Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Radical Women of Color Carnival: Edition #1

Welcome all to the very first edition of the Racial Women of Color Carnival, celebrating the identity and experiences of blogging women of colour. First of all, I would like to apologize to all of you seeking this edition yesterday -- hopefully the collection of posts this month will make up for the extra wait. We had lots of wonderful women of colour blogging about their experiences this month. Here's just a sampling of it all: The Internet The question for this first edition of the Carnival was what blogging meant to radical women of colour. The answers were overwhelmingly diverse and yet all seemed to share a similar message. Blac(k)ademic blogs because she needs to. Psychotic Cocktail provides her thoughts on what the Internet means to her and other women of colour. Woman of Color Blog offers her own perspective on blogging. Fabulosa Mujer finds her blogging voice. Miss Aloha Hawaii wonders where all the Hawaiians are. Egotistical Whining takes a minute to describe what a safe space is and why we need it. Twice the Rice mixes humour with depressing racial commentary when she describes her recent run-in, as an Asian female, with one of those Friendster-like networking sites. And finally, not only in an act of shameless self-promotion but in flagrant defiance of inter-carnival cross-posting, Reappropriate re-submits her question -- where are my Asian American sisters? Resolving Race Rachels Tavern thoughtfully suggests that the disconnect between White liberals and activists of colour is an inability to distinguish between race and race oppression. New Game Plus compares the racial makeup of characters in popular science fiction novels, and considers their relationship to her own reality and understanding of racism. Then again, Critical Race Theory poses the question as to whether white feminists should do critical race theory? If you have a thought on that, post in the comments section. Meanwhile, Hysterical Blackness defines the sadomasochism of everday (black) life. And Diary of a Mad Kenyan Woman deconstructs the myth of the strong black woman. Coretta Scott King SistersTalk remembers Coretta Scott King by amassing a number of articles on King's life and legacy. Miscellany First off, Pomegranate Queen offers a poem inspired by her childhood. Yellowbaby Peril uses poetry to define her experiences in adulthood as a woman. Shailja Blog lays out the facts about abortion, paying special attention to the difficulties faced by the underrepresented women of colour. Black Looks considers why women remain silent about gender violence. Of course, silence can be about deliberate misinformation of the mainstream. People of colour, women in particular, are often misportrayed in mass media like Hollywood. AngryBrownButch sheds some light on the truth behind the Pocahontas myth in relation to 'The New World'. Speaking of deliberate misunderstandings by mainstream American media, Baghdad Burning, in her blog that focuses on real experiences of real Iraqis, offers her thoughts on the recent election results in Iraq. Defying silence, I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar puts forth the truth about Women and the Quran. Switching gears a little (but not a lot), Melissa over at Hyphen Blog discusses the phenoemenon of Asian American children and the naming conventions adopted by their parents. A fabulous take on passing and assimilation. And yet, most Americans and certainly all who read this Carnival edition have at least one thing in common: we all enjoy some amount of privilege. That became painfully clear to Margaret Cho in her recent visit to Ranakpur. And finally, Mamita Mala proves the extraordinary power of words by inscribing into poetry a recent experience she had with race and racism. Spotlight Every Carnival edition of the Racial Woman of Color Carnival will include a spotlight on a particular organization or person in the history of women of colour that demands particular attention. This edition, I had so many to choose from. After all, we recently lost a proud warrior for civil rights in Coretta Scott King. But, a couple of bloggers in this Carnival have already discussed King, and have done her memory better justice than I could have. So, instead, I'd like to talk about a Foundation that means a lot to me. The Comfort Women From "Under the Black Umbrella" by Hildi Kang: "Thousands of young, unmarried Korean women were mobilized into the Voluntary Service Brigad and told they would help the war effort as nurses or factory workers. Instead, they found themselves taken to "comfort stations" at the war front and expected to provide sexual services for teh soldiers. If they refused, they were beatn and denied food. AFter the war, the shame of being a "comfort woman" kept these women silent, and only recently have they begun to tell their stories." From V-Day 2006: "The euphemism 'comfort women' was coined by imperial Japan to refer to young females of various ethnic and national backgrounds who were forced to offer sexual services to the Japanese troops during the Asia/Pacific Wars between 1932 and 1945. Some were minors sold into 'comfort stations,' others were deceptively recruited by middlemen, and still more were detained and forcibly abducted. Estimates of the number of 'comfort women' range between 50,000 to 200,000. " "In the early 1990s, nearly a half a century after the end of WWII, Korean victims of Japan's military sexual slavery, followed by other survivors in China, Taiwan, North Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Timor L'Este, broke their silence and began to call for justice and reparations for the unanswered war crimes. Despite years of protests, including the weekly demonstrations held by survivors in South Korea in front of the Japanese embassy for the past 13 years, the Japanese government still denies legal responsibility. Now, the aging survivors are dying off one by one without any type redress, formal apology, or historical acknowledgment by a government that stole their freedom and power for so many years." Testimonials: "... I was loaded onto a freight car and then a car with some other women and we were taken to Nanjing. I became a ‘comfort woman’. I was in a three-story brick building in Nanjing that was at Kinsui- rou ‘comfort station’. There I was called by the Japanese name “Utamaru”. I had to service up to thirty soldiers every day. One day I was really in pain and when I didn’t respond to the demands of one officer, that bastard beat me with his fists, kicked me with his boots, took a long knife and held it up against my throat and asked me how I’d like to try the ‘taste’ of the Imperial Army, and he cut me. The blood poured out and soaked my whole body, but that bastard officer went out to satisfy his lust. Other ‘comfort women’ who caught diseases and became malnourished were carted out or often dumped in the river to drown..." "...The men lined up outside the barracks doors where the women where, and took their turn. The girl just lay there inside. Each man had a given amount of time, about seven minutes. It he wasn't out in time, the next man went right in and yanked him out. Each door had a long line of men waiting their turns..." "...At that time, they treated us like we were animals, not human beings... There was no separately set aside resting time, but when there weren’t any soldiers, you would know to rest on your own. There wasn’t really anything that we could or would do while resting, though. There were some women who cried, some who just stared at the heavens worrying, and people like that. It was in this way that I spent three years at the comfort station..." "...Also, after leaving Hankou, I was passed through many ‘comfort stations’ and gave birth twice, including the birth in Hankou. I had to leave the second baby with strangers. I had other pregnancies in addition to the two births, but because I was expelled for each pregnancy, I induced early termination with a folk remedy (at eight weeks, refrain from moving and eating for three days and then drink a mixture made from the root of a certain kind of plant). I was completely prevented from giving birth or raising her children..." "...I would like to be reborn as a woman. I would like to be reborn in such a great time as these days, stay with my parents to go to school, and get married to a nice man to have children... Until the day I die, I cannot forget what I have been through. Even after I die, I won’t be able to forget. I want to be compensated by the Japanese government for how my life has been ruined..." Links: The Korean Council For Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (Support the Fund with Donations) Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation And that's it! Thank you all for visiting, again, apologies for the lateness (visit back soon to see why) and the next edition of the Radical Women of Color Carnival will be held at Mamita Mala on March 1st, 2006!.


