Intersectionality is not optional. It is not something you can take off and put back on again at will, when you feel like it. An intersectional lens should inform any critical evaluation of a subject, because these connections are key to understanding the web of oppression that weighs down on us all. These interconnections, too, are very weblike in their nature, because when you tweak one string, all the rest vibrate with it. There is no way to separate these things out from each other.
People complain that people keep dragging ‘side issues’ into ‘their movement’ and they don’t understand that these issues are the movement. Because a movement that commits oppression in the name of liberation is not a good movement, to put it bluntly. We are more vocal about these issues because we have learned the cost of shutting up, because we constantly have to remind people, because the minute we stop, everything returns to the way it was, the status quo is reestablished, and the real structural and institutional problems that create inequality go, once again, uninterrogated.
This is all connected. To misquote Patrick Henry for a moment, give me intersectionality, or give me death. This is not hyperbole: The current system, as it stands, is killing me. It is killing my people. It is killing the people I work in solidarity with. It is killing you. If you do not give me intersectionality, if you will not commit to being intersectional in your deeds, your thinking, your doing, all the time, no matter how you identify your politics, you are killing me.” —Intersectionality Is Not Optional (via satifice)
Beloved fellow Bastards!
Don’t you just adore how these white folks come swanning into our spaces with their perfunctory statements of solidarity and Oppression Olympic tickets, so secure in their righteousness as our progressive, unbiased saviors that they could possibly know transracial adoption better than actual transracial adoptees.
They’re not actually interested in us and our knowledge (or as is condescendingly phrased, our “opinion”), of course. They just want some validation of their preconceived notions of something they haven’t the slightest clue about.
It’s gotten to the point where I can LOL about it. I mean, here this person comes at me so confident in their privileged plans - and right away they breezily get the crucial fact horribly WRONG.
‘Ain’t no baby shortage in this world”?
Anybody who makes the laziest fucking research attempt into the adoption industry beyond the oppressive, saccharine mainstream bullshit white savior narratives, will run headfirst into the increasingly unsatisfied Western demand for young children - much less BABIES - that quickly outpaces the supply.
(And I fucking hate having to repeat this glaring fact to people over and over again, as it’s a constant reminder that we are treated as nothing more than commodities. Supply and demand, simple as that.)
Look snowflakes, I don’t mind answering any genuine questions you might have (though it’s certainly NOT my or any other adoptee’s responsibility, much less a transracial adoptee) - I just don’t appreciate it when you’re so preoccupied with your Open-minded Ally Cookies(tm)(r) hunt that you can’t even be bothered to do a cursory Google search.
And to then cop some blithe, sassy demeanor like you’re trying to be all down with us?
I’m looking out for you here, really. No one should be caught looking that much a fool.
same as the previous post…
There is a baby shortage in the world.
That’s among the top reasons why adoption is a multi-billion dollar industry.
White Westerners’ demand for “orphans” (even us unwashed unfortunates from the farthest colonial outposts in the developing world) doesn’t match the supply.
The demand OUTWEIGHS the supply. The globally disenfranchised are hard pressed to cough up enough preschoolers, much less infants.
(I mean, why do you think all those postcolonial feminist critiques of adoption always castigate Western heterosexism officiated via international conventions for uprooting non-Western traditions of fostering children among extended kin networks, hmm?)
This results in lots of lovely consequences, just a couple of which are the missionary kidnapping of children in the wake of natural disasters, and the decimation of internal social welfare systems in supply countries, yay!
When we sometimes refer to adoption as “abduction,” that’s not just our hurt fee-fees talking.
You need to educate yourself because you are missing the most basic facts about the adoption industry, much less finer points such as the horrific lack of regulation, and the amount of child trafficking, kidnapping, and corruption it engenders and upon which it depends.
Oh, and I only wish all that shit could be dismissed as “angry,” ungrateful, subjective hyperbole on my part.
