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A Gender-less View of the World 从无性别的视角来看世

· Shanghai

Today we talk to HerCentury mentor in Shanghai, Sophie Tsuei

Q: In your personal experiences of mentorship, how do you mentor young people with different backgrounds?
问题:在你个人做导师的经验里,对于来自不同背景的年轻人你如何进行辅导?
Sophie:
Every individual is a different person who has her unique life story & her own perspective of seeing what has happened on the journey. In my experiences, most times a mentee had the most profound conversations with me because we discussed something regarding her current challenges but by taking the similar failures I ever had as examples to summarize the possible solutions. Being a mentor means we have a great chance to look deep into a single mentee’s challenges & personal traits, to analyze & search in the database of our own lives, and to share what corresponded to her current situation by real experiences. This personalized approach always helps both mentee and mentor to observe the challenges and issues more clearly and to reflect deeper on her own life. I always appreciate the mentees who has been sent to my life by serendipity or arranged by Her Century – they are all my mirrors and I wish them all more glamorous women from the inside out.
每个人都是不同的个体,具有她自己独特的人生故事和对生命旅途的视角。在我的经验里,大部分的时候我和一个学员最有深度的谈话,往往来自于我们讨论她目前遇到的挑战时,用我自己曾经遇到的失败经验作为案例,总结出可能的解决方案。做一个导师意味着我们有个绝佳的机会来深入检视一个学员挑战和个人特质,来分析和搜寻在我们人生中经验值,然后分享和她呼应的相关真实经验。这种个人化的做法通常能帮助学员和导师,更清晰地观察挑战和问题,更深地反思各自的人生。我总是很感激被送到我生命里和Her Century安排的学员 – 她们都是我的镜子,也祝福她们能从内而外地越发美丽。

Q: Why do you personally choose to work on women empowerment projects in India?
问题:你个人为什么选择在印度做促进女性自主发展的工作?
Sophie:
One evening earlier this year when I was on a group tour in Mumbai India, the group passed a street that we could feel the disreputable atmosphere in the air. The tour guide Manoj told us that our car just passed the prostitution area. Though recently the prostitution was put down and eliminated by the authority, there were still hundreds of thousands of girls working on the street. The shocking fact is 99% of sex workers there were forced to do the job. They came from states in poverty and were sold by their families to pay off the family debt since they were children. In a sexual-conservative society like India, once you get involved in prostitution, you will become a shame of family & society and rarely have the chance to get out of this life.
今年稍早一个在孟买的傍晚,我参加了小团体旅行,来到其中一个区域时,空气中弥漫着一股不寻常的颓废氛围。导游Manoj说,我们的车子刚才经过了红灯区,纵使政府不久前才进行了对情色行业的取缔打击,但仍有为数相当多的女孩站在路边打滚风尘。根据导游的介绍,惊人的事实是,当地99%性工作者是因为生计困难的原因而被家人卖到红灯区抵偿债务。令人难过的是,如果在印度这样性保守的社会从事情色行业,对于家庭和社会来说是蒙羞而多半无法再被重新接纳的。
By looking at the heart-broken stories of these girls, I just realized that we are not in a gender balanced world yet; we are just living in a relatively gender balanced cities. Where we see no women physically or mentally suffering from gender inequality.
听到这些女孩迫不得已、令人心酸的故事,来自台湾的我,这才意识到我们真的还没有达到在一个性别平等的世界生活的境界;我们其中比较幸运的人,只是生活在性别相较平等的城市里,所以我们较少见到女性受到身心剧烈创伤型的性别歧视案例。
The major reasons of why this would happen: girls who are raised in poverty usually don’t have chance to access to the basic level of education. They are regarded as the burden of family and their goal of life should be getting married as soon as possible. Hence when people face very difficult situations in poverty, the “less-valued” members in the family such as young girls become “tradable assets”to the poor people, given that the girls are regarded as illiterate, no skills and no capability of doing anything other than homemakers.
探索为什么前面提到的不幸情况会发生呢?这些出身贫穷的女孩,通常没有机会接受基础教育,她们也常被视为自己家庭的累赘,家人认为她们的人生目标就是在成年后尽快结婚,进入另外一个家庭养儿育女。而更悲惨的是,当人们面对生活艰难、糊口勉强的考验,被视为”较低价值”的成员,就不幸成为少数“可变卖的资产”,特别是这些女孩被认为是不识字、没有技术、没有能力来从事除了家庭主妇以外的工作。
Recently I am working with several organizations in India to empower their young female members from rural area or under middle class by training their skillsets, setting up self-sustainable cooperatives or brands, and creating crafts or accessories to collaborate with more established fashion brands and to sell to the market. By getting economical independence, the confidence level of those ladies has grown significantly within a short time, so has their communities’ respect to them as well. Of course there are still challenges ahead but it is definitely worthy of efforts when you see the changes.
最近我在印度当地跟几个组织一起做当地年轻妇女发展的任务,她们是农村或者中低收入户人家背景的女孩儿。任务是通过培训技能、设立可自运营的合作社或品牌、创作手艺品或服装配饰来和其他比较成熟的品牌进行合作,并销售到市场。通过个人经济独立,这些年轻女生的自信心也在短期明显随之成长,成长的还有她们所在的社群对她们的尊重。当然这条路还有很多挑战在前方,不过当你看到正向改变时,一切都是值得的!

