I was just browsing through the extensive array of topics our crew at SAPL has created. I was however, quite stunned to realize that no mention has yet been made of the Asian’s perceived superior intelligence compared to other races. There was that original submission by LinSquared regarding Asian “P@n!$Size and Intelligence”, which although was highly entertaining (and perhaps somewhat inappropriate), probably only satirically skimmed over the crux of the point, being that there is the stereotype that all Asians are intelligent. Which I can for one, can say for a fact is untrue.
Let’s face facts though, many Asians are exquisitely intelligent, and possess many talents. However, so are people of many other races. The perception though, is that a higher proportion of Asians possess special mental prowess over other races. While that does sound like it augers well for us in general, it simply isn’t true. We would be dangerously playing with stereotypes and perceptions when arguing that one race is simply more intelligent than another. Regardless of what people say, some must find it hard to believe that either African-Americans are more physically gifted, half-blood Asians are more attractive or that Caucasian Americans are naturally fatter than the rest of us… (Oooh is that last one going too far?)
When you find an Asian that does seem to possess more intelligence than the average person, it is more likely due to hard work and dedication that is instilled in a young Asian’s head from birth. More often than not, this is due to our parents. Asian parents often have one of two mindsets. They are either motivated by the lack of opportunity provided in their own lives, and are determined to provide their children with the facilities and support to excel that they themselves, never had. Some would say this is a way for Asian parents to live vicariously through their children, to feel pride and achievement that was not possible in their own circumstances.
The other mindset is one of pragmatism. Theever-worrying Asian parent, fearing mediocrity for their child, pushes the poor kid to their limit, all in view for their future. Many an Asian child will not only be academically gifted (math being a traditional Asian standout field), but also creatively gifted (tell me you don’t know any Asians who don’t excel at piano, violin or both). From a Western point of view, the feeling here is that as Asians, we have traditionally been in the minority. In the past we have been discriminated against and ignored. Obviously, things have changed over the years. However, it won’t ever change the Asian parent’s view, in insisting that being smart is a solution to avoiding mediocrity in a Western environment. Hence we are pushed, whether we like or not to achieve, for the sake of our future. Of course, not every Asian abides by these rules, as it is totally dependent on the fortune of our upbringing. However, get back to me again when the stereotype of Asians in Hollywood isn’t that nerdy, spectacled, socially-inept Asian male pouring over equations in his Calculus textbook. Then it’ll be interesting.
Finally, I would just like to make note of my fellow SAPL colleagues’ academic situations. As most of you probably do know, the majority of the SAPL and AC staff are Stanford (and Berkeley) students or graduates. My point here being that it would be hypocritical not to mention our intelligent and quite brilliant staff of SAPL and AC that do not do me any favors in “busting this stereotype” – since as most of you would know, anyone who attends an Ivy League school such as Stanford must be quite brainy themselves. I myself, reside down in Melbourne, Australia undertaking a Bachelor of Arts at a relatively mediocre university. Nothing special really. As with most Arts students, I am looking forward to a helluva time being unemployed once I graduate. Beat that for not conforming to the stereotype! =)
Last 5 posts by Shaun
- #114 World of Warcraft - April 10th, 2009
- #102 Being Modest about *** - December 3rd, 2008
- #99 MSG - November 12th, 2008
- #98 Studying Overseas - October 29th, 2008
- #94 Jay Chou - October 6th, 2008