The handmaidens' plight: an investigation of survivor ideologies of marginalized Asian women

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Kwa, Gladys Siok-Hian
Zoller, Peter T.
Engber, Kimberly
Chang, Doris T.

Gladys Siok-Hian Kwa. (2012). The Handmaidens' Plight: An Investigation of Survivor Ideologies of Marginalized Asian Women. -- In Proceedings: 8th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p.90-91


Despite the traumatic ordeals experienced by marginalized Asian women, many have emerged triumphant despite inconceivable odds to proclaim their tragic narratives. Such desperate struggles beg the question: "What sustainable ideologies helped them to transcend their perpetrators' inhumane treatment?" This study investigates the oppressive experiences of a concubine, a comfort woman, and a woman warrior. This two-fold investigation of oppressive systems and women survivor ideologies employs three methodologies: the socio-historical, to understand repressive systems, the psychoanalytical, to assess psychological trauma, lastly, the autobiographical, to explore evolving identities. The investigation reveals the concubine’s accomplishments, the comfort woman’s inter-subjectivity, and the woman warrior’s selfhood. The study implicates societies’ collusion and perpetuation of hegemonic/monolithic ideologies. However, modern-day cousins continue to perpetuate women's subjugation.

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Paper presented to the 8th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Marcus Welcome Center, Wichita State University, April 18, 2012.
Research completed at the Department of English, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences