From cradle to crèche, women are constantly being told what to do 面对他人的指手画脚，不要再做“好好小姐”，要学会勇敢说“不”
Although China has advocated gender equality for decades, the patriarchy is still alive and well. Being a woman in today’s society is tough—during each stage of a woman’s life, she will be instructed on what decisions to make, to be a perfectly well-behaved “好好小姐” (Ms. Hao Hao). She is also more likely to be judged by her gender instead of her personality or achievements.
For many, sexism begins at conception, when parents try to divine the gender of the fetus in creative ways (doctors are not allowed to reveal this information, to prevent gender-selective abortions.) After the birth, people may be quick to offer opinions to her parents—even if nobody explicitly says, “I am sorry you had a girl,” their attitudes are unmistakable:
A daughter will bring you less trouble than a son. At least you don't need to save money to buy her a marital home in the future. Sh8ng n)'9r b@ sh8ng 9rzi sh0ngx~n, zh#sh2o n@ b%y7ng z2nqi1n g0i t` m2i h$nf1ng le. 生女儿比生儿子省心，至少你不用攒钱给她买婚房了。
As “Little Hao Hao” becomes a toddler, she begins to explore the world, sometimes making a mess in the process. Her elders admonish her for not behaving like “女孩子家”( n)h1izijia, girl), and conforming to certain standards:
Why are you so mischievous for a girl? Y! g- n)h1izijia, z0nme zh-me t1oq#? 一个女孩子家，怎么这么淘气？ You're a girl, so act like a girl! N)h1izijia y3o y6u n)h1i de y3ngzi! 女孩子家要有女孩的样子！
When Hao Hao is old enough to go to school, she is a good student: hardworking, disciplined, and good at exams. Her teachers seem pleased, until one day, she overhears:
Female students outperform male students now because they are better at rote learning. When the courses become more difficult, they may fall behind. N)sh8ng xi3nz3i b@ n1nsh8ng xu9x! h2o sh# y~nw-i t`men g-ng sh3nch1ng s@j# y#ngb-i, d0ng k-ch9ng n1nd& ji`d3 le, t`men k0n9ng ji& g8nbush3ng le.女生现在比男生学习好是因为她们更擅长死记硬背，等课程难度加大了，她们可能就跟不上了。
The girl is upset to hear that her achievements are just a genderbased fluke, but instead of speaking up, she knuckles down and works harder, preparing for her university entrance exams, or gaokao. A good score allows Hao Hao to attend a top university—but which major to choose? As usual, everyone is ready with their two cents:
Girls aren't suited for science. You're better off choosing from the liberal arts. N)sh8ng b% sh#h9 xu9 l@k8. N@ zu#h2o h1ishi xu2n g- w9nk8 zhu`ny-. 女生不适合学理科。你最好还是选个文科专业。
They also have opinions on which university she should attend:
Why does a girl need to go so far from home? Just select a local school. N)h1izi l!ji` n3me yu2n g3nm1? Xu2n y# su6 b0nsh0ng de xu9xi3o ji& x!ng le. 女孩子离家那么远干吗？选一所本省的学校就行了。
Assuming Hao Hao accepts their advice, goes to a nearby university, and majors in a “soft” subject: She makes the most of it and has a great university experience. However, after she graduates, she must again make a tough decision: Aim for higher education or join the job market? But for the adults around her, that isn’t even a question:
Why does a girl need so much education? N)h1izi d% n3me du4 sh$ y6u sh9nme y7ng? 女孩子读那么多书有什么用？
Don't tell me you want to be a female PHD. You'll never be able to get married. Bi9 g3osu w6 n@ ji`ngl1i xi2ng d% ch9ng n)b5sh#. N3 n@ g`i ji3 bu ch$qu le. 别告诉我你将来想读成女博士，那你该嫁不出去了。
So, rather than risk her marriage eligibility by getting “over-educated,” Hao Hao looks for a job instead. There are plenty of options: some are challenging and stressful, but well-paid; others are stable and easy, but with little room for career advancement. She’s urged to choose the latter:
Girls don't need to push themselves too hard. A stable job is good enough. N)h2izi m9i b#y3o t3i p~n, g4ngzu7 w0nd#ng ji& h2o. 女孩子没必要太拼，工作稳定就好。
Still, she finds a job she likes and excels in it. She isn’t immune, though, from judgment in the workplace. If she accomplishes anything, sex is the reason:
She was promoted in such a short time. I'm sure she used the casting couch. T` zh-me ku3i ji& sh8ngzh! le, w6 g2n k0nd#ng t` sh# b-i “qi1ngu~z9” le. 她这么快就升职了，我敢肯定她是被“潜规则”了。
If she makes a mistake, gender is the cause:
This task shouldn't have been assigned to her. Women are “long of hair, short of brains.”
