This quote from The House on Mango Street caught my attention, even though I read this page two weeks ago, I still think about it.
“She [great-grandmother] was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse–which is supposed to be bad luck if you’re born female–but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexicans don’t like their women strong (Sandra Cisneros 10).”
Being an Asian American girl, this quote resonated with me because I was able to connect her words with my life. Asian women in Eastern culture are expected to be submissive and compliant to be considered feminine or a “good” women/girl. I’m lucky enough to be raised with western ideals where I can voice my opinion and be independent, but I still encounter hurdles every now and then. My earliest memory of this was learning how to whistle when I was 6. I practiced for weeks and when I finally got it, I was so proud I showed off to my grandma. In response, she scolded me and said whistling was only for boys, I had to be quiet and she forbid me to whistle ever again. (That was the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard and of course that never stopped me) Or when I wanted to try karate at 6 like my brother, I was discouraged by my parents and put into ballet instead. I was called “bossy” or “too aggressive” when I was younger because sometimes I wanted to lead games. My parents taught my brother to be assertive, strong, and brave, to try anything he wanted. But as a girl, I wasn’t raised the same.
One day I hope that there will be many more strong, independent women (including myself) as role models and leaders of the world so that young girls will not see strength as a flaw.