“Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster”: Asian American Women During the Second Wave

This curatorial exhibit explores the socio-historical influences responsible for Asian-American invisibility during the Second Wave Feminist Movement. As delineated by scholars Esther Chow and Jid Lee, traditional strongholds of Asian cultures bred a non-confrontational mentality within Asian women, thus partly accounting for their political apathy. However, Second Wave Asian-American feminists argue that Asian women were politically active but ultimately rendered nameless by mainstream feminism. Eminent Asian-American feminists Mitsuye Yamada and Nellie Wong vocalize their frustrations regarding such invisibility in the anthology, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color. Periodicals such as Heresies and Sinister Wisdom further highlight the shame, guilt, and confusion that accompanies the Asian-American identity within Western culture. Additional marginalized perspectives, including those of Vietnamese feminists and Filipina poet Mila Aguilar, are spotlighted in the journals, Off Our Backs and Women’s Studies Quarterly. Phoenix Rising, a lesbian periodical, addresses the lack of queer voices in Asian-American feminist communities and works to strengthen intersectional ties with other communities of color, such as Aché, a periodical for Black lesbians. 

-Angie An

“Where Are All the Asian American Women?”: Cultural and Political Influences

The “Double Image” of the Asian American Identity

“It Is Not One Story”: Trajectories Within Asian American Communities

Defying Stereotypes and Carving Their Own Space: Queer and South Asian Americans

Cross-Cultural Solidarity and Black Communities’ Influence on Asian American Activism