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LETTERS

Magazine is an insult to Asian community

The article about Asian Boston magazine (''Can a Southie guy's Asian magazine fly?" March 26, City Weekly) was disturbing to say the least. The fact that [magazine publisher Leo Anthony] Ballou ''learned to say hello in nearly every Asian language" would have been nice if he had exhibited any kind of knowledge about the issues that Asian communities face in Boston and New England. It is quite clear, however, that his interactions with Asian communities are only exploitative in nature.

That he wants to introduce readers to ''the essence of the Far-East Asian Women of New England" by including several pages of scantily clad models is an insult to all women who have been the leaders and backbone of our communities. Not only is his hyper-sexual ''magazine" laughably narrow in its portrayal of Asian women (by the way, ''Far-East" isn't a term that thoughtful people use nowadays) in New England, it is also offensive to claim any group of people has an ''essence" -- the use of such language dehumanizes Asian women, putting them on a level with perfumes and foods.

In addition, the women in these photographs are introduced by name and only the most basic biographic information possible. There is absolutely no attempt to represent them as human beings with opinions and feelings -- only as objects, with their existence wrapped up in a couple of sentences.

In general, the ''magazine" has no journalistic standards, terrible design, and leaves us wondering what would be possible if the money that was pumped into this project had been spent on something that actually benefited people, whether Asian or not. The fact that The Boston Globe would even spend the time to write an article -- an in-depth one at that -- about this piece of trash is thoroughly saddening.

Giles Li
Brookline

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