Because of racist stereotypes about Asians, and Asian women, you may not know that Warrior Queens need allies. But AAPI women need you to stand up as a supporter of our efforts towards equity. It may seem like an overwhelming task, but the Warrior Queen Project exists to support you while you support the Warrior Queens in your life.
Many describe (especially East) Asians as a “model minority” in the United States. Other harmful prejudices follow AAPI women from all 50 distinct ethnic groups that comprise the term “Asian American.” This may contribute to a lack of education around the challenges Warrior Queens face, and what you can do about them. Since the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the world, displaced anger and hate have been aimed at AAPI women regardless of their background. Violence against AAPI women and girls is reported at record levels.
According to Stop AAPI Hate, “hate crimes and incidents of violence or discrimination against AAPIs rose sharply over the past year, with over 6,600 reports collected by Stop AAPI Hate between March 2020 and March 2021. In particular, AAPI women and girls report these hate incidents 2.2 times as often as AAPI men; and AAPI non-binary people have also reported experiencing heightened incidents of hate.” Those incidents occur most in places that might surprise you: the workplace and public spaces like sidewalks and parks.
In order to step up when it matters to AAPI women, and other groups who may need your solidarity, we all have to acknowledge the intersectional social identities and the related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination that shape us. That means that we need to examine how our various identities––our gender, our race, our income level, our marital status, to name a few––affect how we are perceived and treated by both other individuals and by the systems that run our lives. It’s not always simple. However, it is (or should be) simple to understand that we should all have the ability to live, work and play without fear of discrimination or hate.
An easy place to see discrimination is in leadership roles. How many AAPI women work in healthcare? (Answer: a lot) Yet how many Warrior Queens are in leadership positions in hospitals, clinics, and policymaking are there? Answer: Not a lot. Only 9% of female department chairs are Asian at American medical schools.
Whatever position you’re in, from the beginning of your career to leading organizations and boards of directors, you can have a big impact on elevating Warrior Queens. The same organization that tracks incidents of Asian hate, Stop AAPI Hate, identified small, individual actions as one of the most important things everyday people can do to impact change. We agree. Below are some ways you can make a difference in your community.
- Listen and stay curious about what the Warrior Queens in your life are experiencing. It may get uncomfortable as you see ways you may have inadvertently harmed those you like, love, and admire.
- Support AAPI-owned businesses. During the Covid-19 pandemic, patronage at these shops, restaurants and other businesses fell dramatically. Intentionally find stores in your community you can shop at.
- Volunteer for an AAPI woman running for political office in your local, state or federal elections.
- Push back against a leader, loved one, or community member who says something racist against AAPI women. This can be hard, but using your voice to say you are uncomfortable with their affirmations or that their discrimination hurts your feelings is powerful.
- If you see racism or harassment on the street or in the workplace––two of the most common places AAPI women face hate––follow the 5Ds of bystander intervention:
- Distract – create a diversion to de-escalate the event.
- Delegate – find someone else, like store management, to help
- Document – record what’s happening on your phone that could be used as evidence.
- Delay – wait until the incident has passed to check up on the victim.
- Direct – direct intervention between the assailant and the victim.
These are just the beginning of ways you can make a difference for Warrior Queens who fight battles against stereotypes, discrimination and misogyny every day. Download our Action Kit for even more information for how you can be an ally to AAPI women.