Go take a breather, do some reading, than maybe try again.
i had an ask regarding this adoptee vs abducted debate in adoption (particularly international adoption). this isn’t my answer exactly but i lean in this direction and i think it’s a good point of view for that reader to marinate on, until i get my thoughts together~
asks. on the one hand i feel extremely flattered that people want to hear the opinion of little ol me, especially on topics that seem to be common interests between myself and some of you who read this blog. that said, i feel some pressure for the answers to be worthy of said attention;;; i have a few good ones sitting, waiting to be answered.
the thing is, they’re good enough that i want my answers to be thoughtful. so bear with me while i get my thoughts together and find the time to actually sit down and respond to some of the heavier topics~^^
haha god, noooooooo. never, never. thanks so much for coming this weekend and it was great to meet you (and caitlin) ^^
On a somewhat serious note today because of a conversation the other day:
I am sure every girl can recall, at least once as a child, coming home and telling their parents, uncle, aunt or grandparent about a boy who had pulled her hair, hit her, teased her, pushed her or committed some other playground crime. I will bet money that most of those, if not all, will tell you that they were told “Oh, that just means he likes you”. I never really thought much about it before having a daughter of my own. I find it appalling that this line of bullshit is still being fed to young children. Look, if you want to tell your child that being verbally and/or physically abused is an acceptable sign of affection, i urge you to rethink your parenting strategy. If you try and feed MY daughter that crap, you better bring protective gear because I am going to shower you with the brand of “affection” you are endorsing.
When the fuck was it decided that we should start teaching our daughters to accept being belittled, disrespected and abused as endearing treatment? And we have the audacity to wonder why women stay in abusive relationships? How did society become so oblivious to the fact that we were conditioning our daughters to endure abusive treatment, much less view it as romantic overtures? Is this where the phrase “hitting on girls” comes from? Well, here is a tip: Save the “it’s so cute when he gets hateful/physical with her because it means he loves her” asshattery for your own kids, not mine. While you’re at it, keep them away from my kids until you decide to teach them respect and boundaries.
My daughter is `10 years old and has come home on more than one occasion recounting an incident at school in which she was teased or harassed by a male classmate. There has been several times when someone that she was retelling the story to responded with the old, “that just means he likes you” line. Wrong. I want my daughter to know that being disrespected is NEVER acceptable. I want my daughter to know that if someone likes her and respects her, much less LOVES her, they don’t hurt her and they don’t put her down. I want my daughter to know that the boy called her ugly or pushed her or pulled her hair didn’t do it because he admires her, it is because he is a little asshole and assholes are an occurrence of society that will have to be dealt with for the rest of her life. I want my daughter to know how to deal with assholes she will encounter throughout her life. For now, I want my daughter to know that if someone is verbally harassing her, she should tell the teacher and if the teacher does nothing, she should tell me. If someone physically touches her, tell the teacher then, if it continues, to yell, “STOP TOUCHING/PUNCHING/PUSHING ME” in the middle of class or the hallway, then tell me. Last year, one little boy stole her silly bandz from her. He just grabbed her and yanked a handful of them off of her wrist. When I went to the school to address the incident, the teacher smiled and explained it away to her, in front of me, “he probably has a crush on you”. Okay, the boy walked up to my daughter, grabbed and held her by the arm and forcibly removed her bracelets from her as she struggled and you want to convince her that she should be flattered? Fuck off. I am going to punch you in the face but I hope you realize it is just my way of thanking you for the great advice you gave my daughter. If these same advice givers’ sons came home crying because another male classmate was pushing them, pulling their hair, hitting them or calling them names, I would bet dollars to donuts they would tell him to defend themselves and kick the kid’s ass, if necessary. They sure as shit wouldn’t say, “he probably just wants a play date”.
I will teach my daughter to accept nothing less than respect. Anyone who hurts her physically or emotionally doesn’t deserve her respect, friendship or love. I will teach my boys the same thing as well as the fact that hitting on girls doesn’t involve hitting girls. I can’t teach my daughter to respect herself if I am teaching her that no one else has to respect her. I can’t raise sons that respect women, if I teach them that bullying is a valid expression of affection.
The next time that someone offers up that little “secret” to my daughter, I am going to slap the person across the face and yell, “I LOVE YOU”.” —
Oh my god, this… THIS. It is THIS mentality that is the beginnings of abuse culture, especially for young girls. I was told that shit when I was young. We TRAIN our girls to think that assholish behavior = love, which feeds into the “Nice Guy” culture as well….
Dear lord, this is an epiphany…
Hey~ Ooooh, I feel honored if The Korean is referring people to me. ^^ We mostly communicate in reference to the House of Sharing and the Halmonis - he is actually an amazing ally for the “Comfort Women” issue.
Funny coincidence, I’m also a twin and my sister and I were also adopted together!
Oh! Your question…hmm Where do I begin?
