7 Asian female emcees worth bumping on your stereos 

YRS

Audrey Magazine: (by Arianna Caramat)

In a culture that’s been relatively dominated by a heterosexual male narrative, Hip Hop has been a hard place for women–let alone Asian American women–to truly dominate. As raptivist Aisha Fukushima once described to me, booty, bullets, and bling have countlessly been glorified by male rappers. I mean, take Big Sean’s “Dance (a$$)” for example. It’s blatantly written in the title.

But don’t give up on hip hop just yet! We have a list of strong Asian female emcees who are still under the radar but counter that male-driven narrative. Of course, they also prove women can keep it one-hundred.

Rocky Rivera (U.S.)

This thought-provoking, powerful spitter and Bay Area-native started out as an accomplished journalist before dedicating herself to her musical craft.

Suboi (Vietnam)

Hailing from Saigon, Vietnam, Suboi stands as the country’s number one female emcee and Queen of Hip Hop. Not to mention, she became the first Vietnamese artist to perform at SXSW.

Akwafina (U.S.)

Don’t be fooled by the comedic moniker! Akwafina’s tongue-and-cheek lines have been embraced by countless other women and celebrated as something good for feminism since her song, “My Vag,” went viral.

Yacko (Indonesia)

This emcee is a lecturer for an international college during the week, a rapper by weekend, and a full-time mother. With a full plate like that, Yacko still manages to be recognized as one of Indonesia’s most respected emcees.

Miss Ko (Taiwan)

This Taiwanese American emcee made the move from New York to Taiwan where she garnered a government grant to produce an album; however, all production was halted after an almost-fatal accident. After 2 years of healing and an album later, Miss Ko became the first female rapper to have a No. 1 album in Taiwan.

Ruby Ibarra (U.S.)

She may be fun-sized, but her raps will knock you out! Also a Bay Area local, Ibarra has started gathering national attention and is known for melding together English and Tagalog into her flows.

Yurika (Japan)

Yurika isn’t a stranger to the rap scene in Tokyo, she’s the emcee who’s spearheading the next generation of rappers in Japan. With her cuteness and juxtaposing hard flows, she caught the attention of the Dream Boy label and became their most recent signee.

Columbia University student Karen Bao debuts science fiction novel

AsAm News: 

Columbia University student Karen Bao’s science fiction novel Dove Arising was published by Penguin Random House in February 2015.
Bao’s story concerns a 15-year-old named Phaet Theta who joins a paramilitary force to save her family.  The story takes place 200 years in the future on the moon. As Bao continues to pursue her career as an author, she finds balancing her undergraduate studies at Columbia University a welcomed challenge.
Bao is part of a growing trend of Asian American women authors and writers such as Celeste Ng, who is the author of Everything I Never Told You. Ng has begun to compile a list of just some of the other Asian American women authors.
We definitely have a lot of stories as an Asian American community, and I think some of us definitely have to speak up and get our work published,” Bao said.
 
To read more about how Bao’s parents supported her writing efforts, click here

Sundance spotlight on Jennifer Phang’s ‘Advantageous’ 

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 Audrey Magazine:

Today is the start of Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and for the lucky attendees, that means snow, parties and most importantly, tons of movies to watch. Here at Audrey we have highlighted the Asian and Asian American films premiering at Sundance this year, but we wanted to give a special spotlight to the film Advantageous which is directed by, written by and starring Asian American women. Because the amount of working female directors hasn’t increased since 1998, and the fact that “moviegoers were as likely to see an other-worldly [non-human or alien] female as they were to see an Asian female character” in 2013, we are heartened by the amount of roles Advantageous provides for Asian women both in front of and behind the camera.

Sundance has already uploaded a video highlighting Advantageous writer and director Jennifer Phang, who briefly discusses her film. While Advantageous takes place in a sci-fi future, the emphasis of the film seems to be motherhood, parental sacrifice and what it means to be selfless.

According to the synopsis posted on the Sundance website, Advantageous takes place “in a metropolis in the near future, Gwen Koh, a beautiful woman full of poise and grace, works as the spokesperson for the Center for Advanced Health and Living, a company that offers a radical new technology allowing people to overcome their natural disadvantages and begin life anew. But when a shift in company priorities threatens her job and her family, will Gwen undergo the procedure herself?”

Advantageous is based off a short film by Jennifer Phang, which is available to watch below:

So if you are lucky enough to be at Sundance, check out Advantageous! For the rest of us who can’t, we hope that we can see Advantageous in a theater near us very, very soon.

 

It was a great year for Asian-American women on television

 

Mic.com

We’re finally getting past all those geisha and ninja stereotypes.

