[personal profile] asterroc
No spoilers I think, but just in case, cut-tagged. I originally posted this on Tumblr, but wanted it saved somewhere I could find more easily.

I have to talk about Melinda May. She’s just amazing. And what’s amazing about her is that her character manages to embody both all the Asian stereotypes, the root cultural causes of them, and the breaking of them, both at the same time.

She’s quiet and reserved. She’s emotionless. She respects authority. She listens to her parents. She’s a tiger mom and a dragon queen to her team. She’s the best martial artist you’ve ever seen.

But she hides her depths of emotion and only lets it out if she trusts you or if she’s really really upset. She fucks Ward just because she feels like it (and because she’s getting over her divorce). She doesn’t back down from authority when they’re wrong. She values her parents’ wisdom and experience, even while rolling her eyes at what they tell her to do, even while knowing they’re right at the same time. She loves her people, she fears for them, she pushes them to be better because she knows they can be, she doesn’t want to break them.

I’m just really impressed by the writers’ ability to capture this subtlety. She fits the stereotype of Asian women that the typical non-Asian wants to see, so that they won’t be jarred by how she acts. But they also do homage to why she acts that way, they make her a three dimensional character, they show what the life of an ABC (American-born Chinese) is really like with the strain between Western values and Chinese ones, they show the strength of Chinese women ruling their own demesne in a way that the non-Chinese may never realize hides behind their demure exterior. It’s just beautiful.

I <3 Melinda May, and I <3 the writers who made her so complex and so true.


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asterroc

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