Dear MeiGui: Multiple marriage can help with the babysitting
Originally published in The China Post, 12/14/08
I think my co-worker is falling in love with me, and I don’t know how to let her down gently. It’s not that she’s coyote ugly; in fact she’s a wicked natural blonde fox. The problem is I’m just not into her.
I came to Taiwan to find a local hottie; not a chick from my hometown. My co-worker is a stereotypical Pittsburg U sorority girl with the whole perky-attitude-towards-life thing going on.
So now, every time she comes bouncing into my classroom “to chat”, the kids and the other Chinese staff jump to the conclusion that we’ve got something going on together. But of course we don’t. Her perkiness is seriously limiting my chances to score at work.
I’m really trying not to be rude to this chick, but subtly doesn’t seem to work on her. What should I do?
-- Losing It
Dear Losing It;
So you actually could have scored with perky blonde sorority girls during “Rush Week” at Pittsburg U, if you had so chosen?
-- The lies we tell ourselves, MeiGui.
As a woman of Asian heritage, I’ve been offended by some of the flippant remarks made in this column with regards to adultery.
For example, you made a joke of the criminal penalties given to people caught committing adultery in mainland China, but failed to mention that adultery is a criminal offence in most Asian countries including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Even though your column may only be a forum for humor, you should still have some sense of responsibility to reality when discussing the values of people from this region of the world. The general outlawing of polygamy in Asian countries; and the subsequent criminalization of adultery in many of these countries has been vital to the development of women’s rights in the region.
I myself am a second-generation Chinese-American; and in my family there are many tales of my great-grandmother’s bitter life as the second wife of a Hong Kong businessman – and please note here that Hong Kong only banned polygamy in 1971.
My great-grandmother was married off to this tyrant at the tender age of 16 years old when her family fell on hard times; thus being forced to suffer marriage to a man old enough to be her grandfather to the benefit of others.
I think the practice of polygamy demeans women, turning all of us into property that can be bought and sold for the good of others – especially men.
Shame on you, MeiGui!
-- Voice of Reason
Dear Voice of Reason;
Certainly sorry to offend your cultural sensibilities, but not everyone shares the same feelings on the subject of polygamy. For example, the picture painted by HBO’s “Big Love” is not one where the wives are being oppressed by an evil tyrant. Actually, the one who seems to suffer the most oppression in that story is the husband. The bond between the wives often appears stronger than the bond between individual wives and the husband.
The world is changing, and so is the definition of marriage. If same sex couples can be recognized as legitimate under the law without hiding behind the cloak of “freedom of religion”, why can’t polygamous families also come out of the closet?
The forces of oppression are once again upon us.
-- Values change with power, MeiGui