Wáng Zhènyì (王振义)

For the start of year 2017, I decided to feature this Asian descent female for my monthly inspiring female for Relm to read – she comes not just from a time that are not only male dominated culture but also of highly feudalistic.

Wáng Zhènyì (王振义), 1768-1797

She published what was then an unprecedented 12 scientific works – many focused on self-modeled hypotheses – during her lifetime, she is remembered by the crater on Venus named in her honor. She is also an outspoken proponent of equality in the sciences, noting that women and men “are all people, who have the same reason for studying.”

She was a very strong and intelligent woman well known for her contributions in astronomy, mathematics, and poetry. She was an acclaimed scholar, “An extraordinary woman of 18th century China.”

Wang Zhenyi believed in equality and equal opportunity for both men and women. She wrote in one of her poems:

It’s made to believe,
Women are the same as Men;
Are you not convinced,
Daughters can also be heroic?

I must say, I have been lucky to be born in a time where female / males are considered equals. Although we are given the same opportunity in education but it was not a time where females are encouraged so much to do the male stuff & vice versa.

More about her > read link here.

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Officially an “auntie” & loving it

Over at this part of the world – people respect older age folks. So it is a norm for any younger (25 & below) to call any older adults as “auntie” or “uncle” – eventhough there are no relations whatsoever. Of course – usually people are are below 40, they will be addressed as “Miss” or “Mister” & sometimes even ‘che-che’ (older sister) or ‘kor-kor (older brother) so that below 40 does not get offended. But usually – ladies with kids , you can be sure you will be addressed as “auntie”.

Now, I have long accepted the fact that I am quite an “auntie”, because I am not crazy about shopping for clothes or shoes, but I sure do like check out kitchen gadgets & supermarkets for special foodstuff when I am travelling. However, I have never been able to “enjoy” the ‘perks’ thoroughly of being the fact that I am an “auntie” but with recent events, I finally enjoyed the perks that comes with the ‘status’… & I must say this – I enjoyed it thoroughly… And here’s what happened…

My next door neighbor are occupied by a bunch of young adults (some are teenagers probably) cause the kids’ parents are in the UK working. The young kid being ‘resourceful’ – rent out the rooms to his friends (which are obviously young). Now, kids being kids, they are careless & less considerate. They parked carelessly, blocking my entrance to my house – which really is kind of irritating considering M’sia is a country where rain is very unpredictable. So, I ‘used’ my auntie status & request nicely to these young adults to park their cars properly.

NOW – a month later – one of them (I have also developed ‘auntie’ syndrome of not able to distinguished their looks since all of them kind of have the same style , height etc) AGAIN parks right in front of my gate (half side). This time, I go into my auntie mode again & lecturing him again that he can always “open” the gate & PARK into the house parking lot. He was apologetic of course (did I also mentioned some of these young kids are gangsters?.. yes, i am definitely banking on my ‘auntie’ status).

Now – here is the best part, last night – a bunch of their friends came. This time, they PARKED right in front of my gate, and 10mins later – I had to leave the house, and this time, I just need to use my finger & look at the boy – and he immediately shouted out to his friend to move the car.

So, yeah.. I totally love this “auntie” status!

 

Margaret Hamilton

This month under my ‘inspiring women’ category, I would like to feature Margaret Hamilton. She was one of the software programmer for the success of Apollo Spacecraft landing on the moon. To read more about her – just wiki it. Or read this  Margaret Hamilton (scientist)

She wasn’t supposed to invent the modern concept of software and land men on the moon. BUT she DID! How cool is that!

margaret_hamilton_in_action

Picture source from the wikipedia.

One should not be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ or  ‘I don’t understand,’ or to ask ‘dumb’ questions, since no question is a dumb question. To continue even when things appear to be impossible, even when the so called experts say it is impossible; to stand alone or to be different; and not to be afraid to be wrong or to make and admit mistakes, for only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

– Margaret Hamilton

When I was younger, I was afraid to fail. Afraid to tell teacher that I don’t get what she is teaching in that additional maths or in the physics class. I wished I had the courage to ask stupid questions like “WHY are we learning this”  or “HOW can this be applied”? . I am sure it would have got me interested in the subject to learn it with gusto.

So here you are – Relm, the wonders of science, maths, physics & logic can help one land a spacecraft ! And that’s being done by a women in the 1960s!!

Amelia Earhart

I have decided to feature 1 inspiring woman each month so that Relm can see the many possibilities that a woman can do (since I am pretty ‘affected’ by her Montessori’s concert depiction of ‘flying’ theme where only boys were pilots & girls as stewardess) when she finally can read lots on her own & even write her own blog.

