—It’s almost like a Street Fight

—It’s almost like a Street Fight

Written by Grandpa Dinosaur

It’s kind of like being in a fight. You have one friend who watches the fight happen, sits anxiously on the sidelines, and when all the action is over, she hands you some tissue and some ice for your face. You have another friend who watches you take a punch, grabs a chair, and she knocks that fucker off you. The tissue and the ice are appreciated, but I am a lot more thankful for the friend that had my back.

Latoya Peterson

If I had a choice for what feminism would be like, this is what would go down:

Chinese woman has a problem that pertains to her Chinese father teaching her Chinese sister to feel bad about being a woman. Black woman says “I am willing to listen.” White woman says, “I am willing to listen.” The three women sit down and talk about her problem and discuss her problem as if it were (*GASP*) a problem and try and offer solutions. NON-RACIST solutions that are not a dismissal or a tangent into a story that has nothing to do with sexism. The discussion is self-moderated, all parties are not perfectly non-racist, but willing to relate to the issue and support one another emotionally and give this Chinese person credibility and upstanding as an individual. If possible a call to action, with room for community response, aka comments or more solutions.

The importance is to create a communication. “Sexism will not be tolerated. Ever.”

Does that sound clear and concise? My White English teacher couldn’t get over the fact that I was Cambodian (“Oh, you’re Cambodian? How novel!”), so I have a little trouble with English grammar, so please comment so I can explain the concept better.

Just because the “opponent” LOL is not a white man, doesn’t mean that it is no longer a feminist issue. It doesn’t change and become into a social problem within a race of people. It is still the issue of a woman being oppressed and having her rights violated. Maybe that’s why some feminists are shaking a bit when thinking about the mere though that the new “White man” can be a “Black man” or “Asian man.” That sure changes the dynamics a bit, dun it?

Sexism has very much become a problem of dealing with an imbalance of power and a fight against Kyriarchy now with the question “are there racists/sexists among our clergy?” (Credit goes to Latoya from Racialious for teaching me the word Kyriarchy.) In my mind, any sexist person (or feminist person) that oppresses a woman is sexist. Women and feminists are not immune to being sexist and placing themselves in roles that would exempt them from their own actions that degrade other women and themselves.

Anyone who tries to subjugate or humiliate a woman for having a vagina is UNDENIABLY sexist. (Does it count if it was a man and swapped for a vagina, well. He now has a vagina! I am going to factor it in.) Because you know what? WE ALL HAVE VAGINA’S AND IT’S THE SYMBOL OF THE DEVIL!

“She’s making babies with her vagina, DEMON!”
“She’s not letting me have sex with for free, TRAMP!”

Your vagina is a double card, it can make or break you.

Sexism aside, Feminism is damn CONSTRICTING! UNCOMFORTABLE! It sucks when another feminist decides that your problem is just “blah, forget it, it’s not working with our feminism. Go away.” I do not tolerate favouritism, especially if it’s a lot like Racism. Or smells like racism, or is blatantly racist. Especially when us women of colour are treated like, “we don’t know what’s for our own good and we should just relinquish our control to white women, because they are working for the team.”

I call shenanigans on that! I have a right to question what is right for me and what is working in my favour. I have a right to oppose something that is not working in my favour and hurting me as a human being.

I just heard the most crazy comparison’s chart, a man’s one dollar, a white woman’s 77 cents, a black woman’s 65, A Spanish woman 45, Chinese person’s 44 cents, Cambodians person’s 32 cents BUT PEOPLE WE ALL CAN’T BEAT PEOPLE FROM Haiti, the prices from dirt what they eat has doubled! So do not play that number comparison game, good people!!! You know why? Cause that shit does nobody NO GOOD! It segregates us further AND EVERYBODY LOSES. And that White Guy, he’s just trying to support his kids and now he’s the symbol of evil too! Not every WHITE MAN is trying to kill us, or take away our right and would help us or are trying to help us, but we don’t even know if we can trust them and we can’t even trust other Feminists (and now “everyone” hates white female feminists) because we have such different backgrounds and we want different things. I want to pay my bills as much as they next guy or gal or Gal-O. We all want to make money, but as who’s expense? It all become cyclical in the end, and so far I cannot think of a solution because no matter who is the poorest, someone else who is more poor will appear.

Okay… I’m done with that.

Continuing—I can stop racism in my community by educating people. I can reverse my internalized racism. I can prove myself to be “not just some super-stereotyped wild Cambodian” or “submissive Asian woman” but I can’t change the fact that I am a coloured woman and being a coloured woman bothers people. And it will continue to bother people if racism is tolerated. And it will continue to bother people if sexism is tolerated.

And I am just a woman of one shade, raw honey brown.

I cannot step into the Western World as much as much as I cannot step backwards into the super-tradition Cambodian World.

I don’t know what hurts me more, racism or sexism, but I tell you one thing: I am covered in bruises from abuse and it doesn’t matter who they belong to.

And if those bruises are going to kill me one day, you bet that’s definitely not all right.

Much like the wife who can’t get her husband put in jail for spousal abuse and gets killed for it, that’s my situation. It is vastly different from Davita Cuttita‘s situation, she knows this. I need decisive and positive action like fish need water.

