Of virtual sisterhood and a secret Chinese script

Kavs left a comment on last week’s mommy post:

[…]we are a sisterhood, aren’t we? 🙂 can’t tell you how much all these stories from my virtual “sisters” have helped.[…]

A little tidbit suddenly came to mind. Did know about the Nüshu_script?

Source: Wikipedia

It’s a script for writing Chinese but it’s only known to women. Interesting, isn’t it? I found an article from The Guardian about the script. Here’s an excerpt:

After having their feet bound at around the age of seven, girls in Jiangyong County in Hunan province would live indoors – first in the “women’s chamber” of their own homes, and later in the homes of their husband’s family. To ease their isolation and offer support in their pain, girls from the same village were brought together as “sworn sisters” until their weddings. But a more serious relationship, almost akin to marriage and expected to last for life, could be arranged between two girls by a matchmaker, with a formal contract, if the pair shared enough of the same “characters” (being born on the same day, for example). In See’s book she writes: “A laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity. A marriage is not made by choice and has only one purpose — to have sons.”

We expect more from our marriages today and we do get a whole lot more. It’s also finally politically incorrect to say #DespiteBeingAWoman. But there’s still a clear split between “real” problems and “women’s” problems. Men, even husbands, are not expected to listen to or take women’s problems seriously. In fact, those who are interested are thought much less of.

The need for a female confidant hasn’t diminished in any way. We still need someone who understands the baggage we carry and the problems we face almost everyday just because we’re women. We may not need a secret script but given how “shameful” some confessions are, we do need relative anonymity and virtual sisterhoods.

I find it a little sad sometimes that I can’t talk about some things without the cursory, “Oh, more feminist/girly stuff” dismissals. Why can’t things be feminist or girly and why shouldn’t more men be interested in what they might never feel or experience?

SMBC expresses this sentiment much better…

Source: smbc comics 3764

Leave a Reply