Three Reasons To Be A Proud Asian American Woman in The U.S.

Being both a woman and a person of color can hold its share of obstacles here in the United States. We drown in racial stereotypes on the daily ranging from things as small as “Asian women can’t drive” to things as serious as “Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”

Because of this, we have undoubtedly faced our share of struggles and pressures. In fact, Asian American teenage girls have the highest rate of depressive symptoms of any racial, ethnic or gender group, Asian American girls and women aged 15 to 24 die from suicide at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group, and Asian American women over 65 have the highest suicide rate in that demographic.

Clearly, we have quite a bit to overcomes and a handful of issues that need to be further addressed, but this should not make us forget the many ways in which Asian American women have strived here in the United States.

Our hard work and determination is a force to be reckoned with. We have been making strides in education, health, business and countless other fields.  Slowly, but surely, others are starting to notice it too. Below are three of the many reasons to be a proud Asian American woman in the United States:

 

1. EDUCATION

grad capAsian American women have achieved a higher level of educational attainment than women of any other race. In 2004, Asian women surpassed caucasian women for having the highest rate of college graduates.  Now in 2013, Asian American women 8.36 % of bachelor’s degrees, even though Asian women only consist of 5.14% of the female population.

2. BUSINESS

businessThere are over 600,000 Asian American women-owned businesses in the United States. This is an increase of 83% since 2002 and 156% since 1997. The top three states with the highest numbers are California with 193,300, New York with 68,700 and Texas with 51,800 Asian American women-owned businesses.

 

 

3. POLITICS

jean quanThere are six Asian American women in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate, totaling to seven Asian American women in Congress. There are 32 Asian American women serving in state legislatures and an Asian American woman mayor—Jean Quan from Oakland, California.

 

(source)

 

Girls At High-Risk For Rape: The New Fear of Typhoon Survivors

You would think that after surviving one of the world’s strongest typhoons, you’d have survived the worst. Unfortunately, conditions after such a destructive event prove to be quite dangerous as well.

Much of Philippines is left trying to cope with all the loss brought on by Typhoon Haiyan, otherwise known as Typhoon Yolanda. Days after the typhoon, residents are left in dire need of food, water and medical treatment.

Bodies line the streets in need of body bags. People wait in crowds at nearby airports for days just to receive some food. Tons of people are left without a home and must seek shelter in abandoned vehicles. Citizens cover their face in an effort to avoid the stench of rotting bodies. Looters have begun to take what they can simply because they want their family to survive. In desperation, some have dug into water pipes to keep from dehydration.

This nightmare has become a reality for some of the Filipino citizens who’s homeland was destroyed by the typhoon. While victims must go each day worrying about their survival, the British government points out another terror which haunts the victims.

According to The Telegraph, thousands of Filipino women and girls will face the very real risk of violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, rape, forced marriage and trafficking.

“We are concerned about the safety of women and girls in the Philippines,” says Justine Greening, Britain’s international development secretary, who is helping to coordinate the UK’s response to the crisis. “After previous emergencies in the Philippines, we have seen an increase in violence against women and girls and in particular the trafficking of girls.”

According to The Telegraph, this danger is common during natural disasters in developing countries because people turn to trafficking as a way to survive, the weakened environment creates more vulnerable situations for women, and these issues are simply not prioritized because they are not considered life-threatening.

“Currently, girls and women in crisis situations such as earthquakes, hurricanes, famine and conflict are more vulnerable to violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual assault, forced marriage and trafficking, because of the lack of protection and provision for their needs.” says Justine Greening. “The UK Government believes that the prevention and response to violence against girls and women in emergencies is a life-saving action and should be prioritised from the outset, alongside other life-saving interventions,” Ms Greening said.

Greening has already advocated for certain measures to be taken such as sending a women’s ‘protection specialist’ and solar lanterns because better lighting creates safer environments. Obviously, these are very quick tactics and UK hopes other countries will work in solidarity with them to create long-term strategies.

