Chapter 5 Making Chinese Canadian masculinities in Vancouver’s physical education curriculum
By: Brad Millington, Patricia Vertinsky, Ellexis Boyle and Brian Wilson
• Millington saw a white kid being discriminative towards Asian kids, in PE class, as he said the Asians are at a disadvantage in
• This racism occurred a century ago, in the form of “chink bashing” ▯ white boys attacked Chinese boys.
• Chinese boys are presented, both past and present, as unworthy foils of young white males. This creates hierarchies of
• The broad goal is to begin to tease out the patterns of “power at play” in the interactions of race and masculinity in PE.
• This is a crucial first step towards questioning and reshaping PE, which could provide a non racism setting of education.
• The authors position is to get a better understanding of the connections between overt historical forms of racism and more
subtle contemporary forms of racism that could inspire a questioning of takenforgranted strategies for designing and
implementing PE in schools. It could also help teachers working in PE to understand the complexity of masculinity and
• There are indicators that the integration of visibleminority immigrants is impeded by the perception of discrimination and
vulnerability and that their children are exhibiting as profound a sense of exclusion as their parents.
• Many Canadians think racism is not present in Canada, but it is and this causes persistence of white privilege and power.
Constructing ChineseCanadian masculinities: institutional racism and the historical stereotyping of Chinese men in Western Canada
• In mid 19 century and onwards, Asians were stereotyped as small, effeminate and weak in relation to the bodies and
masculinities of white men. Also, they were thought as sexually perverse, barbaric, and their wives were symbols of
scapegoats for China’s national humility.
• Chinese men were called the “sick men of East Asia”.
• They were also called the “yellow peril” ▯ Oriental Chinamen description as deceitful, morally dangerous and feminine.
• There was a fear that hoards of Chinese would overpopulate Canada and spread disease, drugs and lifestyles. So Orientals and
black people were banned from using swimming pools until 1945.
• Terms of “yellow bellied, yellow devil and yellow fiend” were used by newspapers to make people panic about the dangerous
sexuality of Chinese men, and their cowardness.
• From late 1880’s to WW1, no group faced more racism than Chinese.
• There was a selffulfilling prophecy as Vancouver Asian’s worked in laundry mats, and restaurants and lost masculinity b/c
they were perceived as doing “women’s’ work”.
• There was a Act to Regulate the Chinese Population of BC ▯denied right to vote, work or own Crown Land, hire white women,
a head tax on children, etc. They could not have interracial marriages, causing them to be unmasculine.
• The enforced segregation influenced the social perception of Asians in Vancouver society.
• They weren’t allowed to bring wives over from China, so restrictions of their social roles of fathers/husband fed the white
man’s view of themselves as more superior and masculine than Asian men.
Chinese masculinities in early BC schools
• Masculinity in early school setting was linked to the requirement of building and sustaining the British Empire, and the
masculine model was white military heroes.
• English language discourse constructed Chinese characters as “Asiatic population alien in spirit, feeling and everything”.
• White working class were the main supporters of school segregation, and older Asian kids were segregated from other kids.
• Chinese merchant class had to support hegemonic masculinity to allow their kids to get a good education.
ChineseCanadian sporting pursuits
• Chinese people focused more on education. Chinese people of a higher socioeconomic status were able to enrol kids in sport.
• Ex: Rich Chinese merchant, Yip Sang, was able to enrol sons into soccer. One son, Quene Yip, was recruited by university
football teams. His teammate said team’s success came from Chinese player’s quickness and speed.
• On the soccer field, the notion that race was erased in a romanticized one. It is likely that white people thought Asians were
being assimilated into Canadian society and they were gaining social and physical capital.
ChineseCanadian masculinities in the late twentieth and early twentyfirst centuries: everyday racism
• Chinese people wield immense influence on every aspect of society which some claim is Canada’s multiculturalism at it’s
best ▯ a colour blind gathering of talent and shared purpose.
• Asians arriving from China in 1980’s are viewed as business powerhouses.
• The global media has new images of Chinese masculinity ▯ Bruce Lee, Yao Ming inserted new images of hard bodied manhood
into Chinese masculinity notions.
• They have introduced chameleonlike properties ▯ holding up academic excellence while glorifying western ideas of discipline
in Oriental cultures. • One of the most important stories of Asian Americans experience is the process of receiving and retelling cultural traditions in
the face of dominant ideas of Asian’s.
• The whites and Asians still tend to conduct themselves as 2 solitudes.
• Chinese Canadian’s have not been fully accepted into Canadian society. Asians are still seemed as racially distinct, culturally
exotic, interested in the pur