There’s a lot of Cho Chang discussion on my dash right now and I’ve always had really mixed feelings about her?
On the one hand, I liked that there was an actually Asian character in Harry Potter who wasn’t The Token Asian and whose Asian-ness was their defining trait, and that she wasn’t exotified as the Hot Asian Chick with long silky~ Asian hair, and nor did Harry or Cedric seem to fall for her because of some Asian fetishism. I LOVED that when we’re first introduced to her, the main thing we learn about her is that she’s a Quidditch player, because how often does an Asian character, let alone a female one, get written as an athlete rather than a nerd? She was in the DA and actively rebelled against her parents who told her NOT to go against Umbridge, and she fought at the Battle of Hogwarts and survived. That’s pretty fucking awesome when Asian characters barely exist in the media, let alone having all that good stuff happen.
On the other hand, JKR definitely fucked up some things as well. And the pseudo-Asian name that doesn’t make much sense if you look at actual East Asian cultures is the least of them. The biggest to me though, is how JKR even outright said that she wrote Cho to be a character set up to make Ginny look better as Harry’s love interest, though I don’t have the quote on-hand right now. I mean, that’s fucked-up on a gender level in terms of pitting women against each other over a man and using women as plot devices, and also fucked up on an extra racial level to use a WOC as the inferior foil to a white woman and to make her look better.
But those are issues I have with JKR herself as the actual writer rather than Cho herself? IDK Cho gets so much shit from random for sexist and racist reasons that while I’m all for calling out JKR on her problematic things, I’m also not going to totally dismiss Cho herself when she already gets that a lot and there aren’t many Asians in popular Western media, let alone having any positive traits, period.