Back in September 2012, Grace Meng a New York assembly women, was given a chance at a seat in Congress when she was endorsed by former Mayor Edward Koch. When she gave her endorsement acceptance speech she was not given praise for potentially being the first Asian American elected to Congress from New York. She was instead bombarded with questions concerning her father, Jimmy Meng’s, arrest in July on federal bribery charges. Her father’s case has cast a negative shadow over her entire campaign, even if she still remains the favorite to win.
Even though many other children have been affected and questioned about their parents decision, this particular case stood out to me because of the information we have been studying about women’s representation and non-representation in todays media. In a story that should be focused on the success of Grace Meng and her quest on becoming the first Asian American to represent New York in Congress, the author of this article, who sex is male pulls our attention away from Grace and focuses it primarily on her father Jimmy Meng. Through out the entire article Ms. Meng’s career as a lawyer and her political success as a New York assembly women are only discussed briefly, no more than a few sentences. Instead of focusing our attention of Ms. Meng’s campaign we are forced to focus on her father, Mr. Meng’s career as a politician, as well as his influence on his daughter and eventually his recent public downfall due to federal bribery allegations.
The article discusses how Mr. Meng was an immigrant in the 1970’s and that he worked his way up from a dishwasher to a successful business man. It goes on to discuss his role as a community leader and how he raised funds for the Democratic Party and how he was the first Asian American elected to the State Legislator. The article also states his involvement in Ms. Meng’s campaign and how many people believe the money he allegedly stole aided his daughter’s success, and possibly even her interest in joining politics.
This type of article validates everything we discussed and read in class about women being represented and non-represented on the front pages of newspapers and magazines. Even though this is a political article that a minority woman is “featured” in, her political stances and opinions are never fully discussed. Instead of focusing on her campaign and the issues she plans to tackle, the focus is on how she feels about her father’s court case. Also this article clearly makes Grace Meng out to be the victim of her father’s wrong doings, rather then a leader, hero or role model. In studies this has been proven that women, especially minority women are often featured in articles as victims, this is often done to “fluff” the article. Finally this article should be about Grace Meng, but severely lacks her presence throughout the entire article. When she is mentioned it is usually while fielding questions pertaining to her father, or about her upbringing instead of the important issue of her becoming the first Asian American to represent New York in Congress. This also contributes to the findings that on front pages or in major articles there is little or no female presence. This article is a prime example and supports the numbers that even though women make up a larger portion of our population, the media still under-represents them in newspapers, radio and television.