Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Monday, November 14, 2005

I had the most interesting evening.
Tonight I taught a class. It was set up as an open forum that anyone from the factory could come to. At 8:20pm the 20 chairs were full and stools, boxes etc from all over were carried total more than 80 people (men and women) showed up to my talk on birth control.

Mag, she runs my account and is sort of the house Mom to everyone at the factory, she had asked me if i'd talk to everyone about birth controll since there was such little education in China and so many girls were getting pregnant without even know how/why. I know that sounds crazy, but if you were to hear some of the'd be stunned. (ie: You can't get pregnant until you've "practiced" a few times, right?) If a woman gets preganat here and the man involved denies it's his. She is shunned...whether she keeps the baby or not. She won't stay in the city she's in due to shame, and she won't return to her own village having shamed her she'll pick up and move, alone, to another city to start over. Shocking.

The talk was translated into both Cantonese and Mandarin to make sure everyone understood it the best possible.

Not only has it continually broken Mag's heart to have workers continue to come thru the door in tears that "somehow" they are pregnant...but then these ladies feel they must move on and the factory looses trained workers...and who knows if these ladies will find a new job at such a nice place as this factory. Plus - a woman with a child, having no father will simply be shunned most anywhere she goes.

PLUS - this particular region of China has the highest rate of we spoke about asking your partner to be tested etc...and having enough respect for yourself to have the courage to make sure you stay healthy. The looks on their faces when I said the pill didn't protect you from any STDs...

The talk lasted 1.5 hours and seemed to be well listened to.
It was really interesting to see the cultural differences that came out. The fears.
Education is power...

Makes me want to go from factory to factory to do this talk...


Blogger Melissa said...

that's really awesome that you gave the speech on birth control. i'm in the fashion industry and i always wonder about the education and situation of the workers. i wish there were more people like you over there to help with such things.

7:43 PM

Anonymous marjorie said...

So glad that you are giving this talk to men and women in China. This would be a start to fewer STDs and 'unwanted' babies. Keep it up!!

8:59 PM

Blogger Sorka said...

Glad to hear you are dong this. BOy though if I was there I would also add to just tell those guys to shove off.. and forget it.. no wedding ring no fun man.. YOU don't have to deal with the consequences and get shunned, and thrown out and all that.. gad!!! It's not worth it.. and you can't catch and STD if you don't do it..
Anyway.. it makes me mad that women take the brunt in these situation.. soo not fair.. the guy should have his @#$! fixed so he can't cause this problem anymore..hehhe
(really I am a nice person normally..)

9:37 AM


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