Q: Looking back your life journey, do you feel that the female identity has created differences of your career development?
问题:回头看你的人生经历,你认为女性身份是否有帮你创造了职业不一样的发展?
Sophie:
I went to a girl senior high school and it’s one of the best schools with most talented girl students in Taiwan. Because we studied in a girl-only environment during our teenage, it actually created a phenomenon that most time we forgot our identity as girls at school. We were educated as independent individuals and encouraged in pursuit of our own aspiration, no matter it will require the education background of electrical engineering, business administration or literature to achieve. We were all encouraged to go after whatever we think we can contribute.
我曾经中学时就读女子高中,那所学校是台湾最好的高中之一,拥有最多有才能的女学生。由于在青少年时期的我们在一个只有女性的环境学习成长,事实上这创造了一个氛围,让我们绝大多数在学校的时候,忘却了自己是女性的标签身份。当时我们被教育成为独立个体,也被鼓励追求自己不同的理想,不论是那理想会需要电机工程、商业、或文学的教育训练来实现,我们都被鼓励我们可以做的。
When I was in the early days of my career development, and sometimes people would describe I was achieving & decisive “as a man” at workplace, I was always wondering why being myself at work needed to be labeled as the opposite gender or any gender? I did not see myself as a female accomplished works that are supposed to be mostly done by men, I saw myself as an individual who enjoyed the accomplishment in the business world. That’s what I see in many achieving women no matter in which stages of their career development– we are just different types of individuals with varied talents and self-fulfillment goals. Gender is just one of aspect of identities.
当在我职业生涯发展的早期,有人会形容我是一个”如同男人一般”的积极工作或者决断,但我总是纳闷,为什么在工作领域里做我自己自然的表现,要被说成像是另外一种性别、或者把特定的人格表现态度赋予某种性别的标签呢?我并没有感觉是做了大多数只有男性能胜任的工作,我看待我自己是一个享受商业世界成就的个人。而这也是我所认为大部分事业有成就女性的状况:不论在哪一个职业阶段,我们都只是拥有不同能力、不同人生目标的独特个人;而女性身份只是我们众多特质的其中一种识别罢了。

Q: I heard you read a lot of books and share some notes with people on WeChat & Instagram. What do you learn from readings recently that you may want to share with our friends in Her Century regarding what we mentioned in the interview today?
问题:听说你平时阅读量很大,并且常在微信和Instagram上分享文章和笔记给其他人。针对今天访谈的话题,能给Her Century的朋友分享一些最近的读书心得吗?
Sophie:
One thing I learned from the famous sociology book “Guns, Germs & Steel” is that human being in the world are having equally intellectual quotient level among different races. It’s more the natural resources decided by geography, people’s mindset and social norms that have shaped the fate of different technology development among races or countries. The intellectual level distribution is neither decided by gender difference. Both genders have equal potential of personal achievement in terms of intellectual works. It’s people’s mindset that sets the limitation of personal development by gender bias.
我从《枪炮、细菌和钢铁》这本社会学书籍所学习到的事实是,世界上的人类不分种族,天生智力的分布都是相同的,之所以不同种族或国家会有技术发展上的不平均,是因为来自地理环境、人们的思维、社会习俗决定了他们所在的天然资源的被怎么利用。同样的,两种不同性别的人也是拥有取得成就的相同智力和潜能。是人们具有性别成见的习惯思维决定了个人能力发展的限制。
If more of us start to see this world with a view of genderless perspective, from job recruitment to creating parenting supportive policy for workplace, this world can liberate more productivity and enjoyment, through providing equal opportunities to both genders. Think about the fact in metrics – only less than 10% of the women in working ages in India are employed, but it is what to more than 70% of women in China. Where we can see the differences in economic development with similar population between the two. Liberating women productivity at work can be one way for emerging countries like India to rise up in double speed.
试想下假如我们之中有更多人,开始用一个去除性别标签的视角来看世界,不论是员工招聘或者创造职场中无性别差别的友善育儿政策,只要有更多两性同等公平的机会,这个世界将释放出更高的生产力和愉悦感。看看数据上的事实就可以一窥端倪:人口规模相当的两个国家,印度只有10%的就业年龄女性在工作,而中国则有超过70%,我们可以看到目前两个国家在经济发展上的差距。解放女性的工作生产力是印度一类的发展中国家可以加速的方法。

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