Text Review: Crazy Rich Asians

The popular movie “Crazy Rich Asians” tugged on the heartstrings of many viewers with its romantic plot line. What viewers may not have realized, was the movie’s major focus on cross-cultural identity. For viewers looking to further explore Asian-American identity, this movie paints the perfect modern-day picture of this experience and its implications.

The main characters in the movie are Nick and Rachel. Rachel grew up in New York with her single mother who came to the US when she was pregnant. Nick grew up in Singapore with his family and met Rachel while attending school in New York. The two are a serious couple, and Nick invites Rachel home to Singapore to meet his family for the first time.

The idea of cross-cultural othering quickly comes into play during the couple’s time in Singapore. Nick’s family does not approve of Rachel and insinuates that she doesn’t understand them and their culture due to her upbringing in America. Rachel’s friend explains that Nick’s family sees her as a “banana; yellow on the outside, but white on the inside.” Although Rachel shares their Asian background, Nick’s family sees her as an outsider and considers her American rather than Asian.

This situation made me think of Deming in “The Leavers.” Deming never felt truly at home in either China or the US. Rachel feels like an outsider in the US as well as in Singapore. Both these characters showcase how cross-cultural othering can negatively impact a person and their personal identity. Although Rachel struggles with the disapproval of Nick’s family, she stands her ground and her and Nick end up together in the end.

I believe that the creator of “Crazy Rich Asians” wanted viewers to think a bit harder about culture and what happens when somebody belongs to multiple different cultures. Although Rachel and Nick ended up engaged, I believe the creator wanted viewers to question how often people are truly able to overcome cross-cultural differences. Although the movie had a happy ending, it showcased the difficulties that can truly come with cross-cultural identity.

Podcast Assignment: The Pink Tax Debate

As a college student living on my own and paying for a lot of my own expenses, I’ve started to really take notice of the cost of all of my necessary items. It was a little shocking to realize how expensive little things such as razors, deodorant, and other necessary hygiene items cost. I began to hear in the media about something called “pink tax” on items like razors and other feminine products. After more research, I found that pink tax not only applies to razors and shaving cream, but the prices of numerous women’s products and services are priced higher than men’s. This has issued a debate as to whether or not this so-called pink tax is a form of gender discrimination against women. In this column, both sides of the argument will be analyzed to demonstrate how the pink tax truly is facilitating gender discrimination towards women.       

Although the term “pink tax” has been coined recently, price differences in products and services between men and women have been around for years. Let’s dive into the history of gender discrimination in pricing. According to Rocket HQ, “Before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010 and prohibited the practice, health insurers routinely charged women higher monthly premiums than men. The rationale for charging women more for health insurance was that women have more health – specifically, reproductive – costs than men” (The Pink Tax: What Is It And How Can I Avoid It, 1). This rationale is still present today as to why many women’s products and services are more expensive than men’s. Some claim that women’s haircuts are more expensive than men’s because cutting women’s hair is a more complicated process. However, this logic is flawed when you look at other situations such as the car industry. The car industry has used manipulation tactics on women for years to get more money out of them. According to a study, “In 1991,YaleLaw professor Ian Ayres found that car dealerships were systematically offering better prices on identical cars to white men than they were for black or women shoppers” (The Pink Tax: What Is It And How Can I Avoid It, 1). This doesn’t stop at the selling of cars; women are often charged more for car repairs as well. The Affordable Care Act and other legislation have been put into place to prevent racial discrimination in health care and other settings, but this has still not been achieved at the product level. That is why people are still fighting against the pink tax and demanding that there be changes made to ensure that goods are priced equally for men and women. Although some historical gender discrimination has been righted by legislation, the debate is whether or not the current pink tax on products is still discriminating against women or if it is just normal economics.

“Lawmakers have found it more difficult to regulate the pricing of goods, as evidenced by the 2016 legislative attempt in California to update its law to include prohibition of gender-based discrimination on goods. The bill was ultimately withdrawn following criticism that it could open a door for excessive litigation. A similar bill is currently moving through the New York State Assembly” (The Pink Tax: What Is It And How Can I Avoid It, 1).

