RAMONA WORKSHOPS: PERIOD WITCHES

Asian Female Expectations: I Wasn’t a Flower

Writing by Wen Hsiao // Photograph by Wei

I grew up getting told I could give the least effort,

no one minded if my words or I was clever,

my extended family wants day silence,

and when asked? they brush it off as shyness.

 

I grew up getting told I could give the least effort,

Uncles telling me college is never,

that an educated women will drive men away,

it’ll just be a mistake put on display.

 

I grew up getting told I could give the least effort,

that to other men, I will be a prize and a dessert,

the side dish and the consolation prize when men succeed,

that if I follow one, their success will read.

I leaned the way that I’m supposed to be,

when my grandmother had a wing for me,

but two wings for my brother,

even though two wings for me wouldn’t be a bother

 

I leaned the way that I’m supposed to be,

where everywhere I look tell me I’m supposed to be small as a pea,

but have a heart and patience like the deep sea,

and find a man that is like a tree.

I leaned the way that I’m supposed to be,

My skin should be as white as the snow people ski,

despite living in a country where it feels like constant summer,

I got to a place where I understood,

the ground I stood wasn’t too profound,

the stereotypes and expectations of an Asian woman:

delicate like porcelain,

pale like the first snow,

sensitive like flower.

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Wen Hsiao

Wen Hsiao is a writer from Taipei, Taiwan. She spent the most part of her life moving around Asia. She enjoys cheesy love stories, angry breakup songs, and big bowls of instant noodles in bed. Wen hopes to publish her own collection of love stories and have a newspaper column one day. You can find her on Tumblr or on Twitter.

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