My Baby~ My Precious~

Women's Freedom of Choice in Marge Piercy's Three Women

Graduate: Ginger, Huei-Chen Yang
Advisor: Dr. Patricia Haseltine

This is the hardcover edition of my thesis. But the downsized file has made the picture looked blur and unclear.

During the meal on Sunday with my advisor, one teacher and Arial, teachers had brought up the subject again suggesting that I should break down the thesis to try for some journals for publishing.

I am thinking about extending the Chapter Three in my thesis which is entitled: "Non-Determined Potentials---Mother/ Daughter Relationship"

Why is Mother/ Daughter relationship important and essential in Feminism? What has Women's Freedom of Choice to do with Mother/Daughter relationship?

Here is the some part from Chapter 3-----

As feminists attempt to strengthen the values of females and clarify the existence of women, there is one more sphere that needs our attention, which is the mother and daughter relationship. This intimate communion between women is ineluctably, absolutely a necessity in the discussion because mother is the first person who not only nourishes a baby into life, but also the first person a baby knows. Mother is the imitated object for a baby girl to know herself from. According to female essentialist’s belief, women’s physical features are biologically determined and so it is to believe that women will share the same experience as the same sex. Mothers and daughters possess the same sex, so if daughters learn to know themselves as females from their mothers, it would be a logical assumption to think there is a possibility for daughters to duplicate their experiences from their mothers. Since mothers are the providers of the preschool education, mothers and daughter’s involvements are especially significant because they are the same gender that bestows the notion in the society of carrying on the duty of prolonging the lives of human beings. This consented and undeniable entanglement becomes the crucial point to show how influential the roles of the mothers are to women.
Judith Butler thinks that the heterosexual foundation of gender is a confinement that would forever constrain women to their reproductive abilities. It is a relevant deterrence to tumble women’s paths toward subjectivity. Also she states that femininity should only be a performative contour which could be able to be re-interpreted through genealogical process. As Alison Stone
[1] interprets it, “Within a single generation, each woman’s reinterpretation of femininity will overlap in content, to varying degrees, with other women are engaged in reworking the same set(s) of pre-existing meanings” (150). Butler’s second proposition is probably more easily accepted, since it is a good strategy that women reinterpret and re-construct their sense of values, instill new meanings in the present generation and pass them onto the next generation. Mother and daughter’s bond is the important link in the cycle of the genealogical chronology of femininity, and there is no way that this connection could be constructed without heterosexuality, since this is the only sexual-orientation option to produce babies.
Some other feminists believe and think that women’s reproductive abilities are the threat to society. “The mother is at once a guarantee of the social order and a threat to its stability” (Smith 30). It makes a great sense that without women’s reproductive efforts, the society will degenerate and with women to continue the job, women’s fertility would stabilize the continuance of the specie. Mother and daughter’s connection is the link to consolidate the view.
The mother and daughter relation constitutes a potential threat to the patriarchal symbolic order. This relation is the basis for the creation of a symbolic system which Irigaray would suggest subverts the masculine equation of subjectivity with rationality, and acknowledges the bodily roots of subjectivity. (Assiter 44)
Paradoxically, it seems once again women are pushed back to the heterosexual and patriarchal scheme. However, if we put patriarchy aside and consider the mother and daughter bond as the foundation rock for the society, plus the view from Butler that women could re-define femininity through generations passing through; in other words, women do not need men to prove their subjectivities because women provide each other’s self-values.
From the introduction in the first chapter, I mention that Piercy’s connection with her mother and grandmother is the reason why she adopts Jewish identity. Her maternal lineage with her mother and grandmother is so strong that it influences her life profoundly. The “Maternal principle” is considered one major writing attitude of hers and is regarded as a positive force in her credo. The poem, “My Mother’s Body,” I quote above in the opening is the best explanation for Piercy’s central thinking and the major idea presented in Three Women. As the poem tries to say, mothers are our mirrors; we see our reflections through the mirrors. We share identical physical parts with our mothers, but we do not always share the same interests or beliefs. We create each other through the symbiosis with our mothers and also vary from with each other. Marge Piercy’s relationship with her mother was not always happy, but the symbiotic relationship was always strong and tight. The patriarchal background of Piercy is seldom mentioned and is also ignored in the novel Three Women.
The conclusion from above argumentation is that the connection between mothers and daughters and their relational interactions should be magnified in the views of women’s perceptions, only through this way could it ensure the emancipation of females’ in the future genealogical line.
In Chapter Three, I attempt to use Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray’s view on “Maternal function” and “Mother/ Daughter relationship” to ground my statements of anti-deterministic factors on female psychological development, also to leave women open possibilities for diverse choices and to oppose the scientific-based psychoanalysts. Freud and Nancy Chodorow’s views on presuming that father the key factor to help complete the transformation of female development.