While here, I’ve had a lot of experiences with work and studying, but for now I’ll try to focus on my experience here specific to being an adoptee for the sake of this post.
When I first came here I knew no other adoptees. I had met one other adoptee in college (actually two, but coincidentally I was so adoptee clueless, that the other guy I didn’t know he was an adoptee until later - even though his last name was Sharp, I couldn’t put two and two together;;;) The first year I lived here, I did not meet a single other adoptee. Looking back, I don’t even know how that was possible! I’ve written about adoptee groups here in Korea on another blog I used to run at the Seoul Global Center, so I’ll link that here, it gives a neutral summary of each group and their focus. If you click on the Korean Adoption tag in that blog, you can see other articles that I wrote about adoption (originally published in Korea Herald).
From a personal viewpoint, I have become so much more connected to my identity here than I ever was in the States. That is not to say that I feel more “Korean”(frankly, that’s not my end goal), but I feel satisfied that the things that I came looking for, I’ve either found or am in the process of finding. My work with KUMFA has been a huge part of this. Evaluating it now, I consider it a sort of re-kinning process for myself (sorry, anthro terms).
One hugely disappointing aspect of my experience in Korea is that I have still been unable to find my family. I’ve written about this in my own private blog and I’ve decided to share some of those excerpts here. I think they give you a more realistic idea of what my experience has been like here from an “on-the-ground” vantage point, rather than me summarizing it in one fell swoop.
Again, I’d like to put this behind a cut, since this is very long… but I don’t know how to do that with an Ask. Anyone? ^^;;
2008.03.18. White Flag
peeling back all the layers of cliche that i hate but admitting that they’re real nonetheless. can i admit that because i’m adopted, i have had a fear of real commitment to any one person, to any one place? that the reason i can roam so freely is because i’ve felt no place that i really belong? on the other hand, can i admit that in all of my romantic relationships, i’ve hung on longer (in some context) than was healthy for both parties, in some irrational attempt to convince myself that some human connection, for godsakes, had to be withstanding. can i admit that growing up, surrounded by only one face that even remotely resembled my own, caused me to hate my own face for half of my life, and exploit it for the other half? finally being “ordinary” has forced me to acknowledge and analyze how much of my life has been affected by being “special.” but i know, that someday my soul will feel settled. it may never feel complete, it may never feel attached to any place in an inexplicable way of home and belonging. but it will be anchored: in my cobbled identity, in contentedness, and in the surrender, of the things that have haunted me throughout my life.
2009.06.29. Reaction to a conversation with an old co-worker
why does a personal connection to a social issue seem to automatically imply that there is no logical basis for one’s opinion? and saying that i think korea should stop international adoption doesn’t mean that i denounce my own adoption. i neither denounce it or celebrate it, i simply accept it. nor do i mourn the person i might’ve been or glorify the person that i have become.
2009.12.08. A revelation three years in the making
caught my reflection in a bus stop signpost this morning while i was on the way to work. it was the first time i looked at my face and found it common. it wasn’t the face of a whore or a sexpot or a minx. it wasn’t exotic, my eyes weren’t almond and there was no mystery. it was just two brown eyes, a wide nose, and chapped lips. hair that could have stood a washing and slight dark circles from a lack of sleep. i looked like a sister or a daughter or a co-worker. has anyone in the history of the world ever been so relieved to finally be able to see the commonness of their own face?
2010.06.02 Have you any idea?
how degrading it is to have to ask - no beg - a perfect stranger for your own personal information? how humiliating it is to know that they know more about the first four years of your life than you? how infuriating it is that legally they have more of a right to know than you?
2011.07.15 나의 못된 고백 My horrible confession (translated from Korean)
나는 가끔 다른 입양인들이 자기 한국 가족을 만날 때, 통역사로 나간다. 이럴 때는 나의 영광이라고 생각한다. 그러나 어쩌다가 아주 가끔씩 세상이 정말 공평하지 않다는 생각도 든다. Occasionally I go as a translator when adoptees meet their Korean families. I always think it’s an honor to be able to help at these times. But sometimes, every now and again, I think the world is really unfair.
