“5 Things We Learned About Asian Women in 2018”
The Cosmos aims to create a new narrative that represents Asian women authentically, beyond the stereotypes and assumptions. Here's some of our learnings from talking to 200+ Asian women and organizing a Retreat for 20 Asian women in Seattle.
1. There is no one “Asian woman”. We each have different stories, born from unique life experiences and contexts. Some of us were born into majority Asian communities, but didn’t fully understand how our identities manifest in our lives until we moved away to new cities. Some of us have felt isolated from the beginning and through adulthood as a result of growing up in majority white communities. There is no single one-size-fits-all narrative for Asian women. Creating spaces for Asian women to share our perspectives, learn from one another, and celebrate the nuances that make our community special is truly empowering and necessary.
2. We carry prevailing assumptions about Asian communities that prevent us from connecting to a larger movement or group: too Asian, not Asian enough, superficial, not intersectional, and not for us. But when we reimagine a community based on shared values, we can rewrite the script to create something that honors each of us as individuals and as part of a collective.
3. Asian women carry significant intergenerational weight. We are still defining ourselves against stereotypes that society tries to place us on and more silently, in the face of expectations of our families . We juggle American individualism with a lifelong need to justify or validate our families’ sacrifices. We have a conflicted sense of self, one that yearns to thrive, but faces pressure to succeed within the “scarcity mentality” inherited from our families' hardships. By naming these challenges in a supportive setting, we can affirm a beautiful truth: we are never alone. Finding community that empowers us to live authentically and speak honestly is key to cultivating our sense of agency as Asian women. And that is why we are building The Cosmos.
"Finding community that empowers us to live authentically and speak honestly is key to cultivating our sense of agency as Asian women. And that is why we are building The Cosmos."
4. “Effortless sisterhood” is not only possible, but also our magic. When we come together and take the time to listen to each other’s stories, Asian women are incredibly supportive of one another. Using our shared experiences as our power, we are able to form close bonds that transcend the superficial and help us feel deeply seen. Through a true sisterhood, we imagine a world where we all succeed and root for one another - one that doesn't involve competing for one spot, but fighting larger structures at hand to create more spots for women like us. We are eager to form relationships with women that nourish us and help us live our best lives.
5. We care about our community and our role in broader racial and sociopolitical dynamics. We’re asking hard questions to figure things out and together, as a community, we are finding our voice: How does our generation define how we want the future to look for ourselves? How do we live our best lives while honoring the family and culture that makes us who we are? What is our relation to other ethnic groups in the US, given the history of anti-blackness sentiment in our community? How do we navigate the tension between what we believe and what we’re told our community is? These are some of the important questions of our lifetime, and we are not shying away from them.