Archive for April, 2009

So recently I went to this learn how to network post graduation thing. I won’t say exactly who it was I talked to because I don’t want to jeopardize my career in case someone wants to find this and use it against me. It was a group of older women. The older women at my table (and all the other tables that I could see) were both white. The students at my table, including me, were all South and East Asian.

The younger lady at our table talked about how women have historically been bad at networking. I was like whaa? She clarified by saying that women are better at networking as mothers, not as employees. I was like oh. It kind of made sense. American women didn’t even used to be employees, as in America, it used to be culturally unacceptable until very recently for women to have jobs. So it makes sense that American women, as a group, could potentially be lacking in the kind of assertiveness that is required for successful professional networking. An interesting theory, at least.

The older lady, more authoritative, agreed with her peer. She said something to the effect of, “Yes, that’s true. Especially when you come from a certain country, where if you’re a woman, you don’t just go up to a person and say hello, you don’t just do that.” She went on to look at the student to her left, who had a Vietnamese accent, and nodded understandably at her.

At the end of the meeting, I decided that I really liked both these women who were helping us learn how to network. Overall, they seemed like good people to get to know. But at the time of the above little chat about the inability of women from “certain countries” to network, I felt offended.

Is that reasonable? Does it make sense for me to be annoyed at this white woman for pointing out what she sees to be the truth? And isn’t it kind of the truth, in objective terms? That women from South and East Asian countries aren’t given the latitude to be bold in professional settings? Was this lady being racist, in talking about the passivity of Asian women? Part of me is saying “Yes” and the other is saying “No.”

Furthermore, am I being racist to readily accept that women from South and East Asian countries are forced to assume less-than-assertive roles in their societies’ workplace? I lived in India for 13 years and what I saw completely validates her statement. Should I hold my horses before I extend this observation to large, heterogeneous parts of the rest of the world? Are “Asian” women, whatever that means, actually not passive? Is it anti-feminist to think of them as passive? How is “passive” being constructed in this case?

What is really complicating the picture here? I am so confused. Readers, and I know there are millions of you, feel free to chime in with insights.

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By “Live Blogging” I mean not that I will be blogging live on some event. I mean that our blog is ALIVE! Though it’s been kind of sick for the past few weeks.

Reasons for why the blog was sick:
1. Maybe it’s that fight me and Ben had. I hope you come back Ben! I really mean that. Even though we disagree on pretty much everything, I liked our eye-opening exchanges.
2. Maybe it’s cuz it really started to look like we were doing the blog the wrong way…too confrontational. Some of us talked about it and I think we agree that confrontation needs to be given a second chance. Let us do it! Fight to the death, or something.
3. Some of the older (read: geriatric) (no, don’t though) bloggers appear to have lost interest…no worries, things will start looking so interesting so soon, they won’t be able to resist coming back!
4. Probably everyone is busy, but soon the semester will end and we will stop being busy YAY!

Optimism r us.

I could make this private but imma not because I want the stranger reader ppl to see it too, so that they know my composite theory of why things got so quiet all of a sudden.

Okay, I’m going to go write a non-PR post now on something that happened to me last night. Stay tuned!/By the time you read this you’ll probably have first read my non-PR post already! Let us hold hands and breathe life into this thing and continue our education in feminism.

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