Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire

Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire

Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire

Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire

Synopsis

In Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire, prominent Asian American women writers, artists, and activists seize the power of their unique political perspective and cultural background to articulate an Asian American feminist politics and to transform the landscape of race, class, and gender in the United States.

In sixteen critical essays, these writers draw on a wealth of personal experience and cogent analysis of Asian women's relationships to immigration, work, health, domestic violence, spirituality, cultural production, and the media. From the global trade in Asian women workers to the elitism of the white feminist movement, no ground is sacred. These women warrriors don't mince words but speak with fierce conviction and surprising insight.

This book showcases the growing politicization of Asian American women and their emerging feminist movement. It will be a vital contribution to women's and Asian American studies, and a must-read for Asian women and girls everywhere.

Excerpt

By Yuri Kochiyama

Struggle is a way of life for all who inhabit this world, but particularly for women of color in a white-dominated world. Asian/Pacific Island women, like their colored counterparts, have had to fight to participate as equals with whites in U.S. sociႮ ety. Sometimes they have had to almost literally "move mountains" that once seemed immovable to get to where they are today.

Let's begin with Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii. In 1893, she was dethroned and deposed by U.S. military action. The United States acquired more than 2 million acres of land, and the Hawaiian kingdom was decimated.

Queen Liliuokalani was a uitled native Hawaiian, with rank, prestige, influence, and some wealth. After her dethronement, she called on her people to join together: "There is still time to save our heritage. Never cease to act because you fear you may fail. The voice of the people is the voice of Goe." Today, her people, the kanakas, are fighting for sovereignty. And among the passionate, brilliant leaders are women warriors like the sisters Mililani and Haunani-Kay Trask, Dr. Lilikala Kameleleihiwa, and Kawehi Kanui Gill.

At the turn of the century, Hawaii's women pioneers were poor immigrants from Japan, the Philippines, China, and Korea who worked in the pineapple and sugar cane plantations. They, too, are part of our legacy. Their back-breaking work and years of privation and hardship never vanquished them.

The same was true for Asians who migrated to the U.S. mainland. California desert lands flowered into farmlands through years of toil, with women working side by side with men, returning home at the end of the day to cook, wash, and care for the children.

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