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M. Butterfly I. Orientalism and Stereotype of Oriental women

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1 M. Butterfly I. Orientalism and Stereotype of Oriental women
II. Relationship between Gallimard and Song III. Sexual Politics

2 I. Orientalism 1. A regularized manner of writing, vision and study dominated by ideological biases suited to the orient. (source) 2.The image of the ‘Orient’ 3. Not a school of thought; a form presented in arts and researches by the occident.

3 The Image of the ‘Orient’
West East subject object Masculinity Femininity Self ‘other’ strong weak

4 Asian Portrayed in Media
Early: Fear for Asian immigrantsevil Post World War II: Japanese as the evil imperialist; Chinese as the innocent victims and diligent farm people. Vietnam War:Vietnamese as the evil Asian; greedy, vicious.




8 Contemporary Image of Chinese
Corrupted legal system and government (e.g. Red Corner, Spy Game ) Old, refuse the outside world and changes (e.g. Red Corner) Full of beautiful women (feminine image) (e.g. Rush Hour 2) Exotic; dragon Everyone knows martial art; long, narrow eyes and thin eyebrows; 著中山裝及旗袍 (e.g Charlie’s Angel, Rush Hour, Red Corner)

9 Stereotype on Oriental Women
Image of ‘farm women’: Passive Quiet; never quarrel Devoted (to family, love, etc.) Diligent; endure hardship Humble; tender Image of ‘whore’: Born to please men ( great sexual techniques) Cannot resist white men Prostitutes

10 Examples of Oriental Women’s Image (The ‘farm women’)
Miss Saigon Kim as a poor, orphaned prostitute, was saved from the brothel by an American GI Christopher. They got separated in war. Kim awaited patiently, without any complaint for three years. She is devoted to her child and her husband.

11 Example of Oriental Women’s Image (‘Whore’)
The world of Suzie Wong Some films concerning the Vietnam War. Miss Saigon (girls other than Kim) Image source: left, right

12 Icon 宗毓華 (Connie Chung) Airline ads of Asian flight attendants
Exotic anchorwoman Other female, Asian anchorwomen are asked to dress like Connie Chung Airline ads of Asian flight attendants Always bowing to customers Subject and subordinate to a comfortable, luxurious service. Image source


14 II.Relationship between G & S
1. a. How does Song present herself as an Oriental woman? b. How does Gallimard reinforce his masculinity from Song? 2. Role switching of Song and Gallimard.

15 S’s Oriental Woman toward G/ G’s Masculinity from S (1)
1) German Embassy—p.16-17 S: anti-Orientalism/ approaches G, calling him a white man/ invite G to expand his education G: attracted by S’s criticism about Madame Butterfly 2) Chinese Opera House/Streets of Beijing—pp.20-22 S: showing her suggestiveness I too can distance myself from my people./ How I wish there were even a tiny café to sit in./ But sometimes…sometimes, it is mutual. G: Started puzzling (coz’ women do not flirt with him)

16 S’s Oriental & G’s Masculinity (2)
3) S’s calling for G in the early morning—pp.26-27 S: ask for G’s forgiveness/ invite G going to opera house 4) S’s apartment for the 1st time—p.27 G’s thirst intensified G: She is outwardly bold and outspoken, yet her heart is shy and afraid. It is the Oriental in her…/ Though the idea is almost beyond belief, I believe she is afraid of me.

17 S’s Oriental &G’s Masculinity (3)
5) S’s apartment for the 2nd time—pp.28-31 S: Entertaining G (=a gentleman)/ China is a nation whose soul is firmly rooted two thousand years in the past… even pouring the tea for you now…has implications… Even my own heart, strapped inside this Western dress./ You are from France.You see so many beautiful women. I feel…I am not myself…Hard as I try to be moderate, to speak like a man, to hold a Western woman’s strong face up to my own…in the end, I fail/ I’ve never…never invited a man up to my flat before. G: …she does—she feels inferior to Western women—and to me

18 S’s Oriental & G’s Masculinity (4)
6) G’s experiment on S—p35 S’s letters to G ☆ 5th week My audience miss the white devil in their midst. ☆ 6th week Sometimes I hate you, sometimes I hate myself, but always I miss you. ☆ 7th week Don’t bother to call. I’ll have you turned away at the door. ☆ 8th week I can hide behind dignity no longer. What do you want? I’ve already given you my shame.

19 S’s Oriental &G’s Masculinity (5)
7) Immediately after G’s promotion—pp.39-40 G: asks S to confess herself his Butterfly S: admits to be the Butterfly/ I’ve tried to appear experienced, but the truth is no. Please…it all frightens me. I am a modest Chinese girl. …Though inexperienced, I am not ignorant. They teach us things, our mothers, about how to pleasing a man. I ‘ll do my best to make you happy.---end of Act I 8) Butterfly’s flat—pp.43-44 S: I want to know what you know. To be impressed by my man…you’re making decisions which change the shape of the world.

20 S’s Oriental & G’s Masculinity (6)
9) G’s loss of power(1): Helga—pp.49-51 S: promises G to have him a son, but not being his wife/ Reconfirmation of G’s masculinity Promise me…you won’t go to the doctor. Who is this Western quack to set himself as judge over the man I love? I know who is a man, and who is not. 10) G’s loss of power(2): Renee—pp.52-55 Renee’s comments on the “winnie”(R:small;G: young) G: But is it possible for a woman to be too uninhibited, too willing, so as to seem almost too…masculine. She knew the secret I was trying to hide…she didn't confront me, threaten me, even put.

21 S’s Oriental &G’s Masculinity (7)
11) G’s loss of power(3): Toulon—pp.58 After the talk with Toulon about assassination of President Diem, G goes to S as “a vessel to contain [his] humiliation. 12) The Cultural Revolution—p.67 S: promises to raise the baby herself and causes no burden for G outside of China

22 Role Switching S and G sing Love Duet at the same time--p.41
 Implication: S as both Butterfly and Pinkerton S: In the crush of your adoration, I thought you’d become something more like…a woman. G: I’m already sorry. Exactly…as sorry as a Butterfly.--pp.90-91  Confusion: Who the Butterfly is G’s suicide and S stares at G’s dead body/ S’s searching for Butterfly--p.93  Clarification: S as Pinkerton  G as Butterfly

23 III. Sexual Politics (1) Act 1
Scene 9 G’s dream talking with Marc --p.25 M:…she must surrender to you. It’s her destiny.  the East must surrender to the West Scene 12 G’s promotion to Vice-Consul--pp.37-38  Toulon needs G’s inside knowledge of China Act 2 Scene 3 G: The Orientals simply want to be associated with whoever shows the most strength and power….Deep down, they miss the old days…. Orientals will always submit to a greater force. --pp.45-46

24 Sexual Politics (2) Act 2 Scene 6 G: I tell the Americans, Diem must go….Oriental women—when they’re good, they’re very good, but when they’re bad, they’re Christians.--p.52 Act 3 Scene 1 S: West’s rape mentality--pp.82-83  West as masculine/powerful; East as feminine/weak Afterword Imperialism Formula: Good natives of both sex take up “feminine characteristic”.

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