My value is uncertain, but I know I have pretty much no visibility as a Cambodian woman. I know once people in my community, even my own brother figure’s out I’m writing this “crap” I’m good as dead or thoroughly have the shit beat out of me, if I am lucky. No one in my community wants to give me the benefit of being a human being. I and other women like me, will forever stay bartering tools until one of us speaks up.

And I know women are considered bartering tools in Cambodian culture, just look at arranged marriage. My value as a college student and a “pure-blooded Canadian woman” increases my value on the arranged marriage stock market, if I could just shut up and stop ruining my marriage-matches.

It’s not like the feminist circles don’t have enough resources! It’s as if we were playing Settler’s of Catan and nobody has wood and everyone needs wood and the one person who has wood keeps building roads for themselves! If you keep hogging everything to yourself, no one is going to want to do business with you in the future. Or maybe they don’t have the resources and we need to do a serious audit to see what is “viable” in the feminist community and what isn’t. I don’t want to hear that a woman of colour’s problem has no value and should be forgotten.

What Women of colour are saying we have value, we are hard working, we are good people! Do not discredit us! Do not break us down! Do not devalue us—we have so little! We need to have our voices heard and acknowledged that they are problems and not something that can be swept under and carpet and forgotten.

I cannot turn my back on women of colour. I know what is like to be an “eternal immigrant,” never quite fitting in with Canadian and Cambodian culture. I know what it is like to have your problems dismissed, your dilemma forgotten.

My co-writer, Davita Cuttita is very anti-feminist because of the exclusion of coloured women and racism within the circles. I don’t have the privilege to ignore women’s issues as much as I can’t forget that I am coloured. Being a Cambodian woman holds me back so much, you cannot imagine how hard it is to take one step—but I manage to do it while holding my middle finger up as well.

I don’t know about you, but I’m SHANKING ME some misogynist ass regardless of what Feminism is. And Racism is also on the menu!

I cannot choose my battles, but I can choose to fight them and not ignore the injustice done to me and women like me. Regardless of who they are. And some of my fights are going to be in feminist circles and some of my fights are going to be in anti-racist circles, whatever, gloves are on bitches. I was always just a lame-o street fighter in the end.

I gotta fight! Because if you are an honest, kind hardworking, good person, there’s nothing more hurtful than being called “a slut” or “being told to go back to your country” or “stop working and suck my cock” you gotta prove them wrong, make them taste the blood in their mouths, make them fear god a little.

If I were running feminism, I would run it like a crime syndicate. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. We don’t always see eye to eye, but we want to see our businesses prosper and in order to do that we have to work together SOMETIMES to get to a desired result! There are key issues that regardless of how volatile feminists can be, I must work with them in order to change the perspective of the world. And I willing to endure, and learn and feel stupid and learn in order to change the minds of individuals in my small world.

I am a ridiculously small, frail and sickly person, but I have to overcome my racial and sexual stereotyping and fight every fight with all of my heart and spirit or else my frail, sickly body will be crushed as a result of my own apathy.

I have no choice.

I know that I am not a strong person as an individual, but my true strength comes from my ability to continue to stand where many have been knocked down. I cannot sympathize with able-bodied people, who have to ability to help their peers and choose not to. I cannot turn my back on women, any woman, or child or man, because when I do, I see my own unbearable helplessness and need for support. I can see the mirror of my own helplessness and sadness… It has become the only time I feel sorrow. No one can see themselves as they live, we have to be the mirrors of truth for other people. We must reflect nothing but the most sincere truth and perpetuate no inequalities.

Racism is not tolerated, it will not be forgiven. Being a feminist not a get free card if you are racist. Being a feminist does not excuse you if you make a inappropriately sexist comment towards a woman.

Sounds like some of us gotta get some vigilante justice, knock out some baby teeth. I don’t care, I want some answers and I want some action and I want some progress. I don’t want racism and I don’t want sexism! You want it, you take it! Not me, I do what I wanna do! I do it for me and if you need me and we can work together I don’t mind knocking out some fuckers after some convincing.

I don’t know who I’m fightin’ tonight, but I know I’m hurtin’ and gonna do some hurtin’

We’re gonna be doing some fightin’ toni~ght!

It’s as if the streets were MADE for fighting!


~ by l on April 29, 2008.

4 Responses to “—It’s almost like a Street Fight”

  1. I thought in terms of coherence, this is one of your better articles on here.

    I ESPECIALLY liked: “Being a Cambodian woman holds me back so much, you cannot imagine how hard it is to take one step—but I manage to do it while holding my middle finger up as well.”

    I think your strength is fantastic, and I’m proud to be your friend because you are able to keep enduring the shit you shouldn’t have to endure. I want to talk you out to lunch sometime soon. This friday?

  2. (p.s.: if i didn’t spell it out, I’m behind you~!)

  3. Hey,
    wanted to let you know I just found your blog via Racialicious ( I couldn’t help but notice how much I enjoyed your posts there) and I love it, and hope to keep reading more… Its wonderful to find strong intelligent women writing about racism, sexism and all the others 😦 from Canada, because I moved to Canada from the USA from 5 years ago and am just begining to put together the differences and similarities particularly surrounding racism between the two nations…and your blog is really helping me find my thoughts 🙂 Thanks again

  4. No problem, I’ll check out your blog too. LOL I live in the GTA, and it’s less culturally diverse but here I am learning lots of things, like the Chinese did not invent pizza. Anyway, do your best Cuntlovin and we’ll try our best to be outstanding.

    And to Leona, yes I will go to prom with you.

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