By Jessica N. Bowles-Martinez

"Big Bad Chinese Mama" is set up to specifically mock the Asian mail-order bride sites and catalogs which play up stereotypes associated with Asian women. Using this premise the site is a forum for the site creator to dispute the stereotypes and attack the men who have "Asian fetishes" which are based on the belief that such stereotypes are true.

The main page has badly photo-shopped pictures of an Asian woman in a kimono smiling demurely. In the pictures she has her head removed, multiple eyes, or a frown painted on her face. The text promises that the site contains "demure lotus blossoms," "geishas," and "oriental sluts." This is the angle many Asian porn sites and mail-order bride sites take when talking about their Asian women. These sites commodify the culture by showing Asian women "traditional" outfits and listing cultural traits that all Asian women supposedly are born with.

A couple months ago I saw a documentary on a man who ran an "Asian bride" company. He constantly argued that Asian women were preferable because they are coy, willing to do whatever they are asked, and will be grateful to be with a western man. The people making this site are very aware of these and other stereotypes and seem very pissed off and bitter about it.

The site doesn't throw out abstract intellectual essays claiming to "get to the essence" or "truth" of what an Asian woman is really like. Rather, the personality of the people who created the site comes through in the photos and rants. There are pictures of Asian girls beating up and attacking men while making faces at the camera. There isn't stylized martial arts or traditional costumes, its just some "ass kicking."

In making its point the site is more effective than any laid out argument or essay because it shows first hand multiple contradictions to the stereotypes it's trying to shatter. The girl who made the site shows in her writing that she is not about to stand by and be used or stereotyped. She swears, she makes faces; she embraces things that are offensive and silly.

There are great parts of the site that just cracked me up. There was the area where the mail-order brides send in photos of themselves. The photos are of Asian women making faces, urinating, or attacking other people. The area where you "order" the brides has shirts for sale that have clueless looking white males saying things like "I am fascinated by you oriental people" and other ignorant sounding comments.

The part were I felt that the jokes fell short were the prank calls that were made to various agencies which were in the business of exploiting women. Most of the calls were not all that funny, nor did they seem very relevant to the content on the rest of the page. Some of the calls were loosely related to the page. One call was to a mail order bride company but the caller mostly asked about whether the women knew anything about cars. Another call was to a place looking for Asian female hostesses, but the conversation strayed towards lame "bathroom humor" type jokes rather than getting to any real point. It was frustrating to listen to, because this was an opportunity to point out contradictions or attack the people in a humorous way about the stereotypes they were perpetuating. Instead, the chance was lost for a cheap joke that was not very funny.

Overall the page was really amusing. I showed it to a few female Asian friends and they seemed to really connect with what the people on the site were complaining about. I also found it really amusing and recognized some of the situations and the way the stereotypes manifest themselves at MIT. I don't hear very many people address these stereotypes so I had not really thought about or questioned many of them. Now, I think I'll be more sensitive when someone stereotypes an Asian woman as a demure, exotic, "lotus" who wears a kimono and cooks rice all day.