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Essay 2: There are Two Sides to Every Story

Los Angeles, California, the second largest city in America after New York, is a thriving
multiracial, multicultural sophisticated society of grandiose diversity. Today, Los Angeles is the
epitome of modern culture and the home of countless different races and lifestyles. However, the
City of Angels was not always a prosperous hot spot. It is a society with deep roots of hard work
and commitment by every individual to be the magnificent society it is today. Branching off of
the American Dream, from its liberal values to labor unions, the bustling oil industries to the
glamorous Hollywood, Los Angeles became the safe haven of an entire civilization with constant
skyrocketing statistics of the population growth. Even as of today it grows and prospers under a
complex organization of communities standing as the foundation of the city.
In todays society, equality is still a problem, even in Los Angeles. Women are not treated
equally to men, and that women are disadvantaged in comparison to the other gender. In todays
society, equality is still a problem, even in Los Angeles. For example, even as of today, there are
still many women who are getting paid less than men, including the problems considering racial
biases, too. They are still getting told what not to say and being pushed aside without their voices
being heard. To support against these issues, there are groups that meet up in Los Angeles and
have group discussions with women from many ages telling their stories. In May 2013, around
40 people gathered at Los Angeles Community College (LACC) to consider what Feminism is
and means today. They have people of all ages there talking about their feelings and opinions of
their experiences. For a long time now, women have been trying to gain equality with men.
Woman have been held back and have had their opportunities taken away from them because
they were women. Feminist have been trying to give women their rights that have been never
been given to like their equality and privileges because men have never given them.The idea of
feminism is that women should not be viewed as sexual objects but as any other person looking
for equality. Society has pushed too far to the point of oppressing women. Woman should be
fighting so that they can have a choice. Everyone should have the right to represent themselves
in this country.
The Asian American population in Los Angeles is one of the most abundant and fastgrowing civilizations today; hence the entity of eminent Asian American-based metropolitan
neighborhoods such as Koreatown, Chinatown, and Little Tokyo. The Asian American group,
however, is one of the many marginalized groups that belong in Los Angeles. Though they are
high functional and prominent parts of the development of Los Angeles, as any other immigrant
communities, stereotypical discrimination, though subtle, exists. Of course as time passed such
controversial issues have reduced, but one too many times people have forgotten that it were the
immigrants who have made the greatest influential changes in Los Angeles, if not, all of
America. For the sake of their future and their children, they have sacrificed the comfort of their
homeland and journeyed to an entirely different world. In order to succeed in the Land of Golden
Opportunities, immigrants have to work twice as hard. But they are growing steadily and fast.
Life is, in some ways, a set of rules and roles. One of which is, for example, that one
must always hold an opinion. You are expected to belong somewhere. You have to like one thing

and hate the other. You have to be able to judiciously differentiate between good and bad, and
separate them. You must be confident in what you understand of the world and of your identity.
And most important of all, you have to act all this out in such a tricky way that neither you nor
anyone else are consciously aware of what is going on. I believe that women have every right to
be equal with men, and feminism is what is slowly accomplishing this. Feminism helps men,
women, and their families because it is allowing wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters to have
an equal opportunity in life to achieve all they can without anything based on their sex. It is basic
human rights to be equal to others around you and it does not matter whether if you are male or
female. They should both receive the same amount of opportunities and privileges given in life
and feminism helps women accomplish this task of equality. Feminism allows women to expand
their careers and businesses that they never were able to have before. Women now have power in
the government and they hold high and powerful jobs. They have gained their independence
from a male dominated society and are rising to become less dependent on their husbands for
financial support. Many women are now even managing their own families, without the help or
support of a man. Men are also being helped because their wives are now able to help with
financial needs; they werent depended on for the only source of income for their family
anymore. Today, many people are now achieving individualism and building their future.
Mr. Dong Joon Ken Has Story. Mr. Ha is a Korean American immigrant and a citizen
of the United States of America, who have started his path in Los Angeles in 1989 at the age of
24, alone. The genesis of his business as a self-employed owner started in 1992. In April 29,
1992, the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, also known as Sa-I-Gu in Korean which translates to fourtwo-nine, commenced. During the time period from April 29 to May 4, 1992 the city was a pile
of debris of casualties triggered from the unjust verdict of police brutality against Rodney King,
an African American taxi driver who was excessively beaten. Due to the riots, there was a
deflation in the economy, which greatly affected the Los Angeles community as a whole.
However, in order to survive in such circumstances Mr. Ha continued to build his business
ethics. He realized that limiting himself to small Korean businesses would not help achieve his
goals; therefore he extended his business to American business partnerships despite his broken
English. (The Korean language is not structured to pronounce some phonetics existing in the
English language (f & )). He aspired to be an entrepreneur, which he is now today, and stayed
humble as he held a steady standing in the business world. He states: America has a substantial
business system and is progressing fast. Los Angeles is a city of opportunities and it motivated
me to strive in its diversity. This city is always under renovation and is never a stagnant
community. Look around. Just a bit of hard work and you can achieve anything. His start may
have been a rocky beginning but he used the challenging circumstances to its possible potential
and leveraged off of it. He is now a successful business owner, a father, and the head of a family
of six.
Grace Eunhee Kims Story. Grace Eunhee Kim is a one and a half generation Korean
immigrant. At the age of three she came to America with her parents and is now a student at the
University of California Los Angeles, majoring in linguistics, a study statistically uncommon in
her ethnic background. As an Asian American female member of society she was naturally

