I attended the "Twelve Faces of Woman" at the Arts Festival last night, and was helplessly disappointed with the so-called "vision" provided by most of the short films screened in the multimedia concert.
Not surprisingly, most short films focused on love, or more precisely, heterosexual romance, as if there is nothing else that can bother women more. As a female for more than 34 years, at least in biological terms, I wonder why both men and women are still so obsessed with the masculine stereotypes imposed on fellow females for so many years.
I can understand why men have done so to women. The answer is simple: Men want to maintain social order with a division of labour to keep women at home and at bay, so that women would not pose a threat to their hard-fought and established domination of social resources and discourse of history, among other things. Competition is keen enough among men. They don't need any more competitors other than fellows of the same species.
If we truly believe that human beings are born equal, regardless of their race, sex, family, class and education and so on, why do we still take the general stereotypes and expectations that were imposed on us many centuries ago for granted? Despite the calls from feminists of different schools throughout the years, why can't we just sit back and think twice before we rush to give ourselves a definition? Why can't we appreciate the fact that each human being is an individual that is unique and equal by nature, regardless of our race, family, class and education, and more importantly, sex? Why should we live up to others' expectations so much so that we may go that far to deny our sex, either intentionally or mockingly, if we want to do no harm to people around us but to live our own way?
I can't tell you how sick I feel when I am repeatedly told of how women look like in literature, films, drama and for that matter, especially those that are claimed to be avant-garde and refreshing with new perspectives. There are essentially nothing new but repeating and reinforcing the conventional stereotypes under dazzling disguise. Like the "Twelve Faces of Women", women are generally portrayed as creatures that treasure love (predominantly heterosexual romance with marriage and childbirth as the ultimate objectives) more than anything else, that are ready to give up anything else for the sake of love as defined above, that would become a piece of shit or unpredictable mess when they lose their ultimate goal of life. More importantly, women often lose their love not as a result of voluntary choice but as helpless victims of betrayal or any other reason. To me, this is nothing more than a disgusting and unforgivable denial of women as unique individuals who enjoy the same level of respect and dignity as any other human beings do.
I am waiting to be convinced why women are often portrayed in various forms of art as victims of love rather than people who make a sensible choice for their own good. At the same time, I am also waiting to see a piece of art in Hong Kong that is bold and understanding enough to show another face of women like me, who treasures personal dignity and freedom, both physical and spiritual, more than anything else. Love is by all means an enriching sphere of life, but this is by no means vital, let alone a matter of life and death. Family and friends and personal achievements are far more enduring and rewarding.
In the meantime, please pardon me and leave me alone if you happen to find me not meeting up to your expectations. I can't care less about this.