Chinese Women In Colorado

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Minorities in Colorado have long been discriminated against and treated poorly, but none as much as minority women. This paper will explore the experiences of Chinese women in Denver in the nineteenth century, Latina women in Huerfano County between 1920 and 1945, and Chicana women at the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder between 1968 and 1974. Chinese women in Colorado, specifically Denver, during the nineteenth century were treated as commodities in the form of prostitutes. Journalism at this time, portrayed Chinese minorities in Denver, Colorado, extremely poorly. An example of this, printed in The Daily Denver Tribune, entitled “A Chinese Romance,” is of the story of King Yow and King Yok, two sisters forced into prostitution at…show more content…
The Page Act, passed March 3, 1875, forbid involuntary immigration, specifically Chinese women brought over for the purpose of prostitution (79). This law kept out all Chinese women. The Chinese Exclusion Act, dated May 6, 1882, is another immigration law that intended to prohibit Chinese immigrants from entering the United States (79). By prohibiting Chinese from immigrating to the United States, it was believed that the threat to America from the impurity of the Chinese was erased. Other ways that the United States worked to ensure that Chinese communities would not develop were to create anti-miscegenation laws that prohibited all Asians from intermarrying with whites (79). Colorado did not have anti-miscegenation laws, but still tried to fight inter-marriage. In 1902, a couple who worked together at a hotel in Idaho Springs, Colorado, decided to get married. The groom was Chinese man Leo Latt Sing and the bride white woman Nellie Mershon (80). The brother of Nellie Mershon was able to get police to arrest Leo Latt Sing based on non-existent anti-miscegenation laws. The couple finally found a judge to marry them; after finding their paperwork in order, and knowing of no existing law against it, the judge married them (80). A feminist interpretation of the treatment of Asians in western America is shown in the film The Ballad of Little Jo (81). The writer, Maggie Greenwald, portrays the Chinese man in the film to be gentle and of good character, in comparison to the white men who were “hard-drinking, rapacious frontiersmen prone to violence,” (81). Maggie Greenwald did include opium smoking in her film, further propagating the belief that all Chinese were detrimental to the health of American society. Chinese women, a minority in Colorado and the United States, had to

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