Sunday, May 11, 2008

Nocturne: Mothers

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I secretly planned to stay at school until the dorms closed. After a couple weeks of hanging around with the family, I couldn’t accustom myself to the slow pace of home. College was moving, exciting. Funny how I ended up being the first person back home out of all my suitemates.

If we decided to wage a war against our moms, moms would win without using nuclear bombs or using unmanned surveillance technology. No, their strategy is much more fundamental – it attacks basic needs. Cut off the homemade food supply, let the mundane college food collect its toll. Keep communications to a minimum during exams so that your child doesn’t know how you are and cannot use you as a source of procrastination.

Surrendering wasn’t hard. No one can live without food and love.

That’s my mom – reeling me in with 돼지보쌈, 된장찌개, and the latest gossip on the antics of Korean housewives she meets at her English school (the gossip is worthy of a blog entry – stay tuned). With mouthfuls of 김치 and the assortment of 반찬 that she has prepared, all I can do is nod to her sarcastic criticisms of Korean mothers. Defeat is tasteful and enjoyable.

I found this rather touching article about single mothers in China dealing with their own set of hardships.

“When we argue that a woman owns the uterus, and it’s her right to decide whether to deliver the baby or not, people won’t buy it,” said Yuan Xin, director of psychology at the Consulting Center of Nankai University. “If you are a woman, your personal choice is monitored and supervised by a lot of others, and they expect you to do what everyone else does.”

How frustrating it must be to be a strong woman in China. If you’re trying to make yourself into a 职业女性,society calls you 女强人 or 三八。 We can all remind ourselves through the lyrical genius of Oveous Maximus:
“Picture 270 days – 270 days where bones lift and organs shift to make room in the womb for you and I the future generation ‘cuz when you’re born it’s appreciation…‘don’t cut off the hand that feeds you,’ but we do when we oppress women on so many levels, our perceptions of them less than equal…a woman’s leche is pure…pure like my mother for raising two boys single with two jobs trying to make singles just to put food on the table…the way I see it, this will always be a man’s world, under a woman’s supervision.”

Some suggestions to all Light Fellows and travelers: Get a webcam. Set up Skype for your mother and teach her how to use it so that you she can worry less about you while you’re in China. Hug her…and eat her food while you can.

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Kelly McLaughlin said...

Great post!

Jing said...

first of all, 职业女性和三八是不同的两个概念....




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