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Where's Lysistrata? Taiwan’s Not-yet-dauntless Females - Part II

《吕西斯忒拉忒》在哪里?尚未大无畏的台湾女性 - 第二章

Guest article by KevinF

Kevin Fitzpatrick is copy editor and chief writer for Taiwan’s Yellow Fever, Foreign Moons, a blog managed by Shaun Bettinson. The blog explores Western-Taiwanese sexual and romantic relationships and sundry other cross-cultural matters.

Series Epigraph
“I want to tell her ‘Get over it.  And whatever you do, please don’t give us a third book about your relationship with your mother. Writing’s supposed to be cathartic, not fixating.’” – an American friend’s words after finishing Amy Tan’s second book, The Kitchen God’s Wife (1991)

Yellow Fever Foreign Moons

Art of Shena

Lysistrata and the Net; Every Fish Gets Caught

Many Taiwanese women are charming, polite, good-humored, intelligent, resourceful, and possess a great capacity to endure.  They can be tenacious in pursuit of educational or career goals, too.  Almost none are Lysistrata-dauntless, though. In twenty years in Taiwan, I’ve met only one who was: an ex-girlfriend.  “Boyfriend, boyfriend, boyfriend,” she exclaimed in disgust to her young work colleagues one day.  “Can’t you ever talk about something more substantial?”  Like what, they asked, astonished.  “Us as persons and our lives as women, not just as girlfriends,” she said, showing them a copy of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex.

More dauntless at 26 than any person I’d met anywhere, she dazzled her colleagues with her daring.  They begged her to take them with her to clubs, taking nights off from their boyfriends to tag along; and they limited boyfriend talk around her.  Given such magnetism, I thought she’d forever persevere, forever stay undaunted – but I was wrong.  “The society is like a giant net here,” she explained to me three years after we broke up.  “Every fish sooner or later gets caught.”
» Continue reading “Where’s Lysistrata? Taiwan’s Not-yet-dauntless Females – Part II” »

Some Weird Things Chinese Women Do After Giving Birth

中国女人产后做的一些怪事儿

Chinese postpartum womanAbout two months ago my friend Zeng gave birth to a baby daughter. Just like most Chinese girls she wanted to have a child immediately after getting married but there were some medical problems and it took few years before she finally became mother.

When I called to congratulate her, she just had finished the “zuo yue zi” (坐月子) – one month period from the childbirth during which Chinese young mothers follow a long list of strict rules.

“Jiaqi*, never again!” – complained Zeng – “I don’t care about the pain of delivery, but zuo yue zi… that’s too much”

* – Jiaqi is my Chinese name

Of course, I know the customs to which postpartum women in China obey, but I was curious to hear more from someone who just experienced them firsthand. What was so terrible about them?
» Continue reading “Some Weird Things Chinese Women Do After Giving Birth” »

Where’s Lysistrata? Taiwan’s Not-yet-dauntless Females - Part I

《吕西斯忒拉忒》在哪里?尚未大无畏的台湾女性 - 第一章

Guest article by KevinF

Kevin Fitzpatrick is copy editor and chief writer for Taiwan’s Yellow Fever, Foreign Moons, a blog managed by Shaun Bettinson. The blog explores Western-Taiwanese sexual and romantic relationships and sundry other cross-cultural matters.

Series Epigraph
“I want to tell her ‘Get over it.  And whatever you do, please don’t give us a third book about your relationship with your mother. Writing’s supposed to be cathartic, not fixating.’” – an American friend’s words after finishing Amy Tan’s second book, The Kitchen God’s Wife (1991)

Yellow Fever Foreign Moons

Artwork of Shena

Instrumentality and Fixation

“What do you think our biggest problem in Taiwan is?” my Chinese-language teacher asked.

I blinked, shifting back in my chair.  “I don’t know,” I said.  “I’ve only been here six weeks.”

She was already on to her answer, though. “I think we’re too easily satisfied.”

My ex-teacher meant everything:  living spaces, quality of service, manners, education system, government, boss-employee relations, depth of conversation between friends, and, most of all … … …

A couple years later, her mother was dying. “She’s never told me she loves me,” my now-ex- teacher said.  “I want more than anything to hear it.  It’s what I need more than anything else.”

“Why not tell her you love her and keep repeating it if she looks away?  And not get angry if she says nothing or at any dismissive words she says?  Even if you don’t get what you want, won’t you be saving your own life by doing your best on what matters most to you?”

“No,” she said, abstracted, misty-eyed, shaking her head. “No. No.”
» Continue reading “Where’s Lysistrata? Taiwan’s Not-yet-dauntless Females – Part I” »

Ten Stories About Materialistic Chinese Girls

十个关于中国女孩物质至上的故事

Chinese Girl and MoneyWhat kind of impression do people have about Chinese girls? Some time ago I wrote a post summarizing the most widespread adjectives used by foreigners to describe us. It’s not surprise that in the poll (included in that post) most readers regarded Chinese girls as beautiful. People who think otherwise possibly wouldn’t visit my blog.

However, “beauty” didn’t make the voters blind to some unpleasant characteristics and the second, third and fourth places went to “insecure”, “gold-digger” and “immature” females. I assume that this impression partly comes from personal experience. But in many cases it is formed through sharing anecdotes with friends and reading weird stories on internet.

Imagine a man who never had a chance to communicate with any Chinese girl. What impression would he have if his only source of information was internet? I bet that in my poll he would choose the option “gold diggers”.
» Continue reading “Ten Stories About Materialistic Chinese Girls” »

Top Ten Chinese Cities With Beautiful Girls – Revisited

重现中国十大城市的美女
Making of a Chinese Girl

Computerized portrait of Chinese Girl (by Ke Weilin)

More than one year ago Chinahush published a translation of article which graded 10 Chinese cities with the most beautiful girls. For each city there was a photograph of some well-known Chinese woman who comes from it.

But how can any city prove its right to be featured in such list? Picture of one girl is surely not enough ;-)

Thus, I decided to revisit the original list and use the image morphing technique in order to make the girls’ composite portraits for every mentioned city. This is the same technique used by the Korean plastic surgeon who created the composite beautiful faces of females belonging to different races.

Before you see the results, let me describe how the pictures themselves were done.
» Continue reading “Top Ten Chinese Cities With Beautiful Girls – Revisited” »

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