Subscribe to Motivational Mondays on your favorite podcast platform!
May Lee is a US and international broadcast journalist, host, correspondent, and producer. May partnered with the leading Asian online news source, NextShark, to launch The May Lee Show, a talk show focused on Asian-American stories.
Listen to this episode of Motivational Minutes to learn about May’s passion and purpose in life.
May shares the inspiration behind her book, May Lee Live and In Person
In 2007, May saw a dynamic shift happening among women in Asia. They were becoming more independent, vocal, and career-oriented. Simultaneously, she was embarking on something that Asia had never seen before—the first iteration of The May Lee Show; a talk show geared toward empowering women in Asia.
That’s when a publisher approached her and asked her to write a book about her career. May wasn’t planning on writing an autobiography, but they wanted to know how she built her career. This became her opportunity to share that things aren’t easy for people of color—especially women of color. She wanted to empower them with her story, just like she would with her show.
How Mitsuye Yamada’s experience impacted May Lee
“To finally recognize our own invisibility is to finally be on the path toward visibility. Invisibility is not a natural state for anyone.” – Mitsuye Yamada
May notes that many people struggle with feeling invisible, especially people of color. The US has a long history of making certain groups feel this way. She notes that these feelings are repressed but they shouldn’t be. May shares that “We’re all human beings. We all have something to say and do. We have a purpose.”
People need to speak up, push back, and be recognized. May believes that when we learn about the history of white supremacy and stop pretending it didn't happen, we develop awareness and empathy for another community. That empathy helps bridge gaps and build solidarity.
How pop culture can reinforce offensive racial and ethnic stereotypes
There’s a stereotype that Asian women are weak, demure, submissive, etc. Where did that originate? Why is it perpetuated? May Lee teaches a course called “Evolutions of Asian Americans in the Media” because she wanted to explain why these narratives exist.
These stereotypes come from historical events, the media, and movies, but are rooted in how Asian women were treated when they immigrated to America. They were frequently used as prostitutes and sex slaves, and these stereotypes need to be dismantled. Openly talking about it, educating each other, and listening is the key to change.
Learn more about May’s passion and purpose in life by listening to this episode of Motivational Mondays.
Listen to this episode to learn about...
- [2:20] The inspiration behind May Lee’s book
- [5:25] How Mitsuye Yamada’s experience impacted May
- [9:56] Debunking the stereotypes about Asian women
- [11:26] How pop culture can reinforce stereotypes
- [17:52] The most offensive Asian character in a Hollywood film
Listen to the bonus episode to learn how to resocialize in a post-pandemic world and overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Check out The May Lee Show on YouTube
- Follow May Lee on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
Read May Lee’s book, May Lee Live and In Person: It All Begins With Passion
- Check out other Motivational Mondays episodes