SACRAMENTO, CA – The Hmong University Students Association (HUSA) of California State University, Sacramento will be honoring Hmong heritage this month by removing Hmong women from officer positions in the student association. Many of the students interpret this to be either the same practice or similar to only having Hmong men sitting at the table during the important discussion parts of traditional Hmong gatherings. This preliminary act will be followed by banning Hmong women from the student association entirely and eventually removing them from the university altogether.
Very Important Men Vote to Remove All Hmong Women from Position
Many other Hmong student associations have heard about this and will be doing the same. Colleges and universities with a high density of Hmong students in cities such as Madison, WI, Minneapolis, MN, Saint Paul, MN, and Fresno, CA will soon remove Hmong women from any positions they currently hold, and by the end of the month Hmong women will be indefinitely suspended until further notice. Some have taken this further and have stripped Hmong women of any degrees they may have already earned and in turn are given flower cloths, or paj ntaub, to make better use of their time.
The Hmong community seems to be responding to this very well. The staff over at Zaub Qaub (ZQ) unofficially sent out surveys to people who identify themselves as Hmong and are over the ages of 18. As many as 5,000 surveys have been returned, and surprisingly 98% of participants support removing Hmong women from office in student associations and suspending them from colleges and universities. All survey takers identified themselves as Hmong and male.
A group of Hmong women excited about trading in their degrees for flower cloth (paj ntaub).
Before being stripped of her title and degree, Doctor Pearl Her enlightened the staff at ZQ about the cultural significance of this practice. “The Hmong are unique people unlike any other ever seen before in human history,” says Her. “Many scholars and historians agree that up until the 1970s, Hmong people reproduced asexually as Hmong women did not yet exist. This process of removing Hmong women from power is well aligned with the values and heritage of Hmong people. These values can also be seen among other cultures, and in this predominantly Christian country the Hmong are pioneers of this modern practice. Religious schools will surely follow this example.”
We asked the former doctor, Pearl Her, what she thinks about her new life and she says that she enjoys it very well. She now works part-time as a waitress at Checkerbar Food and Liquor while also being a full time trophy wife. We over at ZQ are curious how the rest of you feel about this, please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. ■