From the beginning, I assumed my Mandarin textbooks would be on the dull and plain side, meaning unconfrontational and PC (at least by CCP standards). So, as you can imagine, I was taken aback this week when a passage broached the subject of sex discrimination in the workplace. This particular passage centered around a 20-plus y/o female, unhappy with her current job, and on the prowl for a new opportunity. She went on three different interviews. The first interviewer mistook her for a secretarial candidate. When she corrected him and explained she was actually interviewing for the department manager position, he acknowledged her experience and qualifications but explained bluntly that they wanted a man for the job, because “women have trouble managing both work and home responsibilities.” The second interviewer also acknowledged her credentials but then asked her her height and weight measurements. In the end, he rejected her application because she didn’t meet their physical criteria (less than 100 lbs. PLUS 160 cm tall). “I’m looking for a job not competing in a beauty pageant,” the woman argued. You tell ’em, woman!
Pretty weird though, huh? The textbook really caught me off guard with it’s telling inequality like it is, you know? And the woman! Unfortunately, she didn’t land any of the jobs she interviewed for, but her character was so feisty, confident, and assertive. Overall, a pleasant surprise for my Mandarin books.