Asian Women: Interconnections by Tineke Hellwig, Sunera Thobani

By Tineke Hellwig, Sunera Thobani

This assortment areas Asian lady centre degree and demanding situations a dichotomised view of Asia and the 'west' or 'north'. It bargains an knowing of Asian ladies of their networks of connections in the course of the paintings of feminist students discussing Asian ladies in North the United States, Asia, Europe and Australia. The editors have brought every one part in a fashion that allows the knowledge of the intersections and theoretical linkages among ladies from assorted Asian backgrounds. this is often a tremendous contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship and to comparative Asian feminist inspiration.

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If we call out asian-canadian feminism, we risk being misunderstood, intentionally or not. For example, asserting acf often triggers accusations of “diluting” or “undermining” the tenuous and fragile minority women’s coalitions and movements organized under a “women of colour” or national women’s movement rubric. At the Asian Women’s Studies Conference where I first raised this topic, questions from the audience centred on questions such as: “What about the South Asian women’s movement? Why should they be included in a universal asian-canadian feminism when they are developing their own movement?

Members of the dominant White nation imagine our perceived fecundity as a threat to White racial purity—the “yellow hordes” that threaten to “flood” the nation. In the self/Other dialectic, racialized sexist constructions of the Oriental woman help to form the social identities of White Canadian women by constructing White women as innocent, pure, and in need of protection by White males as a contrast to the immoral, impure, hypersexualized, and uncivilized Oriental woman. Still today, Western media representations of asian women deny the reality of lesbian sexuality—Western media construct all asian women as objects of White male desire (Lim-Hing 1994).

In the last decade, asian North American feminists have begun documenting and creating our own feminist thought. Sonia Shah’s collection of essays in Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminisms Breathe Fire; the edited collection assembled by Elaine H. Kim, Lilia V. Villaneuva, the Asian Women United of California collective called Making More Waves; Chow’s (1998) essay, “The Development of Feminist Consciousness among Asian American Women”; and the recently published collection of essays from The Frontiers Reader on Asian American Women are important contributions to theorizing asian-american feminist experiences.

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