Saturday, January 25, 2020

Week 4_Janine Nguyen_ ASA 150E

The theme of this week is important, as its title “Third World Alliances and Social-Political Movements” demonstrates how Asian American identities play a huge role in starting social-political movements. Highlighting how traditionally Asian women are depicted as docile, submissive caretakers, it is important to recognize texts that refute this misguided, yet widespread belief. For example, in Judy Tzu-Chun Wu’s book called Radicals on the Road, the chapter titled “We Met the ‘Enemy’—and They Are Our Sisters” emphasizes how Southeast Asian women in particular were especially vocal in opposing the American intervention in the Vietnam War, simultaneously spreading awareness about the war atrocities occurring. This representation is crucial, since women have been silenced in literature, media, and historically; women have been reduced to war fodder, either depicted as being passively killed off, taking care of children, or working in factories on the sidelines. It is integral to provide a platform for Southeast Asian perspectives, especially to properly showcase how they resisted throughout history, in order to prevent further destruction from happening. Standardized education systems in the U.S. push this narrative that women, particularly women of color, remained passive in face of violence, as well as when their rights and autonomy were ripped away. Personally, I have only gotten to learn about my own history, my distinct Vietnamese American history, throughout my two years here at UC Davis. Even then, what I have learned has been limited, since courses are compressed into several weeks, to account for the quarter system. It is rather unfortunate that standardized textbooks fail to address these ongoing social issues, and they barely skim over the topics unless it is deemed “necessary” on basis of AP or SATs in the high school level… Moreover, this makes me wonder: how can we push for reform in educational systems, so that history can be retaught with these perspectives in mind? How can we push for reform as students ourselves aside from protesting? The following photo shows Southeast Asian resistance. I chose this photo where a woman holds a sign that says, “Yellow peril supports black power”, a statement that evokes emotion, empowerment, and is a testament to how minority groups are trying to mobilize and seek justice.

Image result for yellow peril supports black power

Advocacy. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2020, from

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