Holy shit, I cannot even attempt to do spoken word when there are people out there creating things like this.
“To JK Rowling, from Cho Chang” by Rachel Rostad
“To J.K. Rowling, from Cho Chang:
When you put me in your books billions of Asian girls across American rejoiced. Finally, a potential Halloween costume that wasn’t a geisha or Mulan. I mean what’s not to love about me. I’m everybody’s favorite character. I totally get to fight tons of death eaters and have a great sense of humor and am full of complex emotions.
Oh wait, that’s the version of Harry Potter where I’m not fucking worthless! First of all, you put me in Ravenclaw. Of course, the only Asian at Hogwarts would be put in the nerdy house. Too bad that you didn’t have a house that specialized in computers and math and karate, huh?
I know, you thought you were being tolerant. Between me, Dean, and the Igyaan twins, Hogwarts has, like, five brown people. It doesn’t matter we’re all minor characters. Nah, you’re not racist! Just like how you’re not homophobic because Dumbledore is totally gay! Of course, it’s not mentioned in the books, but man, hasn’t society come so far. Now gays don’t just have to be closeted in real life, they can even be closeted fictionally!
Ms. Rowling, let’s talk about my name. Cho, Chang. Cho and Chang are both last names. They are both Korean last names. I am supposed to be Chinese! Me being named Cho Chang is like a Frenchman being named Garcia Sanchez. So thank you, thank you for giving me no heritage. Thank you for giving me a name as generic as a ninja costume, as chopstick hair ornaments. Ms. Rowling, I know you’re just the latest participant in a long tradition of turning Asian women into a tragic fetish.
Madame Butterfly: a Japanese women falls in love with a White soldier, is abandoned, kills herself. Miss Saigon: Vietnamese women falls in love with a White soldier, is abandoned, kills herself. Memoirs of a Geisha, Lucy Liu in Thunder, schoolgirl porn.
So let me cry over boys more than I speak. Let me fulfill your diversity quota. Just one more brown girl mourning her white hero. No wonder Harry Potter’s got Yellow Fever. We can go behind small hands and ‘No speak Engrish.’ What else could a man see in me? What else could I be, but what you make me. Subordinate. Submissive. Subplot!
Go ahead, tell me I’m overreacting. Ignore the fact that your books have sold over 400 million copies worldwide. I am plastered across movies screens of best-selling caricature.
Last summer, I met a boy who spoke like rain against windows. He had his father’s blue eyes. He pressed his wrists against mine and say he was too pale. That my skin was so much more beautiful. To him, I was pacific sunset. All men’s milk, a porcelain cup. When he left me, I told myself I should have seen it coming. I wasn’t sure I was sad, but I cried anyway. Girls who look like me are supposed to cry over boys who look like him! I’ve seen all the movies and read all the books!
We, were just following the plot.”