Rigorous
Volume One, Issue 3



Haynaku1: For the white feminist professor who told me I was “ghettoizing” myself by studying Asian American Literature

Melinda Luisa de Jesús


25
years later
it rankles me

her
withering disdain:
“don’t ghettoize yourself—

you’re
better than
that!” she purred,

expecting
my immediate
agreement and gratitude,

imperial
feminism relentless,
eager to educate,

uplift
and civilize
,2
and replicate. But

little
brown sister
3
had other ideas.



1 Haynaku is a tercet-based poetic form created by Filipina American poet Eileen Tabios.

2 See McKinley’s 1903 statement on the annexation of the Philippines: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5575/

3 ‘"Little Brown Brother" was a term used by Americans to refer to Filipinos. The term was coined by William Howard Taft, the first American Governor-General of the Philippines (1901-1904) and later the 27th President of the United States. The term was not originally intended to be derogatory, nor an ethnic slur; instead, in the words of historian Creighton Miller, it is a reflection of "paternalist racism", shared also by Theodore Roosevelt.’ https://www.nps.gov/prsf/learn/historyculture/the-philippine-war-suppressing-an-insurrection.htm


Melinda Luisa de Jesús: "I am Chair and Associate Professor of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts where I teach and write about girl culture, monsters, and race/ethnicity in the United States. I edited Pinay Power: Peminist Critical Theory, the first anthology of Filipina/American Feminisms (Routledge 2005). My writing has appeared in Completely Mixed Up, Approaches to Teaching Multicultural Comics, Ethnic Literary Traditions in Children’s Literature, Challenging Homophobia, The Lion and the Unicorn, MELUS and Meridians. In 2017 I published 5 chapbooks of political poetry with Locofo Chaps.

"I am a mezzo-soprano, a mom, an Aquarian, and admit an obsession with Hello Kitty. For more info: http://peminist.com."




Top of Page

Table of Contents






Visit our Facebook page          Visit us on Twitter          Subscribe to our mailing list


editors AT rigorous DASH mag DOT com
webmaster AT rigorous DASH mag DOT com