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Seven dimensions of life, seven dimensions of women's survival

来源:文汇报 08:01, September 13, 2019 Source: Wen Wei Po

Yao Lu

When talking about feminism, we can easily fall into three misunderstandings:

One is to judge the status of women in the entire world by the environment in which we live. For example, many people living in the first-tier cities of China who are relatively equal always "don't hear things outside the window." They think that the discussion of feminism is a disease-free moan because "we are already equal." But in fact, the situation of women's rights in many parts of the world is so terrible that it's chilling or even staggering.

The second is to narrowly compare your area with a specific area and draw a superficial conclusion. For example, after watching a few films reflecting the status of women in India or the Middle East, we have reached conclusions such as "our women do not wear headscarves and can go out at night alone, so they have a high status and a happy life". But in fact, we can't always be keen to get happiness from downward comparison, because we are also at a certain stage in the women's affirmative movement, and there are still many issues to be discussed and resolved.

The third is to look only at superficial phenomena and not to detect many hidden "inequality", and to consciously or unconsciously contribute to these "inequality". For example, Chinese women at first glance have higher employment rates than some other countries, but the discussion and demand for "balanced career and family" actually puts women into a "false equality trap." For example, the eagerness to "beautiful and young" also means that the society is aesthetically unitary, meaning that women have only a short period of "golden time", and their own value does not increase with time. For men, age But it is not the pressure of "Taishan peak", men can deal with the process of "getting older" more freely.

These three misunderstandings remind us that the feminist situation in our society and the feminist theories we recognize may not be representative or correct.

Today, women's lives vary widely around the world. More than 100 years ago, in Paris, France, where feminist pioneer and philosopher Beauvoir lived, "good women" were not allowed to go out at night. And more than 100 years later, Indian society still generally believes that women should not go out alone at night. In some parts of Africa, even female excision is fashionable. Time seems to be moving forward, but how many regions in the world are not even as good as Paris more than 100 years ago?

How can we stand on the whole and look at the issue of women's rights more comprehensively, objectively and rationally? Personal life circles and experience are ultimately limited, and we often have to use reading, movies, documentaries, travel and other forms to learn more about lifestyles and ideas. The book "Housewives, Dancers, and Pastors: The Story of Women in the Seven Kingdoms" provides us with a dimension of the cognitive world. When Japanese, Egyptian, and Indian women were still balancing their family and personal lives, they began to try to look for social identity and self-realization while taking care of the whole family. French women had already subconsciously did not want to be consumed by "feminine beauty." Through this book, we can peep at leopards and see the diversity of the world.

This book does not select well-known women with extraordinary achievements. Instead, it selects an ordinary woman in each of the seven countries with very different feminist conditions to show their stories and ideas. This is also a documentary photography collection. After each story, there is a set of photographs that show readers their daily lives. Images and words complement each other to form seven plump individuals.

Although at first glance we all live in the same world, in fact, the concepts of different regions can be very different, and the differences are so incredible that each other is incredible.

For example, Japanese society generally equates women's marriage with happiness, and believes that women should resign after marriage and teach their children at home. When a society defines a certain lifestyle as "universal" and "normal", it is equivalent to depriving women of their right to choose, because if they choose to continue working after marriage, criticism and even harassment will follow. Aside from boring theoretical analysis, we can cross the region, look at the lifestyle on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, and then rethink-is this "chain" that has bound countless Japanese women really "normal"?

In New York, a city where people's identity tags can be removed, women are no longer a stereotyped group. The distinction between men and women will not be emphasized. Women are free to choose their own careers and lifestyles. She has the same rights as men to pursue the "American Dream".

But in India, we will find that even relatively open and respectful families of daughters still require their daughters to go home before dark and keep a certain distance from men. As the book states: "In India, most women follow the traditional family arrangements and stay at the status quo, from daughters, wives, mothers to grandmothers, and logically complete the transformation of all identity roles in life. Humble social status Let them be busy all their lives, but ignore themselves. "You know, the identities of" daughter "," wife "," mother "and" grandmother "are all based on relationships with others, which also reveals the current situation in these areas where women's rights are very bad ——Women exist only as a "second sex" attached to others, not as an independent "person" who does not depend on others.

In Egypt, the chaos in the domestic situation in recent years has left women confused about how to find a suitable position in terms of personal, workplace, family, society and religion. Even women who are still working hard after marriage have to admit: "If you want to change the world, do it before marriage, because after marriage you have no right to change the TV channel."

The survival of women in these areas is sighing, but in France, we found that "gender equality" has been considered a topic of the last century. The girls here subconsciously distance themselves from the topic of "feminine beauty" and prevent "being consumed". They are more inclined to see themselves with their own eyes than to judge themselves through the judgment system set by others.

When we are trapped and hesitant by some inherent ideas, we might as well take a journey through this book, stand on a higher dimension, understand the world, and then re-examine ourselves and our own choices.

Throughout the history of feminist development over a short period of more than 100 years, we will find that at first, people thought that women could only stay at home and could not go to school for education; later, girls could also get good grades and get a degree certificate in school. ; Later, women can also perform many jobs in the society, and accomplish successful careers. Driven by the wheel of history, our vision has been gradually opened, and we increasingly recognize that gender can not become a shackle, and our choices are becoming more and more diverse.

Fromm said in Escaping Freedom: "Modern people live in hallucinations. He thinks he knows what he wants, but what he wants is actually what others want him to. To make everyone accept this truth, we must realize that figuring out what one really wants is not as easy as most people think, but one of the biggest problems that people must solve. "

For women in a society where stereotypes and social expectations are very strong, they should be more alert to the expectations imposed on them by the outside world. If society ’s expectations of women are “beauty, gentle, cute, sensible, virtuous, etc.”, then such women are likely to just “shape” themselves in accordance with social expectations. In order to get rid of the expectations imposed on women by this particular society, we should expand our horizons, disrupt inherent cognition, understand our own narrowness, re-examine our social environment with logic and reason, and listen to our inner voice, It is not to paralyze ourselves with the so-called "everyone is this", "this is our traditional culture".

After all, that's what the famous motto "Know Yourself" at the Temple of Delphi in Greece says. By reading the stories of strangers thousands of miles away, we can reflect on a higher dimension and make better choices for our lives.


(Responsible editor: Ou Yunhai)

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