A Step Toward Multiculturalism? Nikita As The Forever Other
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A Step Closer to Multiculturalism? Nikita as the Forever Other
Based on the French film Nikita (1990) and a previous series La Femme Nikita (1997- 2001), the first season of the U.S. television series Nikita (2010) is starred by a sexy Asian actress, Maggie Q, as its main protagonist and centers around her revenge. The series typifies another stereotypical representation of Asian women constructed through Western eyes－the woman warrior or the martial arts mistress. Some feminist scholars suggest that the popularity of
action heroines is to be considered a celebration of the deconstruction of and liberation from the gender binary of masculinity and femininity (e.g., Edward, 2004; Hills, 1999) and other cultural scholars claim that the increasing depictions of Asians and other racial minorities are the manifestation of multiculturalism (e.g., Jiwani, 2005). However, I argue that such depiction of Asian women as female warrior signifies neither the fulfillment of feminism nor the realization of racial equity, for it must go through several stages of gender and race policing.
When she is a teenager, Nikita is abused by her foster-parents. After running away from her home, she becomes a drug addict and, in an accident, she is told to have killed a police officer. The teenage Nikita is charged with murder and sentenced to death. However, a secret
U.S. governmental agency named Division fakes her execution and takes her away. Since then, Nikita has been trained by