A quote often attributed to Gloria Steinem says: “We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.”Chachra, Debbie, “Why I Am Not a Maker,” The Atlantic, January 23, 2015.
Although this quote is not entirely written by Chachra, it caught my eyes immediately when I first read it because it describes the present state of feminism in contemporary Chinese cities so accurately.
Influenced by western ideologies, we are seeing more and more people promoting gender equality and women empowerment in the urban areas of China (it is a completely different story in the rural areas). Women are given more opportunities to read, study, and work like men. Unlike before, few eyebrows would be raised at a female CEO or a female scientist. Everything seems so perfect that there are even some voices saying that we do not need feminism anymore and women are given too much power.
Deep down, I know that we are not even close to achieving gender equality, because what the society values is still “makers” instead of “caregivers”. Eyebrows are still raised at stay-at-home fathers, male nurses, male kindergarten teachers and etc. It has created a baffling reality where women are given the chances to pursue their “wildest” dreams (which is to do the same jobs as men) but men are still limited to their traditional roles and are expected to “succeed” under the conservative standards.
After declaring double majors in chemistry and statistics at Carleton, I have made it to clear to everyone around me that I am a STEM person. Although some friends of my parents have expressed concerns, most people express surprise, awe, and encouragement regarding my decision. However, things did not work out so great for a male friend of mine who was interested in becoming a pastry chief. His father was disappointed at the fact that his son wanted to do “a woman’s work” and eventually talked him into studying biological engineering in New Zealand.
It has occurred to me that there is a deep-rooted culture of women devaluation in our society and our definitions of “success” are entirely shaped by men. Although I appreciate the fact that some women are given the same opportunities as men now, condemning men of doing “women’s work” is still a sign of severe misogyny and male supremacy, and I have a feeling that this won’t be an easier mountain to climb…
Under the large umbrella of Digital (Arts &) Humanities, I am interested in learning about techniques such as data mining, data visualization, and perhaps machine learning. I am eager to discover how they are applied in humanistic studies and all the riveting findings that would come out of them.