A perspective on Sexism ( and/or deeply entrenched gender roles ) as doled

out by a first generation immigrant

I recently read the fascinating results of a Stanford Phd student & came

away from the article surprised, then disappointed that # of dating columns

came before other topics such as parenting, families , mental health &

disorders, crime & criminals , cancer & “ grief ( emotions ).” It feels like the

emphasis or value has been placed higher on dating ( and even dating badly

, which can incentivize the column producers to create great fodder or even

more material for more entries in more columns ).

The way I see it, the lack of emphasis ( per the article ) makes me think (

for now ) that there seems to be a lack of how-to for all the other topics,

without which a healthy, sustainable & qualitative ecosystem would not

lead/ contribute to a healthy quality in the former topic ( which we have a

lot of material for). And doesn’t dating occur within the “ umbrella “ of life

anyway? So in an effort to counterbalance that ( and extract meaning to

understand what has happened & what I learned ) , I’m sharing a recent

experience. But first, the article : https://qz.com/962718/we-analyzed-every-modern-love-column-from-the-past-10-years-heres-what-we-learned-about-love/

This is not a disclosure of yet another strange experience while in an Uber (

though one of the times ( a few years ago , I called one thinking it’d be safer

at night ( me being alone & all) , I was surprised to find that the driver at

first was friendly in complimenting me. When I politely expressed a thanks,

it was then repeated a few more times which made the whole car ride

awkward & felt well, closed in) . But I digress.

There’s such a wealth of news that sometimes it can be overwhelming in

prioritizing what to read first but I always feel that no matter what I read, I

always come away with a nugget ( or two ) that I feel can be applied to

other situations. So here is this one I found, tucked in my brain, at the ready

to bring up once the situation arose : “That workaday racism should be, in

rational times, enough on its own to scuttle his confirmation as Attorney

General, or as the head of any large (or, really, small) bureaucracy filled

with people whose talents Sessions is likely to misjudge and waste.” ( From

the New Yorker ) .


I remember feeling a sense of “ What a shame “ when I read this particular

excerpt. Here is how recent events conjured up this excerpt. The disclosure

is that due to cultural reasons, I’ve not really been that experienced in

engaging in the political sphere. For more context on the why, here’s this :

I’ve also never experienced firsthand how “ good causes “ censorship can

take a downward turn by allowing an “ upbraiding of one’s peers from a

higher moral ground.” But I probably, through my insular Asian

neighborhood upbringing, learned certain attitudes ( and possibly

internalized them ) . A reference? Teens in Singapore caught spraying

graffiti on a wall ( or other similar actions ) have been known to be caught

by police, then caned in public ( as a warning to others). I’m sure many of

you can find the articles should you be inclined so I’ll leave that to you.

What I HAVE experienced recently ( and quite intensely) is how that nugget

can be applied to the ( presumed) sexism that my neighbour exudes ( in this

ongoing saga) .

In case you missed my other posts, I have an older Chinese lady as a

neighbour who lives with her daughter while her husband is away & comes

back ( currently 3 x a year) . While he has been away, she has “ gotten to

know “ my parents , their illnesses , their schedules & has weaponized that

information, by mimicking her own handicaps in efforts to extort. She has

also gaslighted anything she has done, ie. call & leave voicemails ( I have the

voicemails saved on my phone), left glass on our doorstep, threatened to

shoot our dog & also made threats to us on behalf of her husband , ie. “

When my husband gets home, he’ll do this ___ .” Her endless vitriol is rather

surprising for a small lady ( I’m a little taller, 5'1 ).

But it seems that when I refuse to engage & cooperate her misguided self-righteousness ( by

levelling with her ), she denies knowing what I’m talking about, then

changes the subject & escalates to get a reaction.

Apply this to my entire family & you get a woman flying at you once you exit

or try to enter your door while pointing fingers at your face & trying to get a

reaction out of my autistic dad. Yes, our medical mail has been missing too.

For whatever reason, she has repeatedly compared her only daughter to me

( I don’t know why but it may be because she thinks we are both

immigrant’s daughters ) .

The grade sheet for which our value is based? That her daughter would bow

her head & let her have her way & not say anything back would be defined

as “ ladylike.” That I looked her in the face directly & said “ I’m sorry but I

can’t talk to you right now” was apparently the wrong answer to which this

incident has fueled her vitriol in “ making me sorry “ & “ You come out right

now I’ll give you a whooping for talking to an elder like that. You’re dead! “

So what is the grade sheet for? For the lady to tell herself, her daughter &

now her husband that is now briefly home for 1 more day ( until he takes off

for China) that I’m not “ ladylike “ & therefore deserve to be berated as

stupid, unworthy of a career ( like her daughter & husband ) & of love, and

just should be the shame of the neighbourhood. To boot, nothing like those

glass shards on our doorstep ever happened until our family with the

unladlylike daughter moved in. ( This is said when her older Asian friends

are around).

So, enter the husband who was told a tear-wrenching story of how she was

compassionate in trying to help “ parent / mother “ me & “ raise me right “

& that she had been quite ill since he had been away & that because I was “

unladylike “ & that “ you guys never talk to her.” what with the glass shards

that she placed on for my credit ( according to the witness of her phone) &

other “ Americanized shenanigans.” My parents, relieved that they could

reason with someone, told the husband that she had been calling, being

hostile, threatening to shoot our dog, basically, all of the above. * The

woman doubles over in pain. Her stomach hurts, she says.* The husband’s

answer to us ? “ You know how women get.” * To my dad* “ Let’s just talk,

man to man.” In these few seconds, I saw pieces of a possible puzzle

simultaneously rendered useless while infantilizing/ dismissing/enabling/

denying his wife’s transparency / culpability & personal growth . ( And if I

were to subtract their race out of this picture & inject another race, not sure

what that would look like as acted out in other arenas: politics,

entertainment, art, etc. Would this on a bigger scale, affect others? The

microcosm as an example…)

Second, you might have people like the women “ game “ the system & then

react violently once others refuse to engage / cooperate according to the “ rules “ she is

playing by. This , in my humble opinion, decreases her adaptibility while

simultaneously increasing her mission for a culprit for her woes. It also

punishes those unwilling to “ play” this dysfunctional game. And * maybe *

can be destabilizing for any community that comes in contact with her.

