Asian Women in Sport

May is a time of recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States. It celebrates the culture, history, and contributions of Asians in the United States. They are small in terms of population, but have made significant advances in society. Just like African Americans, Asian Americans had to deal with the challenges of white supremacy. Although they get less coverage than their white and black counterparts, Asian women have been successful in sport. They have to face prejudice, because of their race and sex. Yet, they still rise and perform with excellence. Over the years there have been talented Asian American athletes.

Asian Americans like other non-white ethnic groups are subject to racist stereotypes. The relevance to Asian women combines both racist and sexist beliefs. For East Asian women there was the stereotype of the Dragon Lady. This was a depiction in films, novels, and television that portrayed East Asian women as manipulative, cunning, and gold diggers. This expands to a much worse stereotype of Asians being furtive and treacherous. This is the complete opposite of the China doll stereotype. This belief was that Asian women were submissive, weak, helpless, and over sexed. Other Asians from the Middle East, Central Asia, and Oceania face similar racial stereotypes. Some people in the West either do not consider them “real”Asians or lump them all together in the same group. There is common belief that Asians are not as athletic as other races. For Asian women they have to face the challenge of both racist and sexist beliefs. The idea that Asian women are weaker than other women has been proven false by impressive athletes. There are not only incredible Asian women athletes coming from America, but from the continent itself.

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Kristi Yamaguchi – Ice Skater 

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Roqaya Al-Grassa- Track Athlete 

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia: Day 4

Michelle Wie-Golfer  

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Ha’a Keaulana-Surfer 

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Brenda Raganot- Bodybuilder 

There are numerous examples of Asian women excelling at sport. They are still under represented in professional sports in the West. Sports teams could pass over Asians, because of racist stereotypes. Asian women have it harder due to the fact gender issues are compounded with race. Over the decades Asian women have contributed to various sports that range from ice skating, weightlfting, bodybuilding, golf, and surfing. Another arena in which Asian women perform remarkably is the Asian Games. Athletes come from all over Asia to compete in this contest. It is pan-continental and includes multiple events. The games have recognition from the IOC  and is close to being as epic as the Olympics in terms of spectacle. Most countries send women to compete, but Saudi Arabia still refuses to do so. They did not send any woman to the 2014 Asian Games claiming ” their women had not trained sufficiently to be competitive.”  This was obvious gender bias, but it seems the majority of Asian nations have gradually become more accepting of women’s participation in sport. It seems that women all around the world are getting more involved in athletic contest. Asia will catch up with its European counterparts in more ways than one.

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Asian Women in Sport

2 thoughts on “Asian Women in Sport

  1. turner says:

    There exists a theory,according to which each of three great human races has its own geneticly encoded peculiarities which,in turn,determine strong and weak spots of its representatives.
    People borne in Asia,for instance,tend to have the firmest bones,whereas developing huge muscles is not their cup of tea.
    On the contrary,Africans-from West part of Arica in particular-are in possession of the strongest and thickest bone muscles.However,their relatively weak bones and joints are responsible for them not being represented enough in such sports as Greco-Roman wrestling and weightlifting.
    Concerning muscles and bones,Europeans take the middle position between Asiatics and Africans.However,Europeans have their strong point as well;namely,they are thought to have been the most resistible when it comes to standing infections.
    In conclusion,it has to be said that acknowledging that tendence doesn’t mean that female athetes from Asia are unable to beef up their biceps through hard work and dieting,istead women from Africa just have the faster start to do that.

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    1. That theory has been discredited. Seeing as humans are of one species, “race” as we call it does not exist. Athletic ability is part genetics and environment. Women from Africa do not have a “head start.” That conviction is based on a positive stereotype that blacks are just natural athletes. That is just as ludicrous as saying Asians have limited athletic ability. The ACN3 genotype has been identified as being a major part of an athlete’s physical potential.

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