In this episode, we talk about the University of Minnesota’s football sexual assault case, the election results, and what is a Hmong fuckboy.
- University of Minnesota Football Sexualt Assault Case
- University California, Davis Sex Assault Case : We acknowledge that although Her was not convicted of rape, he plead no contest to assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, a felony. Her is to register as a sex offender. In this episode we use the word “rape” because this is the word the victim, Yee Xiong, uses and the basis for the cases that went to trial.
- Election Results
- What does a Hmong Fuckboy looks like?
Fuckboy definition used in podcast (not white girl definition): http://jezebel.com/the-definition-of-fuckboy-is-not-what-bad-trend-pieces-1725157828
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Illustration for this episode was made by co-host Sandy Oh.
(Intro: Qeej music playing)
Sandy Oh: Hello. Welcome to Hoochim. Today is Saturday, December 17th, 2016. We are four Hmong women who like to talk about things that matter, such as…
SO: We are your hosts. I’m Sandy.
Mim Xyooj: I’m Mee.
Linda Hawj: I’m Linda. Good morning on a really winter blizzard day we have here which I think it will come later in the evening. Right, ya’ll?
SO: Yeah, well. I mean I watched the news this morning so it’s… So we’re in Minnesota and it’s really cold and we just had a storm that went over us last night. I actually watched the weather this morning and it said that it actually went past us so we won’t be seeing anything.
SO: But the winds are really uh high. So visibility is gonna be an issue.
LH: Okay, thank goodness. Thank goodness we’re recording today because I would not have known that Sandy. (laughs) I’m like the blizzard is coming later tonight. And what are we gonna do? Buy everything from Sam’s Club and Costco.
LH: Yeah let’s talk about what’s happening at the U of M right now. There’s supposedly like an 80 page report outline from the U of M in regards to the Gopher football team’s investigation on sexual assault and on a woman. I just saw this briefly on my Facebook newsfeed this morning and I could already tell that this is, this is like the long you know continued rape culture in sports and college campus climates that continues to feed and grow. And the trump trauma and the violence that continues to protect rape culture and men. Uh there’s like an intersectional analysis from what I’m reading and seeing from some of the people from my feed that are saying is regards to race cause I believe like 10 or 12, 12 of the players are Black young men. And their team are boycotting the Holiday Bowl, holiday fooTball game that’s coming up, unless if their team of brothers are free from this what they say injustice. That they haven’t faced due process or you know process. And that they’ve been publicly named. And their integrity of their work their game their team are at stake. But you know I think about all of the young men who whether they’re in trouble or not that record sexual assaults or like girlfriend and boyfriend right, intimate and sexual moments right, and all these young men that are led by rape culture post videos of their ex girlfriends or girlfriends or women they are assaulting without even thinking you know that these young women deserve integrity and not be like slut shamed. And I think about like the revenge porn right. I don’t know if you all have read or known or aware of that about revenge porn. But men who are scorned or their girlfriends broke up with them and they post you know intimate, sexual moments where whether it was consented or not video of both of them you know having sex. Yeah, thoughts? Have you both read or updates about this case?
MX: You know I haven’t and uhm I have a couple of questions. So the 80 page report, it’s not on the entire Gopher football team, it’s only on a set of players. Is that correct?
LH: Yes, I believe so, yeah. Uhm I’m looking at was it Channel 5 news. It said the University of Minnesota authored this report after conducting an investigation into 12 Gopher football players. So it’s not the entire team it’s just some of the players.
MX: And was it on a specific sexual assault or rape case or was it just general sexual assault rape cases that may have happened among those 12?
LH: Uhm I…
MX: Among those 12 players?
LH: Yeah, I don’t know to that detail but I know that it was I remember seeing that it was stated that a young woman was assaulted, sexually assaulted and harassed. And I think that it might have already happened I don’t know how long ago but taken place and there were video captured. Cell phone captures.
MX: Oh. Okay.
