Stereotype Disruption

The first assignment I receive for my Bridge 4 is to create a meme related to culture jamming. I am a fan of musical theater, and I hate how Asian women are stereotyped in western operas, so I do two memes to satire and criticize the stereotype of “Asian women are loyal to their husband; they always wait their husbands at home, accept everything from their husbands, and forgive all bad things done by their husbands”.

The first “target” is Miss Saigon (see more in ). It is a tragedy between Kim, a Vietnam prostitute, and Chris, an American soldier during Vietnam War during 1955-1975. Kim and Chris are in a relationship, and Kim is pregnant when Chris left Vietnam to USA. Chris, however, is married with someone else after returning to USA. Kim is disappeared after knowing Chris’ infidelity, and she committed suicide using a gun. In my meme, the plot is revolved, by Kim killing Chris using the gun. I am initially planning to put “go hell you adultery”, but my professor thinks it is too general and cannot capture the idea of cultural stereotype. He helps me to change the verbal descriptors to “not all asian women will put up with American soldiers’ infidelity” which I feel fantastic to appear on my work. I use sharpie to build my meme.

The second target is Madama Butterfly (see more in ), which has a similar plot as Miss Saigon, but the setting is in Japan. I screenshot a scene from the movie version in 1932, edit the image on Photoshop, and wish to print it by Risograph in red and black (red presents blood and heart, black presents cheat and hiding). Unfortunately, the red drum is out of ink, and I have to try to combine pink and orange to create red myself. However, the printer is not friendly to me. Before my cultural stereotype gets jammed, my paper gets jammed and teared up in the printer every single time. I have to come up with other solutions. I choose purple and green instead in my second attempt (purple reminds me cheating and fraudulent scenes, and green can indicate infidelity in Chinese modern colloquial language), and fortunately it works perfectly. I am really thankful toward my professor who put up a proper text for me – “I am not going to put up with your infidelity”.

In general I am satisfied with my work, despite the fact that no one in the class can get my point before I explain the stories because these two operas are very old.

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