Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Taiwan girls: The moral code and the highest moral of all

Just last week we were watching some DVD, New York, I love you, I think it was called. A collection of short stories glorifying that city, as if it hasn't already been glorified enough. My wife was excited because Maggie Q was in it, but sure enough, as it got to the end of her scene, things went to Asian girl stereotype and it was revealed she was employed in the oldest profession in the world. I had been over this subject a few times before, but as the movie was boring, I started it again.
“Hey, doesn't it bother you all Asian girls are portrayed as hookers in the west?” I asked.
“She is American, isn't she?” said the wife preferring to watch the movie.
“Sure,” I replied. “But if you weren't looking at the Asian half why did you get excited when she came on the screen – point her out.”
“She is beautiful,” she replied.
“I think you are avoiding the question. Aren't you bothered?”
“I am living in Taiwan,” she answered. “Besides a lot of Taiwanese girls are hookers. Or KTV girls etc. It is a culture thing.”
I was taken way back. How could she say that? When I had first arrived and seen all the KTVs I had also tried to find an answer to what appeared in front of me. After a while, I just concluded that I was being an obnoxious foreigner and the propensity for Asians to sell sex was an illusion created by bigotry.
“You can't say that,” I replied. “You are saying Asian girls are dirty little – that gets me more excited admittedly – immoral hussies.”
She looked at me angrily. “It is not a moral thing, it is religious.”
“Religious or cultural?”
“Both,” she replied.
“Please explain,” I asked as it seemed she was going to leave me in limbo. I paused the DVD.
“Well, you know, I was a Christian when I was young...Oh, it is so different. They are always telling us what is moral and right and wrong and what we shouldn't do. It is so troublesome.”
“So, you are saying, your parents didn't teach you moral values etc? All the crap on the TV shows when I first arrived. Dads still care about the virginity of their daughters. I have first hand evidence I am not going into now...”
“Of course, stupid,” she replied. “You are missing the point. Do you remember why I gave up being a Christian.”
“Maybe, but enlighten me again.”
“When my grandfather died they said at the church I couldn't worship him...”
She paused wrongly assessing I had put two and two together. “Go on...”
“You really are stupid,” she continued. “Of course we Taiwanese girls have morals, but the highest moral is parents. If you are doing something for your parents that cancels out all the negatives below. What will your sister do if your mother needs the money for a life-saving operation?”
“Nothing. We have the national health service.”
“You know what I mean. Will she go to the KTV and earn the money?”
“You have met my sister and so the national health service waiting list is quicker than her earning potential...But I get your point – No she wouldn't. And nobody would expect her to.”
“See. In Asia we would all go to the KTV and get respect because we earned the money to save our mother's life.”
“So, you are saying all of the girls in the KTV are doing it to earn money for mother's operation. That is a lot of operations. And you all have national health insurance too.”
“Well, you know, if you can also manage to buy a Hermes bag, you deserve it. Hermes bags are very nice.”
“I know. You have told me many times -”
“Yes, and I am still waiting.”
I sat back and thought about it. “Anyway. Wow. Interesting. I'll have to get more stupid, slow romantic movies in future.” Then I suddenly got a bad feeling. “Didn't your grandmother die of cancer? Has your mother had a check-up recently?”
She looked at me and smiled. “I don't know, but I will do my duty when the time comes.”
“Lets just hope we have another ten years. Time for you to get too old.”
“I see. You say I will look unattractive in ten years. I can't earn any money?”
“Not at all. Just you will have a couple of nieces coming to an age where they can pick up the baton.”
“Yes. Even our daughter -”
“Ok. You win. End of subject...”
I spent the next few days sending my resume out to companies in England and making arrangements for the move.


Claudio said...

Nice post, as usual. I like the jump from "it's a cultural/religious thing" to the Hermes justification.

I am a bit confused regarding the events you write about: sometimes you talk about you and your wife, some others (most of your blog posts, actually) you describe situations you encountered with Pierre, Eric, John and Josh. What's the chronology? Which events came first? Your latest post mentions a movie that was released recently, so that conversation with your wife probably happened only a short days ago; are the stories with the lads from a long time ago? Ten years ago? Twenty? Give us a hint!

Dan Chapman said...

Hi Claudio,

Some of the events with the guys are from earlier and some are not. To me it doesn't matter for the following reasons: As people come and go i have made different friends, and from us been able to know that they are still going through similar cultural misunderstanding and experiences. In fact, I am careful to make sure all experiences are still relevant. If they are not, then i will sign post it as how times have changed.

Claudio said...

Thanks Dan,
That makes sense. I guess what happens sometimes is that one reads and wonders about how a person evolved into his/her present self, through which experiences, and sometimes, reading your posts, it did feel like you managed to retain a healthy amount of your teenage spirit even in your recent adventures...

Time to go back and work on my Lego network server, now.

I am having quite a few problems with my wife's UK visa. We might have to spend a few weeks, or maybe more, in Taiwan. Fancy a beer?

Dan Chapman said...

Sure. Give me your private mail.

stansted said...

Great post, your blog was nicely maintain. keep up the good work.

Jenny said...

Is Taiwanese sex workers' population larger than other countries according to stas? I've not checked it up but according to my observation it is not at all.Your wife turn your topic "why are the asain women stereotypes still there on Hollywood movies" into "many Taiwanese women are hookers"( by which mean " many"? )and " all Taiwanese women are willing to become a hooker if her family need her to or just for purchasing some famous brand bag"( again by which stas or observation she drew this conclusion?" )
I am almost angry with her remarks .she can hold sympathy and understanding toward the sex workers and I think what made her uncomfortable is that when you regard the stereotype of Asain women as prostitutes in western movies a negative one you are also showing a little discrimination against the sex workers.
But by all means , she should stop expressing her indivisule opinion with the tone" we taiwanese..."Standing for taiwnese women without object evidence! And also do not explain things about or in Taiwan so hastily by saying "it is a culture thing!"

Tomaso Life said...

U discuss TW sex culture in this post, if u want more deeper inspiration, maybe u can consider the moral code for Japan AV actress and related issues. maybe TW will become other kind of "Japan AV actress" in future, do they?