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Homebound by Yen Espiritu Chapters 7-8 . Sherry Flores, Christina Ching, Alex Vo. CHAPTER 7 "We Don't Sleep Around Like White Girls Do". Divergence from the slanderish remarks about sexuality of racialized women Define what is an "American"

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homebound by yen espiritu chapters 7 8


by Yen Espiritu

Chapters 7-8

Sherry Flores, Christina Ching, Alex Vo

chapter 7 we don t sleep around like white girls do
CHAPTER 7 "We Don't Sleep Around Like White Girls Do"
  • Divergence from the slanderish remarks about sexuality of racialized women
  • Define what is an "American"
  • Different values and morals between "white" Americans
  • Sexuality
  • Double standard (171-2)
chapter 7 whiteness as default
  • Whiteness and white people are seen as the default American and American experience.
  • In U.S. racial discourse and practices, unless otherwise specified, "Americans" means "white"...US immigration exclusion acts, naturalization laws, and national culture have simultaneously marked Asians as the inassimilable aliens and whites as the quintessential Americans.
  • "they equate American with white and often use these two terms interchangeably...others speak about 'American ways,' 'American culture,' or 'American lifestyle' when they really mean white American ways, culture and lifestyle." - p. 159
  • Other Asian Americans have conflated American and white.
filipino resistance to whiteness
  • "Historically, the sexuality of racialized women has been systematically demonized and denigrated by dominant or oppressor groups to justify and bolster nationalist movements, colonialism, and/or racism. But as these narratives indicate, racialized groups also look down on the morality of white women as a strategy of resistance - a means of asserting a morally superior public face to the dominant society.
  • "largely gendered discourse of morality as one strategy to mark and decenter whiteness and to locate themselves above the dominant group, demonizing it in the process"
  • In so doing, they racialize whiteness (and explicitly white women) by marking it as sexually and morally deviant
who bears the gendered costs
  • "The ideal "Filipina," then, is partially constructed out of the community's conceptualization of white women. She is everything they are not: she is sexually modest and dedicated to her family; they are sexually promiscuous and uncaring. Within the context of the dominant culture's pervasive hypersexualization of Filipina women, the cosntruction of tthe "ideal" Filipia- as family oriented and chaste-can be read as an effort to reclaim the morality of the community."
  • "In other words, these women were sexually promiscuous because they had assumed the sexual mores of white women. This characterization allows my respondents to symbolically disown the Filipina "bad girl" and, in so doing, to uphold the narrative of Fiipina sexual virtuosity and white female sexual promiscuity."
  • "Capitalizing on this superfemme, mail-order bride agencies market Filipinas as "'exotic, subservient wife imports' for sale and as alternatives for men sick of independent 'liberal' Western women."
chapter 7
  • What are the racialized and gendered consequences of these constructions for Filipinas?

"immigrant women, particularly young daughters, are expected to comply with male-defined criteria of what constitutes "ideal" feminine virtues...Filipino immigrant parents police their daughters' behaviors in order to safeguard their sexual innocence and irginity...as the designated 'keepers of the culture,' immigrant women and their behavior come under intensive scrutiny from both men and women of their own groups and from U.S. born Americans.” (167)

themes chapter 7 morals

What is female morality?

themes chapter 7 morals1
  • What is female morality?
    • Women's dedication to their families and sexual restraint (160)
    • Revolves around family life and relations
  • Women's self-worth
    • "...womanhood is idealized as the repository of tradition, the norms that regulate women's behaviors become a means of determining and defining group status and boundaries" (160).
themes chapter 7 morals cont
  • Family values
    • Reinforces patriarchy through sanctioning women's behavior and purity
    • Double standard
    • Filipina chastity has the effect of reinforcing masculinity and patriarchal power of national and ethnic-respect (158)
chapter 8 what of the children
CHAPTER 8"What of the Children?"
  • Second-generation Filipinos
  • Racial and ethnic discrimination
  • Growing up
    • Multiracial neighborhoods
    • Cross-racial friendships vs. negative racial encounters
  • Filipino standards
    • Not accepting of FOBs
  • Attempt to assimilate
    • loss of culture and claiming to be an American
  • Black and white
what of the children themes
"What of the Children?" THEMES
  • Identity as a constant negotiation
  • Family relations
  • Home-making
  • Intersectionality
family relations
Family Relations
  • Family as a site of not only support but also violence
  • Family as a site of intense conflict and oppressive demands in immigrant lives
  • Survival strategies and coping mechanisms
    • "trading stories"
    • rebellion
identity as a constant negotiation
Identity as a constant negotiation
  • Identity as not fixed or singular, but multiple, overlapping, dynamic and hybridized
  • Importance of societal productions of enduring categorical distinctions in identity formation
    • Identity crisis and a longing to be accepted
    • Dialogue of domination
    • Similarities and parallels to American Son
identity as a constant negotiation1
Identity as a constant negotiation

“When we arrived in San Diego in 1976, I attended Montgomery High School in South San Diego. I was happy to be there because I saw many Filipino faces that reminded me of home…To my surprise, I offended many Filipinos because I was an “FOB”—“fresh off the boat.” I was ridiculed because my accent reminded them of their parents. It was their shame coming out at my expense. I was a reminder of the image they hate, part of themselves. The overt racism from the Filipino Americans broke my heart….So I had very few Filipino friends in high school, not because I didn’t want to be friends with them, but because they didn’t want to be friends with somebody who was their own but not really theirs.” (183)

identity as a constant negotiation2
Identity as a constant negotiation

“Basically, it was so much going back and forth that sometimes I lost myself. What the hell are these Filipinos doing? What the hell are these white people doing? So I was bouncing back and forth, and in trying to understand, I got caught up in a lot of things….Since I wasn’t a part of either group, I didn’t quite fit in either model. I got really lost and I got involved in alcohol, drugs, and gangs. I just got into it, basically trying to understand what didn’t really make much sense” (192)

  • Filipino immigrant children living with paradoxes (uneasy and conflicting relationships)
intersectionality and home making
Intersectionality and Home-making
  • Home, however nurturing and comforting, is undoubtedly established as an exclusive domain of a few
  • Expanding notion of home through cross-racial relationships
    • Intersection of different cultures creates new social relations and identities
  • Importance of historical processes of material exclusion and differentiation in creating subjects
    • Racial and economic subordination leading to a narrative of shared experiences
questions critiques
  • Our group believes Espiritu's analysis, while elaborate in some analysis of gender, race and sexuality, fails to include any salient analysis of queer sexuality within Filipino communities in San Diego. Are there other ways that Espiritu expand her areas of study and research?
  • Throughout Espiritu's book, the point of family and home constantly being negotiated sources of support and violence for communities is made. How can we improve upon notions of family and home so they are not so violent? Is it even possible for home and family to be negotiated in non-violent ways?