Chinese Women through Chinese Eyes

By Li Yu-Ning | Go to book overview

15
A Village Schoolteacher

Fu l-hsing

IT IS unfortunate to be born a woman, and more unfortunate to be born a Chinese woman. For several thousand years we've been secluded within the family, fettered by Confucianism (li-chiao). When we were young, we were daughters; when we grew up, wives; and when we got old, mothers. These three stages are all natural duties we ought to have, but all are a kind of parasitical existence, with no truly human life to speak of. If you look for the root cause, it is that women are not economically independent. And our only road to economic independence is getting jobs. If we want to gain a human existence, we must work to seek our economic independence.

I am a woman with a secondary education, and also a person who has been oppressed under the double standard. Many times I thought of leaving my jail-like existence, but I didn't dare because it would have been impossible for me to live independently. But later, with the help of a recommendation from a school friend, I did enter a school with a half-work, half-study program. However, in this kind of arrangement it isn't really possible both to work and to study. My wages at this school weren't even enough to cover my living expenses. Half-work and half-study is just too far-fetched an idea. With a lot of effort, I managed to work and study for a year, and later, through the recommendation of a fellow student, I came here to take a position in the local elementary school. Let me tell my sisters what has happened since I started this job.

This school is located in a remote rural area, not only cut off

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