Dian Xiao

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Minor Feelings

This a mini review of Minor Feelings that I posted on Goodreads.

"Minor feelings occur when American optimism is enforced upon you, which contradicts your own radicalized reality, thereby creating a static of cognitive dissonance. You are told, 'Things are so much better,' while you think, Things are the same."
"I can tell you I have attracted all kinds of wild, vituperative behavior from white people I never play the role of compliant Asian woman."

These two quotes capture two struggles I have with my experience in the workplace and society. Your pessimism is unlikable and undesirable. People want you have the same happy optimism that your male coworker who has never been oppressed has.

Meanwhile, your fellow female coworker. She's been oppressed too, but she fights back with a tenacious aggression. She might be seen as mean but she works hard and gets shit done. She's a girl boss. You know you can't do the same thing since society sees your compliance as your defining trait. Without it, you are nothing.

While my life experiences are different from Cathy Park Hong. I feel similar feelings of anger and pain. To read this book is to feel my pain. If you don't like it, we probably can't be friends.