion and love is valued more than money and trampling on women, especially women of color.
I would love to know your feelings about this subject. Please post your comments below.