나는 한국에서 5년동안 한국어를 죽을 정도로 공부하면서 나의 한국 가족을 찾아왔다. 그런데 홀트아동복지사가 나의 입양서류에 비윤리적으로 무책임하게 기록을 해놨기 때문에 (그건 의도적으로 그렇게 되었는지도 모르겠고) 나는 가족을 아직도 못 찾았다. 입양서류에 나온 정보가 틀려서 영원히 못 찾을 수도 있다. I’ve never studied anything as hard as I have Korean for the past five years I’ve lived here. Studied while I searched for my Korean family. However, because Holt Adoption Agency recorded my adoption files unethically and irresponsibly (I’m not sure if that was intentional or not), I have not yet been able to find my family. Because the information on my adoption records is inaccurate, I may never be able to find my family.
그러기에 다른 입양인 친구가 자기 가족을 만날 때 나는 도움이 될 수 있다는 게 진심으로 나의 영광이라고 생각한다. 그러나 어쩌다가 아주 가끔씩 세상이 정말 공평하지 않다는 생각도 든다. For that reason, when I go with other adoptees to translate between them and their families, the fact that I can help makes me sincerely happy. But sometimes, every now and again, I think the world is really unfair.
입양인들이 한국어를 못하는데도 자기 가족을 만날 권리가 있다고 생각한다. 한국어 실력과 아무 상관 없이 자기 가족의 이야기, 자기 자신의 어릴 때 이야기를 알 권리가 있다고 생각한다. I think that adoptees have a right to meet their families, even if they can’t speak Korean. Regardless of their ability to speak Korean, I think adoptees have the right to know their family’s story and their own stories from their childhood.
우리 쌍둥이 언니도 한국말 못하는데 만약 운이 좋게 가족을 결국 찾을 수 있다면 우리 언니도 나와 똑같이 우리의 가족을 만날 권리가 물론 있다고 본다. 그러나 어쩌다가 아주 가끔씩 세상이 정말 공평하지 않다는 생각도 든다. My twin sister doesn’t speak Korean and if, we are lucky, and we are somehow able to find our family, of course I think my sister has exactly the same right to meet our family as I do. But sometimes, every now and again, I think the world is really unfair.
입양인들이 우리는 한국어 실력이나 한국에서 생활하는 것을 통해 우리의 가족을 만날 자격을 얻어야 된다고 생각하진 않는다. Adoptees, we don’t have to earn the right to meet our families through our Korean ability or living in Korea.
그냥 가끔 억울할 뿐이다. Just… sometimes… I think, it’s not fair.
2012.02.16 하나만 요청하겠습니다 A request (translated from Korean)
영어 잘한다고 제발 부러워하지마. 내가 유학 갔다 온 것도 아닌데. 한국에서 영어만 잘하면 인생에 큰 도움이 되는 걸 나도 인정하지만 이 완벽한 영어 실력을 위해 내가 최고의 대가를 치렀다는 걸 알아뒀으면 한다. Please don’t tell me that you envy my English ability. It’s not like I did a study abroad. Yes, I know in Korea that speaking English well can be a huge asset. But I wish you would remember that for this perfect English, I paid the highest price.
Okay but then the same bitch…looks at me halfway through the proceedings and says - and this is a direct quote - “외국인이라도 예쁘다!” (You’re pretty, even though you’re a foreigner! - in the lowest language). Again, smile, nod. Thinking: get the fuuuuuck out of my apartment.
It’s over it’s over it’s over how do I shake the icky off?
hey, this is no way excusing what your coworker said, but rather a comment on the level of her language. sorry, i hope i’m not derailing the conversation and i don’t want to sound insensitive, i just know you are interested in learning the nuances of korean so i thought you might be interested in my opinion regarding this situation (maybe you’re not though ^^;;;)
hmmm, i think it’s a bit of a misinterpretation to take that form as the lowest language. while that language is low in that it’s used with children, it would never be used with an adult (in my opinion), no matter how rude the person is trying to be - if they were actually trying to be rude, they would just use banmal. the only reason an adult would use it with another adult is if they were at least a good 20 years older than you, and in that case, it still wouldn’t be rude because it would be being used in the sense of being used with a (grown) child, which is actually again, not rude, if that makes sense.
however, that level of language is used when people are musing or commenting to themselves about something (맛있겠다, 춥다, 예쁘다). even when it is said in front of someone else, while looking at someone else, even meant to be heard by someone else, it is not considered rude to use that form because theoretically, it’s not directed at anyone else (i like to think of it that in korean, it’s a form in order to self-narrate your life? hehe) you could use that form in front of the president in that way and the form itself wouldn’t be considered rude. her comment, however, is another story.
