In the wake of the abhorrent amounts of violent crimes being committed against Asian Americans, Catalyst Lashes vowed to donate 18% of our sales to the Asian American Legal Defense Fund for the month of February.
The dichotomy of being an Asian woman in a country known for dehumanizing and defacing the Asian population and experience is not lost on me or the majority of my Asian American friends and family. As the owner and operator of a beauty company, this is especially painful as to the appearance and perception of Asian women is so closely tied to our identity in American politics.
We can’t be too feminine because that feeds into our hyper-sexualization, whether it be as infantile sex objects or overeager sex workers. We can’t accentuate our given features, monolids, hooded eyes, flat noses, because that is an open invitation for ridicule and caricaturization. We can’t adapt/modify these features because then we’re white-washing and feeding into self-hate.
The women killed in Georgia, no matter their profession, origin, whether they were mothers, sisters, refugees, citizens, whatever, deserved so much better. Before the media rhetoric starts vilifying these women, before the “edge lords who bask in dark humor” start making their deaths into punchlines, before we forget about them the next time someone is attacked for things that cannot be helped in a system that does nothing to help, we need to keep pushing for this shit to end. This means fighting against the model-minority myth, standing in solidarity against anti-immigration and anti-black rhetoric, protecting ourselves and those around us.
Since February, I’ve been donating a portion of profits to the Asian American Legal Defense Fund. Catalyst is also participating in Sigma Art Market, hosted by the Alpha Rho Charter of Sigma Psi Zeta, donating proceeds to Women Against Abuse as well as the AALDEF.
I hope to do more in the future but for now, I can only encourage everyone to stand strong and not let those who dare hurt us continue to get away with it.
Founded in New York in 1974, The Asian American Legal Defense Fund combines litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing to focus on critical issues affecting Asian Americans. We hope our donation will help in protecting those most vulnerable in our community and shed light on the recent surge of attacks.
Women Against Abuse is a non-profit organization known to provide quality, compassionate, and nonjudgmental services in a manner that fosters self-respect and independence in persons experiencing intimate partner violence and to lead the struggle to end domestic violence through advocacy and community education.