Saturday, March 27, 2010

Some cross-cultural problems in our marriage

I have been having some ongoing issues with my wife that unfortunately aren't going away.

It involves children.

Firstly, I have been hoping to having a second child, but it seems my wife is not receptive to this. She is of the view that another child will get in the way of her career. Although this may be true, I just don't think one child is optimal, and it is actually not fair on our first born either.

I keep telling my wife that there is no one-child policy in Australia, but she simply won't budge.

At the end of the day I have to respect her wishes, but what she told me the other day really upset me.

By way of explaining why she didn't want another child, my wife told me that she asked her mother whether she should have one, and then her sister in China whether she should have one. They both told her that it is too expensive to have another child, and for her to refuse my requests.

I became very upset by this revelation, because my wife should be discussing these matters with me, not her mother and her sister.

It seems that important decisions about my family are being made by an elderly lady whose view of the world is of a by-gone era, and by a woman who lives in China and was only allowed to have one child.

Well, what about my views? What about our child who has often asked for baby brother?

And regarding it being too expensive, well I am a medical professional for heavens sake. Money is simply not an issue.

What really bothers me is that she would not have told me this if I didn't push her. She simply decided, between herself, her mothera nd her sister, and I would have not even been informed of this very important decision had I not been persistent.

In her defense, she claims that Chinese women do not involve men in these decisions. I told her that I find that quite remarkable, that this is a human right, and that no father would willingly take no interest in the size of his family.

She keeps trying to explain things by saying that as a Westerner, I do not understand.

I think that's true, I do not understand. But that does not excuse her behaviour.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Chinese and Homosexuality

A week after the Chinese New Year's parade, I was sitting in front of the TV late Sunday night and happened to come across another parade in Sydney, this time the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

This is an annual event in Sydney which attracts tens if not hundreds of thousands of people from Australia and abroad, to either participate in the parade or to simply be a spectator.

Now in terms of comparison, the Margi Gras is all about pride, and interestingly I noticed the same sense of pride amongst the marchers in the Mardi Gras as in the week prior with the Chinese.

Apart from that, I also noticed that the Mardi Gras seemed to have an over-representation of Asian and Chinese marchers, presumably because they were gay.

Now I have often heard amongst Chinese women their belief that many Chinese men are "too feminine", but I have rarely experienced this myself. What I did notice at the Margi Gras however was that almost all the gay asians marching were feminine, as opposed to all other marchers. At least this is how it seemed to me.

I was also surprised at the number of asian lesbians, and how they were also almost all feminine in appearance as well. In contrast amongst other races, there was a visible proportian of butch lesbians as well.

At the end of the day however this was just an interesting little distraction for me that I came across while channel surfing on a Sunday night at home.

However as I was watching, my wife walked into the room.

She first seemed excited thinking it was a reply of the Chinese parade. When I explained what this march was about, her mood changed, and she then began a tirade of commentary, using many profanities that I cannot type on this blog, as an expression of her complete distaste and hatred for this lifestyle.

Knowing my wife as I do I did not enter into a debate with her, but it is a given that she and I have many diametrically opposed social views, and discussion or debate will not change this.

My wife did however make a comment which caught me by surprise, and lead me to ponder how we would both react in the event that our child turned out to be gay one day.

What I found so surprising was my wife's insistenance that if I son was ever gay, that she would never associate with him again, and that she would likely commit suicide.

I responded by saying that given that its her only child, whom she loves more than life itself, that she will probably learn to live with it, as most parents do, for the sake of her child.

Well, I should know better than to engage in these kind of discussions with my wife, and as expected my wife began directing her spitefullness towards me, suggesting that I could be sending sub-concious signals to our son that it is okay to be gay.

She ended the conversation by saying that if our son turned out to be gay, she would be blaming me because she thinks my views are a bad influence on him.

Hmm?!

Sociable

What do you like/dislike most about Chinese women?