Zh-ge g4ngzu7 ji& b&g`i ji`og0i t`. N)r9n d3od@ sh# “t5ufa ch1ng ji3nshi du2n”.
If she gets into a disagreement with a colleague, it’s because she’s a woman:
Wherever there are women, there is drama.
N)r9n du4 de d#fang sh#r ji& du4.
Meanwhile, Hao Hao’s family and friends are pressuring her to get married:
“A man at 30 is a flower; a woman at 30 is tofu dregs.” If you don't get married soon, you'll end up a spinster. “
N1nr9n s`n sh! y# zh~ hu`, n)r9n s`n sh! d7ufuzh`.” N@ z3i b& ji9h$n ji& ch9ng l2og$niang le.
So she duly gets married before turning 30, and soon, her husband suggests that she spends more time at home:
Since ancient times, it has been “men outside, women inside.” Z#g^ y@l1i ji&sh# “n1n zh^ w3i, n) zh^ n-i” ma.
For women, family should come first.
N)r9n h1ishi y3o y@ ji`t!ng w9i zh7ng.
Simultaneously, the media tells her:
A woman is supposed to be a virtuous wife and a good mother.
N)r9n y~ngg`i zu7 ge xi1nq~ li1ngm^.
But even if Hao Hao gives in and becomes a full-time housewife, it’s difficult to live up to society’s expectations:
A good woman should be graceful in the drawing room and skillful in the kitchen.
H2on)r9n y~ngg`i sh3ng de t~ngt1ng, xi3 de ch%f1ng”.
And the nagging doesn’t stop there. Soon everyone is expecting the patter of tiny feet:
You have been married for so long. It's time to have a baby, or you will get too old.
N@ d4u ji9h$n zh-me ji^ le, g`i y3o h1izi le. Z3i b&
sh8ng n@ ji& l2o le.
A woman is incomplete if she doesn't become a mother.
M9i d`ngguo m`ma de n)r9n sh# b&
This once high-achieving student and successful employee is now pregnant— congratulations! Unfortunately, it’s a girl. At the hospital, people offer glib words of comfort: “A daughter is not so bad…” Only now does Hao Hao think of the comebacks she should have used years ago:
A daughter is as good as a son.
Sh8ng 9r sh8ng n) d4u y!y3ng.
Girls can also be playful and mischievous.
N)h1i y0 hu# t`nw1nr, y0 hu# w1np!.
Girls, like boys, can be creative and logical.
N)sh8ng h9 n1nsh8ng y!y3ng y6u chu3ngz3ol# h9
Girls can go anywhere in the world.
N)sh8ng y0 n9ng z6un1n chu2ngb0i.
Girls also have the right to seek higher education.
N)sh8ng y0 y6u qu1nl# ji8sh7u g`od0ng ji3oy&.
Women should care about their careers too, and seek out challenges.
N)r9n y0 y6u sh#y-x~n, y0 n9ng sh-ngr-n y6u
ti2ozh3nx#ng de g4ngzu7.
Women have the right to decide when, or whether, to get married.
N)r9n y6uqu1n ju9d#ng z#j@ sh9nme sh!hou ji9h$n,
hu7zh0 ji9 bu ji9h$n.
Women can also be breadwinners.
N)r9n y0 k0y@ zhu3nqi1n y2ngji`.
A woman is more than just a wife and mother.
N)r9n b& zh@sh# q~zi h9 m^q~n.
Women and men are equal.
N)r9n h9 n1nr9n sh# p!ngd0ng de.
A WOMAN IS MORE THAN JUST A WIFE AND MOTHER