The Hidden Seduction – Part VI-2
Ou Yang would pop up at Simone’s door whenever she wanted to talk or “needed” advice. Simone soon grew tired of Ou Yang’s non-mutually-beneficial visits after seeing that Ou Yang was not really interested in listening to the advie she was seeking. Sometimes she felt that the visit was good for no one at all. Nevertheless, going out dancing was always an exception. After all, Simone had enough strength and empathy in her heart to continue doing her best to help Ou Yang in her own way, which would be considered too direct for Chinese. To Simone, directness was the result of all her knowledge and experiences and it would save Ou Yang precious time in this critical moment in her life. At least she could show Ou Yang part of the joy of life – the pleasure of dancing. Indeed, dancing had served as the strange link between the two very different girls and sometimes as the only way for Simone to continue her hidden mission.
Ou Yang had invited herself to yet another lunch at Simone’s house. Simone prepared a simple lunch of Italian bruschetta and some fruit.
“I heard that Quebecois men are very cheap! They won’t even buy you a cup of coffee!”
Well, that was not the first time Simone heard such a comment about the men of Quebec.
Ou Yang was like most daughters of the Chinese women who have been liberated by Chairman Mao in 1949. Strangely, these women still tangled themselves up as if they had never been free from their traditional roles as dependents of men and society. The first two generations of the new China embraced their new roles passionately, but the third and fourth generations slowly shifted back into finding delight in praising men who provide, and spitting out hideous contempt on those who could not; words so spiteful that they could give you goose bumps. They loved nothing more than for men to pay for everything when they went out, and in their heads they unequivocally demanded “chivalry” when they were invited out. An invitation in the rest of the world still means that the inviting party pays, but in China, dating expenses were like entrance examinations for men! Even though some of those Chinese women are now living in different western countries, their way of thinking is like a fully laden train rolling downhill.
The cultural differences and expectations of women in dating say a lot about the societies they live in. Chinese women made a big step forward after 1949, but soon got lost in its revolutions when humanity simply disappeared. And now, as men are getting wealthier and society is automatically putting itself in the hands of women through the One Child Policy, women seem to have happily resumed their traditional positions as prized merchandise, instead making further steps forward.
In China, Ou Yang had never paid for tea or a meal; boys had always treated her. Especially as a college graduate, she was a hot commodity on the market. Men would usually pay anything to have a university-educated woman attached to their social status. The girls then lived in a time when diplomas were “sexy” symbols of advancement and glory, and a great attraction for men. Of course having money was not the only criterion for Ou Yang, she wanted more than that, but paying coffee or a meal was still the first test a man had to pass.
Upon hearing Ou Yang’s words, Simone frowned inwardly, but agreed to the comment at once to keep her disapproval from showing, thus paving her way into the following conversation. Returning to her seat after fetching a glass of juice, she said to Ou Yang:
“But you know, getting to know the person as a whole is more important than judging them only upon whether or not they paid for you on the very first date.” Ou Yang had managed to judge the men of Quebec through gossip before meeting a single one.
“Well, I detest men who can’t even buy a cheap coffee for the woman they invited! You cannot depend on a man like that!” Ou Yang was quite passionate when she commented, as if she had a real opponent in mind.
“Ou Yang, maybe he did not mean to invite you? Maybe he does not know you enough to invite you? If you do not agree to try him, you will not go out with him, right? So, aren’t you having an equal chance and shouldn’t you share the cost?” Simone spoke her opinion without hesitation.
Ou Yang had a great talent for turning things to her favour. She was perfectly reasonable in thinking that she could not go for a man that was not as good as her husband, who had already been paying for everything for her, who handed over all of his pay every month without delay. Yes, it would be demeaning if she had found a man who would do less for her than her husband.
“Well, you have to understand that Quebecois men are used to independent women. Quebecois women enjoy paying their own bills, because their mothers and grandmothers had no individual identity (they bore the names of their husbands), no chance to work, no right to have a bank account, and absolutely no access to their husbands’ accounts up until the 1960s! Now they are enjoying the freedom of working for their own money and spending it how they want, instead of “being treated” by men like they were before”
Simone looked directly into Ou Yang’s eyes: “You have money for coffee, don’t you?”
Hearing the softly spoken but very clear and direct question, Ou Yang suddenly turned red.
“No, that is not the point! Of course I have the money. I have more savings than them after my tour guide job in China, but I need to see that they love me,” she protested genuinely.
So the debate over whether money represented love or not lasted twenty minutes, until Simone grew tired of trying. Ou Yang argued as if she was not there to listen to different ideas from the girl she seemed to trust, but to show off her princess-like value and pride as a kidnapped Chinese woman.
In Ou Yang’s mind, if a man was not even willing to pay for a coffee, he would be too cheap and untrustworthy in a relationship. It had nothing to do with money. Ou Yang was a complete princess, a princess who grew tired of her slave husband, a queen with an eight year old, a hard-working, priceless woman who was not shy at all to think for a second of her own unfavourable situations…
To be continued…