Friday, August 19, 2011

I Am An American Boy

          Today I realized that I am an American boy. I guess this has come as quite a shock to me, but what is more unbelievable is that it has taken me three months of attending to Chula to realize this.
          Now you're probably wondering how I came to this conclusion about my identity. Well, I will illustrate the discernment process in reverse...
          This afternoon, during Intro to Communications class, I found myself staring at the following note I had jotted from the lecture:
Collective Society vs. Independent Society
Asian                 Western
feminine              masculine

          I suddenly felt embarrassed of how I have interacted with people this whole time. It was shamefully clear (hopefully only to me) which category I fall under. As an only-child, I am extremely insensitive to the feeling of loneliness, which means that doing things solo is nothing but normal to me. Secondly, as I have mentioned before, I grew up within the confines of an international bubble in Bangkok. This upbringing is transparently reflected through my speech, dress, and manner. And finally, I walk like a man. Not even kidding. You can ask the guys in my martial arts class or my annoyed mother. (But really, on that last point, I am such a guy. I have always been naturally drawn to masculine activities. Take my passion for martial arts and drums, for example, and my disdain for ballet and clickflicks.)
          As Professor James went on with the lesson, surveying the class about their usual behaviors, the mindfuck was becoming to much for me to take. I even felt the need to lie low on response.

"Do you go watch movies by yourself?" Yea... is that abnormal?
"Who pays for the ticket (movie)?" Me.
"Do you go shopping alone?" Yea.

            "Women tend to be more empathetic in their responsiveness..." This made me think about what happened at the beginning of class. How many of my girlfriends in the backrows had beckoned me to abandon my first-choice seat - alone in frontrow - to sit with them. They looked at me with such pity, like "she's all up there alone." One of them even said something along that line out loud. I did not get their pity. As I did not get how strange, maybe even rude, I must have seemed declining on a bathroom excursion with them when I didn't need to "go". Note-to-self: when one girl wants to go to the bathroom, they all do. Note-to-self. Again, collective society. 
          There are so many more evidences that I'm not sure I want to share, but I think it's clear enough already that I am not a Asian girl. So what am I going to do with this information? I don't know yet. I still see nothing wrong with the type of person I am, so I don't plan on conforming... Maybe I'll go study anthropology.

1 comment:

  1. This is interesting! I've never gone to watch a movie alone, even though I always dream of doing so. When I was younger I didn't feel comfortable going to the bathroom alone too, but this feeling kind of faded away when I grow up. Reason for this transition might be the fact that I moved from a girls-only Thai school to an international school with a bunch of more independent people.

    It's nice that you kinda analyze yourself and your behaviors. At least I think it is interesting to read! Now I feel like I should find some times to sit down and contemplate on this stuff too! ;)