We sweat and cry salt water, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood.
I am invited to speak, but only when I speak my pain (hooks, 1990). Instead, I speak of desire. Desire is a refusal to trade in damage; desire is an antidote, a medicine to damage narratives. Desire, however, is not just living in the looking glass; it isn’t a trip to opposite world. Desire is not a light switch, not a nescient turn to focus on the positive. It is a recognition of suffering, the costs of settler colonialism and capitalism, and how we still thrive in the face of loss anyway; the parts of us that won’t be destroyed.
— Eve Tuck and C. Ree, A Glossary of Haunting
the maile vine is a blog invested in Native feminist futures of the Pacific. Native feminist theories “make substantial advances in understandings of the connections between settler colonialism and both heteropatriarchy and heteropaternalism” and “focus on compound issues of gender, sexuality, race, indigeneity, and nation.” The Pacific is often understood as a feminized space, isolated from modernity, and welcoming, as Vernadette Gonzalez persuasively argues, the masculine political and economic security of the U.S. military and the tourist. Native feminisms and allied theories offer different frameworks for understanding the Pacific as far from pacified, most importantly through acknowledging Indigenous Pacific Islander histories and futures of our own making. Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous desires anchor our stories not in an “opposite world” free from colonialism, but in the roots of us that were never destroyed or forgotten; in the ocean that has always been in our blood.
I am the author of this blog. My name is Maile Arvin. I am a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Riverside in Ethnic Studies. I earned my Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at San Diego in June 2013. I am Native Hawaiian.
Read more about my scholarship at ucriverside.academia.edu/MaileArvin