Blogger brownfemipower said...

i really love this...i know that there was a severe lack of submissions, but I think that your post, in the the end, wound up being more representative of a radical submission--i got chills as you connected what we're saying on the internet into the *real* issue of violence against women. great job jenn...

2/02/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

thank you -- it took a lot of time to consider how to make this edition up to par, and yes, there was a disappointing lack of submissions. i'm not too sure why since i found lots of posts on the topic that were for whatever reason NOT submitted to the carnival despite the blog being fully aware and even advertising the carnival.

ah, well, hopefully as the carnival gets more well known, this will become less of a problem.

and on the comfort women, this issue is very important to me and it is just heart-breaking to know how few people have heard their stories. there is so little that can be done other than to get the word out -- this is really a race against time because the japanese government is basically waiting until all the comfort women die (they're all in their 70's, 80's and 90's) so they can basically get away with it and not have to apologize.

2/03/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Lake Desire said...

Great first issue, Jenn! I look forward to the future installments.

2/03/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Thank you for all the links. More blogs to add to my bookmarks. Yay.

-- Anashi

2/03/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger fiercelyfab said...

Jenn this was a wonderful compilation of entries, I loved the ending especially.

Despite the low amount of submissions this first edition was very good. Another thing, is there a way to get to folks that clearly have a post that alludes to the topic to submit? In the future as a hostess is it possible to make several nominations, just thinking out loud here.

Thank you for hosting the first Carnival Jenn.

2/03/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger yellowbaby said...

Thanks, Jenn, for your blog, Apiablogs, hosting the Carnival of Feminists and the first Radical Women of Color Carnival. You did a wonderful job with all of these and are a great force for good!

2/04/2006 01:11:00 AM  
Blogger phillyjay said...

Great stuff so far.Learned a couple of things I didn't even know about.Thanks for the links.

2/04/2006 02:42:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thank you all for reading and commenting!

2/06/2006 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger hysterical blackness said...

Thank you for doing this.

2/06/2006 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger sokari said...

Hey this is great - thanks so much for linking to me and even more thanks for some great new blogs to link to -

2/08/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Ampersand said...

Great job, Jenn... this may seem petty to mention, but I really like the format you used.

2/09/2006 03:37:00 AM  
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