Whataboutism & Why It Needs to Stop in Social Justice Activism
Knowledge

Whataboutism & Why It Needs to Stop in Social Justice Activism

Yeah okay, racism is bad, but what about classism? That’s bad too.Or are you saying that gender inequality doesn’t matter?And what about colorism? Isn’t that a thing?!And how come nobody is talking about the oppressions faced by Asian women academics?! So has gone the way of some conversations with attendees when I speak at seminars…

From Yellow Peril to Model Minority: Asians Resist!
Knowledge

From Yellow Peril to Model Minority: Asians Resist!

I’ve handed back my ‘model minority’ card. I once believed that keeping my head down and focusing on academic and professional achievements could secure me comfort and stability. While I pursued this single-minded goal, Black and Indigenous people were being murdered in the streets of my neighborhood. How could I stay quiet and play nice…

Why Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Don’t Work
Knowledge

Why Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Don’t Work

Diversity and inclusion initiatives are widely accepted and established means through which organizations profess to doing good. Yet despite their good intentions, few managers understand how diversity management emerged as a way to replace affirmative action policies that were designed to redress institutionalized and systemic racism. Unlike affirmative action, ‘diversity and inclusion’ is a warm…

Postfeminism as Faux Feminism: The Problem with She-E-Os
Knowledge

Postfeminism as Faux Feminism: The Problem with She-E-Os

The rise of prominent female leaders in the business world is often celebrated as a sign that feminism has won. Celebrity executives like Sheryl Sandberg, whose business manual Lean In calls on women to “forge a path through the obstacles, and achieve their full potential”, suggests that gender equality is a choice for women to…

Edward Said and the Lingering Problem of Orientalism
Knowledge

Edward Said and the Lingering Problem of Orientalism

Orientalism is a system of thought and a way of seeing of ’the East’ from the colonial gaze of ‘the West’ as mysterious, intriguing, and exotic, while at the same time primitive, despotic, and savage. The ideologies and practices of Orientalism were originally theorized by Edward Said through his 1978 book, Orientalism. Said focused then…

How Are Identities Socially Constructed?
Knowledge

How Are Identities Socially Constructed?

Integral to intersectional feminism is the idea that identity is socially constructed. A social constructionist view of identities understands what it means to be a ‘woman’, ‘man’, ‘Black’, ‘white’, ‘queer’, ‘disabled’, etc. are historically and culturally contingent as well as shaped by power. Social constructionism is the underlying philosophical view that believes our meanings about…

Intersectional Feminism under Capitalism: A Marxist Critique
Knowledge

Intersectional Feminism under Capitalism: A Marxist Critique

To be an intersectional feminist in a capitalistic world comes with many challenges. As we’ve seen in feminism more broadly, ignoring the importance of class struggles in social life has given rise to postfeminist ideologies that promote the idea that women can gain equality by making money and spending money. In a similar way, intersectionality…

How to Deal with Microaggressions in Everyday Life
Knowledge

How to Deal with Microaggressions in Everyday Life

I was reading a human resources magazine recently and an article inside infuriated me. The consultant who penned this opinion piece remarked how talk of microaggressions may simply increase people’s sensitivity and as a result, increase conflict in the workplace through additional complaints and grievances. “In other words,” Karen explained. “… it can damage employee…