You kick like a girl! Power, you punch like a girl! You have to be faster, or are you a girl?!
(Some of the things the Masters say to the Boys)
By now I am pouting.
What the hell do you mean with punching like a girl?
I hate this so much. For some reasons as soon as somebody is weak, they get compared to a female.
And if you read my previous posts, you are aware that feminism or anything related to equality is an important topic to me.
Back to the topic: I know that my punches are not that bad-.-
How China sees Woman:
Now this kind of behavior you do find world-wide, but in China it is still much more dominant than at home. Probably because the majority of martial arts students is male, they train separated from the females and they haven’t been told of for saying certain things as much as the men at home.
So when coming to a Kungfu School as a woman, there will be moments when you just want to scream bloody murder and others where you maybe are going to be thankful for being treated differently.
I usually have more the urge to scream.
Why do I have to stop earlier if I can do the same amount. I don’t want to be treated differently because of my sex. If I am weaker, I am weaker, so if I can’t do it I can’t do it..but the hell I am not going to give up because I am a woman.
My Sifu got that pretty quickly. But still when we had conditioning I always end up with the other ladies.
There was a girl from Denmark here and even if we already paired up with one of the guys, he made us switch partners. What for?
At the moment I often have to do the conditioning with a lovely Lady, who hates punching other people. I love Joanne loads, but it isn’t quite conditioning for me. (I could be happy about not getting bruises, but it also means if I get punched in real life, I won’t be able to deal with it that well).
Another Master used to specially tell the woman they did well (Don’t know if he is still doing this). It is a great thing to get a compliment, but it leaves a sour taste if you just get that compliment because of your gender : You did well (for a woman).
I know you might think I overreact and maybe I am.
But China is still a male dominated society. Especially in rural China. It still goes by the old rules. The woman cleans, cooks, looks after the kids.
You have to behave a certain way.
Be cute and gentle. And a proper woman doesn’t eat fast. (I literally got told of by a chinese girl in university for eating to fast: Men don’t like it when woman eat fast. – Why should that be my problem if they like it or not).
Many still study, then find a man in college and never start working with their degree.
If you aren’t married by a certain age, you are a “leftover-woman” , which means men don’t want you anymore, because there must be something wrong with you. There has to be something wrong if you weren’t able to catch another man by now.
Shengnu, “leftover woman”, is a term China’s Ministry of Education has added to its official lexicon. It describes an urban professional woman over the age of 27. The prefix, sheng, is the same as in the word shengcai, or “leftover food”.
But I just can witness a small amount of what actually happens. I am still a foreigner and do get treated different on many occasions. But if you like to read the story of a chinese woman speaking her mind, read this article.
Otherwise if this is hitting a nerve and you want to know more about Feminism in Chinas society, this page is completely dedicated to the topic. I love the creativity these chinese woman show. Really interesting stuff if you are interested in society and modern issues.
So in short. China will treat you different when you are a woman.
Even in a freaking Kung Fu School, because ,well, you kick like a girl. This is where I usually answer : So what? I am a girl!
And I am proud to be who I am!
I am learning just to shrug it off. I know cultures are different, but there is movement and change in the society. It is still a long way for things to become equal, but that’s the same world-wide.
So I for once try to explain, why I think differently or am slightly offended in certain situations. If you don’t challenge a view and/or give input on it, how should anybody be able to change or understand differences in cultures and behaviours.
I really hope China’s Woman will be able to make their voices heart and that things slowly will change. They are as much a human as any man and also as valuable, smart and strong. Just because somethings are different, it doesn’t make them any less important.
And just because I may not punch as hard or kick as strong, doesn’t mean I am any less of a martial artist (figuring my punches are already quite a bit better than of an untrained man).
I kick like a girl. A girl who can give you a very bad bruise or headache!
Have you ever experiences this kind of attitude in China when traveling in China or anywhere in the world really? How do you deal with it?