Adverse selection? This incident was about her manipulation of those rules.

Plus, it also grouped me, along with all other women in the same category

as his wife ( which I not only feel is unfair but reveals disturbing

implications on how these “ actors “ might “ act “ within our society & the

overall ineffectiveness that led to their inability to pay for their Mercedes

van , among their other woes ). Because while I can be quirky & (

sometimes, unfortunately emotional ) , I do not view all of the above actions

& lying about it as acceptable. Did it conflate & taint the definition of

women with this toxicity ? You tell me. The result of the “ upbraiding “ based

on a “higher moral ground “ once our whole family was discredited?

Her husband , now indignant that we did not understand that since his wife

was a lady & she was exempt for answering to things “ she did not do “ ,

threatened that it was in our best interest to watch it because “ there’s

nothing he wouldn’t do,” including setting the building ( and the

neighbour’s ) on fire, take no prisoners. Now, I don’t know about our

building but I have heard a certain cliche in Chinese restaurants catching on

fire & insurance playing out. ( This is relevant because the man is said to

have been working in Chinese restaurants “ out of state .” But I don’t know ,

that’s maybe an overplayed theme in books, TV, etc. ( Trying to conjure up

where I last heard it but cannot pinpoint it).

And with that, my dad responded after being taken aback, “ Are you aware

of the legalities of the law?” The husband, indignant alongside his self-

righteous ( in this instance she is Asian but a sidenote is that self-

righteousness can be weaponized in religion which can transfer to politics)

wife “ Listen to me. Are you a man? I know the law. F*** the law.

What do I care about the law. I can think up of & do a lot of things that

don’t abide by them .” His wife, by his side, feeding her misguided & toxic self-righteousness

with his indignance while egging him on “ Yeah!” * twice, she intones the

word law disgustingly & almost spits in my dad’s face *

And that, is what one instance of deeply,entrenched gender roles clashing

with other values, looks like. And as the nugget is applied here but tailored

to this incident “ input that is misjudged & talent / progress that could have

been had laid to waste.” To what extent, if any has their family incurred

destruction? I don’t know. But I can speak for our family. The time, energy,

the disruption & opportunity costs in our schedules from the doctors appointments, reserved

meetings, etc? It has mattered a lot.

Addendum : Incidentally, in a separate incident, the suffocating degree of

sexism and/or deeply entrenched gender roles was such that I felt backed

into a corner & abruptly left 2 weeks before the scheduled paydate on

payroll. ( Years later, I did bump into the owner’s daughter at my friend’s

birthday party. She was embarrased & couldn’t muster eye contact with me

& was still doing the same thing she had always been doing, which was

living with her boyfriend after college graduation, attending Burberry

private preview showings to “ network “ & continuing her aspiration to be a

model ( she’s about 5'4" ) / actress.

If you have comments, you can leave them down below & I’ll take them into

consideration to learn some more.

Saturday Funday ( which seems to be the new Sunday Funday ) update on

5/6/2017: When people refuse to operate & engage on the same values as

my neighbour ( blind loyalty that trumps law) , there can be many

unpleasant & unseemingly meaningless, unproductive responses such as

escalating the misinformed ( i.e. education, etc ) “ righteous “ crusade / personal smear campaign. This

currently, can look/ sound like this , as said from my neighbour to my

mother today ( given the context that my mother was leaving for her

arthritis appointment) , “ You haven’t answered my phone calls. Your

husband said this to me.” My mother “ He has had a cold this whole week &

hasn’t been out…” Neighbour : “ Well, since you haven’t been answering my

phone calls, I have a few photos to show you of how your daughter is such a

bad person ( revisiting the values of upbraiding based on social currency) .

Here are some photos that I would hate to have to bring to the police. It will

ruin her future.” My mother, knowing that I caught a cold from my father

too, “ I have an appointment & have to go. I don’t have time.” When the

time/ energy/ focus is on threats, meaningless & toxic turmoil & un-productivity, not

only is it damaging for others that come in contact with them but it can be

the part of the reason why the perpetrator has few friends ( 3–4) & the

family is disenfranchised, disempowered. I don’t own a business & am not

the husband’s & daughter’s employer , nor am I their friend, but I can’t

imagine that behaviour being very useful in any context. This, an

observation of a possible microcosm. Furthermore, in my brief academic

stint in studying political science, it seems that the strategy when it comes to

relevant issues such as nuclear , etc, is not to go head-to-head but to “ wear

the other down” or attrition. But perhaps most relevant , I can’t even begin to

imagine/fathom the destructiveness of fabricated “ evidence “ stories with

photos from I don’t even know where …at a bigger scale.

And…for you movie/ book buffs that want a movie to watch and / or book

to read , may I suggest Gone Girl. Because the female character’s behavior,

as received by me reminds me of this woman, but the Asian version without

the looks, the Ivy league degree & rest of the pedigree. Because the first &

only time she was in my face, I would presume that it was more pleasant

for her than it was for me. On that note, here are some books on pugs to

browse, should the animal lover in you, want to indulge in some pet books:

P.S. I still highly recommend

purchasing these books & other

necessities because I would love to

more actively use the Amazon

Prime membership that I have &

love. It’s just that dealing with the

above has taken time away ( and

assurance that I can still get my mail) .

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