When I was in a car with my parents one day, and my mum was nagging me about getting a boyfriend, social networking so I could find one, so on so forth, and make sure it got done before I was "on the shelf," I pointed out that she'd never nagged my brother the same way. She said, "you're a girl. Things are different for girls."
Now, mind you, this comes from a strong-minded woman who married and had kids in her late 20's/early 30's, and I thought, "so kuno." ("Kuno" means "old-fashioned". Like, seriously old-fashioned. Like, previous civilization's old-fashioned.)
It wasn't the first example of sexism in my life, and not the last. But when I think of how sexism manifested in my culture, I think of that moment. Malaysian women I've read in the papers have claimed that feminism isn't applicable to what goes on in our country. Because, of course, we all know that women are human in Malaysia.
Except, of course, not. Even Malaysian women can admit that - Mistress Naoko sends in an article from Malaysia's Star newspaper on why women shouldn't be silenced. Everywhere, from East to West, women are the Other. We're still the root of... lots of bad stuff, apparently! Check out drelfina's kick-back against the claim that Singaporean women's materialism is to blame for the dearth of romance there! elaran lists several other examples of clear-cut sexism inherent within her Indian culture.
We Asian women don't just face sexism in Asia alone, laleia still feels the imposition of the Perfect Chinese Daughter Syndrome™ in America, O Land of the Free.
If we're not simply being derided for not fitting what men think we should be like, we are stoned: Feminist Review has an article on The Stoning of Soraya M, the film based on the book.
And yet, as the documentary Sari Soldiers reveals, Asian women have their own convictions, and know to follow them.
This is why we speak out, as Maysie so eloquently points out. Her post points to the intersection of feminism and anti-racism, reminding us that Asian women need to define their feminisms for themselves. Because white people still call the shots, whether it's setting the standard for behaviour, or just plain flat-out criticising us for shit they do, too, as glass_icarus relates in her IBARW post. Brinstar's submission on sexism at the EA convention show that we are just as affected as everyone else by sexism, in whatever culture.
Not partaking of the theme of this carnival, but still pertaining to Asian women, here are some links of Asian women in media!
Feminist Review points out an interview with spoken word poet and performance artist Stacey-Ann Chin, and also sends in a review of Zeb and Haniya's Chup. Zeb and Haniya hail from Pakistan.
Holding a Bangladeshi passport but brought up in Malaysia is Tiara Shafiq, who sends in a multimedia submission on her recent debut as a burlesque performer - check out her tribute to her religion - text, radio, and video!
This wraps up the 3rd Asian Women Blog Carnival! Discuss, converse, rant, debate, leave hate, leave love, leave thoughts, leave links.
Thanks, all, for participating in the 3rd Asian Women Blog Carnival!!