Saturday, January 28, 2017

Week 4 - Zoua Nikki Thao

It can be hard to imagine how resistance against the same forces of oppression can cross international borders when it seems as if Americans, alone, have never been on the same page with one another. Judy Tzu Chun Wu's book, Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism and Feminism during the Vietnam Era allows us to see how radical orientalist ideals helped create transnational solidarity among those in the United States and those overseas -- a solidarity that knows no boundaries.

This reading is important to what we are learning in class because it continues the re-narration of different aspects of the Vietnam War. Although many Americans did not agree with the war and protested against it, I believe that many were not aware of their fellow brothers and sisters resisting with them across the Pacific Ocean. Wu heavily discusses the topic of feminism and how women in Vietnam fought against oriental notions and oppression of what it meant to be an "Asian woman" during the war time era.

When I think about transnational resistance and solidarity today, only a few come to mind. Recently, in response to President Trump's inauguration and executive orders, there was a Women's March that happened in different places all across the world. Of course solidarity on an international scale has its pros and cons, and as usual, not everyone is going to be on the same page. There is this photo I saw on Facebook about the Women's March that expresses the opinion of many who think that women in America need to check their privilege. This photo shows the dichotomy of the many different perspectives that may exist on an issue. It reveals how some may relate more to those across seas than those within their own borders. It also brings to light the idea of "Oppression Olympics" which is a card that can be used to tell people that their oppression or experiences are not "that bad" compared to others, so they should not feel sorry for themselves.

Posted by a Facebook User

A question that I have is, what would resistance and solidarity look like if people stopped playing the Oppression Olympics card, and just stopped to listen, care, and understand? In what other ways have Americans identified with and fought alongside Asians? 


Wu, Judy Tzu Chun. Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism and Feminism during the Vietnam Era. Ithaca: Cornell U Press, 2013. Print. 26 January 2017.

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