Sunday, 9 November 2008

再寫 princesses

上星期寫了一篇 Princesses,談到心地善良的 Shrek,談到變成醜妖的 Fiona 公主,談到我們不實際的幻想。

見 Justin 寫泡洋妞,又想再寫 princesses,寫 Ariel 在《The Little Mermaid》那美人魚公主。

同樣地,有機會看迪士尼的美人魚公主也是拜孩子所賜,原來 Ariel 為了一眼之緣的陸上王子,甘願背負海皇,冒險附魔,愛無反悔地犧牲自己的聲音、放棄自己的身份、遠離自己的家園及朋友,獨自到達異「地」,一心一意,只求表達自己的愛意,後來莫說王子的心,差點連自己的性命也犧牲了... 最後當然是大團圓結局。 不過說起來,是什麼令 Ariel 如此愛無反悔呢? 難道海王宮內沒有比 Eric 王子更有吸引力的少王子嗎?

除了'情人眼裡出西施'外,我想到一個字 : "exotic"。外來的異地的不同的東西特別有吸引力,正所謂'與眾不同'。

舉例,亞洲人很喜歡西方的嬰兒,還記得在我的少年時代,流行年輕孕婦在房內張貼外國嬰兒相的海報,聽說有助生個漂亮小寶寶來 (難道會幫助生個藍眼晴的小寶寶不成 :?),即使今天,西方嬰兒仍常是亞洲女人'肉緊'的對象,帶著小寶寶到亞洲旅行的西方人,便常是'受包圍'的對象。

另一方面,西方人覺得東方的嬰兒很可愛,也覺得亞洲的小朋友比較乖巧安靜。後者大概是 cliché,前者也是因為 exotic 所至吧 ?!

所以當 Justin 寫泡洋妞,mad dog 留言寫 「唔少竹星都係揀番 asian, 黐親鬼佬嘅香港人, 反而都係去咗嗰邊好短日子, 甚至無出過國, 非常奇怪」,我便想到 exotic 這字了。沒有所謂好不好該不該怪不怪,喜歡、想、好奇,自然地受異品所吸引吧了,年輕的我們不也是 Ariel 公主嗎? 見了識了,考慮便多了。 所以只有少年不怕虎,會追著夢義無反悔地跑,多美! 至於追不追到,藉不藉得像 Ariel 一樣放棄一切來追,又是另一個問題了。哎喲要是一天孩子要像 Ariel 追夢,我又該如何面對好了?

第二集的人魚公主,故事重演,Ariel 與 Eric 王子在陸地生活,却不准許女兒接獨海洋,生怕發生危險。 不過越受障礙越有吸引力,小公主還是跑到海洋去...

17 comments:

新鮮人 said...

子女大了,
父母要管都管不了,
唯有小時候多和他/她們溝通,
讓子女培養理智一點的思想,
將來遇到任何情況都可以做出一些合理的決定,
父母實在不可能完全控制所有情況了!

mad dog said...

ha... 我都係睇我認識嘅朋友/同事中嚟歸納啫, 好多都係咁嘛. :) 朋友同同事中, 真係好多唔識中文嗰啲唔黐鬼, 黐鬼嘅英文講唔掂... haha.

michelle said...

新鮮人: 在第二集的人魚公主裡,曾經放肆的 Ariel 竟然想盡辦法阻止其小公主外出,是安排得挺有趣的,她在重複著其父皇當年的禁命,而其女兒,也正重複著她年輕時的'少年勇',也許,這便是不斷重複着的代溝 :P

mad dog: 我沒有懷疑你所提到的例子啊,不過是借題發揮,想到異地風情的吸引力而已。 Justin 那邊的 video 其中一段有個跟白人走在一起的亞洲少女見到黑人即發狂,也覺得很好笑,人的慾望無窮,所言不假 :D

CR said...

大概這也是 the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence 吧?=)

michelle said...

cr: exactly, 隔離飯香 ;)

Snowdrops said...