LH: Yeah but they didn’t state what those video were of. They were just stating how long. Like you know the video was like 92 seconds that the police you know reported.
LH: But they didn’t say what was on the footage.
LH: So it’s really vague.
MX: Right. Right. Wow. (laughs) And reportedly the 80 page document investigation named the 12 players that are implicated in somehow in this assault or witnessing or recording this assault?
LH: Yes and also the 12 images of the young men are also released. Yeah, I did see the picture the images of the 12 young men. But you know as we talk about rape culture and rape and like gender, sexuality right we also have to talk about race and class and et cetera but… I’m just also appalled at how quick people of color’s crimes or issues right are revealed and opened and yet at the same time if this were white boys or men right, it would probably take like years to even name or surface like the perpetrator they’re white. So yeah, I’m interested and want to follow based on like sort of like race and intersectional analysis right of how the laws play out for some for these types of cases. I think that either one these young Black men will be kicked off the football team or that because of racism right, institutionalized racism, and or because of rape culture they’ll be defended because this white huge university right needs to continue to make money because really their only source of income and revenue is these football games right that continues to perpetuate rape culture.
MX: Right. You’re exactly right in that men’s sports especially football brings in a lot of money, especially if you’re a Division I school like the U of M is it brings in a lot of money.
LH: This is more bad news on top of bad news really. What are your both thoughts in regards to election results? Trump is gonna start off in less than 100 days right. What have you both been hearing been talking to your family and friends? Especially about the rise of these incidents after the election targeted violence on like people of color, undocumented people, immigrants, refugees, as well as LGBT gender nonconforming people right? And uhm Muslim people.
SO: Yeah, I think after the election it was really like emotional. Just like staying up really late just to make sure that the results we’re seeing is really the results that are displaying in front of you. Yeah and the incidents that followed, it’s like it was like one after another and you think it wouldn’t happen to you because you’re like oh, okay, you’re like in all these really like racialized areas but uhm so my sister goes to like local public school here and one of their math teachers went on like a big ass rant about how he hated Black people and Mexicans and he can’t wait for the wall to be built. And the irony of this all is that he adopted an African boy and he deliberately said…
MX: That’s totally fucked up.
SO: Yeah. And he totally said, I would never like put my kid in like a public school; I don’t want him to be Black. And I’m like well that’s kind of impossible because he’s phenotypically Black, like his outside…
SO: Is Black. You can’t erase that.
SO: And I think about the child he’s raising and the fuckery that he has to hear you know. I think everybody is like heightened because any little thing can trigger something.
LH: Mm-hm. Oh man. These white people who say they’re not racist. And… my gosh.
LH: Ugh! It’s so insidious.
SO: It’s like, I adopted a Black kid but…
MX: I mean I…
SO: But I’m gonna say these racist remarks.
MX: So my experience, because I do live in a smaller town surrounded by rural uhm communities, mostly white people, uhm but and I work in higher education. My experience, like even before the November election, white people would tell me, oh don’t worry, Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee. And I remember, not saying out loud but thinking in my head, like what kind of world do you living in where you think like he cannot be Republican nominee because in my world that is totally possible right.
LH: Those people voted for Trump and they’re playing, they’re playing… they’re Trump’s advocates actually. Don’t worry, people of color, Trump will never be the president.
MX: I know, I know. And uh. Students of color were very uhm emotional and had high anxiety you know all around like before the election. And they were worried about them being deported or their parents being deported even though they’re permanent residents of some sort right. But not quote unquote citizens and or don’t hold a citizen status but they’re permanent residents. They were scared that they were going to get deported, their family was going to get deported. And you know I just remember white people being flabbergasted: Like, why are people so scared and blah, blah, blah. And I did not pay too close of attention to the debates, to any of that, because there was nothing they were going to say that was going to make me feel better or want to vote for either Hillary or Trump. And you know after the elections I remember talking to students of color and you know I don’t know just trying to say, you know if anything happens, if you feel unsafe, just let me know, we’ll try to figure out something. If something happens, there are resources. And people were scared. People were scared because there were all these stories that were coming out about like right after the elections about horrible things that were happening to people, about white people doing a bunch of horrible things.
