asian-american feminism

When Third World women are asked to speak representing our racial or ethnic group, we are expected to move, charm or entertain, but not to educate in ways that are threatening to our audiences
—  Mitsuye Yamada, ‘Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster: Reflections of an Asian American Woman’, in Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua (eds), This Bridge Called my Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (New York: Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, 1981), p. 71.
#NotYourAsianSidekick is taking it to the next level!

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Back in December, you helped take Twitter by storm by participating in #NotYourAsianSidekick – the hashtag that showed up in over 95 million Twitter feeds.1

Started by activist Suey Park (with help from fellow social justice movers and shakers, Juliet Shen and 18MR’s own Cayden Mak), #NotYourAsianSidekick began as a digital exploration of Asian American feminism – but thanks to you and millions more around the world, the conversation has grown to cover issues of race, ethnicity, identity, class, and culture.

18MillionRising invites you to help channel our incredible Twitter energy into other spaces and places – starting by participating in 18MR’s first #NotYourAsianSidekick Google Hangout next week Thursday. Will you join us?

We know many of you are eager to take #NotYourAsianSidekick to the next level. Stickers are a good start. Now, we believe a series of public conversations about AAPIs, our history, and our activism can help set the stage for more local and national organizing. We hope you’ll be inspired by the panel of incredible AAPI women who will share their experiences and perspectives on the #NotYourAsianSidekick Google Hangout next week. If folks are inspired by the movement-building work of other AAPIs, everyone is more likely to stay engaged for the long haul!

Please tune into next week’s #NotYourAsianSidekick Google Hangout. In addition to listening, participants will also have the chance to submit questions to the panelists, so come ready to tell us what’s on your mind. You can RSVP for the hangout here.

Here’s to kicking things up a notch!

In solidarity,
PaKou, Samala, Cayden, and Cynthia
The 18MR Team

P.S. We’re planning to do more Google Hangouts, and want to hear your ideas. Tell us about what topics you want to discuss in future hangouts.

Thousands of Americans tweeting #NotYourAsianSidekick have sparked a global debate about the way Asian women are thought of.

“Be warned,” the Chicago-based rights activist and freelance writer Suey Park tweeted early on Sunday. “Tomorrow morning we will be having a conversation about Asian American Feminism with hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick. Spread the word!!!!!!!” Her very deliberate attempt to create a debate about the way Asian-American women “have to be SMART and PRETTY to be heard and "are objectified by Asian men and White men” was hugely successful. In less than 24 hours, the hashtag has been used more than 45,000 times around the world.

The conversation, which started with discussion of how Asian women are stereotyped, soon spread to cover racism (“Oh look. More bitter liberal non-whites expressing anti-white attitudes,” tweeted one user, who was roundly criticised), the under-representation of Asian-Americans in media, dating patterns between racial groups and attitudes towards mental health. Cartoons and humour were shared and the debate also spread around the world, having particular resonance in other Western countries with large Asian minorities. One user in Toronto quoted men who say “I’ve always wanted a Chinese woman to cook for me” with the reply “I’ve always wanted laser beam eyes, sadly you’re still alive.” Another An L in Sydney tweeted: “Change in social attitudes towards Asian women is a long way off, but opening up the conversation is a great start.” The British-Asian blogger Sunny Hundal said the debate had resonance in the UK because just like Asian-Americans “we see our faces on social media, but when we turn on the TV we see only limited stereotypes.”

Suey Park said the hashtag had arisen out of her frustration at the narrow ways in which the label “Asian-American” was defined, saying #NotYourAsianSidekick would allow marginalized Asian-Americans to voice their grievances. The topic trended in both US and worldwide on Sunday, in part because of Park’s own prolific tweeting. “How much longer can we get #NotYourAsianSidekick to trend?” she asked at one point. “I’m getting tired! Fresh voices, please speak now! We need you to keep it going!”

I love Steven Yeun as much as the next person (he is my #1 celebrity crush), but what the fuck even is this article?

Aside from reasons #1 (I guess……. s/o to Asians with skin problems, I feel it and I have love for you) and #10, this article is pretty much trash. But since the author is filled to the brim with yellow fever, this article is entirely trash.

While I appreciate that she calls out stereotypes that Asian men are “effeminate, passive, docile, and submissive” her list is pretty much racist and classist. It ranges from “Asians make more money than whites!” to “Asians are more gentle than others!” Like?????? Doesn’t that just perpetuate the stereotypes you were trying to disprove?

This article reeks of fetishization/yellow fever and model minority myth praises. I would even go as far to say that it is anti-Black and Brown POC. Not blatantly of course, and I know she makes a point to compare Asians specifically to “Western Men” but there are underlying messages that get communicated nevertheless. 

ALSO THIS. LIKE????????????????????????????????? PLEASE UNPACK THIS FOR ME SIS.

The Round-Up: Foundation

A collection of some articles that were published recently that I found to be helpful in laying the foundation for how we can understand better the areas of social justice, feminism, systems of oppression, and radical change.

5 Awesome Ways Feminism Is Good for Your Mental Health

Practicing Radical Self-Love: Why You Need Self-Care the Most When It Seems Impossible

5 Feminist Stories You Should Read This Weekend to Energize Your Heart and Soul

‘You Look Like the Help’: The Disturbing Link Between Asian Skin Color and Status

African-American Suffragists Were Practicing Intersectional Feminism Before it Had a Name

Poetry performance by Alyesha Wise and Aman Batra with poem titled, “Mom” 

Latin Roots: Chicano Activism

What Happens When a Catholic-Run Clinic Comes to Your Local Walgreens?