I haven't seen Ariel, but it seems Disney might have given the original Hans Christian Anderson story of the Little Mermaid a sugar-coated update? Because Little Mermaid is a very sad story and doesn't really have a happy ending - the Prince fell in love with somebody else (a human) and the Little Mermaid couldn't bring herself to slay him to save her own life, and turned into sea foam in the end... Personally I prefer the realism of the Danish original than the Disney version... but that maybe because I'm a pessimist when it comes to these things.

As for the lure of the exotic, I think it's like any other force of initial attraction, and is fine if one is only looking for a casual date. But personally I think such an approach spells disaster for an actual relationship. I mean, there are only so many cutesy conversations you can have about the apparent differences between your cultural backgrounds and if that's all you could find to talk about, it's not a very solid basis for friendship, never mind an actual relationship. I mean, what happens when the novelty wears off and the person becomes familiar? I know of a few such couples who separated in the end because they finally see the other person for who they are and found that they actually couldn't stand each other when the veil of the exotic is blown.

Personally I can't stomach somebody dating me because of his Asian fetish (or even an Irish fetish! Although that's less likely!). I want to be taken as an individual first and foremost, and not because I serve as some kind of flesh-and-blood placeholder for some quaint Orientalist ideals on the part of my date. Unfortunately, that has more often than not tended to be my experience in the past. Oh well.

michelle said...

snowdrops: thanks for your footprint, am wondering if this is the longest i've ever got here ;P
I've not read the original novel but the Disney's version is pretty sweet, yes, as most of the time.

I agree that 'exotic' is an initial attraction. Then it depends very much on individuals' characters and effort to continue a relationship. Oh well, nowadays who can guarantee a couple even if they are of same culture, of similar personality, of same blabla... ?
I'm not encouraging people to 'try' this kind of 'exotic'. The reason of 'love' can't tell... its chemical, emotional i believe. This is exactly what i'm going to say regarding your taste of 'stomach'. Dating somebody 'because...' is not yet 'love' ;) If you can accept a casual date, why not ;D you never know if good feeling or true love can be produced later...

Snowdrops said...

Sorry Michelle, I tend to be a little long-winded when the topic is on a subject I like, thanks for bearing with me :)

Actually the first time I came across Little Mermaid was when I was in HK. My mum brought home a cassette tape of children's stories (narrated in Cantonese) and Little Mermaid was on it (the story on the other side of the tape was The Emperor's New Clothes). And then a few years ago, when I visited a Danish friend in Copenhagen, I learnt more about the history of the story and also saw an excellent theatre production of this classic tale.

I think we're both in agreement actually when it comes to the topic of the "exotic" :) I did mention that it depends if the two people involved manage to find any common ground than simply their mutual attraction on the basis of the other's foreign status. Dating is really just a process of finding out if there is anything in common between two people, and is very, very far away from love per se. However, my gut feeling objection to these kinds of dates is simply that, more often than not, the guys with an Asian fetish aren't interested at all in seeing the woman beyond the cultural stereotype, sometimes even long after they are married. For example, I remembering shuddering at how a professor I once knew, still referred to his better-half as his "Chinese wife", rather than just his wife. It's hard to separate out the majority of the guys who see dating an Asian woman as a mark of status, as getting a "trophy girlfriend" if you will, from the few who are genuinely interested in the person. And I think perhaps it is this that explains the phenomenon that Mad Dog describes?

michelle said...

hi Snowdrops: mmmh, i guess being able to feel what you feel now. I suppost you are also whom we call a 竹星 ? I don't know how it is in your side, but i don't notice people present their spouse as their 'asian wife, asian husband' or 'european wife, european husband' here in France, specailly if the asian is a borned-in-europe. Well, if it is what you described, indeed, it would not be a pleasant experience.

I do not think that it explains the phenomenon described by mad dog. I would like to think that 竹星 would think more like a western. However after having read a comment in Justin's post, it seems to me that their world is more complicated then i've imaginated...

Snowdrops said...

Hi Michelle, I hope you're feeling better? Like you, I'm also easily depressed by depressing weather...

Anyway, I've kinda answered your question about "Chook Sing" on my recent blog posts (as I don't want to make my comment here even more long-winded than usual!). I'm not a Chook Sing, but somehow it seems that my worldview is quite similar to theirs...

