What does an Asian American feminist space look like?


In the wake of the hugely viral #NotYourAsianSidekick Twitter conversation, Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream” asked the Twitterverse today, “what does an Asian American feminist space look like?”

Let’s be clear: the Asian American feminist space does not yet exist.

But it could. And this is what it would look like.

An Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) feminist space is a space whose mission is the development of the AAPI feminist identity, and the fostering of a subsequent AAPI feminist movement.

The AAPI feminist space fights for racial equality in mainstream and feminist circles, and fights for gender equality in mainstream and Asian American circles.

The AAPI feminist space achieves this through critical but constructive dialogue and discussion on racism and sexism relevant to the intersection of the Asian American and feminist identity.

The AAPI feminist space centralizes the experiences, narratives, and struggles of the Asian and AAPI woman — across age, ethnicity, class, language, religion,  and sexual orientation. The AAPI feminist space provides a platform for hearing those stories that have been too-often marginalized.

The AAPI feminist space assumes the existence of racism and sexism — and white privilege, male privilege, and other forms of privilege. The AAPI feminist space debates, defines, and explores these privileges as they might manifest in mainstream or marginalized communities, but is not expected to re-litigate their existence.

The AAPI feminist space does not need to legitimize its own existence.

The AAPI feminist space is not a place for women to sit back, remain silent, and wait our turn.

The AAPI feminist space is not a place where a women is expected to be well-behaved; instead, it challenges the stereotype of the submissive Asian American woman.

The AAPI feminist space is not a place where everyone will agree, but is not a place where dissenting opinions are silenced.  The AAPI feminist space is not a place where consensus is expected.

The AAPI feminist space is not an Asians-only club. The AAPI feminist space is not a girls only club.

But, the AAPI feminist space is a place where AAPI and womens’ issues are the focus. 

The AAPI feminist space does not devolve women’s issues down to sexuality, and feminists down to their relationship with men. The AAPI feminist space is not a place to pick up women. 

The AAPI feminist space is accessible to men and women of all creeds and backgrounds. The AAPI feminist supports real-life advancement of AAPI and feminists in all economic, professional, and political spheres.

The AAPI feminist space is integrated into a larger multi-racial, multi-gendered coalition. The AAPI feminist space will fight for all causes that advance social justice.

The AAPI feminist space may be online, but will extend itself to off-line and real-world spaces. The AAPI feminist space coordinates participation in offline race and gender activism.

The AAPI feminist space inspires a structured and cohesive offline AAPI feminist movement. The AAPI feminist space provides AAPI women the agency to drive this movement, and the open invitation for all AAPI and all feminists to get involved, too.

Now why doesn’t it exist yet?


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