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I am grateful to Setsu Shigematsu and Keith Camacho for inviting this chapter as a contribution to this important volume. An early version of this chapter was pre- sented at the ninth Pacifi c History Association Conference in Christchurch, New Zealand, in December 1992. It was subsequently published as “bikinis and other s/pacifi c n/oceans,” in Th e Contemporary Pacifi c 6, no 1 (1994): 87–109 and was re- printed in David Hanlon and Geoff rey M. White, ed., Voyaging the Contemporary Pacifi c by Rowman & Littlefi eld in 2000. Although the chapter has been edited for this volume, it is important to note that information, sources, and analysis in this chapter are specifi c to the temporal context of its production and publication. I accept responsibility for any and all remaining problems.

Shigematsu, S., & Camacho, K. L. (Eds.). (2010). Militarized currents : Toward a decolonized future in asia and the pacific. University of Minnesota Press. Created from sfsu on 2022-10-21 03:56:35.

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28 · TERESIA K. TEAIWA

1. Stewart Firth, Nuclear Playground (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1987), ix. 2. Suliana Siwatibau and B. David Williams, A Call to a New Exodus: An Anti- Nuclear Primer for Pacifi c People (Suva, Fiji: Lotu Pasifi ka Productions, 1982). 3. “Testing Continues on the Polynesian Islands,” New World Times, Winter 1990, 29. 4. “France Suspends Nuclear Testing until 1993,” San Jose Mercury News, April 9, 1992, 17a. 5. Giff Johnson, “Marshall Islands: Politics in the Marshall Islands,” in Mi- cronesian Politics, ed. Ron Crocombe (Suva, Fiji: University of the South Pacifi c, 1988), 67–85. 6. Firth, Nuclear Playground. 7. Robert C. Kiste, Th e Bikinians: A Study in Forced Migration (Menlo Park, Calif.: Cummings, 1974), 27. 8. Ibid., 18. Bikinians fi rst encountered Christian missionaries in 1908. 9. Ibid., 28. 10. John Stone, Radio Bikini: A Film (Carmel, Calif.: Pacifi c Arts Corps, 1988), 88. Th e U.S. forces observed the tests from the edges of a twenty-mile perimeter around ground zero. Th e eff ects of radioactive exposure on the observers have not been acknowledged by the U.S. government. In Stone’s fi lm, a former naval corps member talks about the life-threatening physical ailments affl icting him since he observed the tests. 11. Ibid. 12. Firth, Nuclear Playground. 13. Laura Hyun-Yi Kang has pointed out that the ease with which the colonial United States dislocated the Bikinians arose out of its generalization of islands— “one island is just like another”—and its denial of the subjectivity of colonized others (personal communication, 1992). 14. Micronesian Support Committee, Marshall Islands: A Chronology, 1944– 1978 (Honolulu, Hawai‘i: Micronesia Support Committee, 1978). 15. Firth, Nuclear Playground. 16. Johnson, “Marshall Islands.” 17. Ibid. 18. Graeme Donald, Th ings You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know (St. Leonard’s, Australia: Unwin, 1985). 19. Prudence Glynn, Skin to Skin: Eroticism in Dress (New York: Oxford Uni- versity Press, 1982), 96. Most of Glynn’s feminist analysis may seem moralistic and somewhat simplistic, but it has a certain political eff ectiveness. Other aspects of her discussion are more nuanced, including her attention to male fashion and fashion’s relationship to church and state.

Shigematsu, S., & Camacho, K. L. (Eds.). (2010). Militarized currents : Toward a decolonized future in asia and the pacific. University of Minnesota Press. Created from sfsu on 2022-10-21 03:56:35.

