Seoul Over Stereotypes
a spoken word poem by Ashley Lee
a spoken word poem. watch the performance here
When you think of your stereotypical Asian girl,
do not envision me.
You see, in my house, my mother cooks rice.
1. I. Hate. Rice.
I once told my mother
I preferred cheeseburgers over kimchi.
2. I did not survive. My friends say that I am their favorite Mulan.
3. I am Korean.
Don’t ask me to answer
your misconceptions of who I am.
I don’t need to add or subtract my identity
to please you
-that’s your problem to solve.
My mother did not sign me up to play tennis
like you thought she did.
I can’t even hold an instrument
but I can beat you with an argument.
I can see perfectly fine,
my vision is 20/20
and when I get my license,
don’t look at me funny.
You see, I am not your Asian stereotype.
God painted me with all the right shades,
perfected my being
with every imperfection it takes.
You, you expect me to be quiet, exotic, docile?
Be a walking stereotype?
Judge me when you’re perfect
because these hands
are made for something more.
Girls like me are treated like queens back home,
respect given with no hesitation,
wait for me to start eating
before their meal devastation.
But you tell me, I am just your average Asian girl.
So average, I can move mountains with my words.
So average, I speak every tongue known to man.
So average, I make you dance to every song.
You say I am too weak
to lift your man roles
but my hands can carry your sharp words
out the door.
-watch me drag it
and set it in a place
where you can find forgiveness.
I refuse to be silenced
by drowning in your words,
drowning in your ignorance,
drowning in your perception of me.
The waves of your voice
trying to swallow me,
churning in my soul
and I can’t breathe.
But I see you.
I recognize your flaws.
Because I am proud of my heritage, my culture
and you cannot strip that away from me.
I am a writer
And the goddamn president of the United States.
I am what I want to be and so much more
and that is not your stereotypical Asian girl.
- Ashley Lee