Author: Carmen Van Kerckhove

October 28, 2008 / / politics
April 14, 2008 / / Uncategorized
April 11, 2008 / / Uncategorized

by Latoya Peterson

    Sometimes I get discouraged
    I look around and
    things are so weak,
    people are so weak
    sometimes
    sometimes I feel like crying

Jenn from Reappropriate placed her blog on hiatus early last week.

While the main reason was a scientific conference she is attending, she also mentioned other reasons for needing to take a break:

I’ve found myself extremely angry and frustrated by the level of the debate. I’m weary of the arguing, frustrated by the tone, and disillusioned by the blog’s mission. My open comment policy has been misused over the past month, and I’ve had to ban several readers — undermining my disagreement in idea censorship and my belief in the power of democratic idea-building (and the inherent goodness and decency of readers). I’ve taken time to think about my feminism, and have realized that non-feminists are no closer to understanding what Asian American feminism is now, than they ever were before I started. These self-identified non-feminists assume that feminism is a cultish fervor over White men and Whiteness that cultivates an assault on Asian men as universally sexist and unworthy, when in point of fact, the ideas of Asian American feminism is best defined by Gary Okihiro’s “When and Where I Enter”, which argued against the patriarchy of minority communities and cautioned that Asian American equality could only be achieved by the joint elimination of both racism and sexism, both inter- and intra-racially.

[…]

In four years, that point has not been made. In four years, I’ve only encountered defensiveness, distractions or dismissal of this idea in lieu of attacks against Asian American women.

This blog was created with the intention of combatting those beliefs. But I’ve found myself asking: am I having the impact I expect of this blog? I don’t know. I’m tired of discussions of sexism being misconstrued as male-bashing, I’m tired of people who don’t know feminism thinking they can define it, and above all, I am tired of the suspicion of my racial solidarity and my pride in the Asian American community because of my identification as a feminist and the choices in my personal life. I’m tired of constantly talking and not being heard, and having to defend who I am to the men in my community. I’m saddened by the countless emails from feminists who write to me to tell me that the hoarde of anti-feminist commentors on this blog have chased them from commenting. I feel like I’ve been banging my head against a brick wall, and all I have to show for it is ostracization, derision, and occasionally ridicule from some Asian American men. I feel like the adage “working twice as hard to get half as far” is poignantly relevant to how hard I’ve struggled for the same acceptance in the APIA online community that some of my male colleagues enjoy almost innately.

Read the Post Notes on Fostering Activism: Knowing When to Step Back

April 11, 2008 / / Uncategorized