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BIKINIS AND OTHER S/PACIFIC N/OCEANS · 29

20. Anne Hollander, “Swimsuits Illustrated,” American Heritage, July–August 1990, 58, emphasis added. 21. When the French fi rst introduced the bikini bathing suit to the United States, models were reportedly uneasy about their tops slipping off , their bottoms hitching up, and their pallid skin being exposed. See “Th e Trouble with the Bi- kini,” Life, no. 27, 1949, 65–66. 22. Craig Owens, “Th e Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism,” in Th e Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, ed. Hal Foster (Seattle, Wash.: Bay Press, 1983), 59. 23. Jane Caputi, “Th e Metaphors of Radiation: Or, Why a Beautiful Woman Is Like a Nuclear Power Plant,” Women’s Studies International Forum 14, no. 5 (1991): 426. 24. Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 1978). Incidentally, the South Seas was sometimes confl ated with the Orient or “East” by seventeenth- century Europeans. As Bernard Smith observes, a contemporary reviewer of the pantomime Omai wrote, “Th is pantomime is founded on an Eastern tale”; he also described a Tahitian marae in the pantomime as a “repository for the bodies of the Eastern kings in Otaheite” (93). Bernard Smith, European Vision and the South Pacifi c, 1768–1850 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1960). Such confl ations illus- trate just how randomly and generically Europeans imagined their exotic “others.” 25. John Berger has discussed how a ruling class mystifi es history by making art inaccessible to the general populace (11). John Berger, Ways of Seeing (London: Penguin Books, 1972). Th is chapter works on a variation of his thesis: when the general populace sees so much of the bikini, history is still mystifi ed. 26. Smith, European Vision and the South Pacifi c, 1768–1850, 25. 27. Glynn, Skin to Skin, 96. 28. CBS’s Entertainment Tonight featured a series on the bikini that included stories on people who had made fortunes either by designing and marketing the bikini or by promoting beach bikini contests (November 8, 1991). Th e “ideal” fe- male bodies displayed in bikinis in this series become generic commodities for the titillation of a male gaze and the enticement of a female consumer. 29. ABC’s A Current Aff air (November 27, 1991) reported on a confl ict be- tween female employees and the Stroh’s Corporation over the company’s use of a “Swedish” bikini team in its beer advertisements. 30. On ABC’s family sitcom series Growing Pains, the adolescent character, Ben Seaver, has a poster of bikini-clad women in his bedroom. Th e poster is en- titled “Island Girls,” but all of the women are white. 31. Emily Apter, Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the-Century France (New York: Cornell University Press, 1991). 32. Sigmund Freud, Th e Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works (London: Hogarth Press, 1961), 153–55.

Shigematsu, S., & Camacho, K. L. (Eds.). (2010). Militarized currents : Toward a decolonized future in asia and the pacific. University of Minnesota Press. Created from sfsu on 2022-10-21 03:56:35.

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30 · TERESIA K. TEAIWA

33. For a psychoanalytic discussion of the bomb, see Brian Easlea, Father- ing the Unthinkable: Masculinity, Scientists and the Nuclear Arms Race (Concord, Mass.: Pluto Press, 1983); for a feminist critique of military strategic discourse, see Carol Cohn, “Clean Bombs and Clean Language,” in Women, Militarism, and War: Essays in History, Politics, and Social Th eory, ed. Jean Bethke Elshtain and Sheila Tobias (Savage, Md.: Rowman & Littlefi eld, 1990), 33–55. 34. Terry Eagleton, Literary Th eory: An Introduction (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983), 190. 35. Freud, Th e Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works, 154. 36. My use of Marxist analysis here is superfi cial; Marx’s earlier work on alien- ation and the transformative power of money might inform my analysis diff er- ently, but I have focused only on the fi rst volume of Capital. Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1, trans. Edan and Cedar Paul (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1962). 37. Apter, Feminizing the Fetish, 12. 38. Barbara Christian, “Th e Race for Th eory,” in Gender and Th eory: Dialogues on Feminist Criticism, ed. Linda Kauff man (New York: Basil Blackwell, 1987), 233. 39. Elizabeth Spellman, Th e Inessential Woman: Th e Problems of Exclusion in Feminist Th ought (Boston: Beacon Press, 1988). 40. Spellman demonstrated the shortcomings of feminist theories that con- struct sexism and racism as separate and unequal processes of oppression (ibid., 117). Pacifi c Island female activists and academics seem to approach colonialist rac- ism and sexism as coterminal forces. See Laura Marie Torres Souder, Daughters of the Island: Contemporary Chamorro Women Organizers on Guam (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1992); and Haunani-Kay Trask, “Fighting the Battle of Double Colonization: Th e View of an Hawaiian Feminist,” Ethnies, Human Rights and Tribal Peoples: Renaissance in the Pacifi c 4, no. 8–10 (1989): 61–67. 41. Teresia K. Teaiwa, “Microwomen: US Colonialism and Micronesian Women Activists,” in Pacifi c History: Papers from the 8th Pacifi c History Associa- tion Conference, ed. Donald H. Rubinstein (Mangilao, Guam: University of Guam, 1992), 125–42; and Meikam Weera, “Palau Trusteeship Council Petition,” Inter- national Work Group for Indigenous Aff airs Newsletter, September–October 1991, 28–29. 42. NFIP in its turn supports indigenous women’s organizing; for example, it cosponsored the conference “Wahine Maoli: Sisters in Solidarity” for native Hawaiian and American Indian women at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, March 8, 1992. 43. Historically, missionaries and colonial agents worked closely, as in the case of Hawai‘i; contemporarily, the lines between church and state have been blurred, for example, in the legislative and legal battles over abortion in predominantly Catholic Guam and in Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka’s claiming of divine inspiration for a two-year period of martial law in Fiji.

