Real equality means girls don't need to be protected

Updated: Jan 19, 2023 China Daily Print
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Dong Wenyu, 24, postgraduate law student at Shanghai Maritime University

I am my family's only child. Having been born in a small village in Huangshi, Hubei province, I sensed a traditional feeling there that every family should have a son.

The same strong feeling struck me again at Mapo village in Lanzhou, Gansu province, when I went there as a volunteer teacher.

I first noticed it during chats with the children after classes, and it was later confirmed by visits to their homes. Five or six families we visited had two or three children, while the other households had one girl and one boy.

During the visits, I noticed that in most cases the children were being cared for by their grandparents because their parents had gone to cities for work. The grandparents usually asked older girls to yield and let their young brothers take priority in using things.

However, at my primary school in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, girls were in a relatively advantageous position.

Until junior high school, girls were good at studying and many other things. I have never felt that boys are better than girls. Later, I realized that whether in a classroom or in society if a girl needs to be taken extra care of, it means that women themselves are in a relatively weak position because that's the only explanation of why she would need the care.

If women and men are completely equal, it stands to reason that the female side does not need extra care, which is the absolute equality we're talking about.

In my daily life, this situation rarely happens In most cases when women ask to be protected, as a man you need to show more humility to females, but that presupposes that the object of your consideration is weaker than you and therefore needs your protection.

I hope that through our voluntary teaching efforts in the rural areas, the status quo can be changed partly. I'm sure that more efforts will be made in the future to improve the situation.

Dong Wenyu spoke with Xin Wen.

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