#4: Reflect on a time when you challenged a believe or idea, what prompted you to act?
I dealt with gender discrimination while growing up in my traditional Vietnamese family. No matter what have I done, I was judged by other male members.
This discrimination started when I was born being a girl. My mother gave birth to my sister first and on the second kid, my family expected that I was a boy. Unfortunately, I'm not. So my family became the only family who has 2 girls when others have at least one boy as their child. The way they looked at our family was so scornful that sometimes I feel ashamed about myself. No matter how hard I tried to show them the sexism, it was ignored. With them, girls couldn't do anything for her family, when they grow up, they just get married and give them all to their husband.
At family meals, the women served the men. It was frustrating because no matter how much I was interested in or contributing to a conversation, I'd have to serve the food, or clear the table, or set the table, or do the dishes. My male cousins were never asked to help, which make me feel offensive.
The struggle also came from my father; he always thinks he is the dominator of the house and every decision must be made by him, even when they are wrong, or right. I feel like I'm not being listened, and he also think that I couldn't do anything or become successful. However, I didn't listen to him, I tried my best to show that even being a girl, I still can do a good job even better than the boys in my family. Therefore, I passed the exam to get into a gifted school but the harder I try, the more he wants from me. All the things that I have done are not being appreciated and even worse, he doesn't spare a penny for my study just because I'm a girl.
Sometimes, I feel so invisible in my house, I do not have my own voice, no one listens to me. Every time I go back home from school, I am so stressful with tasks and works that I really want to share to other members in my family but no one is there for me, for a girl. I have been so hurting lately, but whenever I am out, I put on a mask, a mask with a big smile and a happy face, to show that I'm fine with everything, especially not appreciated for being a girl. I really need an escape, I want to go abroad to study, to prove that I could do better than other boys; also, I want to have a voice, to be heard.
Some people asked me whether I would change my decision again, get married and do the things that girls should do, but the answer will be a no, and forever a no. I'm proud of being myself- a girl, I've gone so far that I do not want to give up to find another boy as a place to depend on. Even though I'm not a guy, I least I know that I'm dependent, and I have my own decision, and one day, my decision will become appreciated.