Category Archives: Feminism

Dwayne Johnson is first Pacific Islander to be named People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’

November 15, 2016
Sexiest Man Alive 2016 Dwayne Johnson The Rock photographed in Kailua, Hawaii on September 13, 2016 Photographer: Jeff Lipsky Barber: Rachel Solow Makeup: Merc Arceneaux/Merc Beauty Inc. Prop Stylist: Chris Reiner Stylist: Robert Mata Shirt: John Varvatos† Jeans: AG Jeans†
Sexiest Man Alive 2016: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson photographed in Kailua, Hawaii on September 13, 2016 (Photographer: Jeff Lipsky, Barber: Rachel Solow, Makeup: Merc Arceneaux/Merc Beauty Inc., Prop Stylist: Chris Reiner, Stylist: Robert Mata, Shirt: John Varvatos, Jeans: AG Jeans, Photo Credit: People)

People magazine announced today that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been crowned 2016’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” Johnson is a former college football player turned WWE wrestler turned Hollywood leading man. He is mixed race Black and Samoan, making him the first Pacific Islander American to be named People‘s Sexiest Man Alive.

Johnson is also only the second Black man (after Denzel Washington, who was named Sexiest Man in 1996) and the second AAPI man (after Keanu Reeves, who was retroactively named 1994’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2015) to receive the title.

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Dear NBC/Universal: The Mail-Order Bride Industry of Human Trafficking Isn’t Funny

September 30, 2016
mailorderfamily
Show card for Jackie Clark’s “Mail Order Family.”

Yesterday, Deadline reported that NBC/Universal had purchased an option for a possible half-hour sitcom based on a web series called Mail Order Famiy. The series, which is co-created by the same creators of Superstore (Ruben Fleischer and David Bernad), follows the story of a recently widowed man who purchases a mail-order bride from the Phillipines to help him care for his two preteen daughters; it is loosely based on Superstore writer-producer Jackie Clarke’s childhood.

I had a chance to view the Vimeo of the Mail Order Bride webseries before it was removed from the public domain. It is exactly as racist, sexist, demeaning and offensive as you can imagine, and possibly worse than you could imagine. It’s also just plain terrible.

The idea of turning this series into sitcom is a horrible idea. Human trafficking is not funny.

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An Open Letter to the Asian American Men’s Rights Movement

September 15, 2016
From #FeministJohnCho (Photo Credit: Twitter / 18MR).
From #FeministJohnCho (Photo Credit: Twitter / 18MR).

By Guest Contributor: Evelyn Kim (@wordsfromevelyn)

Dear Asian American Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs):

I’ve come across your Reddit threads, your Twitter profiles, and your takes on pop culture. I’m writing to call you out on your take on masculinity, Asian American women, and feminism. Whether you choose to read on or not will reveal your willingness to hear out a fellow Asian American woman’s take on your opinions: it’s your call. 

Though you might not have labelled yourself as an MRA, if you agree that the feminist movement takes power away from men, this letter is for you. From what I’ve read, the MRA community began in the early 1970s as an assertion that gender equality had gone too far, and that women had actually started to, in Beyoncé’s words, run the world. The MRA movement has resurfaced online in Asian American digital circles. But the MRA perspective overlooks that men already possess rights and privileges that women do not. So here’s the first thing for you to consider: the point of feminism is not to take your power away.

The term “Men’s Rights Activists” demands that we prioritize the alleged victimization of men. It poses the question, “What about the oppression that we, Asian-American men face? What about our rights?” When this question is posed in opposition to feminism, it suggests that you see empowerment as a limited resource— what some would label as a scarcity mindsetwherein the more empowered that women (particularly Asian American women) are, the more “emasculated” you see yourselves as becoming. But feminism isn’t about taking anything away from people. Neither is it primarily about you (men) in the first place, but as men, your supporting role in feminism is an essential one. In a society that dismisses women’s opinions and complaints as insubstantial or overly emotional, you, as men, can leverage your gender privilege to help others listen to what women have to say.

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BREAKING: Purvi Patel Released After Appeals Court Overturns Feticide Conviction

September 1, 2016
Purvi Patel (Photo credit: Lawrence Marshall)
Purvi Patel (Photo credit: Lawrence Marshall)

Just over a month after her feticide conviction was overturned by an Indiana Appeals Court, Purvi Patel has been freed.

Patel had been charged and convicted of the conflicting charges of feticide (actions leading to the death of a fetus) and child neglect (neglect of a living infant) after suffering what she describes was a miscarriage that resulted in the loss of her 25-week-old fetus. Patel was the first woman in Indiana to be successfully tried under the state’s new feticide laws after the law was also used to pursue charges against another pregnant Asian American woman who had lost her fetus, even though Indiana’s feticide law had originally been passed to protect pregnant women from domestic abuse resulting in loss of their pregnancy. After a much publicized trial, Patel’s guilty verdict resulted in a 20 year jail sentence that outraged feminists and reproductive rights activists (myself included).

Earlier this summer, an Indiana Appeals Court reexamined the case against Patel, and ruled that the feticide law had been inappropriately applied beyond the scope of its original intent. The appeals judge in Patel’s case wrote in the favorable decision, “given that the legislature decriminalized abortion with respect to pregnant women only two years before it enacted the feticide statute, we conclude that the legislature never intended the feticide statute to apply to pregnant women.”

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In Our Own Backyard: What You Need to Know About Human And Sex Trafficking in the U.S.

August 16, 2016
Map of inter-regional human trafficking flows, worldwide. (Photo Credit: United Nations Office of Drug and Crime)
Map of inter-regional human trafficking flows, worldwide. (Photo Credit: United Nations Office of Drug and Crime)

By Guest Contributor: Brian Kent

Most readers are likely aware that human and sex trafficking is a serious problem in countries such as Thailand and India. In fact, Asian women are the most trafficked group worldwide. But, readers may not know that human and sex trafficking of Asian women is a large problem here in the United States, as well. While abuse lawyers like those at AbuseGuardian.com can help victims of human and sex trafficking take legal action against their captors, trafficking is an issue that has sadly gone widely unnoticed in America.

70% of human trafficking victims worldwide are girls or adult women. Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) are disproportionately trafficked into sex work in America. Although APIs represent roughly 6% of Americans, nearly half of trafficked people into America are API, making APIs the second largest group of human trafficking victims in the Americas, and the largest group of people trafficked into the region. According to a 2004 U.S. Department of Justice report, 7,800 Asians and Pacific Islanders were trafficked into America out of an estimated 14,500-17,500 trafficked people. More recent reports from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime show that more than 1 in 3 human trafficking victims in Northern and Central America originated from East Asia, South Asia or the Pacific Islands, and most of them are trafficked to the United States or Canada.

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