chapter  2
Multicultural Techniques
Pages 33

In a blog post dated 27 April 2015 on Silver Goggles, multicultural steampunk activist Jaymee Goh recounts an experience where a convention costume she wore depicting a politically powerful “Chinese magisterial woman” is mistaken as being that of a Geisha. Goh is characteristically generous when considering that most Americans have few other references for Asian steampunk cosplay than Geishas, most often understanding them simply as “beautiful Asian wom[e]n.” Yet she notes that Geishas are also stereotypically seen as women “providing entertainment and occasionally sexual advances to an elite class.” Goh originally created the Chinese magisterial woman costume for a live-action role-playing (LARP) game designed by fellow steampunk activist Diana Pho. The LARP features Goh’s character accusing Pho “of smuggling opium into [a Chinese] colony” and the majority of the game involves Pho “collecting clues to both clear her partner’s name and educate the players about the extent of the Opium Wars that lead to the establishment of a British colony in what is now Hong Kong” (“Inscrutably”).