Sheinberg Lecture panelists examine rising anti-Asian violence through an intersectional feminist lens

This year’s Rose Sheinberg Lecture, a panel discussion about anti-Asian violence, took place on March 31, shortly after the first anniversary of a shooting spree in the Atlanta metropolitan area that left six Asian women dead. Panelist Senti Sojwal of the Asian-American Feminist Collective mentioned that tragedy as well as more recent ones involving people of Asian descent. Overall, Sojwal said, anti-Asian violence has risen sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sheinberg Lecture panelists at a table
Senti Sojwal, Salonee Bhaman, and Haeyoung Yoon

Moderator Haeyoung Yoon, senior director of policy at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and former co-director of NYU Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, guided a discussion with Sojwal and Salonee Bhaman, also of the Asian-American Feminist Collective. The panelists focused an intersectional feminist lens on issues such as overreliance on policing versus less well-funded community resources, the roles of patriarchy and white supremacy in violence, the pros and cons of hate crime legislation, and the importance of community- and movement-building across generations.

Watch the video of the event:

Selected remarks by the panelists:

Senti Sojwal: “The racialization and sexualization of Asian American women is rooted in a long history of American imperialist conquest and war. The normalized sexualization of Asian women that presumes sexual availability is racial. The proliferation of Asian women in media depicted as sex workers, as docile, as sexually available—particularly to white men—from Anna May Wong to the present day, persists and is violent.” (video 12:39)

Salonee Bhaman: “[My colleagues and I] think a lot about slow violence versus spectacular violence: the kind of slow violence that happens when home health workers work 24-hour shifts, or delivery workers have their tips stolen, how some lives are constructed by society as inherently less important or more disposable on a structural level, and how that might affect how the targets of violence become defined in particular racialized ways.” (video 22:27)

Posted June 28, 2022