Judy Wu, associate professor of women's studies and history at Ohio State University, explored the '70s feminist movements in Vietnam protesting the war.
In a lecture Tuesday, Wu
noted that the movements, which originated in Vietnam and then spread to the United States, gave rise not only to feminist movements in Southeast Asia but also collaboration between feminists from Asia and the Western world.
"These feminist movements changed everything," Wu
"It used to be that women and men couldn't apply for the same jobs or even attend the same universities."
The central principle of the '70s movement was that women were as capable of achievement and influence as men, Wu
The idea remains relevant 40 years later in modern society.
"Duke women truly are reaping the benefits of the feminist movement," Wu
Several audience members expressed gratitude and support for Wu's
is doing very important work," Hesford said.
"What Professor Wu's work gets at is that feminism was not necessarily a gift from the West to the East," he said.
"The VMU were interested in face-to-face interactions and how that affected global sisterhood and internationalism," Wu
In Vietnam, the rise of women's involvement in efforts to stop the war by joining the fight and participating in guerilla warfare gave way to female empowerment in the country.
Such progress inspired Asian-American women to catalyze their own social movements.
"Asian-American women were effectively invisible before the war," Wu
"They had to move ahead without the help from any institutions or organizations."
encourages Duke students to learn from the strategies used by the VMU and feminists in Europe and the U.S. to continue to redefine feminism today.
"We should use the strategies of the '70s feminist movements to get people to think," Wu