Posts Tagged ‘Women’

From the December issue of "that's SHANGHAI" ... What better gift to give yourself for Christmas?

I seriously just found this yesterday.  Haha!

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I’ll admit, there were several things about being the woman in a marriage that never really appealed to me.  I used to love cleaning… until husband and I moved in together.  I grew up living with my mother, grandmother, and brother.  Great!  Three women to split up house chores, laundry, and cooking.  My brother, well… bless his heart… took advantage of all of that… hahaha!
Granted he had to deal with 3 women growing up, so I can’t say that I blame him…  He still takes advantage of it as an adult!  When we were back in Pittsburgh, he would come to our house, hang out, play video games with my husband…. AND bring his laundry for me to wash…  Then over Christmas this year in China,  my brother came to stay with us from South Korea (where he does research for his PhD in Electrical Engineering).  ….so what would you guess?!  He brought some dirty laundry for me to wash.  The reasoning?  We have a clothes dryer….  Granted, it takes over 2 hours to dry a load of laundry – and shrinks anything I leave in too long – but it is a DRYER!  Think about when you buy new towels or sheets…. They contain a crazy amount of lint every time you use them.  You dry yourself after a shower and feel like you need another shower to get rid of the fuzz that stuck to you the first time you showered.  I’ve always put towels through the washer/dryer a couple of times to alleviate the lint (and any remaining production chemicals & dyes).  …Fast forward to China…  It is NOT standard to use clothing dryers (AT ALL)… electricity is just way too expensive and most homes do not have a gas line like we do in the USA.  Fortunately, the company pays our electric bill so I have no issues running the dryer.  At first we had no towels and no sheets – – – and no dryer.   When you hang dry sheets & towels inside (only place we can do it), the lint gets everywhere.

This was before I invested in a vacuum cleaner…  It is a stupid follow-a-long with no rotating brushes.  I bought it at Metro in Qingdao… but guess what!  They don’t sell replacement bags for it!  And I could NOT find a distributor in China.   FIGURES.   Thankfully, husband’s boss was just back in the good ol’ USA so we were able to buy replacement bags for him to bring back over.

But I digress… between the lint and the cat hair from our dear little “piglets”, cleaning was D*** near impossible.  I wasn’t the first wife here to buy a dryer, and I’m sure I won’t be the last.

The funny thing – the store that sold (us wives) the dryers said they never sold ANY dryers until we showed up in Haiyang.  These things were special ordered from Qingdao and I had to wait 6 weeks for mine.  This time would have been prolonged if it weren’t for Miss Li, the owner of our property management company, who is VERY “well-connected” in our town.

Regardless, I have one, as well as a front loading washer to replace the provided one which tied our clothes in knots to destroy them…

Laundry Room

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Recently I finish reading The Good Earth, written by Pearl S. Buck in 1931.  It was recommended to me by my Aunt-In-Law, and I’m very glad I took her advice!  If you are interested in an accurate, unbiased portrayal of pre-revolutionary China, this is a must read.  It was also on Oprah’s Book Club List for 2004.

The story follows a poor farmer, Wang Lung, through daily life that includes manually working the land and taking care of his elderly father.  The relationship demonstrates the intense filial piety of old China.  When Wang Lung marries – he buys a slave from a local wealthy family.  This girl was a slave because her parents had sold her to the “Great House” for silver as they were so poor.  From the book’s portrayal, this seemed to be a common occurrence before Mao Zedong’s revolution.

Now,  I am hardly a feminist – but I cannot imagine a society where I am not free to make my own decisions, go to school, work, and be a contributing member of society.  Not only that, but get rewarded and recognized for said contributions.    I hope that the selling of daughters is no longer allowed – but I have read a few websites suggesting that women are being abducted and sold as slaves or wives.  In a 2009 article in the LA Times, Some Chinese parents say their babies were stolen for adoption, some rural Chinese claim their “illegal” children were taken from them by family planning authorities for adoption by Western families.

China has a less than admirable past when it comes to women’s rights and the value of women.  This is why the Gendercide that appears even today has caused the ratio of boys to girls born to rise to something around 120 boys born for every 100 girls, while the norm for industrialized countries is about 105 boys for every 100 girls (This value varies in different provinces).  China’s one child policy which makes it illegal for people in several parts of China to have more than one baby, the accessibility of ultrasounds, and the legality of abortions make this skewed ratio possible.

In a country that runs on a patriarchal lineage, there is going to be a large percentage of men at a marrying age that are completely unable to find a marriable woman.  Will this cause the selling of daughters or the abduction of women to go up?  How else can a man pass on his name and legacy?  And if he has no children, who will take care of him in his old age?  Times are changing, yes, and he may have enough money saved or enough assets in his home to provide monetarily for his future, but what of the poorer farmers and the factory workers?  According to a U.K. article:  China’s village of the bachelors: no wives in sight in remote settlement, this is already a problem in small rural villages.

It is highly favored to have boys instead of girls since the girl will marry and because part of the man’s family…  China needs to change their outlook on gender equality unless they want to wipe out the female population.

This is a very sad situation for a very proud nation of people.

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