Asian-American women, and women in general, have long faced the woes of horrible storylines or just plain missing from shows. This messy writing or lack of diversity on the small screen stems from the absence of minorities and women in the writers’ room.

But in 2014, we’ve seen some inspiring portrayals of Asian-American women on television that have brought dimension to ladies who are often turned into flat tropes. We still need more of these types of characters, but thankfully we’re inching toward better representation.

Headliners: 

Lucy Liu proves that Asian-American women can be leading ladies without being a stereotype. Liu is one of the most recognizable Asian-American actresses in Hollywood, known for her roles on Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill: Vol. 1, two movies that tokenized her race. But Liu currently co-stars as Dr. Joan Watson in Elementary, a modern take on Sherlock Holmes, alongside Jonny Lee Miller.

Watson is incredibly intelligent and capable, but not without flaws. She was once a surgeon, but accidentally killed a patient. Unable to trust herself, she let her medical license expire, and eventually becomes Holmes’ detective apprentice. She’s sexy, she’s smart, she makes mistakes — in short, she’s a human being.

She has her demons, but she doesn’t let anyone make her decisions for her. She’s an interesting main character who just so happens to be Asian.

More than just casting:

Television is also making progress with writing storylines centering around Asian culture. MTV’s Teen Wolf, a teenage-supernatural drama with a dark side, may be the best example. This year, the series introduced Kira Yukimura and her family.

Portrayed by Arden Cho, Kira shows that there are many ways to be Asian — in her case, Korean-Japanese. She’s also a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit with the ability to absorb electricity, plus some deadly skills with a katana.

Furthermore, Kira’s powers and one main storyline of Teen Wolf‘s third season are deeply rooted in the Japanese internment camps of the 1940s, a smear on America’s history that’s often overlooked. The mistreatment of Japanese people during World War II is a part of many Asian-Americans’ identity and experience in the United States. Integrating this part of the past into the show is an effort to bring underrepresented history to wider audiences.

Funny and flirty:

Asian-American women can be sexual and go on tons of dates. The Mindy Project features Mindy Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a spunky OB-GYN who makes her way through a cavalcade of flings before settling down with fellow doctor Danny Castellano in the show’s latest season. While Kaling is Indian-American and might not have the same experiences as a Korean-American, she still falls under the Asian-American umbrella.

The Fox comedy is filled with sex and intimacy, showing that Asian-American women can be vocal when it comes to the bedroom. Mindy knows what she wants, when she wants it and if she doesn’t want it (as in the episode about anal sex).

The Mindy Project also flips the script on the typical dating storyline. Usually it’s a white protagonist who goes on dates with a pretty homogeneously white lineup, until bam, there’s one diverse hottie who “makes up” for being the only one (ahem, Girls). In Kaling’s show, we see her dating a crop of primarily white dudes, showing that she’s as much in control of her dating destiny as anyone else.

Room to grow: 

The one-dimensional Asian-American character on television shows still exists — take a look at Awkward‘s Ming (Jessica Lu) or Scorpion‘s Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong). Visibility is essential, but stereotyped writing can be dangerous. Fortunately, the Dr. Joan Watsons and Kira Yukimuras are making important progress toward more diverse actors getting multifaceted characters to play.

Other disenfranchised communities are also making their way to the small screen. For these minorities, including Asian-American women, increased visibility might seem slow. But while more, and more accurate, depictions should be a given, we can celebrate what we do have — and continue to fight for diverse inclusion in the shows we love.

Why Asians need to care about breast cancer

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 Audrey Magazine:

We decided to look into how Asian Americans handle breast cancer. We were shocked by what we discovered.

For years now, Asians have been comforted by the fact that we have the lowest rate of breast cancer in the United States. Unfortunately, this assurance may be the very thing that hinders us from taking the necessary precautions.

Studies from both the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) have confirmed that Asian/Pacific Islanders have the lowest breast cancer rates.

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Although this is true, a number of things are not taken into consideration:

There are various types of Asians.
It is not a good idea to assume you’re safe from breast cancer simply because you’re Asian. In fact, the statistics greatly differ once we take a step closer. According to womenshealth.gov, Japanese American women have the highest rate of breast cancer among Asian Americans. Furthermore, breast cancer is the leading cause of death for Filipino women. Clearly, there are technicalities within the broad term “Asian” which should be paid attention to.

Our numbers are increasing.
Sure, we have the lowest rate of breast cancer and breast cancer deaths now, but that may be changing. Our rates are increasing faster than any other ethnic group. From 1988-2005, we’ve increased approximately 1.2% every year.