SO: I think it’s funny how they go, oh, well, slavery is the past, that’s not my generation. But then their action mirrors the historical savery that’s happening to Black people, to people of color, during that era.
SO: And to me I think that’s just like crazy how like you deny a past that you are replicating today.
LH: The Southern Poverty Law Center has been capturing hate watch incidents and since November 9th until December 12th they have documented a thousand ninety four bias related incidents in the month, since after the election. And they’re asking for people to hashtag #reporthate on their page. If anything for me this, the Trump presidency and elect nominee… it’s surfacing and you know making it okay for white people to incite those violences. It’s not like it’s never been there right. What you both were saying like…
LH: It’s sort of like the white people of today, whether they’re old or young, right. They’re like, oh it happened then. Racism is over. And now, because of something that just came out of nowhere like we sort of have the right to act the way that we do and speak the way that we wanna speak because of since then you know some of the civil rights law has supported Black people, people of color, that now his leadership is making okay even for you know even outside of the Republican party’s right or people who are supporter or loyal to the Republican party, even like progressives and liberals, they’ve always all of them, have felt these types of things and it just gave them more of a reason to like be more blatant about their violence and racism.
SO: Mm-hm. When we talk about identity politics within our communities of color in terms of politics and such, Trump basically played up on that. You know he played up to the white folks, the struggles quote unquote that they have been through because of people of color.
LH: That’s been his platform all along. Make America great again.
LH: Like it used to be. That’s his platform.
MX: Yes. Yeah, okay so a lot has been said very recently about people being misinformed, people having access to all these wrong or skewed news sites. And if you look at Trump’s whole… I mean like when he was running for president, like do you honestly think people didn’t know he was lying? You know people knew he was lying. People knew he was saying all these things, all these outrageous things that could not happen but they voted for him because he’s white and he was going to make white people…
SO: Great again.
MX: You know his… yeah, right. Right. And so when I read about all this like oh, people are misinformed, like fake news sites helped Trump win. I’m like, no. That’s not it. That’s not it. (laughs)
LH: Yeah, yeah.
LH: Yeah, absolutely true. Absolutely true. Because you know like 2040, 2050 and right now like people of color are growing fast in population and white people are fucking scared. They’re fucking scared shitting in the snow. Like, we’re no longer gonna be controlled. And it comes down to white people, even the whole well intentioned white people, they’re really afraid to give up their powers. If they’re okay to give up their property, some of their money. At the end they’re just scared about my intellectual, what I know is my values, my morals… I’m not gonna to let go of that. Even if, even if it’s insidiously racist, I’m not gonna let go of that.
MX: And we see that especially with this election they are ready to sacrifice themselves so that people of color will not have anything.
LH: I know some white people who are really radical, right, to support communities of color and people of color. But that’s still just the process. Because at the end you just the do not know. I don’t trust white people. I just can’t. And they’re not my priority.
MX: And they’ve never proven themselves to be trustworthy.
LH Did you both heard or remember the recent rape case of a young Hmong woman in Fresno.
MX: Yes, and the guy, he sued her for like ruining his reputation or some shit like that.
LH: This is so horrible.
SO: It’s hella insane.
LH: You know rape culture is defending the perpetrator, it’s defending the men. What about my name or my status, right? But the victim or the woman…
MS: She’s expendable.
LH: I don’t care. It’s about me. Even in the course of like inciting the rape and assault. It’s about me and my power, right. It’s about me and my power.
MX: Yes. Or him and his bruised ego.
MX: Because, because I believe the story was that uhm after she was raped, instead of keeping quiet about it like a lot of people, she went to the authorities… or, or did she… I can’t remember the exact chain of events. But he offered to marry her.
