Introducing Active Voice Fellow Sophie Gordon

2016 Active Voice Fellow Sophie Gordon
By Shea Smith

Sophie Gordon was born in Fuzhou, China and moved to the United States when she was just ten-months-old. After living roughly a year-and-a-half in Iowa, her family moved to St. Charles, Missouri before she left for college to attend Ball State University.

She is a rising junior at Ball State in Indiana and is pursuing a major in journalism. When asked why she decided to attend Ball State, she said she fell in love with their “excellent journalism program and unified media lab.” Her love for media and journalism didn’t start at Ball State though, it started back in Missouri.

While in High School at Francis Howell North, in St. Charles, she never faced much censorship. But, she did face adversity. Being an Asian-American female hasn’t always been easy for her in the journalism world. She said there is existing bias not only against the female gender, but also Asian-Americans.

“It’s harder because people expect you to have a certain niche,” said Gordon, “A lot of people expect Asians to be a certain way.”

Gordon believes there are still a lot of microaggressions towards minorities and she wants people to take the problem seriously.

“When I try to talk to other people about problems that Asian-American’s have, I am told those aren’t real and they don’t matter,” said Gordon.

She said she notices the continuous lack of Asians represented in the television industry, especially in movies and TV shows. Gordon said that even when Asian-Americans are represented, they usually all fall under the same stereotype; smart. Another problem Gordon notices in the entertainment industry, is the lack of Asians actually starring in movies.

The aspiring journalist admits that, although she’s never felt limited because she is an Asian-American woman, she still pushes herself to her fullest potential.

“I definitely want to be the best I can be, because I think it proves that minorities are as equal as the majority,” said Gordon.

Not only is Gordon trying to prove herself as a minority, she is also trying to prove herself, in the male-dominated world, as a woman. She said that until people listen, nothing will change and “men will dominate all industries”.

Throughout her years as a female journalist, she hasn’t experienced a bad case of censorship, but that doesn’t stop her from being passionate about the issue. Gordon “feels for the people” who have faced First Amendment issues and she “feels strongly about advocating for others.”

Gordon said as a journalist, and a human, she is a “firm believer that people have the right to speak out against the government”, or any ideas that someone may be opposed to.

After college, Gordon plans on attending graduate school or moving on to law school. Furthermore, she would like to start a career in media law and someday advise media companies and work on libel and first amendment problems.