Judith Butler's idea on 'Genealogy' explains that each new female generation has their chances to modify and change the femininity they have inherited or learned from the previous generation. Each family has its chronology of women and each generation has its femininity concept according to its contemporary cultural, historical background. Therefore, if a woman from one family in one generation made some idea changes on femininity, her thinking may affect the future one in her family line and also some other contemporary women to their future ones.

Although, Butler's idea is a very good method to make women's freedom possible. The only condition is that the changes made by one woman in certain generation needs to be something that provides a broader view on genders to ensure the wider road ahead.

Kristeva's idea on 'Abjection' says:Women need to recognize their mothers' soma and psyche separately to gain their subjectivity. To abject from their mothers' bodies is only a physical symbol to gain one's subjectivity.

Luce Irigaray believes that when people are psychological trapped, they need to go back to the original emotional source for help to solve their problems. The original emotional source refers to 'Mother'

So, what have these three feminists mentioned could have helped me with my idea? Mmm..........................

1. Women's psychological developments depend only on their mother's helps.

2. Is it possible that their relationships with their mothers could go wrong, but the mistake could be amended through their own efforts toward their future ones.

3. Every woman needs to recognize her mother's physical and mental parts. The maternal function and the role of being a woman is definately different that if a woman could not see her mother through these two aspects, she may suffer and get confused about her own feminine identification and could never really gain her own subjectivity.

4. If every woman could agree with what has written above, then the future path of women's emancipation depends only on women's endeavors to widen the conception of female gender.

Mm........Is that right?

Well....... ???

Women's freedom takes only women's helps but men and Mother/Daughter relationship is the unit that provides the sources for the changes of women's future.


I have been telling friends, coworkers and clients about my dreams. Sometimes I will talk to my clients about their dreams in class and try to figure out if they also have colorful dreams like I do.

Many of my friends, have heard me talking about my dreams, but perhaps not the same one because I always have vivid and weird dreams.

This year is the year of Dog. I have been having dogs in my dreams.
Big Labs, puppy labs. Golden Retrievers and even puppies of Old English Shepherd. Those dogs in my dreams were all so friendly and nice. (I think, it is because I really like dogs)

Although, I have dream of many kinds of animals, but long time ago, I only had 'snakes' in my dreams.

There were snakes for different sizes and colors. I am surprised myself to still remember those snake dreams so clearly up until now.

One time, I had this enormous white snake in my dream, it was so big that I could only see its gigantic head. It was dying somehow.

The other time, I dreamt walking in a small alley. There were sparkling, rainbow color snakes zig-zag through and across from nowhere and they scared me to death. I walked down the alley with terror and was afraid to be bitten.

The most scary of the snake dream was----- I was walking down to a swimming pool and was already half in the water, then I saw a red-eye, green snake swam quickly toward me. It jumped onto my right arm and circled my arm with its tail and bit me to bleed. I could even feel the intensive pain in dream and I cired out and woke up.

Yes...yes... I kow that from Freudian interpretation about dreams. Snake represents Phallus symbol. Ever since, my coworker tole me about that with the mock, I stopped having snakes in my dream.

Recently, I dreamt about the resentful animal, rats. There were a bunch of them running off a house in a hurry. They also were white with red eyes.

My favorite animal in dreams were 'horses'
I had two dreams about horse.
One was a dream with many mini black horses stood in circle. Very cute one with furry hair.

My beloved one was a big, smart handsome whie horse. I was on its back walking on a path. Actually we were sort of flying because the road was in the sky. The horse was trying to cross to another path next and I was afraid to fall off its back. When it succeed crossed onto another path, I was so happy and pat him on his head saying: "You're so smart!"
When we got to where we were going, I jumped out of its back, not from the sides but from its behind. Weird, huh.........

Talking about weird one, this one was weird.
I swam in the ocean, enjoying the blue color so much with sun shone up upon me. Then I saw a palm tree floating with the flow and an animal sank under water beside the tree. I dived in and....... it was an elephant.
Yes.... I saw an elephant in the ocean. I thought it was a whale. No.....an elephant~~`

Why did I bring up my dream again?

Well..... I had this same dreams 3 times. I mean, so far there were 3 of them.
Not exactly the same, it was more like episode to episode. It progressed a bit every time.
I never had this kind of dream before. It is a sensation with uneasiness~~~
I am not ready to tell it yet.