There are copious examples of evidence that demonstrate the higher prices of women’s items. Pink tax is seen the most in personal care items such as razors, deodorant, medicine, and even in items like clothes and children’s toys. According to Dora Mekouar, “The price differences suggest women pay a yearly “gender tax” of about $1,351, despite buying the same products and services as men” (Mekouar, 1). Although the price differences may seem small on individual items, this shows how much they can add up over the course of a year. Image the cost difference over an entire lifetime. The New York City Department of Affairs conducted a report on pink tax. They examined 794 products that were comparable between the men and women’s version. They also used 91 different brands in the study. The study included, “five different industries, such as personal care products or senior/home healthcare products. These encompassed 35 product categories, such as body wash or shampoo. In every single of those five industries, consumer goods marketed to women and girls cost more. The same was the case in all but five of the 35 product categories” (Pink Tax: The Real Cost of Gender-Based Pricing, 1). The evidence from the study was overwhelming in proving that pink tax is legitimate in almost all categories of consumer goods. Women are faced with higher prices on a multitude of items that they need to purchase for everyday use. Some arguments say that women’s products may cost more to make, however, when looking at the price of children’s toys, that argument loses some validity. Many girl’s children’s toys are more expensive than boys. According to a study, “Researchers looked at 106 products in the toys and accessories category and found that, on average, those intended for girls were priced 7 percent higher” (Pink Tax: The Real Cost of Gender-Based Pricing, 1). Companies will sell the exact same toy, however, the pink version meant for girls will be priced higher than the blue or red version meant for boys. A simple color change does not justify an increase in price. This is again seen with personal care products, for example, a five-pack of Schick Hydro cartridges in purple packaging cost $18.49, while the same count of Schick Hydro refills in blue packaging cost $14.99” (Pink Tax: The Real Cost of Gender-Based Pricing, 1). These examples demonstrate how the price increases on many women’s and girl’s products are unfair and unjust as they are not due to any valid cost differences. These demonstrate the gender discrimination that companies exploit in their marketing and pricing to get women to spend more money on items that they need for everyday life. Without legislation to disallow these practices, corporations will continue to exploit the needs of women.

The other side of the debate’s argument is that there if sensible reasoning as to why the women’s products are priced higher. They claim that price differences are simply due to differences in audience and production costs and should not be considered gender discrimination. According to research, “women are more likely to pay more to buy an exact product that addresses an exact need that they are looking for, and the brands supply this demand with these curated products” (Faber, 1). For example, if women have frizzy hair, they are likely to buy a shampoo that specifically targets frizzy hair rather than a more general option. They claim that, “extra varied products cost money to research and formulate, and graphic designers and marketers are then needed to make the product a reality that is added to the array of products on your local Walgreen’s shelves” (Faber, 1). Although this information is valid and makes sense, it is not explaining the price differences in comparable products like the Schick razors or Dove deodorant that are basically the same product at different prices. The differences in the pricing of identical products is what illuminates the injustice and gender discrimination of pink tax. 

Although some women’s products may cost more to produce than others, that does not change the fact that women are being charged more than men for comparable and even almost identical products. Corporations are unfairly targeting women and charging them heightened prices for essential products. Not only is this happening to women, but companies are targeting young girls as well as seen in the pricing discrepancies in toys and clothing. Legislation has ended gender discrimination in the past in other industries but has failed thus far to end it in the product industry. Although we have not touched on gender discrimination much in this class, we have addressed other types such as racial discrimination. For example, in the novel “March”, black freedom fighters used many methods to demand changes in legislation such as sit ins, protests, and marches. Legislation has not yet been able to be passed on pink tax, therefore there is still work to be done in order to right this injustice. Without change, the market will still target women with higher priced items as long as we continue to pay for them. I leave you with the following actions that you can take to fight against the gender discrimination of pink tax:

  • support companies that provide gender-neutral pricing of their products
  • buy more gender-neutral items while shopping to avoid pink tax and boycott the products that companies are unjustly inflating the price of
  • always compare prices when shopping to make yourself aware of pink tax items
  • Talk to state representatives, retailers, and educate others on social media regarding this issue. Your voice can make a difference!


Faber, Faith. “Pink Tax? Economically It Makes Sense.” The Index, 11 Nov. 2019, www.thekzooindex.com/pink-tax-economically-it-makes-sense/#:~:text=Pink%20Tax%20is%20the%20idea,is%20a%20discrimination%20against%20women.&text=Women’s%20products%20and%20men’s%20products,to%20economics%20rather%20than%20discrimination.

Mekouar, Dora. “Does ‘Pink Tax’ Force Women to Pay More than Men?” Voice of America, www.voanews.com/usa/all-about-america/does-pink-tax-force-women-pay-more-men.

Pink Tax: The Real Cost of Gender-Based Pricing. www.healthline.com/health/the-real-cost-of-pink-tax.

“The Pink Tax: What Is It And How Can I Avoid It?” Rocket HQ, Rocket HQ, 21 Sept. 2020, www.rockethq.com/learn/personal-finances/the-pink-tax-what-is-it-and-how-can-i-avoid-it#:~:text=One%20side%20argues%20that%20the,fought%20or%20even%20regulated%20against.


Systemic Injustice Showcase: Nursing Home Understaffing

The systemic injustice diary entry that I will be elaborating on today is regarding the systemic issues in nursing home management that negatively impact residents. As I stated in my diary entry, “This past summer, I worked in a nursing home as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). I worked there in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic which was an extremely eye-opening experience for me. I saw residents lose their daily socialization activities, not be able to be visited by loved ones, and even watched some residents lose their lives to the virus. Although the pandemic greatly affected the residents this past year, elder abuse in nursing homes is a longstanding issue that still plagues nursing homes to this day. I did not witness any physical abuse of residents while working there, however, there are systemic issues within nursing home management that take away rights from the individuals who reside there.”

