Can’t have an Asian woman on one of our Canadian banknotes.
The linked article is fascinating, as well as depressing:
“Some have concerns that the researcher appears to be Asian,” says a 2009 report commissioned by the bank from The Strategic Counsel, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.
“Some believe that it presents a stereotype of Asians excelling in technology and/or the sciences. Others feel that an Asian should not be the only ethnicity represented on the banknotes. Other ethnicities should also be shown.”
After all, in a spirit of inclusiveness, if one Other is to be depicted, all the other Others need to be as well. Then this consummate irony:
A few even said the yellow-brown colour of the $100 banknote reinforced the perception the woman was Asian, and “racialized” the note.
And my favourite bit, the part that really sums up the whole matter:
The bank immediately ordered the image redrawn, imposing a “neutral” ethnicity for the woman scientist who, now stripped of her “Asian” features, appears on the circulating note. Her light features appear to be Caucasian.
“Neutral ethnicity” = “Caucasian.” Good grief.