SO: Oh, fuck that shit.
MX: Yes. He offered to marry her and she said no. And and went ahead with the case. Because I believed it eventually… didn’t it eventually go to court?
SO: Yeah, it did. Mm-hm.
MX: And when you think about it this happens a lot in the Hmong community where when a woman is raped well one of the ways that the guy who rapes her can… I don’t know. One of the ways that I guess he can make it up to her is to marry her, right.
MX: And uhm. You know I don’t know how often this still happens now but I remember when I was younger and you know hearing about how this happened a lot with my peers… where if you get raped, no person wants you and so you are then pressured into marrying the guy who rapes you because you’re worthless in the eyes of people now. And not only are you pressured by your friends and family, your own friends and family to marry this guy who rapes you, but it’s like the whole community, it’s like… it’s just so fucked up.
LH: Yeah, yeah. I just pulled up uhm… the news source from Sac Bee dot com that was reported in July 2016. Her name was Yee Xiong and she’s 24. Uhm I’ll read the statement. Uhm, her battle was public and she never hid from it. She says, my name is Yee Xiong and I’m here today to reclaim my worth and my story. Uh, she said in a YOLO county courthouse on Tuesday. To do so, Xiong would have to endure two trials, both of which ended in hung juries. Even though her case dated back four years ago, four years ago, Lang Her, a fellow UC Davis student, was not arrested until April 2014.
LH: On July 19th, YOLO superior court judge Paul Richardson sentenced him to nearly a year in jail. He’ll get five years of probation, register as a sex offender, and be subjected to sex offender counseling. Yeah.
SO: That’s it? One year?
MX: And I remember when this, this story… the story about the case was being shared all over Facebook and a lot of people were saying, well she… because apparently they’d gone to a house party where he lived and they’d been drinking–I believe that’s what the story said, I’m not sure but I think it said they’d been drinking and her friends left her there. So she was in the house with him and I don’t know if other people were there but you know she was left in the house with him and a lot of people were saying, well, isn’t it her fault because she shouldn’t have been drinking, or she should’ve left with her friends, or you know she should’ve been smart about it, about the situation, her body, blah blah blah. And never did people say the guy should’ve checked his dick.
LH: Mm-hm. The guy should not have drunk so much. All these things, right. All these like, all these like dumb things that a woman, a girl would be policed over.
SO: And it’s like time and time after again like these victim blaming, this oh you should’ve protected yourself better, who told you to drink. Who knew? Like if I knew in the future I was gonna get raped I probably would’ve done something about it but you don’t know going in that you’re gonna get like assaulted. You don’t predict these types of things because you can’t predict people and their behaviors.
LH: And that’s the thing though, and the in between the line is that these people, these people who are saying these things know that there are rapers out there yet we don’t, outside of the like anti-domestic and rape you know activist or work you know advocacy work, outside of that people, everyday people, like our family, our friends, who’ve never or maybe are really scared to even talk about the subject right. That’s one of the reasons why, is that they don’t know what to do about it. And they just sort of react to their emotions and what they’ve been taught growing up, which is patriarchy, hetero-patriarchy, and rape culture that are very insidious and even people, conscious woke men, right? Men wanting to move forward about the whole empowering women or ending toxic masculinity, like they need to do the work on themselves first. Like we need to do the work on ourselves, be aware how to handle if these cases should happen and not react to these values that are instilled in us or what the popular statements are out there or what the easy statements are: you should’ve done this, you should not have done that. Instead of confronting the person who have raped or is the perpetrator. It seems like we don’t know how to hold people accountable, hold ourselves accountable to even have those conversations.
LH: I think that’s what we need to work on and not continuing to perpetuate the whole blaming victims.
SO: Yeah. I mean this transition was greatly into the Hmong women feminist activists who praise like men taking up spaces and this… and not calling them out on their behavior outside of you know those spaces.
