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More Videos Victim's extended family celebrated her birthday. Her mom doesn't know she died. Atlanta mayor says she'd be 'very surprised' if suspected spa shooter not charged with hate crime. Surveillance video appears to show spa shooting suspect. Woman opens up to CNN about losing her sister in spa shooting. Rocks were thrown at Asian family's home.

See what their neighbors did. Avlon reviews the rise of attacks against Asian Americans. Sheriff on spa shootings: This is a shock to us all. Police apprehend 1 suspect in deadly Atlanta spa shootings ram. Former FBI deputy director: Strong indicator shooter targeted specific group. Multiple dead in separate spa shootings in metro Atlanta. Investigators said it was too early to say whether the crime was racially motivated, and instead pointed to the suspect's claim of a potential sex addiction.

Attacks against Asian Americans are on the rise. Here's what you can do. But experts and activists argue it's no coincidence that six of the eight victims were Asian women. And the suspect's remarks, they say, are rooted in a history of misogyny and stereotypes that are all too familiar for Asian and Asian American women. They're fetishized and hypersexualized. They're seen as docile and submissive. On top of that, they're often working in the service sector and are subject to the same racism that affects Asian Americans more broadly. The way their race intersects with their gender makes Asian and Asian American women uniquely vulnerable to violence, said Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the non-profit advocacy group National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.

. And those factors came together this week in a dangerous, and ultimately deadly, way. These perceptions are rooted in US history. The perceptions of Asian and Asian American women as submissive, hypersexual and exotic can be traced back centuries. Rachel Kuo, a scholar on race and co-leader of Asian American Feminist Collective, points to legal and political measures throughout the nation's history that have shaped these harmful ideas. One of the earliest examples comes from the Act of The history of attacks against Asian Americans is complicated. Addressing it will be, too.

That law, coming a few years before the Chinese Exclusion Act, was enacted seemingly to restrict prostitution and forced labor. In reality, it was used systematically to prevent Chinese women from immigrating to the US , under the pretense that they were prostitutes. US imperialism has also played a ificant role in those attitudes, Kuo said.

Atlanta police officers are pictured on the scene of a shooting at a spa in the city, one of three attacks that left several people dead. American service members, while abroad for US military activities including the Philippine-American War, World War II and the Vietnam War , have a history of soliciting sex workers and patronizing industries that encouraged sex trafficking. That furthered denigrating stereotypes of Asian women as sexual deviants, which were memorialized on screen. All of those perceptions "have had the effect of excusing and tolerating violence by ignoring, trivializing and normalizing it," Kuo said.

They've affected Asian women economically. Those stereotypes also feed into perceptions of "Asian women as cheap and disposable workers," said Kuo. That's made them economically vulnerable, too. Asian American businesses have already been hit especially hard during the pandemic, fueled both by unemployment and xenophobia.

Asian women, in particular, made up the highest share of long-term unemployed workers last December, according to a January report from the National Women's Law Center. And many Asian American women work in service industries, such as beauty salons, hospitality and restaurants.

Other advocates also called attention to the recent victims' employment situations. Massage parlor workers and sex workers are especially at risk, according to Esther Kao, an organizer with Red Canary Song, a New York-based collective of Asian and Asian American advocates for massage parlor workers and sex workers. She said those workers not only face stigma, but are also often migrants. Some may fear they risk deportation should authorities investigate violence or crimes against them.

It's also important to note that not all massage businesses provide sexual services, Kao said. To suggest as much, as the suspect in the Atlanta area attacks did, is a "racist assumption," she said. They're showing up in the violence seen today. The recent attacks come as Asian Americans are experiencing a rise in incidents of hate and violence since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, echoing a historical pattern that has seen Asian Americans targeted during times of crisis because they are viewed as foreigners.

Groups that track violence and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders say that their data shows that women are disproportionately affected. Despite those findings, the degree to which Asian and Asian American women are specifically affected by hate and violence often goes unnoticed, Choimorrow said. What's needed to address this problem is a systemic approach that acknowledges the threats that Asian and Asian American women are facing, Choimorrow and others said.

Because as long as Asian and Asian American women are overlooked, the kind of violence seen in these recent attacks could very well happen again.

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