post a marxist essay on chinese women

I find that dialogue around the racialized experience in the US is odd in that it completely excludes the relationship with the home country. While I am not Chinese, my parents are. My extended family is. They all exerted pressures and mapped influences onto me during my most impressionable periods of development, and the exclusion of that guiding hand from my self-narrative — due in part to a universal (or so as it has been presented to me, which would still say something in its own right) exclusion of that perceived influence from the general narrative of the Non-White Person In The USA — only now has been recognized by me, and in that recognition explains so fucking much.

Ex. 1: Contextualizing my perception of my mother’s (and father’s) flaws with respect to history and origin

We need to be encouraged to learn about our own histories.

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8/30/17, 10:33am

I suppose I can’t really be sure whether I’m only home for a short enough time that there’s not enough time for things to blow up or whether I’ve matured enough to preserve my healthy self in a toxic environment. I hope it’s the latter. More likely, it’s a combination of both, possibly skewed towards the former —

I’m coming more to terms with the fact that my parents are people first and parents second: that being a parent was a role they played, but not their entire being. It’s having lived a summer as a bona fide, financially independent, solo adult playing her own one-dimensional roles out for certain people. It’s then having come home to a mother who is now a middle-aged single woman falling way too fast for a middle-aged single man, and although he seems like a wonderful person, it’s all too fast and too much and too middle-school naiveté all the same. It’s noticing that my father is now an aging single emotionally-stunted man with a twisted worldview that will never bring happiness or community, that perhaps if he’d been more lucky he’d have gone down in history books as some sort of crazy genius, but instead fishes every day and gives the catchings to friends he can’t bring himself to truly trust and is happiest when reliving small inventions of his childhood. They have been freed of the immediate role of parenting and have become people — and it’s taken me this long to see that, to treat them as damaged people and not adversary parents, to realize that I can give them love and understanding and support without being influenced by their toxic philosophies and fights.

It’s good to be away. Maybe it can also be good to be home.

08/15/17, 8:25am

dream

I’m in a helicopter or some sort of flying device with my brother next to me and my father and some other man across from me. We’re strapped in with seatbelts, hunched with the bad posture of awkwardness. We’re chatting uncomfortably. It becomes clear that Dad had been gone a while and we hadn’t known what he was up to, and on his latest job, he’d been in the area of (I suppose New York) and thought he’d visit.

He explains that he’s been in the business of going to the government and learning about how it works, and then bringing that information back to his clients. This brain-heavy work makes sense — if it’s one thing my dad is always good at, it’s having quick brains.

We find out that he goes to get the information from the Statue of Liberty, which for some reason completely normally is situated in an idyllic garden, with a large swimming pool and a small flowered island, as well as granite steps on one wide overflowing with greenery. The other man’s kids are here as well; they’re SoCal kids, cross-country kids: girls with long blonde hair and guys with tanned skin and skinny wired muscles.

My dad goes about learning or whatever, and it’s going fine until the SOL wakes up. For a bit, we’re not sure what she’s feeling. It almost seems fine. Then, she begins slinging slow, huge, blimp-like donuts, which we easily avoid. It’s a slow game to jog to the other side of the pool and dodge her donut. Someone yells about how it’s appropriative of Italians, which is nonsensical.

But the donuts come faster and faster and it spirals pretty quickly into something terrifying. She’s sprinting around the pool, as are us kids, and we’re hiding desperately in the shrubbery but she’s finding us there, and suddenly there’s another giant: a dude in an orange shirt, and he’s extremely fast and terrifying, running hard and fast around and squishing us. They squish one of the girls: I’m not there, I’m hiding, but someone yells that her blood is yellow. I try to hide in plain sight, in a groove of the stairs, but I’m too big; my mother is there, screaming, and the boy has set his sights on squishing me and I’m so tired I can’t run anymore and so I shoot straight out and fly out of the garden and push through a small bubble, it seems, and it logically seems I’m safe but somehow I don’t feel so because I keep flying without looking back — I wake up with my heart pounding.

05/25/17 6:27pm, on my bed in Beijing, China

I want to love China. I want this culture that is somehow supposed to be mine, which I am supposed to represent — I want to be able to cherish it, to have Asian Pride, to bring it forcefully crashing against whiteness, against assimilation.

But here’s a secret.

I hate China.

I hate the hyper-humble performative act. I hate the objectification of women, of children, of anyone really. I hate the easy fulfillment of roles stratified solely by age and gender. I hate that every single type of person has an articulated ideal: three days here with my grandmother and I already know exactly the person I was supposed to be: conscientiously neat, quiet, domestic, impeccably caring, studious, successful. Even what I eat: it’s never enough, and if it’s enough, perhaps maybe then we can criticize the ratio? I hate being called ‘mei nu’ by strangers, as if the most important part of my being such that it must be included in my title is that I must be ‘pretty’. I hate sitting in between two adults and hearing the same conversation about my round face but long legs and eating habits and my too-hyped piano playing and my university and how well I care for my grandmother.

It took being away from family to fully realize how oppressive the culture is, and yet it took even more time away from family to realize that it may not be oppressive at all. Who am I to say what is right? But I can say this: I can say what is right for me. I am American. Narcissistic individualism and tanned skin run in my veins. I don’t want to be Chinese; I never can be Chinese.

And the only thing I suppose I can hope for now is that one phrase I heard from someone not too long ago: that this situation — my self-loathing but hyper-aware being — is the flawed but necessary transition to a better ideal come next generation.

native speaker

a cultural difference in love; a gap that not only cannot be crossed but is mistaken for its antithesis

a forcing of an identity: one which I do not want, one which I am born into and out of, one that I will never escape and so: I must embrace it, turn it inside out, understand

an understanding of the quiet, of the frustrated silence, of the obnoxious loudness borne of overcompensation; unthreatening femininity handed down as an heirloom, a protective amulet, a lucky charm which we, the new generation of Americans, either hide under our pillows or crush with our Converse, our Vans, our olive skin a protective shield against the smooth pale softness that would connect us to our alien doppelgängers, those of the anime and brand-name knockoffs and that despised docility

a new hardened vigilant position against those Americans I so long to be; a sharp explanation of their privilege, an internal conversion of perceptions of ineptitude to that of a differing experience; an understanding that some reasons are not individual but collective, though frustrating that distant collectivity of our kind may be, it is still our kind and our kind is not wrong; I understand this now; I understand that the desire to learn must not be sparked by intimidation but by a curiosity, one that I have the permission to expect — should expect — to be reciprocated