Friday, January 27, 2017

Jonathan Khuu - Week 4

In Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism During the Vietnam Era, Judy Tzu-Chun Wu describes the linkages of the feminist movement and anti-war movement during the Cold War era.  She explains that “the exploration of internationalism, orientalism, and feminism contributes to our understanding of social activism during the ‘long 60s’” (Wu 7).  The development of social activism during the time linked together Vietnamese and other South East Asian women with women in countries such as Canada and the US.  This global network of women working together sought to not only to protest the war but also work to better the civil rights of women.  Women in the United States and other countries traveled to shape a better political understanding, exploring how the plights and struggles in addition to their political ideologies and strengths contributed to their political climate.  

            With the theme of the week being third world alliances and social-political movements, the reading exemplifies a global network and alliance of women whose main purpose is to better the life of citizens through anti-war and feminist movements.  Wu utilizes personal stories of travelers, group members, and South East Asian women to describe the impact that the Vietnamese War had but also how that impacted the experiences of being a woman in Vietnam.  Women were used as prostitutes, degraded for the sole purpose of entertaining men.  Through the travels of women in the United States, a narrative was created to humanize women in North and South Vietnam.  The reading touches upon the creation or re-creation of narratives to describe racial groups, something that not only humanizes the races but also allows for a discourse to begin talking about the histories of these groups. 

            In terms of recent social movements, the Women’s March that happened across large cities in the United States sought to challenge the changing political landscape of the United States.  The march was their way to showing that President Elect Trump was not going to take away their rights that they fought hard for.  These marches symbolize not only a shift in the political landscape, but also the development of a new civil rights movement, fighting against Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, and bigotry. 

Questions:  How would a global alliance of women change the growing political landscape of today? How would the feminist movement of the Cold War era been different had they not traveled around the world? 

Reinstein, Julia. "61 Of The Greatest Signs From Women's Marches Around The Country." BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed, 21 Jan. 2017. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.

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