The Three Bears Effect is the name given by Aiyo at the blog Black British Girl for how whites stereotype blacks and Asians as opposites while putting themselves in the middle as “just right” – like in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.
For example, black men are stereotyped as having big penises but not much intelligence while Asian men are the other way round, leaving white men in the middle as “just right”.
It works so well in America that in most cases you can tell what the Asian stereotype will be by taking the opposite of the black one:
- If blacks are cool, then Asians are nerdy.
- If black women are disagreeable, overbearing and loud, then Asian women are sweet, submissive and quiet.
- If blacks are lazy, then Asians are hard working.
- If blacks have a lower IQ than whites, then Asians have a higher one.
- If blacks have a higher poverty rate than whites, then Asians have a lower one.
- If blacks have less education than whites, then Asians have more.
- If black women are “mannish”, then Asian women are “ultra-feminine”.
In Not woman enough, Tami, a black woman, describes “the peculiar state of non-femaleness black women sometimes occupy in the mainstream.” White people generally see black women as “mannish”, so a white, male White Knight typically rushes to aid a white woman, but not a black woman, even when the white woman is the aggressor towards the black woman. Racial stereotypes can attenuate or amplify gender stereotypes.
Mainstream society perceives Asian women as “ultra-feminine” and extra submissive, and when we are sexually objectified, we are perceived as literal sex objects, even more dehumanized than white women. Racial stereotypes still interact with gender stereotypes when it comes to Asian women, but they amplify them. Asian women are stereotyped today in the way that white women were stereotyped in the 1950s. While some white people believe that certain female stereotypes are outdated and no longer apply to women today, it really means they no longer apply to white women. Many white men still realistically expect Asian women to be obedient wives, good cooks, diligent cleaners, submissive, quiet, playing a support role in a marriage, and submitting to sex on demand.