So obviously, I will start with the first woman aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean – Amelia Earhart. Flying solo is not her only accomplishment of course – her achievements can be found in wikipedia of course!

amelia_earhart_circa_1928

pic from wikipedia

“Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

I am not advocating all women to be a pilot, but I will like young girls & ladies not to limit themselves to stereotype gender roles. What men do, women can too & what women do, men can too!

 

We are the culprits

I am attending my 5 yo annual concert. cute little kids March out and dance and sing to different themes.

A particular one speaks out to me. 

Why are the boys in pilot costumes and the girls in the stewardess costumes? Yes, girls look cute in these stewardess costumes but I think they would look cool too in a pilot costumes. I have seen many real life stewards yet we the supposed educated adults still have such deep rooted set gender roles in our minds where only boys can be pilots and girls the stewardess.

My daughter already tell me she prefers certain roles as it is deemed girl appropriate. While I try to tell her that she may be wrong but I do not think what I say or share may be enough to help break that stereotype that easily.

While I am not saying I will not stop sharing with her that one should not be constrain by stereotypes, I would have like it if at least the official educators will also champion the same cause and sensitive enough that even a costume or role playing does influence thr young minds.

I must say I am dissapointed. Disappointed that we adults let this happen.

saints or hypocrites

I am going to be honest, I sometimes read those ‘be grateful’ articles, asking people to want less & I do get “inspired” a little bit.

But I always wonder – these writers / authors – are they writing in a nice warm place with broadband service next to a hot cup of coffee while their cute little toddler playing happily by their side? Or they are writing in a torn piece of paper hoping someone will pick up their ‘inspiring’ articles then publish it on the web, while thinking where they can find the next few hundred dollars to pay for a nice warm place or a good meal for their cute little toddler who is crying out for food ?

Why must we strive to be saint like , when it only makes one a hypocrite. Seriously – go ask anyone living on the street, are they grateful that they are not dead cause at ‘least’ they can still sleep on the street? I think they will be just grateful if someone can just offer them a warm place to stay or a job.

Look, I know the human beings are all greedy beings, but most of the ordinary folks really are not asking a ‘lot’ (unlike crazy power crazy Trump) , ordinary folks really just asked for the simple security of food, house & well being. I meet ordinary hardworking people everyday, they are grateful for the house they have, the food that they can enjoy & the small homes that they lived in. Yes, they are grateful but they also want to strive to get more for their loved ones – so is that considered as ‘ungrateful’?

So, please – get off your high horse – go tell those famous, crazy rich celebrities, businessmen or politicians that THEY should be BE GRATEFUL that the ordinary folks are simple in their virtue to be bothered with antics to gain more power, attention or money. Honestly – only the super ‘successful’ are the ones that need to be grateful because they have received so much in this lifetime of theirs.

 

what will my flashbacks be?

Till today I marveled at how brilliant the human minds are. I watched Korean dramas once in a while (ok, not really once in a while but pretty often) & while of course the reason I even bother to watch them is because of the good looking actors (don’t judge, I am only human), but the reason that I can even continue watching another 16 episodes or so is because their story is compelling & makes one wonder. The latest one I watched was about how he is having glimpses of his future flashback when he is dying, that is – he is seeing what his happiest & saddest moments plus regrets of his life when he is dying in current time vs in the future (when he is supposedly dying).

I find this intriguing. I do not have such imaginative mind (much to my regret) to write such fiction but it does makes me wonder – What will my flashbacks be like when I am at my deathbed. Will I have happy flashbacks, sad ones or even regretful ones? Mostly, will I regret that I should have given my all or will I be glad that I have used my ‘alive’ time well?

Then there’s how the parents’ unconditional love to their daughter despite all the beatings & scoldings. I cannot imagine their heartache when their only daughter really do seem like a real ‘crazy b#$*h’ (that’s what the mother call the daughter!) . But I hope I can be like those parents.

The moral of the whole drama/story is of course to be honest with our hearts & not let pride takes us over – because pride almost always makes one regret later on. The parents recognized it earlier of course vs the younger one.

My takeaway though is not so much about not being honest with our hearts but more to what flashbacks I would have like to have? Maybe for every major decision of my life from now on, I should ask myself if this is one event that I want to have a positive flashback  or an event that I would regret during my dying moments. Will then my flashbacks makes me smile or cry before I leave?

Thoughts to ponder about.