This post was written by Jenni “Fang” Lee, an adoptee from China, who generously allowed me to republish here. You can watch Jenni’s TEDx talk about her story here. She is also one of the subjects in the incredible documentary Somewhere Between. This letter was written in response to a professor’s insensitivity about girls in China.
First of all, please do not talk to us like we are children. Second of all, please do not tell an entire class while laughing and cracking jokes that “people in China flush girls down the river and abandon them because no one wants a girl.” Where do I even begin, Professor? Should I tell you that there are such things as “social pressures and government policies” that force women/families to make critical decisions that they don’t necessarily want to make? Have you ever read your colleague’s book “Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son”? Did you consider not laughing and making fun of this sensitive topic?
Did you also know that I was one of those “unwanted females who every parent aborted” whom you so kindly speak of? Yes, you did know. How did you know? Because I told you on the first day of class while we all introduced ourselves and you asked us (the students) why we were taking the course. Oh, maybe you didn’t hear me because you weren’t paying attention? Why weren’t you paying attention? Ah, you must have been staring admiringly into the eyes of your favorite Amherst student.
Why did you continue to ignore my raised hand for at least 2 minutes, which a long time in classroom time? Judging from your actions, you must’ve wanted to ignore/silence me because you proceeded to call on the next Amherst student who raised his hand while totally disregarding my blood-drained arm that was still fighting to stay raised the entire time.
Lastly, Professor, if you are going to pull this kind of sh#@ in front of a Chinese adoptee, you should know who that Chinese adoptee is. And if you’re going to mess with a MoHo (Mount Holyoke student), you should know that she isn’t running back to her dorm room to cry about it, she’s going somewhere else – it’s called the Dean’s office.
An Unwanted Female
P.S. I am not one to shame people in public, but sometimes, an unwanted girl’s gotta do what an unwanted girl’s gotta do, right?