Be­ing Pam­pered Is Not a Bless­ing


Special Focus - - Contents - Zhang Man­juan 张曼娟

The big­gest cri­sis of be­ing in fa­vor is sud­denly fall­ing into dis­fa­vor. Dur­ing a chat with friends, a mar­ried man some­how com­plained about his wife, “God, I re­ally don’t un­der­stand women.”

An­other guy, with a calm smile on his face, said, “Women are not for un­der­stand­ing, but for ador­ing.”

Hear­ing those words, all the ladies around looked at him with ad­mi­ra­tion, mak­ing him the most charm­ing man of the night.

This scene re­minded me of my time in col­lege when my friends and I were look­ing for our Mr. Right. We al­ways said with a dreamy smile, “I hope to meet a guy who will treat me like a princess.”

Why do women need to be pam­pered?

For thou­sands of years, women have been lack­ing self-con­fi­dence, eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence, and men­tal free­dom in their lives. Their glory and dis­grace, their gain and loss, all de­pend on men. There­fore, be­ing pam­pered means win­ning wealth, sta­tus, rep­u­ta­tion, and power.

“Worry about go­ing out of fa­vor when in fa­vor, and be­come dis­con­so­late when fall­ing into dis­fa­vor.” That is a line from a poem of the Tang Dy­nasty ( 618907), which de­scribes the lin­ger­ing night­mare of women in an­cient times. This long his­tory, to this day, is still like bondage. Even af­ter the women’s lib­er­a­tion move­ment, they still de­sire to be pam­pered by men so as to prove their charm and sat­isfy their end­less van­ity.

Why do men pam­per women? It is anal­o­gous to the fact that we like to keep pets if we have leisure time and it isn’t too costly. Also, it is out of van­ity. Pam­per­ing oth­ers and be­ing pam­pered are based on sim­i­lar psy­chol­ogy.

Pam­per­ing women or keep­ing pets are ac­tu­ally one-way re­la­tion­ships be­tween a su­pe­rior and sub­or­di­nate. I do not re­ally envy those pam­pered women. What I want is un­der­stand­ing in an equal, two-way re­la­tion­ship.

A friend told me that some women just want to be pam­pered, but they fail to be un­der­stood. I cer­tainly know that for some peo­ple, even a short-lived ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing pam­pered, like fire­works, makes them feel happy. How­ever, be­ing pam­pered is too pas­sive af­ter all. It is com­pletely sub­ject to oth­ers and de­pen­dent on oth­ers.

For me, I still would rather choose to be un­der­stood. I de­sire to be un­der­stood, and I also want to un­der­stand the other per­son in the re­la­tion­ship. I would not be pre­sump­tu­ous in my love, nor be spoiled. If I am helped by my loved one, I want it to be out of un­der­stand­ing rather than in­dul­gence. If I am not sup­ported by my loved one, I would like to hear ra­tio­nal ad­vice that could make up for my short­com­ings. Thus, I would feel at ease in such an equal re­la­tion­ship based on mu­tual re­spect. ( From Select­edEs­says byZhangMan­juan , Changjiang Lit­er­a­ture and Art Press. Trans­la­tion: Chen Jiani)

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