There are numerous forums that allow reporting of nursing home abuse; however, direct abuse of residents is much less common than the neglect that occurs on a daily basis due to staffing and management issues. According to the nursing home abuse center, “Research indicates that as many as 95 percent of nursing facilities in the US are understaffed” (Nursing Home Abuse Support Team, 2021). The scariest part is that states have different definitions regarding what constitutes understaffing. For example, “the state of Florida mandates that there be at least one licensed nurse for every 40 residents” (Nursing Home Abuse Support Team, 2021). As an aide, I personally had 17 residents to myself one shift; high numbers like these were common. There is no way to provide the around the clock care that each patient needs when an aide is responsible for that many residents at one time. This leads to neglect, infections, sores, and many other health issues for residents. A study at Cambridge university found that nurse staffing below a critical level had a direct correlation with increased infections in residents (Scott, 1996). This is not because aides are trying to be neglectful or abuse their residents; it is because management does not provide adequate staffing due to monetary concerns, loose state ratio mandates, or high employee turnover.

This is a systemic injustice because proper aide-to-resident ratios are not in place in many states or are not upheld by management in states that may have proper ratios. The blame for abuse and neglect in nursing homes is often placed on aides. The reality is that aides are doing their best to care for far too many residents at a time because management and state mandates are allowing understaffing to continue. Another sad truth that relates to our reading in class is that the voices of those being abused are overpowered by management trying to cover up this issue and save money on staff since they are for profit organization. Resident testimony is often covered up by claiming that they are mentally delusional or ill. This is similar to the silencing of “other” voices in the one/other relationship. The video embedded in this post details the numerous signs that are present in nursing homes that are neglecting residents due to under staffing. People need to understand the true issues that are taking place in nursing homes and learn the signs of neglect. In order to right this injustice states and nursing home management need to set and enforce proper ratios to maintain the safety of residents and ensure they get the care that they deserve.




Fridkin, Scott K., et al. “The Role of Understaffing in Central Venous Catheter-Associated Bloodstream Infections.” Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, vol. 17, no. 3, 1996, pp. 150–158., doi:10.2307/30142373.

Nursing Home Abuse Support Team Last modified: March 2, et al. “Understaffing in Nursing Homes – Consequences & Dangers.” Nursing Home Abuse Center, www.nursinghomeabusecenter.com/nursing-home-neglect/understaffing/#:~:text=Research%20indicates%20that%20as%20many,nurse%20for%20every%2040%20residents.

“What Is the Solution to Understaffing in Kentucky Nursing Homes?” Gray and White Law, www.grayandwhitelaw.com/blog/what-is-the-solution-to-understaffing-in-kentucky-nursing-homes-.cfm.


Persepolis Contextual Research Presentation

The overthrow of the Shah was the major event that initiated the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war. The difference in thinking between the Shah and Islamic revolutionists created the tension and turmoil within Iran that is illuminated throughout Persepolis. The differences in beliefs are what caused so many of the changes within Marjane’s life including the wearing of the veil, what she was taught in school, and even what music she could and could not listen to. The history behind the overthrow of the Shah, and the involvement of other countries in the process reveals why there were such fundamental differences in thinking and why so much tension ensued.

The Shah worked closely with and was largely supported by other countries such as Britain and the United States. The Shah was starting to try to “Westernize” Iran with the help of these other countries. According to historian Matt Mullen, “In 1963, the Shah launched his “White Revolution,” a broad government program that included land reform, infrastructure development, voting rights for women, and the reduction of illiteracy” (Mullen, 1). Unfortunately, many Islamic leaders were very critical of this “Westernization” as it went against many Islamic religious beliefs. The strict beliefs of the Islamic revolutionists are revealed throughout Persepolis as they harass Marjane for her choice in clothes, and her inability to properly cover herself with her veil. Islamic leaders were fundamentally against many of the ideas of Westernization which is what lead them to overthrow the Shah. The tension turned violent on the sides of both the Shah and the revolutionists. The Shah started to resort to violence when people spoke out against him. Revolutionists also started to get violent when, “rioting and destroying symbols of westernization, such as banks and liquor stores” (Mullen, 1).

The fundamental differences in beliefs within Iran are what lead to much of the conflict that Marjane witnessed while growing up in Iran. The differences in thinking are emphasized when Marjane compares what her parents believe with what she is taught in school. These differing beliefs were not only confusing for Marjane while navigating her childhood in Iran, but they also greatly contributed to the conflict of the revolution and the war that she endured.

Mullen , Matt. “Shah Flees Iran.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 21 July 2010, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/shah-flees-iran.