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Jewish-American princess

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Jewish-American Princess or JAP is a pejorative characterization of a subtype of Jewish-American women. The term implies materialistic and selfish tendencies, attributed to a pampered or wealthy background.


The stereotype is often (though not always) the basis for anti-Semitic jokes both inside and outside the Jewish community.[1] In recent years the term "JAP" has been re-appropriated by some Jewish women as a term of cultural identity, especially in areas with high-density Jewish populations.

Sexism and violence

The term "Jewish-American Princess" has been criticized for its sexist basis, and for pejoratively branding young adult Jewish-American women as spoiled and materialistic.[2] While the full phrase and acronym is occasionally used wryly by Jews of both sexes as a term of Judaism, the acronym itself is considered at best fashionably vulgar if not degrading. T-shirts with the message "SLAP-A-JAP" and the stereotypical image of ethnically Jewish-American women may have been considered briefly fashionable in the early 1990s.[3] In the late 80s a Syracuse University professor of sociology, Dr. Gary Spencer, noted areas on his campus that students declared "JAP-free zones." He also noted a sporting incident on campus where fans heckled women by yelling "JAP! JAP! JAP!"[4] Spencer also mentions the "verbal violence" against Jewish women during a college fair at Cornell University where signs read, "Make her prove she's not a JAP, make her swallow." In the Cornell University student newspaper, a cartoon went on to offer advice on how to "exterminate" JAPs.[5]


When researching the stereotype Jill Gregorie noted significant prejudicial and discriminatory actions toward Jewish women who fit the "JAP" stereotype, noting one woman on a college campus who went so far as to avoid contact with perceived JAPs at all. Gregorie cites one college student as saying: "If I see them in an elevator, I always wait for the next one."[6] Alana Newhouse of the Boston Globe also noted housing ads on college campuses that warned No JAPs[7]


Research has found significant incidents in which the "JAP" stereotype is used pejoratively in educational settings throughout the US.[8] Still almost all identified incidents have fallen short of the legal definition of a hate crime.[9] There also seems to be a lesser degree of data and research-driven knowledge concerning the extent of its usage within the broader public sphere.

See also


  1. Alperin, Mimi. “JAP Jokes: Hateful Humor.” Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 2 (1989) 412-416. .
  2. Whitney Dibo: 'That girl is such a JAP'.
  3. Bigots in the Ivory Tower, Nancy Gibbs, Time Magazine, May 7, 1990
  4. Spencer, Gary “An Analysis of JAP-Baiting Humor on the College Campus." International Journal of Humor Research 2 (1989) 329-348
  5. Beck, Evelyn Torton (1992) From 'Kike to Jap': How misogyny, anti-semitism, and racism construct the Jewish American Princess. In Margaret Andersen & Patricia Hill Collins (Eds.) Race, Class, and Gender. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 87-95.
  6. Jill Gregorie. "Princess Bitch: The public perception of the maligned", "Generation"
  7. The return of the JAP, By Alana Newhouse, March 13, 2005.
  8. Student Attitudes toward "JAPs": The New Anti-Semitism. Research Report #9-89, Schwalb, Susan J.; Sedlacek, William E.
  9. Hate Crimes: Criminal Law & Identity Politics By James B. Jacobs, Kimberly Potter.

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Jewish-American princess. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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