A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
"Get it?" "Got it!" "Good!"
A rant. So the inevitable "China Doll" discussion has reared its ugly head on APC again. As usual, those who have been around a long time mention the fact that "China Doll" is seen by many Asian-Americans, particularly Asian-American females, as being derogatory and stereotypical, and usually used in conjunction with ooky sexual connotations. As usual, there are those who see absolutely nothing wrong with the term "China Doll", have no truck with others finding it demeaning, and say, "As long as it's said with loooooove, I don't see how anyone can object!" OmegaMom goes cross-eyed when she reads these posts. In fact, there are a few particular posts that make OmegaMom want to reach through the computer screen, pull the posters out through it, give them a good solid one-two shake, then get them in a headlock and give them a GREAT BIG NOOGIE! (When informed of this irrational feeling on OmegaMom's part, Mr. OmegaMom snickered and commented, "Oh, yeah, that's a great way to solve the world's problems!" Harrumph. He just doesn't recognize truly World Saving Ideas when they snuggle up beside him in bed at night, that's all.) In separate off-line email exchanges with a number of Asian-American females who have adopted from China, sparked by the recurrent "China Doll" discussion, these separate women have told me that (a) they are tired of hitting their head against the wall of people ignoring, downplaying or pooh-poohing their personal experiences and that of their friends, and (b) a lot of the Asian-Americans who have adopted from China who started out on the bigger lists feel marginalized and isolated from and by the larger Caucasian adoptive community. OmegaMom doesn't get it. There you are, people with FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE are telling you they have PERSONALLY been subjected to boorish street commentary a la "Ooooh, sexy little China Doll, come give me a f*ck!", and you're saying to them, "Well, it's different when you say it playfully and with love!" Hey, reality check here! You're getting commentary from Asian-American females. Guess what your daughter is?!?! She's a...drum-roll, please!...Asian-American female! There are loads of perfectly fine pet names for little girls. How about: Punkin', dumpling, sweetpea, bao-bao, half-pint, baby-doll, pookie, sugar, honey-chile, xiao wa-wa...pick a term, any term. Just maybe think a little harder about using a term that Asian-American females have clearly said makes them feel objectified and turned into a submissive sex-object. Noogies. That's what's needed. Lots and lots of noogies. Picture OmegaMom storming off, wildly waving her fists around her head.
P.S. OmegaMom is NOT saying that no-one can use the phrase. Go right ahead. Just be prepared for your child to possibly be one of the folks who says something like this when she's grown-up: "She said it would be cute to have all these China-doll grandchildren," Chau said. "So, thank goodness for my grandmother's racism, because otherwise I wouldn't be here."...just substitute "my mother" for "my grandmother" and "children" for "grandchildren".
posted by Kate @ 1/09/2006 05:23:00 PM  
  • At 1/09/2006 07:07:00 PM, Anonymous bh said…

    Some people are simply amazing. Why do they are they can raise a child of a different race, when they are so insensitive so as not to listen. Bozos. At best.

  • At 1/09/2006 07:09:00 PM, Blogger bh said…

    Some people are simply amazing. Why do they think that they can raise a child of a different race, when they are so insensitive so as not to listen. Bozos. At best.

    *sorry for the typos. I must remember that preview is my friend.

  • At 1/09/2006 08:40:00 PM, Blogger MomEtc. said…

    Great post! I've been avoiding APC....can't take it there. I catch up by reading TGL! Maybe I'll pop in and suggest they read "Yell-Oh Girls" edited by Vickie Nam. No excuses after this book!

  • At 1/09/2006 08:40:00 PM, Blogger Johnny said…

    Interesting. I've never joined the famed (idiotic it seems) APC group...and now have no reason to do so.

    In 10 years, when their child comes home from school in tears because of some nasty taunts (you may never have ever heard - but I have), I hope they remember their condescending words now.

  • At 1/10/2006 12:23:00 AM, Anonymous LizC said…

    Why you torture yourself with APC is beyond me, OM. The people who won't listen to the voice of actual experience, who believe that if they love their little Rescued Heathen Babies, well, that should be enough, well what can you say to a person so terribly deluded?

    You, my dear, will never penetrate the pink haze in front of their faces. You won't, and no actual Asian females will, either. These people, well, they SAVED those Heathen Babies, and you know damned well that they think that is All Anyone Needs.

    I really really hope their kids can get them to see straight, that they can make them believe that bringing them to America doesn't make them white. They will sadly always see China Doll as just a cute as pie term of endearment, because it is all about them, and not really about the kids. Sad but true. They want to call her China Doll, so they will, no matter that it might be demeaning and racist.

    It is ugly, but you are fighting themost sisyphean battle of them all, arguing against the ignorance of people on APC.

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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