But I only wanted to say that, I think the phenomenon described by Mad Dog (let's call it the "Mad Dog phenomenon"? XD) might not have just to do with the initial attraction of the exotic. I'm surmising that, those girls with a good command of English and are well-travelled are probably looking for something more from their partners than just pure (physical/cultural) attraction of the exotic, thus they might not end up with foreign guys not because they are not attracted to them, but because those they have dated didn't manage to come up to their expectations as long-term relationship material. Whereas those girls with hardly a word of English, they might be more easily satisfied with just "landing a good catch", and be happy with just physical attraction and/or material comfort, and don't mind at all if their partners don't see them beyond a cultural stereotype, as they have hardly the communicative capacity to really understand each other anyway beyond body language. (In fact, they probably relish embodying the traditional image of Asian wives being meek and polite and takes care of the home, etc. etc.). For those couples, it's probably a match made in heaven.

(And I'm very sorry for dragging on this topic for so long!!)

michelle said...

Hi Snowdrops, thanks, i'm doing ok. Well in fact there's also something else other then weather...

Back to our topic, i'm afraid not being able to agree with you this time on your critic about the phenomenon. First of all, i think what mad dog said are just examples which i can't object, but these are not absolute cases. Seems that you are falling into a ciché of the phenomenon and have prejudged those two types of girls, criticizing too early.

Ok a well-educated girl (not necessary commanding good English i must add) looks for something more then physical or cultural attraction, however please, who is not eager for a true love? foreign or not is just an option, but not 'the' reason to determine whether a relationship lasts. Yes of course i must admit that same background helps a couple to develop their relationship... That is why i don't understand why a 'chook sing' can't go along with a western person.

Well, why is it so important to care whether your partner seeks a wife taking care home etc... if you are not the type, you wouldn't meet such a husband, and that is it. Anyway i suppose that most people, men or women, specially when they are young, have their stereotypes or ideal models of spouse. Some look for beauties, for their bodies, for sweetie, for care, etc etc... Then why should you put the 'skin' matter in such an important place? Why can't we just close our eyes and feel our future partners with our hearts? That remind me of those rich men who are scared of being cheated , beautiful women who are fed up being treated as sexy spouse....

'Chook Sing' seems to be an interesting subject. I start interesting knowing more about their world.

Snowdrops said...

Hi Michelle, thanks for your lengthy reply. It seems this is a topic that we both care quite deeply about :) So sincere apologies in advance if my tone below may sound a bit more passionate.

I know I was at risk of making sweeping generalisations in my last comment above, that's why my initial comments concentrate only on what I personally feel would be right for me. All I've been trying to say all along is why I can understand how some so-called "chook sings" (still not entirely comfortable with this label, but that's another subject!) may not end up with foreign partners. I am NOT saying that ALL chook sings will never choose a foreign partner, that has never been my point at all.

Like you, I basically work with Mad Dog's observations, and try to deduce reasons for why there is this pattern of observation. One could obviously dispute whether Mad Dog's account is a true picture of the real world, but as you didn't hesitate to profer your reasoning for such an observation in your original blog-post, I was merely following your footsteps to profer additional reason for same.

And perhaps I'm not explaining myself that well, but it's also never my intention to equate "well-educated" girls with only those who have a good command of English. English was mentioned only because that's what Mad Dog noticed about her peers. You could substitue good command of English with good command of French if you wish. It doesn't change my argument about the need for a viable communicative capacity on the part of both partners for a long-term relationship to work.

And am I really "criticising" the two types of girls?? I am merely saying that different kinds of girls will look for different things in their life-long partners. Obviously my personal choice will align more with the so-called Chook-Sings than the other extreme archetype, but that's just my personal choice, as I've been reiterating in my earlier comments.

And am I saying that ALL foreign men have an Asian fetish??? HELL NO!! Please don't misunderstand me. I mentioned that it was "more often than not" that personally I've dated people who have an Asian fetish, but I also have relationships (both the romantic and the platonic kind) with guys who don't have that ethnic filter. But just because there are these open-minded guys out there does not allow us to deny the fact that there are also ethnocentric guys out there who can't see beyond a traditional image of Asian woman.