Shigematsu, S., & Camacho, K. L. (Eds.). (2010). Militarized currents : Toward a decolonized future in asia and the pacific. University of Minnesota Press. Created from sfsu on 2022-10-21 03:56:35.

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BIKINIS AND OTHER S/PACIFIC N/OCEANS · 31

44. According to Hempenstall and Rutherford, the earliest missionaries to the Pacifi c Islands were Spanish Jesuits who landed on Guam in 1668 (98). Peter Hempenstall and Noel Rutherford, Protest and Dissent in the Colonial Pacifi c (Apia, Sāmoa: University of the South Pacifi c, 1984). 45. In European Vision and the South Pacifi c, Smith explains that the Duff , a vessel enlisted for a British Methodist project, embarked for Tahiti in 1796, mark- ing the beginning of the second and most extensive wave of missionary eff orts in the Pacifi c (104). 46. As Woolford explains, missionaries and colonial offi cials imposed a hier- archy of clothing on native people: shoes were denied to many Islanders as they had been to African American slaves; Papuan men were expected to wear short trousers or laplaps but would be penalized, usually by fl ogging, for donning a shirt (9–10). Don Woolford, “Blacks, Whites, . . . and the Awful Press,” New Guinea and Australia, Southwest Asia and the Pacifi c Islands, January 1974, 4–25. 47. Tunumafono Apelu Aiavao, “Who’s Playing Naked Now? Religion and Sa- moan Culture,” Pacifi c Perspective 12, no. 2 (1983): 9. 48. An idea to create a marine park out of Bikini lagoon and the twenty-one vessels sunk during the 1946 atomic tests received publicity in the 1990s. Needless to say, the transformation of “a nuclear graveyard” into a tourist site that might generate revenues for Bikinians seems both symbolically and materially bankrupt. See John L. Eliot, “In Bikini Lagoon Life Th rives a Nuclear Graveyard,” National Geographic, June 1992, 70–82. 49. Firth, Nuclear Playground, 133. 50. Ibid. 51. Ibid., 134. 52. Ibid. For a history of Indonesian policy in West Papua, see Carmel Bu- diardjo and Liem Soei Liong, West Papua: Th e Obliteration of a People (Surrey, United Kingdom: TAPOL, the Indonesian Human Rights Campaign, 1988). 53. For this reason NFIP has formed alliances with Pacifi c-Rim groups in Japan and Canada. See Firth, Nuclear Playground. 54. See South Pacifi c Commission, South Pacifi c Economies Statistical Sum- mary (Noumea, New Caledonia: South Pacifi c Commission, 1993). 55. Kiste, Th e Bikinians, 198.

Shigematsu, S., & Camacho, K. L. (Eds.). (2010). Militarized currents : Toward a decolonized future in asia and the pacific. University of Minnesota Press. Created from sfsu on 2022-10-21 03:56:35.

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Shigematsu, S., & Camacho, K. L. (Eds.). (2010). Militarized currents : Toward a decolonized future in asia and the pacific. University of Minnesota Press. Created from sfsu on 2022-10-21 03:56:35.

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