Chinese Women Should Be Re-cultured

For Shanghai Scrap’s post, here’s the link:-

The import of ultrasound and sex selective techniques into China should be viewed as any other import of science and technology. In my view, the West need not be apologetic for their role in bringing new science to China or Asia. At the heart of the matter, it is the sick culture of sex discrimination that should be examined and condemned by the universe.

During Shanghai Scrap’s interview with the book author, it is pointed out that decisions of sex-selective abortions are [ironically] made mostly by women, and that skewed sex ratio at birth tends to happen among educated women and in richer cities. Why are they making these perverted choices? It’s about “gaining face” and “earning respect” in the community, as the author finds out. But why on earth would a male offspring give parents more face and more respect than a female offspring? Isn’t education supposed to eliminate misconceptions and irrational dogmas? The only conclusion would seem to be that poisonous traditional beliefs are so overpowering that even education is incapable of eradicating.

I recall something a friend once told me. Her natural mother, being a concubine who grew up unhappily, abandoned in childhood by her parents and brought up by uncaring foster parents, tended to be verbally and physically abusive towards her. For this woman, pouring scorn and bitterness on her daughter and later on her ailing husband was almost as natural as breathing air.

In my own case, my grandmother used to exchange spiteful altercations with my mother almost on a daily basis, as she had been mistreated by her own mother-in-law in her younger days. From stories of other relatives and even in old Cantonese movies, embittered relationships between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are nothing new in Chinese community. The venom passes down from generation to generation among women. Where did all that hatred come from? Could it have come from the one thousand years of foot-binding pain? Or from the thousands of years of physical and emotional abuse and oppression by men under a cruel patriarchal and imperial system? What comes around goes around. The weak tend to take it out on the still weaker. This is the most tragic part of Chinese culture and Chinese society.

Of course not all Chinese women are trapped by hatred. In my friend’s story above, her father’s first wife, i.e. her stepmother, was a kind-hearted woman who treated her very kindly. My mother-in-law is a super forgiving, loving and tolerant person even though her late mother-in-law was a pain in the neck. There are lots of others too who are kind towards their own lot. But there are at least just as many who, like those interviewed by Hvistendahl, still somehow believe, in this 21st century, that boys are more worth giving birth to than girls, that male offspring would give them more “face” and better “status” than females. In the subconscious of these women, there must be an embedded dislike for women, which they have unfortunately been conditioned to harbor. They must really believe that girls are inferior to boys and thus may have a low esteem of themselves. These women may have inadvertently become the willing accomplices of male chauvinists and are a hindrance to progressive society.

If even education fails to convert these innate misogynists, what else can be done? But then, the stale education system in China as it is cannot really be expected to churn out open-minded individuals capable of critical thinking.

In their deliberate selection of a male fetus, misogynist mothers-to-be only show that they subscribe to male chauvinism because tradition calls for it, and that they are probably not very self-confident individuals. Absent a keen sense of self-sufficiency and self respect, can a woman really expect to gain better status in society by just giving birth to a son?