To Close the Gender Gap, We Have to Close the Data Gap
Melinda Gates

I agree that the access to a boarder data, or knowledge is something that everyone has the right to and we should work for that. But I wonder whether in this process we are neglecting a bias towards people who haven’t had this access.

I am an English Literature student in Hong Kong, from mainland China. Studying literature has been a great part of “who I am” today: it taught me what it is to like something, and to enjoy doing it. This is completely different from the way I was brought up, when I was supposed to learn whatever I was told to learn and the only goal is to do it better than others, who were also learning the same appointed things.

I am also blessed to have people around me who appreciate who I am. In this process, however, I see a problem of this “knowledge gap”, or more a prejudice towards this gap. One comment that I get so often, is that I don’t look or sound “Chinese”, especially not “mainland Chinese”: I speak English with a neutral accent, I drink and I love techno. People with this comment might mean well (I hope so) but at the same time, I question the stereotype embedded in this comment. I had the chance to backpack around Europe, and now I surround myself with friends from all over the world living in this international city of Hong Kong — I had the chance of being, say, an “international person” but why in anyway is it any better than being “Chinese”? Moreover, what makes this “Chineseness” that people have in mind? If every effort of breaking stereotype by people like me is diminished by comments like “come on you are not Chinese at all”, is this knowledge gap being closed or reinforced?

I am not saying that we should not make lives better, especially lives of women who are troubled by sexism and a lack of equal system. I just think that the word “better” always embeds the danger of a “worse”, which I doubt is the original intention of this “better”, but we still need to be aware of it to avoid it.

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