Blog Post by Max Cohen

I found Sarah Mckinnon’s paper to be very interesting and engaging, though I my biggest complaints came from the moments she stopped reading to address the audience. One point that I found interesting was the recurring argument of men’s rights over women. This seemed to be a theme throughout the paper, mainly in talking about how Chinese men would apply for asylum in their wives’ names.

Another theme of the paper I found interesting was that of immigration. Many people today think of immigration as being almost solely contained to the southern border. However, as Mckinnon pointed out, this was and is not always the case. The United States has always had a sizeable population of Immigrants from Asia, and especially from China. In fact, immigration from China was once such a hot button issue that the United States passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, and even today many asylum seekers from China are regarded with suspicion. This also highlights another misconception of immigration and minorities in general that many people have. This is the misconception that discrimination against Asians and Asian-Americans is either non-existent or severely limited in its scope. The common perception is that all or a majority of discrimination is aimed at blacks, arabs and latinos. However, Mckinnon repeatedly shows not only modern day examples of discrimination against the Chinese but also discusses older forms of discrimination such as the aforementioned Chinese Exclusion Act.

An interesting question of Mckinnon’s paper was that of the influence that women or a lack thereof has on a society’s culture and the way that other’s view that society. Mckinnon talks about the lack of women in early Chinese-American society and the way that it changed not only the Chinese society but also the way that Americans viewed the Chinese immigrants


  1. amoledina says:

    The role of Chinese women in early American society is part of a exhibit at the National Women’s History Museum. Check it out here!