Violence against Asian women: Why not covered? Why doesn’t it matter?

This post will inevitably be discombobulated. I have never posted to Feministing before but I am filled with deep sadness. Last month in Virginia Tech, a Chinese female graduate student, Xin Yang, was decapitated by a 25-year old male Chinese international student, Haiyang Zhu. It happened in a scene or setting most of us could see ourselves in–sitting in a cafe near the University with a male acquaintance. It happened as seven other people were present. It was no ordinary killing–Zhu decapitated Yang with a kitchen knife. Here is the story:
Some of the comments in Xin Yang’s Facebook memorial page truly sickened me and reminded me once again about the grossly unequal gender relations that beset China.
Here are two of them:
from Dong Ding:
“One reason is that female are generally easiler to use their body to get somenthing, and especially among Chinese oversea students, she takes use of being beautiful and takes advantages of the weakness of men, only this time she met a different man…Second reason is that female are much easier to be indulged in a carefree or voluptuous way of life, she went to a place where sensuous satisfaction is near hand, she grasps all of it and tries to pay nothing for it. Third reason is that Beijing local youth are quite spoiled by their family, after going aborad, she tries be the same dandled babe on the knees of different men. She even theatens a to-be boyfriend for money compensation for having sex with him!
In one word, she is the victim of her own life pattern.”
And another from Tian Cai:
“There are always some childish girls who feel that they can take advantages from the guys around them simply because they’ve got good looking faces, Yang is no exception. They should think about why the heavens are the guys obligated to help them anyway!”
In both comments by what I assume are Chinese men living abroad, Yang was blamed for having a “good looking face” or being desirable as a female. These are gross depictions of victim-blaming in an exceptionally horrific case. In both comments, women are reduced to sexual teases by the Chinese men who covet them. In both comments lies the assumption of women not having agency over their bodies, of the notion that women’s bodies belong to the public domain.
Selfishly, another angle of why I’m shocked is that I didn’t find out about this killing back when it happened in late January. The New York Times only ran a brief paragraph on it that did not count as an article. None of the feminist blogs I visit gave any mention of it.
Was this not a feminist issue? That a 25-year-old Chinese man murdered a 22-year old Chinese woman on a campus, in the presence of 7 others? That he murdered her out of what can only be assumed as a need to sexually possess her? And secondly, the minority of women who are least likely to report rape are Asian women. The stereotype of meekness that besets Asian women and renders them as Other continues to perpetuate the media, and I don’t see much of it dissected in the feminist blogs I visit. More than that, I just am surprised how few feminist blogs mentioned this story. Why didn’t this horrendous account of violence against an Asian woman count?

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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