i like to look into the mirror. i remember when i was a little girl, i often stood on my toes, trying to find my face in the mirror of the dressing table, which was nearly as high as i was. now i still like to look into the mirror. only now, the dressing table is too low for me. as i bend down, i see the face of a young woman, glowing with maturity, confident in her future and fascinated with her own reflection.
the fact that i like to look into the mirror has to do with my granny with whom i spent most of my childhood. i remember clearly that one night i heard her murmuring, "women can’t be seen. women can’t be seen." i was so confused as to look into the mirror the next morning to check if i could indeed see myself. only now as a young woman myself, can i understand that it was not physical visibility that granny had on her mind.
granny spent all her life taking care of the family, day in and day out. she cooked for her husband and 10 children. but whenever guests came, she and other female family members had to eat by the stove in the small kitchen. at family discussions, she was never asked for her opinion. after grandpa passed away, she had to listen to my uncle, her eldest son, fulfilled her duty as daughter, wife, and mother; yet as a person, she remained little noticed. even though she could see herself in the mirror of the dressing table, she was never visible in the mirror of society.
i have been living a different life. at home, i make decisions together with the rest of the family. in school, i often take charge of various activities the same as other boys and girls. not only that, i can see something granny could not have dreamed of─making decisions for my own future. my life has been a series of decisions. i could choose from several universities as i came out of high school. at university, i could choose from a range of subjects from english literature to business law. and now upon graduation, i am again faced with decisions─to further my study or to go to work; to stay in china or to go abroad; to get married right away or to remain single for a bit longer.
it does not matter whether or not i will become famous or rich, but i will treasure the chance to demonstrate my potential and to help other women demonstrate theirs as full members of society, fully visible in the mirror of history. i will treasure it because the abundance of choice that i enjoy came only after decades of efforts made by my granny, my mum, and millions of other chinese women.
however, the choices to be made by me and others of my generation are a great challenge. the misconception that men are superior to women is still dominating many people’s minds. while men are encouraged to compete and to assert themselves, we are expected to be quiet, loyal and obedient. this is not very different from what is expected of us as good wives and good mothers. the challenge we face calls for a higher level of our personal development and self-determination.
the story of my grandmother and myself mirrors the lives of millions of other women in china and perhaps in the world. many of them still lead the life of my grandmother. their worth is not yet recognized. it is the responsibility of a young person like me to work hard and struggle hard so that they too will see themselves and will be seen in the mirror of society.
this is my dream. this dream, i believe, is not only shared by our grandmothers, mothers and sisters, but also by many of our fathers, brothers, husbands and male colleagues.
it will not come true until everyone fully realizes that women can contribute to society and should be guaranteed the right to do so. women hold up half the sky.
我喜爱照镜子。LOcALhosT记 得很小的时候，我常常踮着脚尖在跟我差不多高的梳妆台前，想要看到镜子里自己的小脸。现在，我依然喜爱照镜子，只不过那张旧梳妆台已变得太矮了。弯下腰去 照镜子时，我看到的已是一个年轻、散发着成熟光彩的姑娘，一个对未来充满自信的姑娘，一个对镜中的身影依然那般着迷的姑娘。
爱照镜子的这个癖 好始于我和奶奶共同度过的童年时光。我清楚地记得一天夜里，听见奶奶低声自语：女人啊，别人怎么就看不见你，怎么就看不见你呢？我对此感到十分困惑，第二 天一早就跑到镜子面前要检验一下是否镜子照得见自己。直到现在长大成人后我才明白，奶奶所看不见的并不是镜子里的形象。
奶奶为了照顾一大家 人，起早贪黑，忙碌操持了一辈子。她每天为丈夫和十个子女生火做饭，每到家里来了客人，她却只能和家中所有女性成员一起挤在狭小的厨房里的灶前吃饭。家里 讨论家事，奶奶从没有过问的权利。爷爷去世之后，她只得听从新的一家之主──我的大伯，也就是她的长子。经历了一生的艰辛，奶奶尽到了作为女儿、妻子和母 亲的全部责任，但作为一个人，她却很少被别人关注过。尽管她能够在梳妆台的镜子中看到自己的模样，在家庭和社会中她却总是一个隐形人。
我过的 是与奶奶截然不同的生活。在家里，我与家人一同商定家庭事务。在学校里，我和其他同学一样经常组织各种活动。不仅如此，我做了奶奶做梦也想不到的事情：为 自己的未来做出选择。我的生活就是一连串自我抉择的结果。高中毕业时，我可以从众多大学中挑选一所。在大学里，我可以从一系列专业中挑选自己最喜爱的专业 ──从英国文学到商法。现在毕业将至，我又一次面对选择：或继续深造，或开始工作；或留在国内，或走出国门；或很快成家，或暂时单身。