Tuesday, July 13, 2010
An Asian Laundry Girl
Today, we had Joshua Selman, a conceptual/intermedia artist on our show. We talked about art and music (he has a M.A. in music composition from Yale) and chatted about this and that. He got his stage makeup done and wanted to change into a different shirt but it needed ironing. So, I got a steam iron and helped him iron it.
I held the shirt and he attempted to iron it very inefficiently. So, I told him to hold the shirt and started ironing it myself. Previously, I would have done it without thinking twice about what I was doing--it's an act of kindness. But after I have been exposed to what white men think of "helpful" Asian women, it got me a little uncomfortable. I didn't want my gesture of kindness to be interpreted as submissiveness or subservience.
It sad that I even have to think about this. I don't know how to be kind without being reduced to a stereotype. Ugh!