By Wesley Wong

This is what will happen when Hello Kitty grows a mouth…

This site was originally the senior colloquium project by a student of UCLA's department of World Arts and Cultures. It is one of the most hilarious sites I have seen in a while. It is a mock Asian mail-order bride site, and is dedicated to attacking the stereotypes assigned to Asian women and the Western men who pursue Asian women in search of a "loyal, soft-spoken, dainty" wife. There is a list of 'brides for sale', replete with photographs, aimed at contradicting the "Lotus Blossom" image of Asian women through unflattering images of Asian women seated on toilets, showing off unshaven legs, and making funny faces. The humor on the site is sharp and unforgiving. There are countless images of Asian women attacking white men, and even a t-shirt for sale, depicting a western man handing two Asian women flowers with the quote "I find you Oriental people so fascinating". Finally, there is the language, which is harsh and full of expletives - "You want exotic, erotic subservience go f*ck yourself with an 'oriental' vase."

Although the author's message is a familiar one, the use of a parody to convey it is highly original, and in my opinion very effective. Race relations are typically addressed in more formal structures and somber tones. instead employs politically incorrect, and at times offensive, humor to make its point. This is particularly effective for our generation, which has already been bombarded with, and as a result desensitized to, the standard politically correct statements about race and stereotypes. Some visitors, however, seem to take issue with the parody, claiming that the author is insensitive to "the motives of either Western men or East Asian women who use online dating services."

The issues dealt with in are very real. In particular, as someone who is half-Chinese and grew up in Hong Kong, I too am disturbed by the manner in which Asian culture has been "commodified". Everywhere I go, I see people wearing caps or sporting tattoos featuring Chinese characters they don't understand. Urban Outfitters sells Buddhist bead bracelets for $7.99 to suburban teens who think they look "cool". The primary focus of, however, is the stereotypes facing Asian women propagated by mass media and novels such as "Memoirs of a Geisha", and the difficulties Asian women experience as a result of these stereotypes, particularly through the advances of Western men in search of their own geisha. This is not an issue I have thought about much, but has most definitely raised my awareness of it. It is no wonder that this site has been such a success. With over 130,000 hits in its first couple months of existence, leading to the author being invited to speak at campuses across California, is raising awareness of this issue nationwide.