“It’s about giving girls a voice, participation matters,” Greening explains. “It’s also about choice over what women do post-crisis – what they do with their lives, what to do for a job, when to get married and what happens to their bodies. This matters.”

Video of The Week: Google India’s Heartwarming Ad

Ready to have your heartstrings pulled? This ad for Google India will sure do the trick. The video, titled “Google Search: Reunion,” focuses on two men in their elder years who were childhood friends.

The men reflect on their younger years and on their forced separation due to the India-Pakistan partition of 1947. Thanks to technological advances, Google’s search system and their kinda grandchildren, the two are finally able to reunite.

Times of India claims that the ad went viral within a few hours of being released because it strikes such an emotional chord. They certainly weren’t kidding. The video has already gathered over a million views since its release yesterday.

Check it out for yourself and be prepared to find a smile on your face.
Note: Turn subtitles on by clicking on the Closed Captioning option in the video.

Five of Asia’s Most Breathtaking Locations

Yesterday, BuzzFeed released a list called “27 Surreal Places To Visit Before You Die.” The list has already gained over 180,000 likes on facebook and for good reason. All of the locations are undeniably breathtaking.

We were pleased to discover that five of these locations were in Asia and we decided to take a closer look at all of them.

1. Zhangye Danxia landform in Gansu, China

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The Danxia landforms are sandstone formations most known for, you guessed it, their vibrant color patterns.The are located in a remote region in northern central China. The mountains and hills retain such color because Danxia landforms are composed of red sandstone. Mineral deposits were compressed into rock for 24 million years thus gaining a colors ranging from deep red to yellow and green.

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2. The Hang Son Doong cave in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam

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The Sơn Đoòng cave is currently the largest known cave in the world and is located near the border of Laos and Vietnam. It is five times larger than the Phong Nha Cave which previously held the record for being the biggest cave in Vietnam. Although it was created 2-5 million years ago, the cave did not become public knowledge until 2009. Inside, there is a fast flowing underground river as well as cave pearls the size of baseballs.

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 3. Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan

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This popular tourist destination has been given the nickname “flower paradise” because the 32,000 square metres of flowers look amazing all year long. With each passing season, a different variety of flower will blossom throughout the Hitachi Seaside park such as the Nemophilas. The popular, blue flower blossoms annually during springtime.

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4. Bamboo groves of Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan

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These Japanese bamboo groves, located in Northwest Kyoto, are a tourist favorite. The gorgeous line of bamboo not only looks beautiful, apparently it sounds beautiful too. Amusing Planet notes “The sound of the wind in this bamboo forest has been voted as one of ‘one hundred must-be-preserved sounds of Japan’ by the Japanese government.” The bamboo in this grove is still used to manufacture various products such as cups, boxes, baskets and mats in the area.

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5. Kelimutu crater lakes in Flores Island, Indonesia

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Kelimutu is a small volcano central Flores Island of Indonesia. It has gained popularity because the volcano has three craters- each contain a lake with a different color. The lakes periodically change colors from red and brown to turquoise and green, independent of each other. The lakes are named Tiwi Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People), Tiwu Nua Muri Kooh Tai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Lake of Evil Sprits, or Enchanted Lake). The scientific explanation behind the colorful lakes  chemical reactions from the minerals in the lake triggers by the volcano’s gas activity.

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(Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Anderson Cooper Reveals The True State of The Philippines

American journalist, reporter and television personality Anderson Cooper has been creating quite a buzz for himself for his live reports from the Philippines directly after Typhoon Haiyan.

The CNN reporter and host of is own daytime talk show Anderson Live, flew to Tacloban to report on the city most affected by the Typhoon.

His reports have gained quite a bit of attention because Cooper was not afraid to delve into the lack of aid and resources. He described the lack of government presence and the speed of aid.

