April 26th, 2007
Here’s the response to my last blog about CSUN’s Filipino Club’s “Pimp and Ho” Fundraiser.
Response from FASA President.
RE: CSUN FASA “Pimp and Ho” Clubbing Fundraiser
From: Justin Tanthanasiridej
Dear Kristina Wong,
I would like to apologize for the offensive nature of the fundraising flyer. CSUN FASA would never knowingly exploit Asian American women in a demeaning, racist or sexist way.
I truly apologize for what the club posted on the flyer. We were never offered the opportunity to participate in the production or delivery of the flyer.
In the future, we will review any flyers and promotional advertising that involves our organization to prevent future misrepresentations. I should have reviewed and researched the promotion. FASA will not support any future events with the company.
My intentions were not meant to offend or demean the Asian American women population and CSUN FASA is also in no way of trying to exploit the Asian American women.
CSUN FASA is a long-standing, reputable campus organization. CSUN FASA promotes cultural events that promote the cause of justice and equality. Both SPAHM and Filipino Cultural Night are award winning annual student presentations. All our members are volunteer participants from a diverse range of experiences.
And my response…..
I thank you for your prompt and civil response to my email. I know that many young college students, especially ones that embrace being characterized as “pimps” would respond less civilly by sending people to my house to give me “a beat down.” I appreciate that you are a cut above the other pimps. You are after all, the FASA President and a young community leader.
Here are some responses I have to your responses.
I appreciate that you say that “FASA will not support any future events with the company” but the question remains: Will FASA be participating, promoting or profiting from Thursday’s “Pimp and Ho” party? If FASA is still actively promoting, participating, and profiting off of this Thursday’s “Pimp and Ho Event,” then there still seems to be a very large problem with your logic that FASA “in no way…(is) trying to exploit the Asian American women.”
And therefore, there would still be a big problem. Luckily, you still have time between today and tomorrow to withdraw FASA’s commitment and support of the event and prevent further backlash from the community at large.
Do you acknowledge that it is not just the flyer design that is problematic, but the “Pimp and Ho” theme of the whole night is problematic?
Do you also acknowledge that a “Pimp and Ho” themed night is not the most appropriate or tasteful tactic to fundraise for your organization?
While you say your intentions “were not meant to offend or demean the Asian American women population” you still forwarded the flyer quite publicly via cyberspace without any disclaimers or apologies to the flyer content. It was as if you didn’t even realize anything was wrong with the flyer until I wrote you. Did you have any conflicted feelings when you first saw the flyer? Was it only when you got my email that you realized that something was wrong? Why send the apology so late?
Why didn’t you think to pull out of the event or request a different flyer be created? After all, it is your fundraiser, and your club is bringing a crowd, you can’t be all that helpless in the matter.
I find it problematic that the President of a club whose mission is to “promote the cause of justice and equality” missed something so offensive. Will you acknowledge publicly that as the FASA president, you contradicted the mission of your club by not having a problem being part of this fundraiser and carelessly forwarding a flyer that many women find offensive?
I also think it’s interesting that you said, “CSUN FASA would never knowingly exploit Asian American women in a demeaning, racist or sexist way.” What the hell is wrong with you that you didn’ t “know” that this was demeaning, racist or sexist? Does your mother, sister, cousin, grandmother look like the women on that flyer? Are they “hos”? Is that why you didn’t bat an eye when you saw it? Is that why you didn’t know it was demeaning?
Will you acknowledge that you, Justin Tanthanasiridej and FASA could benefit from some diversity and gender sensitivity training so that you can better spot OBVIOUS sexism and racism in the future? So that you will KNOWINGLY see and stop sexist and demeaning fundraisers from happening?
Will you pledge to make an active step to unlearn your own internalized sexism and the other internalized oppressions that allowed you to even let this happen in the first place? So it doesn’t happen again and hurt so many people?
What steps will FASA take, aside from this email to me, to repair the damage done by your participation in this event? Will you issue a public apology? Will you pledge to create more thoughtful and empowering women-centered programming in the future? What will those programs be? Will you consider working closer to advisors at the Matador Involvement Center and the Women’s Resource Center to make better decisions in the future?
P.S. Also, I have CC’d, as before, the editorial staff at the CSUN Sundial, professors at CSUN, the Matador Involvement Center staff, local community artists and activists, and others who are very interested in how you have to respond to this matter.
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Category: csun fasa pimp and ho party fundraiser Justin Tanthanasiridej
April 25th, 2007
Leilani forwarded me this information about this fundraiser for CSUN’s FASA (Filipino American Student Association).
Here’s the email text that comes with it…
Come and party with CSUN FASA for our clubbing fundraiser at Level 3 called “Dulce.” The event is 18 and over, dress code strictly enforced, and a costume contest. If you guys and your friends do go please let the guys at the door know that you are with CSUN FASA. Please come out and support us at our fundraiser event. Did I mention that Hilary Duff might be there for her album release party?
