Male > Female 男女不等

I knew no grandfathers and learnt nothing of them or from them.  They died when my parents were children.  My father didn’t bother with the girls.  After brunch on Sunday, he would take off with the boys and leave my mum with the babies and the girls.  Sometimes my mother took us to visit her rich uncle who had a mansion near the botanic gardens.  I think one of her cousins took this photo.  I am first on left, the second eldest daughter.

Mum and girlsMy father taught his sons:  兄弟如手足;妻子如衣服  -”brothers are like limbs; wives are like clothes”.  As for their sisters, my father said:  “be nice, they are only our guests until they are married.”

Some time after my sister married, Dad offered me an inheritance in exchange for spinsterhood.  That is, stay home to look after the elders and I would be left enough to live on.  My brothers’ wives had proved unequal to the task.  I declined and was left out of his will like the other female members of our family – his mother, his wife and daughters.

I was 24 and engaged to be married when Dad died.  Grandma survived him by fifteen years.   My mother lived another quarter of a century.  Four of his six sons lived less long than he; none had seen old age.

The cancer in my lungs is incurable but I need to live longer than Dad.  To prove that men and women are unequal in our family.  The women endure.

About Mary Tang

An urban orchardist everyday, a volunteer regularly, a poet sometimes and a blogger since March 2015. I travel when I can. Food is a constant.
This entry was posted in Memoir and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Male > Female 男女不等

  1. Sunshine Jansen says:

    To fully live the lives we make for ourselves, in spite of others’ 小心眼, that is the ultimate victory. I wish you a good long time to revel in your persistence.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cynthia says:

    I believe you will do that , Mary, and have many more adventures before your time is through here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. taphian says:

    Oh Mary, I’m nearly crying reading this sad story, and I hoped so much for a good ending. I always thought that my life was sad, but this is much worse. I hope so much that you can endure and live longer and be happy! That’s my wish for you, regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mattb325 says:

    I hope that you the adage of women outliving men is true for you, too, Mary and that it is a long and happy life!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. zdunno03 says:

    Women usually do live longer. It’s been proved they withstand pain and offering better than men. With that in mind, may you continue to prove the truth in that and live long and happy in this life.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We hope that you do, Mary – to enjoy, not to endure

    Liked by 2 people

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