Watch Anderson’s CNN segment below:

His report has caused a number of mixed reviews. Some were apparently upset over Cooper criticizing the Philippine government’s slow and inadequate efforts. Among those who disagreed with his sentiments was ABS-CBN newsreader Korina Sanchez.

During her morning radio show, Sanchez claimed that Cooper did not know what he was talking about. Philippine netizens, many of whom were facing the struggles that Cooper shed light on, were angered by Sanchez’s comment and pointed out that while he was out in the field gathering an actual account of the destruction, she was sitting sitting safely in a radio station saying that the state of things were not as bad as Cooper made it seem.

Others point out that her comment was for political reasons. After all, Sanchez is married to the  Interior Secretary who heads the rescue and relief operations in Tacloban CIty. Citizens said she simply did not want to make it seem as if her husband was not doing an adequate job.

Because of this, many more netizens seem to agree with Cooper’s report.

Additionally, Cooper has been using twitter to share his thoughts and reveal the true state of the Philippines after the Typhoon:

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(Source 1, 2, 3)

India’s Top Police Official Says “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it”

Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha is facing quite a lot of heat for a comment he made on Tuesday during a conference concerning illegal betting and gambling during sporting events.

Sinha tried to convey the idea that if the state could not control the gambling, then they could make some revenue by legalizing it. Innocent enough right? Unfortunately, he tied this along with a very inappropriate comment concerning rape.

If you can’t enforce it, it is like you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it. It is better to legalize it and earn some revenue rather than throwing up your hands.

As expected, this comment was met with outrage throughout India. Just this year, widespread protests occurred throughout India after a fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi. Clearly, this is an issue which should never be taken lightly.

The following day, Sinha tried to explain that his words were taken out of context. He issued an apology saying,

I gave my opinion that betting should be legalized and that if the laws cannot be enforced that does not mean that laws should not be made. This is as erroneous as saying that if rape is inevitable one should lie back and enjoy it.

I regret any hurt caused as the same was inadvertent and unintended. I reiterate my deep sense of regard and respect for women and commitment to gender issues.

 

Of course, many did not accept this apology and continue to protest. Several organizations such as the National Commission for Women (NCW) and  All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) call for his resignation.

Additionally, they have plans to ask the court to draw up guidelines for action against public figures who make such remarks against women to avoid situations like this in the future.

“We will move court seeking the CBI director’s removal for his highly objectionable remarks. There is no point going to the government as they are unlikely to take steps against the CBI chief,” said AIDWA chief Sudha Sundarraman.

Kavita Krishnan, who is also part of AIDWA claims, “His explanation is making it worse. It is inadequate. By saying he was misinterpreted, he is trying to tell us we got it wrong. What he said is not a proverb. His statement endorses the analogy. Enough is enough. He must resign.”

A Closer Look At The Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan: Before & After Pictures

For some, the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan is something distant and far from reality. An estimated 10,000 death toll is a number too large to comprehend and the 620,000 displaced residents are surely receiving aid, right?

Unfortunately, this is not exactly the case. Residents are in dire need of assistance, but there is simply too many victims and too little aid available.

Although Typhoon Haiyan is one of the strongest recorded typhoons in history, it is still receiving far less aid than Sandy and Katrina.

Huffington Post reported that the insufficient aid has caused chaos among the residents who are doing what they can to survive. Allegedly, eight people died, not because of the storm, but because people were desperate for food. Local authorities claim looters raided rice stockpiles in a government warehouse, causing a wall to collapse onto victims.

Many have gone to local airports to seek food, water and aid, but are left waiting for days.

When asked how she and her four children endured three days of waiting in searing heat and torrential downpours, Marivic Badilla, 41, held up a small battered umbrella. “We have been sheltering under this,” she said, tears streaming down her face. 

In desperation, some Tacloban citzens have dug up water pipes to get water. Though there is no assurance that the water is safe for consumption, the citizens believe there is no other option if they intend to survive.

And if words are not enough to understand the full effects of Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines, these visuals will probably do it:

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Click here to find out how you can help.