All I am saying is that I don't conform to the traditional image of the pious, meek Asian woman myself, and I cannot stomach going out with a guy who expects that of me. But does that mean I'm not giving "true love" a chance? Of course not! I know when a person is not for me from my interactions with them, and not because I mark all so-called "gweilos" as a no-go area before I even talk to them. I mean, goodness gracious me, I may be a proud feminist, but I'm not one of those hoary old cliched "man-hating" feminist!!

At the end of the day, I don't see that much fundamental difference between both of our positions. All I've wanted was to build on your explanation of the initial attraction of the exotic, to further explain how that may also be the case for the so-called "Chook Sings" initially but why they may tend not to fall in love with foreigners as readily as the native local girls. Of course, in reality Mad Dog's description may turn out to be a spurious association, and if that's the case, we can of course all save our breath then :)

michelle said...

hello Snowdrops, i'm sorry if i've misunderstood your meaning but your last footprint alone gave me feeling of hearing an offensive arrogant lady hehe ;P Anyway, haha, i'm still not convinced by your statements (or simply can't get it) regarding why a chook-sing cannot or is not willing falling in love with a westerner, after all, if i assume that a foreign-born youth would 'think' like a westerner. However I think i would stop arguing here as i feel that there's something i miss in their world.

By the way, you are right, chook-sing is not a nice word meaning 兩頭唔通 in chinese. Say banana (皮黃心白) is better ;)

Snowdrops said...

"why a chook-sing cannot or is not willing falling in love with a westerner"

I was only surmising the reasons why based on my personal experience thus far. Perhaps my proposed rationales are unconvincing from your perspective, and that's absolutely fine with me. But proposing the reasons for why is VERY DIFFERENT from stating that Chook Sings are by definition unable to fall in love with foreigners. I'm not the one who made that proposition (in fact, no one above did). Mad Dog only made an initial observation about this supposed TENDENCY based on her experience, remember?

I was actually a bit upset at your insinuations there earlier. But never mind, we live and learn. This kind of debates has no right or wrong answers anyway, it was interesting to learn about your perspective, and as you say, we can agree to disagree :)

michelle said...

Snowdrops, don't be upset of my not being able to understand your explanation, or i just cannot FEEL it.

But please tell me where's the insinuations? i don't think i've put any 'insinuation' if i understand well the word 'insinuation'. If it is because i've put the definition of chook-sing at the end... oh NO, there's nothing to do with what we've discussed. It was just an understanding proposing what you've mentioned in your 1st paragraph... indeed 兩頭唔通 is not a compliment and is not polite, that is why i would prefer to say 'banana' instead. By the way 皮黃心白 is the center of my texte original: "because i 'thought' that foreign-born people are banana (meaning thinking like a westerner), they would be attracted by Asians due to 'exotic'...."

Snowdrops said...

Hi Michelle, thanks for your really kind message, I've replied over on my blog already.

I was only feeling that somehow you were insinuating I was this clueless and man-hating chook-sing who don't know what love is for her own good (and perhaps that's exactly who I am??), anyway I got really defensive then (as you could probably see from my previous long-winded message).

Afterwards I realised my defense was rather silly and unnecessary. As I have written previously on the subject on my own blog, everyone have their own axioms of love that they hold dear. I will just stick with what's best for me... My mistake, I now realised, is to give the impression that I speak for others, even though that's not really my intention.

Anyway, thank you so much for the space to tease out our thoughts on the subject, and for your kindness and patience in allowing me to bore on this subject for so long :)

michelle said...

Snowdrops: i'm really sorry if i have hurt your sentiment in a certain extend. I didn't know your stories behind. Honestly I don't think one second that you are clueless and man-hating, i don't even bear in mind that you are chook-sing (as you said you are not born overseas), and geeez i don't agree that a chook-sing is man-hating... I regret having realised only now that we are not discussing the subject in the same sense, and i should not have let the discussion started. my excuses.

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