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Lesson Plan for Gender and Sexuality

This lesson plan was cocreated with another student, Arpita Joyce. We were in charge of
curating a syllabus & facilitating engaging activities with the course within the framework of the
following overarching questions:

How have systems of power and inequality impacted different Asian American gender and
sexual identities? How have they impacted the Asian American LGBTQ+ community as a
whole?
How does the oppression of Asian American race and class tie into the struggles of gender and
sexuality?

Objectives
● Focus on the narratives of women and queer folks.
● Unpack structures of power and inequality that impact constructions of gender and
sexual identities, while also making room for self and agency in this.
● Connect this week’s topic within the topics that straddle it, Model Minority and Class and
Multiracialism, Transnational Adoptions, Intermarriages, so as to create a continuous
thread that encourages students to continue to focus on the narratives of women and
queer folks.
● Introduce folks to different ways of engaging with course texts and in discussion.

Main Readings
Choose: Yen Espiritu, ​Asian American Women and Men: Labor, Laws, and Love​ (Ch. 2, page
19-48) ​OR ​King-kok Cheung, “The Woman Warrior versus The Chinaman Pacific: Must a
Chinese American Critic Choose between Feminism and Heroism?” (24pg)
○ https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0fd2t74d
○ Discusses historical background on largely east asian american constructions of
womanhood and manhood.
Chen Chen,​ ​https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/poetry/chen-chen-writing-poetry​,
https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/i-invite-my-parents-dinner-party
● Narratives of queerness
Jeff Yang, “Has U.S. Figure Skating At Last Given Up On The ‘Golden Girl’?
“​https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-yang-figure-skating-racism_us_5a8ae67fe4b
00bc49f46d853
● Figure skating as a construction of White womanhood, and what does that mean
for asian american folks?
● Triangulation of asian american folks as “foreign”
● Figure skating and how it interacts with model minority myth concepts such as
discipline.
Priyanka Minakshi, “​My gender is not neutral, my gender is brown, and hairy, and lesbian”
​http://gal-dem.com/my-gender-is-not-neutral-my-gender-is-brown-and-hairy-and-lesbian/
● Gender constructed according to whiteness
Paur/Rai, “Monster, Terrorist, Fag: The War on Terrorism and the Production of Docile
Patriots”​http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ucsd/posthuman/mtf.pdf

Additional Readings

Bring in an cultural artifact that relates to this week’s topic. An artifact can look like an article, a
song, photo, poem, etc.

Videos to be assigned or watched in class

“How 'Mulan' helped me accept my sexuality and gender”


​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2TuRUW7nRo

● Narrative of transgender vietnamese american

● Blends Madame Butterfly, Figure Skating’s Golden Girl, migration, US imperialism.

● Great paired with ​The Woman Warrior versus The Chinaman Pacific

Raveena - Honey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy4RebilRSI&app=desktop

Witch Hunt ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwZoq2gfVOc&app=desktop

● Highlights brown bodies, which have largely been overlooked in our class so far.

Class Activities - ​Total Time 2 hrs 45 m

Image of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka ​20 minutes

● Have students make connections between constructions of gender and the Model
Minority Myth as well as transnational, adoption, and multiracial identities.
● How do folks feel about this image?
How do this image and the conversations around this image portray Asian American
gender?
How does this portrayal interact with the Model Minority myth which we discussed last
week and how will interact with multiracialism which we will discuss next week?

Video: Witch Hunt ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwZoq2gfVOc&app=desktop​ ​(20


minutes)

● Highlights brown bodies, which have largely been overlooked in our class so far.
● In what ways, does terrorism studies contribute to the Orientalist project? How is gender
and sexuality framed by terrorism studies? Terrorism/monsters as more telling of US
then of South Asians - Said

● Heterosexual project in queering brown folks , responses to it are to claim some


semblance of respectability, or rather where do we see evidence of the queering of Brown
folks by the state apparatus serve national goals?

Quote Gallery - ​30-35 minutes

● For this activity, we would pick out and enlarge quotes from the texts
(poetry/music/reading) that engage ideas that we decide are great takeaways, then folks
would walk around and silently write their comments, responses, questions on these
pieces of paper ​(10-15 minutes) ​. We could play this in the background during this
activity and folks can write this comment around the chalkboard: (“How 'Mulan' helped
me accept my sexuality and gender”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2TuRUW7nRo​) We’d then have folks take time to
look at what was written (​3 minutes)​​. Then we’d have folks discuss what they noticed
or wanted to verbalize, maybe even read a set of comments that they wanted to react to
(10-15 minutes​​).

● Folks would not have to read every word to be able to engage with the text.

Quotes:

“The history of Asian male domestic workers suggests that the denigration of women is
only one response to the stripping of male privilege. Another is to institute a revised
domestic division of labor.” (Espiritu,2008)

“Detaching the male worker from his household increased profit margins because it
shifted the cost of reproduction from the state and the employer to ghe king group left
behind in Asia” (Espiritu, 2008)

“After I immigrated to England and started my journey of moving from white school to
white school, I was often treated like a boy. I could not meet the markers of being Girl –
as whiteness sets the standard for true and pure femininity, my brownness and hairiness
relegated me consistently UnGirl.” (Meenakshi, 2017)

-Colonial difference and Ungirl?

“When I envision finding home in my body, I cannot explain it without reverting to


colonial language of transness and gender. “ (Meenakshi, 2017)
-How is even gender nonconformity regulated by Western thought? How does
colonialism impact how Asian American folks construct gender?

“​I’m like the kid /in ​Home Alone​, except the home/is my apartment, & I’m much older, &
not alone,/ & not the one who needs/to learn, has to—​Remind me/ what’s in that recipe
again,​ my boyfriend says” (Chen Chen, 2018)

-​Re-occuring theme of home, home in body, home in home. How does home shape
gender/sexuality and vice versa?

“Unfortunately, the ability to perform violent acts implied in the concepts of warrior and epic hero 
is still all too often mistaken for manly courage and men who have been historically subjugated are 
all the more tempted to adopt a militant stance to manifest their masculinity.” (Cheung, 244) 
 
- How much of an imperative is it that we untie Asian American gender identity
from colonial and colonial reactionary renderings? How is using the parameters
they have given us creating space for or inhibiting how we come to know our own
identities

“White men saving brown women from brown men.” Spivak as quoted by Rai/Paur 
 

Break​ 10 - 15 minutes

Found poem:How do you assert/affirm your identities? My gender is… My sexuality is [insert
adjective or noun ] ​5-10 minutes

● Have folks do a short writing that they write that begins to look at self and how we might
introduce poetry or could start folks off with same beginning and share that first line.

● Have folks choose one line without context that they feel comfortable sharing, and go
around the table and read their line.

● We could even have a googledoc that allows folks to write their line, so that we have
something to look at at the end of class.

Show and Tell ​50 minutes

● Have folks share their “additional readings”


● Share “Honey”​ ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy4RebilRSI&app=desktop​ ;
“American Girl” - ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_hDHm9MD0I

Closing ​5 m

● Go around the room and describe the color you are feeling at the moment.

20 minute buffer