Women of Asia

By: Dawn SRV

Aug 24 2013

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Category: Music and Art

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Being Asian, I’ve been asked for so many times if it is difficult for Asian women to achieve corporate executive position. I personally don’t find it all that difficult since I bump into many of them all the time. May be they get promotion because they are in the right place at the right time. But they’re as good as men in doing their jobs. However, I would like to remind you that such question can come from either curiosity or stereotyped concept embedded in westerner’s head about submissive nature which is an image of Asian women. So, people just wonder how an Asian woman achieves high rank position (if she doesn’t own the company).
Anyway, not every Asian woman is lucky. Some of them have to endure hardship just to survive. It happens elsewhere in the world as well, I guess.
So, when I heard that the play ‘Women of Asia’ would be re-staged I just secured first day ticket. The play-writer, Asa Gim Palomera, did a good job. The play has been written some thirty years ago, yet still sounds familiar. There are women who still have to sell virginity to send money back to poor, greedy parents. There are wives of high rank officers with several minor wives who have to endure husband’s dishonesty in exchange of fame and fortune. There are daughters-in-law burnt by their husbands’ families. Abused domestic servants, who had murdered their employers, received death sentenced. Yet they were raped by prison officers before being executed.
In this production, two other renowned actresses, Patravadee Mejudhon and Onchuma Yuthavong, also add sparkles to the play. Both are not on stage very often nowadays. So, it was a treat to see them again.
Post show talk with Asa helped us understand her better. She said that women pass on traditions – as mothers, wives and sisters. Yet, those traditions are not necessarily in women’s favour. In her own words, Asa said, “I wanted to present some sketches of the fight of Asian women and to exploit some Asian stereotypes practiced by the West. While in other sketches I show real problems that afflict Asian woman as denizens living in a male-dominated society that, oddly enough, they themselves help perpetuate. Much has been done to liberate women, but certainly much more still needs to be done.”


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