In the wake of the shootings in Atlanta this week, the Advisory Board of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship stands in solidarity with AAPI communities in the United States and globally. We support #StopAsianHate and we decry the structural racism and white supremacist and patriarchal foundations that continue to enable the senseless murder of our fellow human beings by people who are not only permitted to walk away from their hate crimes against minority populations, but who are also too often protected in the wake of their killings by the very authorities tasked with the protection of the citizenry. We remember, honor, and mourn Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng. We wish Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz a safe recovery.
As an intersectional feminist organization committed to racial and gender justice, we recognize that AAPI women are targeted regularly with racist, dehumanizing, and sexually violent behavior and stereotyping thanks to our society’s continued refusal to reckon meaningfully with our collective legacy of racialized misogyny and white supremacy. As Red Canary Song ‘s statement puts it: “We see the effort to invisibilize these women’s gender, labor, class, and immigration status as a refusal to reckon with the legacy of United States imperialism, and as a desire to collapse the identities of migrant Asian women, sex workers, massage workers, and trafficking survivors. The women who were killed faced specific racialized gendered violence for being Asian women and massage workers. Whether or not they were actually sex workers or self-identified under that label, we know that as massage workers, they were subjected to sexualized violence stemming from the hatred of sex workers, Asian women, working class people, and immigrants.”
We stand in solidarity with the victims of this reprehensible hate crime and act of domestic terrorism and their families. We call on authorities and those in positions of power legally and politically to engage in active reflection on and actual revision of responses to these continued attacks on people of color and marginalized communities. Until we are all equally visible and equally protected by the law, we enjoy neither liberty nor justice for all.
As an organization, SMFS is donating to Red Canary Song, a US-based transnational grassroots Chinese massage parlor worker coalition which centers base building with migrant workers through a labor rights framework and mutual aid in the belief that full decriminalization of sex work is necessary for labor organizing and anti-trafficking. #RightsNotRaids #SexWorkIsWork
We urge our academic and activist peer organizations and collaborators to join us in our collective grief, outrage, and dedication to improving working conditions for all women and continued caucusing for stronger and more effective diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and measures in our communities, our academies, institutions, and businesses, our legal and political systems, and our global society.