Building a Friendship across Cultures

Tonight, I came across an article in a magazine talking about how to make friends across cultures. But mainly, it talks about how to make friends with westerners. (It is an English Teaching Magazine and of course, the main purpose of it is helping people to understand English both on the language and the culture) I thought it would be a good material to talk about in class and the reason why I choose the topic is that for Taiwanese, we always have this "Myth" and are fascinated by westeners somehow, some ways. Perhaps it is due to the distance and the gap between cultures or perhaps it has something to do with this imprint characteristic for once been colonized people like us who long for the authority from sovereign. Taiwan, though is independent and has its politics working in democractic system, somehow we never able to get away from colonized trait. Unlike Japan who is a very powerful country with immigrants all over the world. Japanese share the same stutus as other western countries, it is needless to mention about China.
But Taiwan.....we are somehow, always struggling between being indepedent and sometimes clinging onto western countries for protection. (Our fascination toward western foreigners may come from our struggling)
Taiwanese people are very friendly to western foreigners, but our conception and ideas for foreigners are sometimes quite limited. For people always assume foreigners are people either from America, Canada or England.
Working in an adult English Learning Center with more than 50% of foreign coworkers has gaveme more knowledge and experience regarding the ecology of foreigners in Taiwan.
To talk about it in details would definately be an epic. To cut it in short is:
1. Whatever their reasons in Taiwan, there are nice foreigners and bad foreigners.
2. There are indeed culture differences regarding living habits, values and men/ women relationship.
3. I only have a few foreign friends, though my clients think that I have plenty of experience.
4. Sometimes I feel hurt and irritated by Taiwanese cowokers or clients. Because of their different attitutes and treatments.
5. Overall, I still have an open mind to make friend with foreigners, but my option are left to those with reciprocal respects to people cultures and to those who care what you think and really listen to you without the colors of the skin


Time Management

24 hours a day is long enough for a day, but 7 days a week is a bit short for someone like me who always wish to have some time for herself. Compare to the life in Taipei, life is Taichung is much slower in many ways. But I think, the reason why I feel short of time has nothing to do with the places. It is my life style and my work that make me feel this way.
Summer is always the busiest time of the year for me for the past few years. Because students are in their summer vacation, so they would have more free time going to cram schools to improve their English. (There are many cram schools in Taiwan for all sorts of purposes)
Before I got into the graduate program, I spent about a year preparing for it and was already in the business of English teaching. But for the last three years, I was a student and couldn't get more part time jobs, the only time for me to make more money was the summer time. So, basically I had made my life fully for the past three years. Didn't waste much time!
Now I graduated and still is in the summer, I work extra hard to fill my life up.
And the thing is when you are busy working, you would somehow get busy as well at socializing with friends and get invitations from friends that you don't hear or try to avoid for some time. I spend my week days working from around 2 to 9:10 in the evening. (English teaching is always in the evening, for people to study English after schools or works)
On the weekends, I would go out for differnt reasons. And before Monday, I would regret for not saving some time for myself to do things that I want.

I need time to read some more. There are books lying around for a long time.
I need time to pamper myself with the some beauty treatment.
To lie in my bed and feel lazy and enjoy the loneliness.
I think, I need to figure a way to use my time more efficiently.


Higher Expense with Lower Income

Living here in Taiwan is getting harder and harder each year. With incredibly high college entrance rate up to 90% this year. It is firmer to believe that having a Master Degree isn't a guarantee to a better future. It cose more and more to live a standard life, but when the prices go up and up, the only thing that never raise is the salary. The average salaray that a univesity-graduated person gets now is the same as the one got 10 years ago.
The depression of the economy of the society is so great that developes the unbelivable social phenomena. People pamper themselves more for the pressure from works and which cause them to put up more debt and push some of them to kill themselves along with their kids or even the whole family. (it's happening every day somewhere in Taiwan) The rich people are getting richier and the poor people are getting poorer.
The birth rate goes lower and lower each year. Because young people can't afford the children and somewhat reluctant to share their lives with babies to drag down their living qualities. Only the foreign brides from Indonesia, China and Vietnam are helping with the baby-producing, however, due to the language and culture differences, the education for these young offspring are suffering from some difficulties fitting into schools.
Taiwanese women don't wan to put themselves in the positions of sacrificing roles in the families and demand more to keep up with fashion or career instead of keeping their hearts on their children.
The politics in Taiwan now is chaotic that people are raising money to urge President in Taiwan to step down from his sovereignty because his wife and son in law are in money scandals. There will sure to be a political commotion soon if the President did step down from his position. (Perhaps this is the reason why the US military increases his force on Guam and Okinawa or even Korea)
Who knows what's gonna happen if the President was overthrowed by the people? Will China take us over? They've always wanted to do that? Though many of us think that they would take us over by frustrating our ecomony, however, the situation now in Taiwan doesn't seem to need their effort of any kind but watching us corrupting. Anyway, it is sure that US government would never allow that to happen because Taiwan is like a partition between China and America.
Well.....what is my point here?????
I'm not trying to being political here, I am not a professional. Or to complain, either.
I am just thinking over the many questions that my friends and I talked about.
I've mentioned here on my blog that eversince I finished my thesis, people talked to me about my future career plan.
I think, that is something I need to face sooner or later. (I think I only have a few months to think it over, to change or not to change)
I do enjoy myself right now. I think, I've been working my ass out these past weeks. I need to teach 5-6 hours a day with full strength speaking non-stop, talking my throat out and tell you what, that's not easy. It is more tiring than people who work 8 hours in the office sitting at the computers.
But the good part is that I don't have a set-schedule and I don't have to get up so early, also that I get chances to talk and meet differnt people. It is fun somehow, to talk and chat with people about different topics.
I've been in this job for too long, I feel too secure to change. And afraid of changing or being too lazy to change is a fatally flaw for people in Taiwan.
This is a quick-change world here in Taiwan, if you thought slower and changed slower, you would definately ...........
The catch 22 situation here is that I can't bear to bury my head in the ground, pretending that my life is easy and feel content about my career and continue enjoying myself in the world of books and readings I enjoy so much. Nor could really bring myself up to face the difficulty I might have for the future.



