1. Shah and Power are American academics. Based on your own understanding of our society, discuss the similarities and differences between Australia and America in relation to the issues raised by EITHER Shah OR Power OR BOTH.
Sonia Shah a second generation American Indian writes an anecdote ‘Tight Jeans and Chania Chorris’, arguing second generation immigrant problems through a radical feminist point of view. Issues she raises in her essay are very much identical to the issues concerning immigrant Australian families; being a second generation Australian Indian myself I am able to have a firsthand knowledge of the situation. A change from racism to racial acceptance in the American context seems to however take place at much faster rate than it had in Australia.
Shah explains her strong opposition to her sister’s “budding sexuality”. In the beginning She seemed to be worried that her sister was “exploiting herself and setting herself up for the kind of exploitation and abuse”. She talks about her high school days, where she was treated as second class by her white male classmates who preferred “pretty girls from ‘nice’ white families”. Her sister who is only a few years younger to her however received quite the opposite attention from the white male classmates, who happened to be the brothers of those, Shah was previously mistreated by.
Here we are shown an American society whose values and morals have changed over time, immigrant girls are now accepted and have become equal to their white counterparts. A society where colour and race are no longer considered a means of valuing women. It is very similar to Australian society today, where there was a time when racism was very much prevalent and widespread. Novels such as ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ by Melina Marchetta, published in 1990 deals with a very similar issue, of a third generation Italian Australian completing her last year of high school facing racial problems. This was the case in 1990 after...
References: Lauredhel. 2008. Monica Dux thinks I’m bad for feminism’s image. http://hoydenabouttown.com/20080916.2204/monica-dux-thinks-im-bad-for-feminisms-image/ (accessed March 2, 2012)
Marchetta, M. 1990. Looking for Alibrandi. Australia: Penguin Australia/Orchard Books.
Murphy, M. 2012. It’s International Women’s Day; are out foremothers rolling over in their graves? http://www.feminisms.org/tag/second-wave-feminism/ (accessed March 1, 2012)
Sonia Shah, “Tight Jeans and Chania Chorris,” in The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction, Shorter 11th, New York: Norton, 2003 p. 210-215.
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