Some of us are not as safe as our parents and grandparents. 
According to sampan.org, “Immigrant Asian women who have been living in the United States for 10 years have an 80 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than their newly arrived A&PI immigrant counterparts.”

We develop breast cancer at a younger age.
Compared to the other ethnic groups, we develop cancer at an earlier age, but we don’t know to address it earlier. In fact, many of us don’t address it at all.

Asian Americans are the least likely to ever get a mammogram.
Although Asian Americans need to take just as much precaution, we have the lowest rate of screenings. Is it because it’s taboo in our culture to discuss this issue? Is it because of the misconception that we’re relatively safe from breast cancer? Either way, there is clearly a lack of breast health/breast cancer education, screening and treatment among Asian American women.

Studies confirm that only 62% of Asian American women 40 and older have had a mammogram in the past two years. This is still the lowest percentage compared to every other ethnic community in America.

Some barriers to breast cancer screening include:
-Low income
-Lack of access to care (such as lack of a local (or easy to get to) mammography center or -Lack of transportation to a mammography center)
-Lack of a usual health care provider
-Lack of a recommendation from a provider to get mammography screening
-Lack of awareness of breast cancer risks and screening methods
-Cultural and language differences

– See more at: http://audreymagazine.com/why-asians-need-to-care-about-breast-cancer-updated/#sthash.hlerj6hS.dpuf

Link

12 Things Never to Say to an Asian Woman

Cosmopolitan: (Jennifer Chen)

 

1. Where are you from?
This is usually followed by an intense stare as the person, most likely a dude, is trying to figure out if I’m Chinese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, or something else “exotic.” When I say New Jersey (the most exotic of the states), this leads to question #2.

2. No, really where are you from?
Let’s get to the point. You want to know where my family is from. Taiwan. Are you happy now? Where are you from? Because I’d really like to know so I can avoid going there.

3. I really like Asian women.
Let’s get married then! Who cares if we have nothing else in common? All that matters is that you love Asian women! Oh, you know who else likes Asian women? Everyone. Because we’re awesome.

4. I need more napkins.
Just because I’m walking by you in a restaurant, don’t assume that I work in that restaurant. Are you shocked to know that not all Asian people work in Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese restaurants? Because it’s true. We don’t all work on your nails, your dry cleaning, and your $15 Asian fusion tacos.

5. I have no idea how to use these things [waving around chopsticks].
Then don’t. Grab a fork and eat those noodles like the non-Asian you are. It’s OK! I’m not judging you. (But secretly I am because chopsticks are the superior utensils.)

6. I just love geishas.
Great! I really love firemen. They’re hot. But if I wanted you to don a fireman’s uniform, ride in a big red truck, and slide down a pole for me, I doubt you would do it. So don’t ask me to dress like a geisha, bow down, bat my eyes, and dance for you. Not gonna happen. Unless you’re an actual fireman.

7. Hi, [insert name of another Asian lady].
Seriously, we don’t all look alike. Learn to tell us apart. If my name is Jennifer Chen, it doesn’t mean I’m related to Annie Chen. John Smith is not related to Helen Smith. We are different people. Unless this is an Orphan Black situation, then we’re all the same people.

8. Konichiwa or Ni Hao Ma.
Stop chasing me around and speaking bad Japanese or broken Chinese. If you stalk me down the street, saying “good morning,” to me in Japanese, then follow me into Staples where I’m buying gel pens, and ask to marry me because you really like Chinese women, then I can’t help you. And your pronunciation is awful, so I suggest you fix that first. You can work on the rest later. Without me. SAYONARA!

9. CAN YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING?
DUDE, I speak better English than you do. Stop shouting and speaking slowly to me as if I’m illiterate. You sound dumb.

10. I hear Chinese people eat dogs.
Yup, it’s true. I’m eating a free-range Labrador Retriever steak with a side of pug bacon right now. Does that gross you out thinking that we eat dogs? You eat animals like pigs who are actually smarter than dogs. Who’s the jerk now? (Free tip: You are!)

11. Can you figure out the tip?
I know you think I’m a wizard at math. (Eye roll.) I got a 45 on my calculus final in high school. That’s barely half right. But sure, let me figure out the bill. I owe zero dollars. Thanks for dinner!

12. You have lovely almond-shaped eyes.
I love me some

r dinner!

12. You have lovely almond-shaped eyes.
I love me some Claudia Kishi from The Baby-Sitters Club. She is my spirit animal/imaginary friend. But if I have to read one more time that Claudia or any other Asian woman has “almond-shaped eyes,” I’m going to smack everyone.

Check out this link:

12 Things Never to Say to an Asian Woman