LH: I mean, you know, if we don’t wanna give cookies to white people who are trying to be allies, why should be give cookies to Hmong men who are like, I’m just gonna create a label for myself and then you should praise me.
LH: And that I’m helping in this without results or credibility or without like trust being built, without also first and foremost admitting, right, admitting… admitting that this exists within their circles of people and friends and family. And that this is the work that they’re doing. And not focus on the helping the women. Yo help your damn self first. Women can handle them damn theirself.
SO: So I have a friend who’s heading to that Hmong international whatever empowerment conference in Thailand. So I’m at a party and he said to me, Sandy, I listen to your podcast and I totally understand you, I totally understand the struggle. And that’s the reason why I’m going to this thing. I’m going to this conference in Thailand because I wanna help women and the women need my help. They need men’s help and I’m gonna help them. And then, you know of course I’m already like tipsy so I can’t really have like that type of conversation with him, especially in that space.
LH: Uh-hm. Of all spaces.
SO: Yeah. At like a bar. I wanna have a conversation with him saying that why do you feel like you need to help us? Why do you feel like you wanna take up space in an international conference about women’s issues? And then bringing in your first world privileges over there and two, what is your true intention of you being there? Are you gonna try to like pick up someone?
LH: Oh my goodness.
SO: Usually. You know.
MX: I fucken hate those people.
LH: Oh my goodness. I’m gonna go redeem myself so I’m gonna go back…
SO: Yeah. I wanna have a reason to go back so I can mask it to like eventually talk to the women there.
LH: Which is the term, being a macktivist. I learned that term in mid-2000s. Which pretty much defines that a man who says pretty much he’s an activist for let’s say women’s rights and empowerment but hangs out in spaces of activists and then like macks on girls and trying to get some play. Macktivist.
SO: Like, but then these women. They put these motherfuckers on a fucking pedestal and I’m like ya’ll, don’t fucking play yourself ya’ll see right through them.
LH: It seems like it’s just this we need men who will do the work. But I’m just afraid are there policies or certain boundaries drawn in spaces working with men.
LH: And that you all work on that stuff and don’t take up our space.
LH: And I’ve not been in those types, those spaces so I don’t know what happens but I would only hope if that were the case to work with men, is that men need to do their own heavy lift and work and not the subject be we need to help and save our women from ourselves. From the Hmong men.
SO: Yeah. That shouldn’t be the mentality when you go into these spaces. We’re not asking you to help us. We’re asking you to come here and learn from us and don’t fucken talk over us. And take this stuff back and really do your part in healing yourself, and then eventually healing your the community that you’re a part of.
LH: That’s like what happen when you have not decolonized your mind and do and breakdown and admit that we have lived in a violent, hetero-patriarchal, rape culture world regardless of what generation we come from whether what ethnic community background we come from because in… because it’s easy to just write off and say because we’re in America that’s why there’s a lot of these rapes and a lot of these hetero-patriarchal like values but you know when you look into our own traditional community that is also there but then it’s sort of like oh, to have a Hmong man be the leadership of a clan or the leader of decision making for our community, that’s just the Hmong way.
LH: Right. That blurry line, when older Hmong men who are our fathers or who are you know certain figures in the community says that only Hmong men should have these decision making powers and leadership, and then all other have to just follow. And that’s the example of hetero-patriarchy, a group of people who have only certain experiences, limited experience making decisions for everybody else, that it’s like a one size fit all. Which really doesn’t fit anyone.
SO: Yeah, it doesn’t. But then like, but then these Hmong women feminists who praises these men are perpetuating that hetero-patriarchy. I mean that’s why I find it so ironic is that you fight against this thing but yet you perpetuate it in your community. And you okay it. And you don’t call these people out because you think that you need these people in your lives so you can move ahead with your agenda.
