So...I've got some observations about Chi.nese culture cookin' in my brain.
This past week I have been teaching about opinions. I presented my students with ways to share your opinion, "Personally, I believe...." "As far as I can tell..." etc, stuff like that.
Then I put them into groups and gave them controversial and non-controversial topics to discuss. "Cats are better pets than dogs," "Women and men are equal," "Money is more important than happiness," "Violent sports should be banned," etc.
So, the trends in similiar answers began last sunday when I did this activity with my highschool girl I tutor. I gave her the phrase, "women are better communicators than men," and told her to tell me her opinion.
She disagreed wholeheartedly.
I was no expecting that. To me, that statement is a no-brainer...like, duh women are better communicators than men. There's scientific evidence somewhere in the world that states this, right?
So, she discussed that women are more shy than men and all politicians are males. That was her take on it, and I was not going to tell her her opinion was wrong...everyone is entitled to what they think. And we moved on.
So this week in my classes at the hospital we did the same thing. And I got the same response. Women are not as good at communicating than men because they are afraid of being wrong, not supposed to share their ideas, and are meant to be peaceful and quiet. I was told all of this by my doctor students.
I'm baffled. Not one person out of over 60 students total told me that women are better communicators than men. They all said men are better communicators.
Now, I'm not out to prove anything, I'm just stunned by the difference in what I usually think and assume (that women are better communicators) and a little saddened by the (seemingly) cultural response that I got. What I heard from my students was that women's ideas are not equal to men's, women should not voice their opinion often, and women are shy and subversive - therefore quiet.
This disturbs me a tab bit. But also doesn't completely shock me, knowing that the plight of women in this country is decades behind America (and even we don't have it all right yet). It's just sad to hear my mostly female students saying that they can't communicate well mainly because of societal expectations.
I know my sample group was small and cannot represent an entire society, but it still raises a flag to me that every single person said the same thing.
Other interesting opinions that were shared...
-the death penalty is necessary because there are so many people in Ch.ina that, "the bad ones should die." (Chi.na ranks #1 in the world by faaaar in yearly death penalties).
-"gay people can be cured by surgery."
-"falling in love at first sight is possible only of you have met on the internet - therefore you know all about that person before you see them face to face."
-"it is a woman's duty to be married."
I recognize that a lot of this could be personal opinion and should not represent Ch.ina as a whole, but the amount of this kind of talk has added up over my years in Chi.na and I tend to view statements like this as cutural rather than just personal.
Hmmm....so chew on that for awhile and tell me what you think. Are women better communicators than men (inherently?)...
Speaking of chewing...I present to you the most legendary meal of all time, eaten tonight after work by me, Angel, and his wife. We ate it all. I have a food baby to prove it.