So, back to the sidewalk last night. I was not dressed like a parking valet; I was wearing a suit coat and a nice shirt and carrying my own laptop bag. And I wasn’t standing behind the valet stand.
But that white lady was not getting served fast enough.
She just looked for the first available brown person. Of course I was asking for it, standing there, looking all Mexican. In front of a Mexican restaurant, no less!
Once I realized what was going on, I just stared at the lady and looked away. Two times! She finally stopped waving the ticket toward me after she realized her mistake. Not much would have been achieved had I yelled at her and made her feel stupid. She already was.
I waited for my car, wished her a good night (tipped the valet generously) and soon, instead of SWB (Standing While Brown), I was now DWB (Driving While Brown).” —WTF?!? Guest Contributor Lalo Alcaraz explains what went down while he was Standing While Brown at the R today. (via racialicious)
soon, instead of standing while brown i was driving while brown. love that. perfect description.
I’m gonna need self-hating Dominicans to read some Malcolm.
How does a white woman claim to be the victim of yellow fever? I know, it’s so absurd it’s funny. But she manages it, by denying the impact of racism, and replacing it with a spiteful sense of competition. She doesn’t criticize her boyfriend’s race-conquest. She doesn’t flinch at his weekend tally of Asian indulgence. Instead, she basically protests that Asians took my boyfriend.
In selecting this story This American Life poses two subtexts: that white women are the natural objects of sexual attraction, and that people of color are a threat. It nurses a wound that whiteness was overlooked, and makes a fresh contribution to the Jezebel accusation of the racial temptress–”over-sexualized” Black women, “spicy” Latinas or “bellydancing” Middle Eastern woman.
For East Asian women or gay men, yellow fever isn’t a triumph, it’s a trauma. The fact that her boyfriend is a cheater is half as noxious as the fact that his casual sex is raced. But in this story, somehow, the white protagonist has managed to describe herself as oppressed by, well, Asian oppression.” —Asians Are Stealing Our Boyfriends On This American Life | Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture (via hidden-midden)
agreed with all but one point. why does she imply that asian women and gay men are the only subjects of yellow fever? by saying that she implies that the only people who have yellow fever are straight men (for asian women) and gay men (for gay men). clearly from things i’ve heard in korea (even read on tumblr), asian men are also the subjects of yellow fever of straight women (and i’m sure there are forms of yellow fever affected asian lesbians, trans, etc etc)
looking for 5-6 volunteers to go with kumfa on their leadership retreat this weekend (feb 25-26th). schedule is not set yet but the retreat is in incheon and we will go separately but everyone should arrive in incheon around 2pm on saturday and we should return to seoul around 2pm on sunday. please let me know if you’re interested!
한국미혼모가족협회 리더십 캠프에서 아이를 봐주실 자원봉사자를 구함~ 2월 25-26일 (1박2일). 일정은 아직 확정 안 났지만, 이번 캠프는 인천에 가고 토요일에 갈 때 개별로 모두 인천에 2시까지 도착하면 되고 일요일에 2시쯤 서울에 돌아올 예정입니다. 관심있으신 분 연락 부탁드립니다~!!
영어 잘한다고 제발 부러워하지마. 내가 유학 갔다 온 것도 아닌데. 한국에서 영어만 잘하면 인생에 큰 도움이 되는 걸 나도 인정하지만 이 완벽한 영어 실력을 위해 내가 최고의 대가를 치렀다는 걸 알아뒀으면 한다.
Instead of focusing on helping the President and Congressional Democrats get the economy turned around and create jobs and putting our nose to the grindstone and sitting around the table, locking ourselves in a room and not leaving until we can hammer out a way to do that and do it together and really continue to jump start the economy the way President Obama’s been able to move us forward, we are actually debating contraception. Contraception in which 99% of women in America have used at some point in their life and the Republicans want to debate not just religious liberties. They want to debate allowing all employers who might have an objection to deny that coverage that President Obama has should be available under the Affordable Care Act without a copay and without a deductible.
I mean that’s just unbelievable, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because the Republicans have no jobs plan, they’ve not brought a single jobs bill to the floor of the House of Representatives nor have they proposed one in the Senate since the Republicans took over the majority in the House, so they need the distraction.” —Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz talking to Lawrence O’Donnell about the Republican fight against contraception coverage for women. (via kileyrae)