This paper aims to break down the model minority framework by offering an analytical overview of Asian Americans, particularly in the context of women. I do this through an examination of the ‘average’ Asian American woman in the economy and a disaggregated perspective of Asian Americans in the economy. Further and importantly, I explore the experiences of those who do not fit the ‘model minority’ framework, namely Southeast Asians. I examine the experiences of Vietnamese American women in the economy through a historical lens to contextualize their contemporary economic position. Despite the group’s relative underperformance in the economy, I observe that Vietnamese women have positively contributed to their economic security through both paid and unpaid work.