Thursday, May 18, 2006

Carnival of Feminists XV

The Carnival of Feminists XV is now up over at Self-Portrait As. Reappropriate was included with the post "Unbound Feet". Go! Read! There's plenty of good stuff over at the Carnival!


Anonymous Jay said...

Jenn, I'm glad your article got included but isn't it ironic that there's a Chinese character right up on the top left of the blog, considering the appropriation article you wrote?

5/18/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

huh... yes it is terribly ironic! I hadn't actually noticed the character -- it was so watermarked that I completely missed it until you pointed it out.

Any idea what it says?

5/18/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Jay said...

Yeah. It's the first character of "Universe", but by itself doesn't mean anything.

I'll have to ask why she put it there, and possibly submit it to hanzismatter.

5/18/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

it absolutely is disconcerting to see that, especially considering that it means nothing. I had thought perhaps it was a romanization of her family name or something? (yeah, hopeful idealism)

5/18/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Jay said...

She's replied to me that it's her Chinese surname she acquired. Unfortunately, the only thing I know about foreigners acquiring Chinese names is from Rachel DeWoskin's Foreign Babes in Beijing (Hong Kong, where I grew up, used a different system.)... as I know it, you take the first sound and convert it into Chinese, and that's your surname.

5/18/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Holly said...

Jenn and Jay: I posted a lengthy reply to Jay in the comments to the carnival. You are welcome to read my response there.

But frankly, I don't know why it should be so disconcerting to you that I lived in China and thus acquired a Chinese name--an entirely new Chinese name that I was known by for the duration of my stay in Taiwan, I might add, since as you probably know, Western names are not easily transliterated into Chinese. My surname is full of strange German consonants and couldn't be approximated by Mandarin. Getting that Chinese name required as much of a renegotiation of my identity as acquiring a Western name probably does for Chinese people. But having been known by it for some time, I developed some fondness for it. I don't see why that should be a problem for you. But if it is, I'll be happy to remove Jenn's post from my carnival, so there's no longer any ironic connection to a blog that "appropriates" these images whose use by waigworen you find so offensive.

5/19/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Holly, you can do what you would like with the post and the Carnival -- I certainly have no say over that, although I would've appreciated a better way of having this discourse. Like I said above, when I noticed it, I immediately hoped that it was a translation of your surname.

The irony is that a few posts previous to the unbound feet post, I had lambasted non-Asians for fetishizing Asian cultures, and part of that includes non-Asians that feel entitled to appropriating Asian languages and cultural icons merely because they are Asian. Jay considered the inclusion in hanzismatter because usually this is manifested in a meaningless Chinese/Japanese character being tattooed or printed.

Had that been your reasoning, than I might have requested a removal. However, since it is your surname, I don't see any particular reason on my part to raise any crap.

5/19/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

Such a non-issue.

It's inevitable. Some White feminists can never coexist with race activists because they can't handle being the problem as opposed to the righteous ones. It's just weak.

When the discussions center around attacking Asian male patriarchy, or attacking DAC's for their inherent sexism, everything's totally perfect. But let some of that self-examination meander towards questionable appropriation of ethnic cultural traits by some of the White feminists, and the fan sprays defecate all over.

Some White feminists love conflicts like those discussed in Unbound Feet, because they can use the intra-race conflict to promote their own anti-misogyny agendas. I find that crass opportunism totally fine - as long as those feminists are willing to examine their possibly questionable perspectives on race.

I've really enjoyed most of the comments I've read around here in the past week or so, and encourage everyone to keep posting. But remember people, no one gets away clean when talking about oppression. The fan's still plugged in.

5/19/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Holly said...

A friend of mine who teaches global politics has posted a calm thoughtful, entry on my blog about the issues Jay raised; I hope you'll stop by and check it out.

5/21/2006 03:25:00 PM  

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