This Is What It's Like To Be An Asian Woman In The Age Of The Coronavirus

Wendy Lu

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to skyrocket around the globe, so, too, are acts of racism and discrimination against Asian American people who increasingly are being blamed for a virus they had nothing to do with.

And coronavirus-related discrimination may have a disproportionate impact on Asian women, who are three times more likely to report instances of racist harassment related to the coronavirus than Asian men, according to a report released last Thursday by the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (AP3CON) and Chinese for Affirmative Action.

In just over a week, March 19-27, the organizations received more than 750 reports of coronavirus-related discrimination through their reporting center Stop AAPI Hate, which was launched to document hate incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Nearly 100 reports have been submitted each day and range from verbal attacks, such as racial slurs and name-calling, to physical assault to being barred from an establishment, according to the report that was conducted by Russell Jeung, chair and professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.

About half of the reported incidents happened at a business, but a good portion occurred at parks, on public transit, on the internet or in the streets. The report includes anonymous, detailed anecdotes in which participants describe what happened during the encounters. 

Several reasons may explain why Asian women are reporting three times more hate incidents than men — for example, it’s possible that Asian men are more likely to stay quiet about such incidents. But Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, told HuffPost the significant disparity could stem from women being generally more likely to experience a lot of harassment.

“There’s reasons for that. One is the sense that perhaps women are not going to fight back, are more vulnerable, less likely to respond, and so...

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