Meghan Markle addressed a racist stereotype that has been overused in Hollywood movies of the past few decades during a recent episode on her Archetypes podcast. The Duchess Of Sussex explained “the dragon lady” trope – a way of representing Asian women in media as oversexualized and violent – and hoped that Hollywood would reign it in. Her most notable examples were the movies Austin Powers in Goldmember And Kill Bill.
“Movies like Austin Powers and Kill Bill – they presented these caricatures of women of Asian descent as oversexualized or aggressive,”Markle stated this on her Spotify Podcast. “This toxic stereotyping of women of Asian descent… this doesn’t just end once the credits roll.”Nancy Wang Yuen, a sociologe who wrote extensively on this trope in her book, joined Markle. Reel Inequality – Hollywood Actors and Racism. Yuen was certain the “dragon lady”Stereotype had an impact on people beyond movie theaters. She was catcalled by a man using the quote from Full Metal Jacket
“I myself have been propositioned in an airport in Atlanta of all places by a stranger who said, ‘Me so horny,’ just yelled it out to me,”She spoke. “I knew why because I looked around and I thought and I saw that I was the only Asian woman in that area. I knew he was talking to me, even though I don’t even know if he’d [ever] seen Full Metal Jacket.”
Markle, Yuen and Yuen also spoke about the long history of the trope and its evolution over the years. It is still recognizable in its current form according to Markle and Yuen. The Thief of Bagdad. Anna May Wong was portrayed as a Mongol slave. But they were more concerned about recent examples as they showed Hollywood that they still didn’t understand the damage this kind of representation could do.
Lucy Liu was O-Ren Ishii, the Yakuza crime boss turned assassin. Kill BillIn a dramatic fight scene, her talent for violence was highlighted. “The Bride” (Uma Thurman). Diane Mizota was also on the stage, while Carrie Ann Inaba portrayed the parody femme fatale characters Fook M and Fook Yu. Austin Powers in Goldmember. This movie is primarily a parody but it doesn’t absolve the film of any representational mistakes.
Markle’s Archetypes Five episodes have been aired so far on the podcast, each diving into a different topic. “the labels that try to hold women back.”The new episodes do not appear to air on an ongoing basis, but they are still available on Spotify. Yuen’s book can be downloaded in both digital and print formats.