A few weeks ago, I witnessed a teenage couple verbally fighting on the subway. The girl looked like she was on the verge of tears as her boyfriend prodded her to open up about why she was upset. At one point, he threw out a taunting hypothetical, “If I was in a room alone with ___some other girl’s name___, would that bother you?”
“Well, would anything happen…?”
“I mean, we’re alone. So say something does. Would that bother you?”
As I listened to this conversation, I’m thinking (1) what an asshole (2) someone needs to tell this girl that she is worthy of better. I could feel the same hesitation emanating from her that I felt years ago when I attempted on multiple occasions to break up with an ex. My problem was that I feared I was not worthy of someone else.
At the next stop, the boy got off the subway. My heart raced as I pondered my place in this situation: say something or not? Subway conversations are rare especially in New York, where people (usually) avoid talking to each other. Eventually, it was the knowledge that if I was in her shoes, I would have been thankful for some validation from the universe. That, and I could feel the regret building within me if I stayed silent. So I turned around and said, “Hi, I overheard your conversation. I hope you know that you are enough on your own and you deserve better.”
There’s a combination of factors that contributed to this moment: my Catholic guilt, my Jesuit education’s call to social justice, my growing courage, and most of all: my identity as a womxnist. Continue reading
After flip-flopping for months about whether to go to D.C. for the Women’s March, I committed and bought a bus ticket a few weeks ago. Despite my initial pull to stay and organize in New York, I settled on an even greater pull to travel the five hours to participate in the march — mainly to observe the current state of the national womxn’s movement in-person.
Mainstream media’s been over-covering world-record breaking attendances and warm feelings about starting positive change so I thought I’d change it up and add a Filipinx American womxn of color’s perspective to the mix with a list of realities I experienced and observed: Continue reading
In my Filipinx American organizing spaces, we sometimes check-in by sharing personal updates on one of the five P’s:
- Pinansya/Pag-aaral (finance/school)
- Pamilya/Kaibigan (Family/Friends)
- Pag-ibig (Love)
- Pag-kilos (Revolution Work)
- Pagkalusugan (Health)
The last time we did this, the facilitator mentioned when choosing only one, you could still talk about the other four P’s. A simple reminder to us that we don’t have to compartmentalize because the different aspects of our lives are interconnected.
Lately, I’ve been working on recognizing and naming the interconnectedness of my life. It’s my way of actively working to resist compartmentalization, a process I now view as a product of imperialistic and patriarchal socialization — a realization three years in the making. Continue reading
This blog is a long overdue passion project that began with my personal racialization.
Racialization is the very complex and contradictory process through which groups come to be designated as being of a particular “race” and on that basis subjected to differential and/or unequal treatment.
For me, this process began in high school. I went to an elementary school that was predominantly made up of people of color, majority of whom were Filipinx American. So it wasn’t until high school that I was exposed to where I actually fit in the current racial system of the United States. Continue reading