Warmly shines upon
Sparklingly refelcts
Attraction draws on with tide's ups and downs
One end to another to a circle it becomes
Round and round and round without seeing a line to the end
How time could cross upon with different points stand?
Let one leads and another to move
To stikes the splash on the beautiful blue


Draining Oneself out with Fixation

Knowing something that you should not, and do it.
Persist on doing something even though the result might not be good.
Why torturing yourself with things that you have no power over?
Cease the day without waiting in vain.
Knowing thee to be the perfect catch but inept of knowing how to!
Can't bring myself to cross the gap that is already there!


A Story--What is a Helping Hand?

My late dinner with coworkers after work always turned out to be a real long dinner that last about 4 hours and ended up with me coming home at 1 o'clock in the morning.
I've worked in this language center as a language consultant for almost 4 years now. Seeing people come and go, who included sales, managers and consultants.
The coworkers that I was having dinnder with are the old faces that stick around in this company for years.
We've hung out a few time in these past couple weeks.
Everytime, the conversation would relate to one coworker's problem with her BF.
Thing is a little complicated, but in a easy way, it is that...this coworker of mine. She is the assistant manager in management department and about 8 months ago, she introduced her BF to be our assistant manager in language dep. In short, the thing is that they can't work together and their incompatible opinions led them to end up breaking up with each other.
Their relationship before the man works here has already contained some problems. And the issue gets worse after he started working with her.
During these few time hanging out, she has told us the difficulty in working with her ex-bf. How thing would be difficult, how awkward her situation is?
To suffer in keeping her man's ego or to keep and help him being professional is the biggest problem.
That was something that always struck me somehow with some feedback that I'd like to talk about.
What is a smarter woman to be? What do men want their women to be?
There is a saying in our culture goes that "To win your man's heart, you need to know his appetite first!" In another way, it is saying that, if a woman could be a good housewife who knows how to cook, then she could handle her man.
If men are the master of the world and the women are the ones that take care of the men, then who are the real master of the world?
Anyway, that is just one logic to view women and men's relationships from one angle. There are other logics as well to give out opinions.
My question here is...... does it make you a smarter woman if you could take care of your man well.
In some women's ideas, they are proud of being about to take care of everything in their men's lives. For example, to know where their men put their socks, or run errands for their men.
Of course, I agree that when you are in a relationship. Sometimes that is a gesture to show your love and show how thoughtful you could be.
But to spoil your man sometimes makes him stop from growing into a mature man. And to a woman who makes herself valuable only as a housekeeper really opposes to my idea and concept of how women should be.
What is the helping hand that men want?
Do men wish their women to give them suggestions directly when they are in needs?
Or do men like it better to have their women stand by their sides being cheerleader saying, "Go~~~"?
Or maybe neither of the above~~~(It's all about men's ego)
Women should just be who they are and better learn well on how to play the game 'hard to get' keeping their men's interests on their mysteries. (Perhaps men would love thier women more ?)
From my failed experience, I've tried the previous 2 methods on 2 different men. None of them worked. One time, I tried to be a great listener and gave out my advise with whole-hearted. One time, I tried to play a role that give out support by nodding my head with a smile to his plan for the future.
Maybe it was because I tried the wrong method on the wrong man.
Anyway..... instead of keep thinking of what men want their women to be, I'm thinking it would be better idea to find a mature man who know what he wants without your opinion in it. So it is easier that, as his woman, all you have to do is to respect him, support him and give him a kindly hand when he needs it.
Yap~~Mature Man........
Where are you???
Maybe there are no mature men?????
Maybe to win your man's heart is to understand his ego and do the the opposite.