Week 11 of #TWmemorymondays! This piece is inspired by a conversation I had with my mom yesterday. A couple days ago I asked her to think of memories that were microaggression towards the intersection of being a woman and an immigrant (non-white and foreign born). Intersectionality is important to acknowledge because so many people aren't treated with dignity because of mutiple counts against of what culture says is "normal" aka white and male.
She started by telling me a beautiful story of kindness, inclusion, and experiencing another culture. (I'll write about it in another post). I was thankful for that story, but it wasn't exactly what I prompted her with! I told her I wanted a story that showed prejudice. And then the conversation changed into WHY I want to hear about it. It's not to ignore the good and beautiful. It's not to paint a pity worthy picture of my parents or myself. It's not to overemphasize the negative.
It is to shine light into the dark. It's to acknowledge that ignoring the demeaning tone, the microaggression, the white supremest atmosphere, the small "t" trauma is hurting us all. It's honoring to point out the darkness and name it. Giving dignity to all people is usually uncomfortable unfortunately. I want to learn how to live on that space because there's so much more hope of change in that space.
My mom then was reminiscing at when my parents moved to California from Hong Kong, it was my mom who was the breadwinner of the family while my dad was studying for his second degree. In the Chinese tradition, it was very uncommon and frowned down upon for the woman to be supporting the man/family. I mean, it's also looked down on now in America. She remembered how rare it was. Something that my mom was so thankful was that my dad wasn't negatively affected by...his "masculinity" was intact and it didn't bother him having my mom play that untraditional role.
It takes courage to do that and to have a strong sense of identity to go against the cultural grain. The Chinese culture had so many beautiful traits and tradition, but patriarchy is not one of them. I'm so proud of my parents for seeing that and not only seeing it, but taking action against it. Wow.
The next photo is when my dad graduated and my mom mom was supporting him.
#TWmemorymondays: A painting inspired by a memory every Monday of 2018. Connecting abstract art to real life. Week 11/53. 'Breadwinner' / 8x8 in / mixed media on paper