Heartbreaking Images: The Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

One of the world’s strongest recorded Typhoons recently plowed through the Philippines leaving catastrophic damage. More than 10,000 estimated people are dead and nearly 620,000 people have been displaced from their homes and communities.

Here are some ways you can offer your aid:

Philippine Red Cross is sending rescue teams to affected areas of the country.
UN humanitarian response depot (UNHRD) have set up hubs with equipment to affected areas.
The UN’s World Food Program is providing food assistance to families and children.
UNHCR is providing emergency resources to the affected areas.
Unicefs Philippine branch is trying to provide access to drinkable water, medical supplies, food and shelter.
Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty, is accepting monetary donations as well as nonperishable goods such as children’s vitamins, rice, kitchen utensils and blankets.
A shipping company is delivering to the Philippines for free.
Candlelight Vigils are being held in various communities to raise relief funds.
Habitat for Humanity plans to offer shelter repair kits for families who need to re-build their damaged houses.
Operation USA will allocate donations directly to relief and recovery efforts.

 

Below are some of the heartbreaking images of the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
Warning: Some of the following images may be graphic.

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A survivor stands in the wreckage of Tacloban city

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A father looks over the body of his deceased daughter.

A father looks over the body of his deceased daughter.

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Bodies of the deceased wrapped in blankets in a damaged chapel.

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A damaged village hall in Janiuay, in Iloilo province.

A damaged village hall in Janiuay, in Iloilo province.

 

Homeless survivors take refuge in a damages jeepney.

Homeless survivors take refuge in a damages jeepney.

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Survivors wait to receive treatment and supplies.

Survivors wait to receive treatment and supplies.

 

Resident's cover their face to avoid the smell of rotting corpses.

Resident’s cover their face to avoid the smell of rotting corpses.

Residents try to rebuild their homes.

Residents try to rebuild their homes.

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(Source 1, 2, 3)

7 Things You Should Know About Typhoon Haiyan, The World’s Strongest Typhoon That Hit The Philippines

By now, you’ve probably heard about the Super Typhoon Haiyan that plowed through the Philippines earlier this week. While many people know that the typhoon occurred, we’ve come across a number of individuals who seem unaware of the details.

Maybe there has been so much information that you’re overwhelmed. Maybe you haven’t had the time to keep up with it. Or maybe you simply don’t have the heart to read into it. Whatever the reason, we’ve decided to compile a list of information regarding this tragic disaster to give you a glimpse of the aftermath.

1. This is one of the strongest Typhoons in history.

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Hemispheric view of Haiyan (EUMETSAT Facebook page)

With sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts of 235 mph, Typhoon Haiyan is the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded and possibly the strongest recorded typhoon to have ever hit land. According to The Guardian, this is the third and strongest Category 5 typhoon in the Philippines.

Haiyan is the third Category 5 “super typhoon” to hit the Philippines since 2010. “In 2010 Megi peaked at 180mph winds but killed only 35 people, and did $276m in damage. But Bopha, which hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on 3 December, 2012 , left 1,901 people dead and was the costliest natural disaster in Philippines history at the time,” said Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at US-based Weather Underground in his daily blog.

 

2. There are more than 10,000 estimated deaths.
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An estimated 10,000 people have died in one city, Tacloban, alone. Adding on to the results of the Bohol earthquake of Oct. 15 2013, nearly 620,000 people have been displaced from their homes and communities.

3. Entire cities were destroyed.
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ABC’s South-East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel described scenes of destruction in Tacloban.

Even to walk down the road is extremely difficult. You’re climbing over cars and buses that have been tossed by the wind and swept in by the storm surge.

“There are still bodies littering the sides of the roads that have not been collected. People are sheltering under whatever they can find. There’s a real sense of frustration among people because they don’t have enough food, they don’t have enough water.