categorized in the marginalized group due to her ethnicity and gender. However in the school,
beside discreet judgments on gender where majority of the students majoring in linguistics are
male, she was comfortable on campus and is an aspiring linguistics major. She believes her being
an Asian American becomes an advantage for her because of the entirely different spectrums
between the English language and the Korean language. She is currently a resident in
Washington D.C. She compares the biased experiences between Los Angeles and Washington
D.C.: When I went to the museums in D.C., people immediately assumed that I was a tourist.
They spoke slowly and over-enunciated every word so I can understand. I know its a common
misunderstanding but it still irks me how they just assume. Its a bit offensive. But in Los
Angeles it doesnt matter where I am, I am just myself. I am not a tourist or an immigrant. Its
not their first time seeing an Asian. I never had much biased issues in Los Angeles. This
exemplifies how story changes in different locations. On the other hand, Kim has her beliefs in
the diversity and cultures of Los Angeles. She states: Los Angeles is not a melting pot of diverse
communities. It doesnt melt together. I believe that Los Angeles is more of a salad bowl where
you just toss everything together to a combined salad but depending on the individual, you tend
to pick out things you dont like before digging in. For example, if you dont like cherry
tomatoes then you put it on the side and leave it there. Its all based on the individual.
Counter-storytelling is the means of challenging the majoritarian stories that reinforce
racial hegemony in the dominant discourse, according to Lisa R. Merryweather Hunns Who
Can Speak for Whom?: Using Counter-Storytelling to Challenge Racial Hegemony. Counterstorytelling is an act of change writing because it creates an impact against the biased norm
and change the point of view of the individual. Constructing a change writing is to inspire
someone else to look into the writing and call-to-action to the cause. Counter-storytelling is
doing the same except that it is based off of one source and another where both are important.
This is about telling stories of marginalized groups and how they should be treated like equals.
How women are still not being paid as much as men, how their sexuality isnt as equal to mens,
and how immigrants are looked down upon for hoping for a better life so many miles away from
their home. Racial hegemony, though many are not aware, does exist in this world, and in this
particular case, America. Mary Pipher states that by telling the truth, and by encouraging civil,
public discussion one can promote social and economic justice. By using counter-storytelling,
the unheard side of every story can be heard. As the saying, there are two sides to every story,
the ones we know are not always the ones deemed to be the truth. Without the other side our
entire knowledge and opinions would be biased to what is on the surface. In order to achieve
social and economic justice, without race, gender, and political biases, these stories must be told
and heard in order to proceed and empower change in this country. The times have changed in
this world, especially in Los Angeles, and they should keep improving until equality and justice
is served.

Works Cited:

"Why Do So Many Asians Own Their Own Businesses?" Asian Small Businesses & Self
Employment : Asian-Nation. Web. 5 Apr. 2015. <http://www.asian-nation.org/smallbusiness.shtml>.
"Koreatown, Los Angeles." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 4 Apr. 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koreatown,_Los_Angeles#Economy>.
"History of the Korean Americans in Los Angeles." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation.
Web. 5 Apr. 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Korean_Americans_in_Los_Angeles>.
"1992 Los Angeles Riots." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots#Rodney_King>.
Ha, Dong J. "Counter-Storytelling." Personal interview. 7 Apr. 2015.
Kim, Grace E. "Counter-Storytelling." Telephone interview. 7 Apr. 2015.
Pipher, Mary Bray. "Writing for Change." Writing to Change the World. New York:
Riverhead, 2006. Print.
"How Can Feminism Transform the Future?" KCET. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.
<http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/feminism-today-los-angeles-citycollege.html>.
"Radical Women Revolutionary Socialist Feminism." Radical Women Revolutionary
Socialist Feminism. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://www.radicalwomen.org/losangeles.shtml>
Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.
<http://www.latimes.com/topic/social-issues/social-movements/feminism/140001171156topic.html>.