Week 26 of #TWmemorymondays! Today's memory is how news about another country got internalized. Even in writing about this I'm realizing how it's always happening whether it's conscious or not. I mean how I get informed today actually forms my view of the world, other people, institutions, and myself.
So when I was about 9 or 10 years old I remember my parents telling me about the one child policy in China. In my memory, I thought it was just introduced that year, but in fact checking that today (haha!) I found that the lastweek was actually passed in 1979. AND WASN'T PHASED OUT UNTIL 2016. What?! I had no idea.
So the one child policy was China's attempt to control the population growth. Each family was only allowed to have one child with exceptions of course. Ok so they had this law, which is obviously ethically questionable, but what was the focus of what I remember was the conversation about girls vs boys.
The Chinese culture (like most other cultures including ours) has a patriarchal structure. Every Chinese family traditionally wants a son to carry the family's name and legacy. I remember Chinese relatives talking like this growing up like how I wrote in week 20. It's really sad thing for a family to not have a son - and other people would pity them. Not sure if it's as predominant now, but definately growing up I could tell it was back then. My parents thankfully didn't have that mentality.
Back to the the one child policy - because of the higher value of sons, I remember learning that many baby girls were being abandoned. I also saw the affect it had here in America, so many Americans were adopting Chinese girls because of the policy. Also I later learned that gender screening ultrasounds were a big thing, because for a while women were finding out they were having a girl and the would get an abortion. It was later illegal to so that, but the desperation to have a boy was still there.
All the news felt really distant when I was 9/10 years old, but what stuck was how favorism towards boys (sexism) was engrained into my cultural - and that wasn't so distant.
Many people disapproved of the abondoning/termination of girls, but the favoring over boys was still very much blatant. I feel like these kind of things made its way of how I view myself as a female...that boys and girls are equal technically, but everyone knows that boys/men are alittle better. No one was saying it, but everything pointed to it. How could I not internalize it? I feel like most of the time the things that aren't said explicitly are the most dangerous.
And once again, our world and society right now isn't that different.
#TWmemorymondays: A painting inspired by a memory every Monday of 2018. Connecting abstract art to real life. Week 26/53. 'One' / 8x8 in / mixed media on paper