4. Citizens call for immediate action.
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A climate negotiator from the Philippines makes a tearful speech at the UN climate talks in Warsaw asking the word to take immediate action.

5. Some people can be cruel.

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A teacher in Canada posted this cruel status in regards to the large death toll from the Typhoon. Her profile was deleted after quite a bit of angry backlash.

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CNN is also facing its share of angry comments for its remark that the Philippines was “privileged” to have experienced such a storm.

6. And another storm seems to be on its way.

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The earthquake in October left nearly 350,000 people homeless. Typhoon Haiyan increased that number to 620,000 and had more than 10,000 casualties. Now, another storm is headed towards the already weakened Philippines. The tropical depression named Zoraida is the 25th tropical cyclone to enter the country this year.

7. So here’s how you can help.

There are a number of organizations providing aid to the Philippines who are looking for help/donations .

Philippine Red Cross is sending rescue teams to affected areas of the country.

UN humanitarian response depot (UNHRD) have set up hubs with equipment to affected areas.

The UN’s World Food Program is providing food assistance to families and children.

UNHCR is providing emergency resources to the affected areas.

Unicefs Philippine branch is trying to provide access to drinkable water, medical supplies, food and shelter

Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty, is accepting monetary donations as well as nonperishable goods such as children’s vitamins, rice, kitchen utensils and blankets.

A shipping company is delivering to the Philippines for free.

Candlelight Vigils are being held in various communities to raise relief funds.

 

(Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Horrible Reaction to “Man Sues Wife For Ugly Children” Hoax

For about a decade now, a story has been making its way around a number of media sources. The story claims that a man sued his wife after she gave birth to an ugly daughter.

According to multiple sources, a Chinese man named Jian Feng was “horrified” when his beautiful wife gave birth to an ugly child. He suspected his wife of an affair because he could not see how the two of them could create the child. After tests proved that it was in fact their child, the husband discovered that his wife had undergone surgery before they met.

The man divorced his wife and allegedly sued her for $120,000 for tricking him into the marriage. The crazy part of this story? He won.

Thankfully, a number of media sources have stated that this story was probably a hoax and has been making its way around since 2004. Pictures have begun to pop up in an effort to make the story appear real (see below), but the following picture has been identified as a Taiwanese ad for plastic surgery. The caption reads, “The only thing you have to worry about after plastic surgery is the explaining you’ll have to do to your children.”

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While we are relieved to discover that this tale may just be a hoax, we’ve discovered something even more shocking.

What could be worse than a man suing his wife over ugly children? What about men who whole-heartedly agree with and defend this act.

The blog Couples & Co describes itself as “a guide to a more blissful union & everything else… in between…” Though such a description doesn’t sound bad at all, their take on this story is quite unbelievable.

 It has always bugged me the way women commoditise their bodies: slathering on cosmetics, changing their hair colour, getting boob jobs, injecting botox into their faces and the list goes on and on.  Apart from the fact we’re told we men should not objectify women when women clearly are the biggest sexual objectifiers of their bodies, I found myself worried that such women have no honour.  A big part about honour is honesty and a woman with a fake body is not being honest about herself.  For me as a man, I look at a woman’s body and her features to guage how healthy she is physically and if she would produce good children for me because frankly I’m shopping for a good mother for my children.

 

The author then posts up the following picture of the wife before and after plastic surgery.

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He then writes this inappropriate comment:

This woman frankly should not have been able to reproduce because she’s the carrier of genetic refuse.  Think about it, would you want to have children with a haemophiliac, a person with Huntington’s victim or Down’s syndrome?  Of course you wouldn’t, and not because you hate the person with the disease, but because you love your future children too much to put them through such torment.

 

We couldn’t believe our eyes. Surely this author must have been writing sarcasm, right? Surely he can’t actually believe that ugly individuals should not be allowed to reproduce, right? Unfortunately, the post showed no signs of sarcasm.

Since its publication, the story has received a storm of angered comments from readers. Check it out for yourself.