Hope to see you all there,
Justin Tanthanasiridej President Spring 2007 CSUN FASA
And the flyer… (it says “Pimp and Ho” edition under “Dulce”)
And of course… my response below. Aaahh… There’s nothing I need more in my life than having 200 angry Filipinos from Northridge coming after me for trying to shut down their fundraiser.
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: CSUN FASA “Pimp and Ho” Clubbing Fundraiser
Dearest Justin Tanthanasiridej,
I was recently forwarded a flyer for your “Pimp and Ho fundraiser” for FASA (Filipino American Students Association). I regret that I cannot go but I had to write and commend you on your wonderful fundraising strategy. When I was a member of Asian American student organizations in college, our fundraisers were so tame in comparison. We sold t-shirts and cookies. At our socials we invited community activists to speak and put on culture nights shows. (You know, stuff that we thought would help cultivate a united Asian American community and would instill a healthy sense of cultural pride.). BORING!
Had we had your idea of reinforcing sexism, racism, and classism AND charging for it–Man! We would have made so much more money! Here we were nickel and diming it by doing things that were “positive” when we could have just sold out the very same Asian sisters we intended to empower in our clubs!
Had we used your tactics, the current sky-high rates of suicide among Asian American women would probably have gone way down! Nothing is more empowering than seeing an image of a surgically enhanced Asian woman in a bikini with the word “ho” accompanying it! I bet the women in your club are ecstatic to finally be represented the way strong Pinay women need to be.
What’s so brilliant about this “Pimp and Ho” idea is that you really give people a dose of the homeland. The real P.I.! The Philippines is notorious for sex trafficking and sex tourism. What better way for your Filipino club to share the rich culture of the Philippines than by exploiting women here at home? As president of your club, you must be really proud that the women of FASA (they are part of this fundraiser are they not?) are allowing people to not just see them as the sex slaves that so many Filipina women escape to America to become more than—but full on HOs!!!
What’s great is that your fundraiser involves “Barkada Modern” Dance. I really hope that this dance involves the girls shooting ping pong balls out of their cooches. Just like in present day Thailand! It would be so appropriate for the evening. So modern.
So often, Asian Americans stage letter writing campaigns against the radio stations, networks, t-shirt companies, politicians, corporations, historically white fraternities etc that have depicted Asian Americans as weak, subservient butts of jokes. Your “Pimp and Ho” fundraiser is proof that those days are long behind us! If fellow Asian Americans, especially student organizations that are founded (presumably) with the intention of instilling and sharing cultural pride don’t have a problem putting down Asian women and making money off of them, then why should the rest of the world?
How much are you making off of ticket sales for this party? Cut to the chase! Why not make more money and charge for handjobs and lapdances? Like a real Philippines brothel! I’m sure the women of your club don’t mind taking pennies on the dollar and giving the rest to FASA. I know that in the Philippines, many of the women in sex clubs are enslaved, so even if your women get two cents to the dollar, you’d still be treating them better than what they’d get overseas.
So some final questions….
I see Hilary Duff might be there. (Wow! At a FASA fundraiser? You guys are huge!) Will she be giving handjobs? I noticed her album is called “Dignity,” so maybe not. Too bad. She’ s hot.
I saw that it’s a “costume contest.” If I come dressed as a fat balding white guy, will you let me buy one of your female club members as my new mail order bride? I’ll pay top dollar.
If this goes well will you consider taking the “Pimp and Ho” idea further and perhaps charge an hourly rate for FASA outcall work? Run the idea by your female members, I think they’d be into it.
Since the Asian sex trade also involves young boys, would you consider pimping yourself out? I know some older men who’d love to tap that sweet brown ass of yours.
Asian American student clubs like yours are usually founded to mobilize against racism. In fact, if you look at the history of why many Asian American student organizations come together, it’s usually in direct response to pre- and post- civil rights racial injustice.
But heck! Why fight against oppression when you can be part of it? Thanks for showing the world that it’s good to be different.
P.S. Have you looked at CSUN’s “Code of Ethics”? It’s located here. http://www.csun.edu/getinvolved/clubs_orgs/micDoc/CodeOfEthics0607.pdf
It’s so good to know that the “Pimp and Ho” party “reflects the mission of the university…” and “helps students realize their educational goals.” I know I have a much clearer vision of CSUN and would love for my children to CSUN and one day be part of a FASA fundraiser.
P.P.S. To show you how much I commend you for your innovative fundraising strategy, I am CC’ing the staff at the Matador Involvement Center so that they will know how hard you are working.
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Category: csun fasa pimp and ho party fundraiser Justin Tanthanasiridej