Saturday, 8 December 2012

Why Am I Here?

A friend and I were discussing whether women indeed talk more than men a couple days ago.  A pop-psychology book that came out a few years ago seemed to suggest that, but another study refuted the findings, claiming that the verbal output between the sexes is virtually equal, even if the content of those conversations may be different.

I am often uncomfortable with broad gender stereotypes and assumptions, so if I indeed get long-winded on this blog, please don’t think I represent all women.  Or even all women who live in Canada. Or Vancouver.  Or as my mother would say, please don’t think my daughter represents all women of Chinese descent. (And please don’t think she represents me either.)

As you can see, I can go on for longer even just with that.  Imagine how I might be with things that truly irk me. :-)

I was very irritated by the coverage of a radio prank earlier this week, and even more saddened when that turned deadly. (I genuinely hope that you don’t know what I’m talking about.)  I have no idea if there was indeed a causal link between the events.  On the one hand, I hope we never find out – that is, the media will stop reporting this and allow all involved their due privacy and respect.  On the other hand, if the airing of the prank indeed contributed to the death, I would like the media to reflect on their contribution to our obsession with other people’s lives when they can instead help us to live our own in more informed ways.

So there I was, having just read the headline about the deadly prank, ranting to a colleague about responsible reporting and what is really newsworthy. And then I thought of the studies about whether women use more words.  (My colleague seemed quite pleased when I indicated at the end of my outburst that it would be my only soapbox for the day.)  I decided that I didn’t want to just make a quick verbal rant.  I wanted to think deeper into some of these issues and invite others to share their thoughts.  But I was also fighting the stereotype of talking too much “as a woman”.  So I figured that instead of ranting to my friends and colleagues in person, I will start a blog! (Well, that's an idea that came during my sleepless night last night -- who knows? I may come to regret it.)

If you have suggestions about topics that we should think more about, especially if they have ethical implications but haven’t been discussed much in the mainstream media or academia, please let me know!  I have been chatting with friends about the healthcare system, whether graduate students are exploited, patents and proprietary companies, and so much more.  Now I just have to find the time to write about the issues.



  1. Dr Ho the blogger, I m so looking forward to see 'debates' here :)

  2. Well it's very interesting to read your blog. In a generalized point of view "the society made us believe" that women talk a lot. I agree where u said... It depends on issues being dicussed.... But it also depends on their social status like education, jobs/occupations, etc. As for me I find it "blogworthy" for u to write about ethics in regard to healthcare system, power (both political and corporate), multicultural diversity, etc... And emphasize on the process ethical choice/ decision making process.
    Keep the courage. Nelson

  3. Thanks, everyone. Keep your ideas/thoughts coming -- I just posted another entry based on what a friend asked me about. :)

  4. Donna H., Minneapolis21 December 2012 at 13:59

    Hey Anita!
    I love it! Your insights, wisdom, critical thinking, provacative (sp?)questions and humor are much appreciated. Makes me miss our conversations.
    Does the amount of talking depend on if the conversations are between men, between women or between a man and a woman?
    Armed guards in all of our schools to deter violence - as proposed by the U.S. NRA in the wake of the Connecticut mass killings. Would love to hear your thoughts.
    Happy holidays,


    1. Thanks, Donna, for your comments. Interesting questions. Will definitely need to think more. I suppose the amount of talking partly depends on what the people are trying to achieve. For example, I limit my blog length to under 600 words, even though I can definitely go on for much longer. (I'm working on a paper that has a 12000-word limit.) But if the purpose is simply to get the dialogue going, then it shouldn't be just me going on forever. I want to simply introduce the issues, and hear what others might think.

      I've been thinking about the NRA recommendations as well. Do you think these people truly believe that such recommendation would decrease violence? Most other countries with much lower crime rate with assault rifles don't have armed guards/teachers.