SO: As you move ahead with your agenda, you’re forgetting about the people why you got into this work in the first place. Then it comes to how do you call out these women and call out these men who are not really doing a great job for the cause and…
LH: And it depends because I think I see a lot of those connections connecting to like oh we, we’re doing a cause right. Is it a cause for certain people who is leading that cause which in itself self fulfilling or is it really for the community right? And we’re doing the work in the leadership of the community. And I think most of the time if it’s a cause led for a nonprofit and if the leadership style is only to benefit within that leadership group of people to create a platform for them, a brand or whatever, then that’s like the problem. And you’re not engaging the whole community, then that’s the result that you’ll really get, is that we’re just trying to… we’re just creating the namesake and labeling that it’s for the community but really it’s only for a few group of people to benefit off of, the co-opting the language of like gender equity justice, racial justice, et cetera et cetera. And it’s not really for the benefit of the larger community. And I don’t know, maybe this is just phase one of the work and it’s being built and that we’re like only forty year into American. I don’t know maybe it’s just the first initiative or step but at the same time it’s really traumatizing and just really it turns a lot of people off.
SO: Uhm, I don’t know. Whenever I see like these men posting pictures of going to these conferences and then the women saying, wow, you’re doing such a great, wow, you’re such a great man. Like it pisses me off because I’m like, what have they fucking done. They’re just go there to be on vacation because I don’t see these people in the community doing the type of work that they say they’re doing. So it’s just like… yeah. That’s my beef on this whole thing.
LH: But you know, in this conversation like, there’s something that I’m wanting to know. What is a Hmong fuck boy and what does he look like ya’ll? Where did that word come from?
SO: Okay, so. This is something I’ve been thinking about because I came across this Buzzfeed article about like 10 worst.. A certain number of ways you can tell who is a fuck boy.
SO: So a fuck boy is basically a man who portrays himself a certain way that is either hypermasculine, misogynistic, like there are all these other criteria that could basically label somebody a fuck boy. And so like, this Buzzfeed article, has all these accepted things that you could identify a fuck boy. From the type of clothes he wear, how he carries himself, all these other features that they list. It’s really general, there’s no science behind it. It’s just basically a mindless read. And it made me think, what is a Hmong fuck boy? And so for me I was thinking that a Hmong fuck boy would look like would have a collar shirt that is buttoned down, khaki pants, Doc Martins that’d give him a little lift, brown belt, comb over, stockier size, and who is the son of somebody who holds a high position within their clan, or is the person who holds the position in their clan, or within politics, or is running a charter school or a nonprofit.
LH: Super specific. (laughs)
SO: (laughs) So, I mean, and I feel like that is a Hmong fuck boy. Who demands power, who demands respect, and like doesn’t give a hell about anybody else. Yeah, so that’s my criteria of what a Hmong fuck boy is.
LH: Wow, that says a lot. So pretty much like upholding a social status, hold a leadership position, and then I gotta wear these types of clothes cause I’ll get noticed and respected. And I’m going to just talk over anyone or I’m just going to show up and demand respect of some sort. That is what a fuck boy is.
SO: Absolutely, that is a Hmong fuck boy.
LH: Wow. I will keep a look out and steer clear of that. In fact, I think I’ve already been doing that.
SO: Yeah, I mean the thing is that a Hmong fuck boy is like kind of hard to not come across because I feel like they’re everywhere. And I feel like the Hmong fuck boy is the end goal of most of the Hmong men’s path to complete their uh Hmong man-ness.
LH: Yeah, this is the cycle of Hmong masculinity.
SO: Yeah, exactly. How do you…
LH: At least hetero-patriarchy…
LH: Type of circle.
SO: Yeah. Exactly. So being a Hmong fuck boy is the end goal of a successful Hmong man. So this concludes our podcast. If you have any questions or comments you can email us at hashtag dot hoochim at gmail dot com. Contact us on our Facebook page Hoochim. And tweet us on Twitter at hashtag underscore hoochim. Thank you.
LH: Bye. Whoo.