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美国为什么需要一位女总统

更新时间:2016-11-6 10:37:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why America Needs a Female President
美国为什么需要一位女总统

GREAT FALLS, Va. — When I was in third grade, my teacher asked who among us wanted to run for class president. I raised my hand along with a few boys, and the teacher told me to come to the front of the class. He turned me around to face the class and slapped my hands with a ruler, hard, and said, “That’s for thinking that a girl can be president of anything.”

弗吉尼亚州大瀑布——我上小学三年级的时候,老师问我们有谁想要竞选班长。和几个男孩一起举手的我,被老师叫到教室前面。他让我转过身,面向全班同学,然后一边用戒尺狠狠抽我的手,一边说道:“女孩动了当头儿的念头,不论是哪里的头儿,都要受到教训。”

That was almost 40 years ago in Seoul, South Korea, a few years before my parents and I moved to Baltimore. I’ve told that story often, as an example of the ingrained sexism in Korean patriarchal culture that I thought I had escaped when we immigrated to America.

事情发生在大约40年前的韩国首尔,几年后我随父母搬到了巴尔的摩。我常常跟人讲起这个故事,作为韩国父权文化中根深蒂固的性别歧视的例证,我认为自己在移民美国之际逃脱了这种文化。

After I became a naturalized United States citizen in high school, I wrote college admissions essays about this experience, about how lucky I felt to have officially joined a nation that valued egalitarianism. In my 20s, when I became president of a company I co-founded, I gave speeches that began with this story, and I spoke about how grateful I was that my parents had brought me to a country where girls can dare to become president of whatever they want.

在读高中时归化为美国公民以后,我在大学入学申请信中提到了这段经历,还提到我为自己能够加入一个崇尚平等主义的国家而深感幸运。到了20几岁,我成为了一家公司的联合创始人和总裁,演讲时总爱拿这个故事开头,并谈及我多么感激父母,带我来到了一个女孩不论想当哪里的头儿都胆敢去当的国家。

People liked this story. I liked telling it. Whenever I shared it, I could see in the listeners’ faces what I was feeling: disbelief that such a thing could happen anywhere, combined with an almost conspiratorial sense of superiority in being American, of pride in our progressive, forward-thinking society that had long ago abandoned such outdated ideas of what women could and couldn’t do.

人们喜欢听这个故事。我也喜欢讲。每当讲起它的时候,我在听者脸上都能看到与我内心的感受相呼应的东西:对这种事情居然会在任何地方发生的难以置信,还掺杂着因为身为美国人而自带的几乎是心照不宣的优越感,以及因为我们身处一个具有前瞻性思维的进步社会,早已抛弃了女人该干什么、不该干什么之类的过时理念而生发出的骄傲之情。

The irony, of course, is that South Korea has a female president, Park Geun-hye, who took office in 2013, whereas America still has not had one. What’s even more disconcerting is that South Korea isn’t the only patriarchal country to have had a female leader. Just looking at Asia and the Middle East, for example, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Israel have all had female presidents or prime ministers.

当然了,颇具讽刺意味的是,韩国现在有一位女总统,也就是在2013年上台的朴槿惠(Park Geun-hye),而美国至今还没有过女总统。更加令人不安的是,韩国并非唯一一个已经有过女性领导人的重男轻女的国家。举例来说,单是在亚洲和中东地区,泰国、斯里兰卡、印度、菲律宾、巴基斯坦、孟加拉国、尼泊尔、印度尼西亚、吉尔吉斯斯坦、土耳其和以色列,都有女性担任总统或总理的先例。

The gender of a leader is not a country’s only barometer of its commitment to egalitarianism, and it goes without saying that the United States is more progressive in terms of gender equality than many countries that have had female leaders. Certainly, South Korea’s having a female president does not make me regret my family’s move to America.

领导人的性别不是一国对平等主义认同程度的唯一晴雨表,而且毫无疑问,美国就性别平等而言比很多已经有过女性领导人的国家都要进步。显然,即便韩国有一位女总统,我也不会对自己随家人搬到美国感到后悔。

Many female leaders came to power as part of a political dynasty. Ms. Park, for example, was the daughter of a powerful former leader and rose to prominence when she became acting first lady after her mother was assassinated in 1974. Many other female leaders were prime ministers who were not elected directly by their citizens, and some were interim presidents only for a short time.

很多女性领导人都是以政治世家成员的身份上台的。譬如,朴槿惠是一位极具影响力的前领导人的女儿,曾在她母亲于1974年遇刺身亡后代为扮演第一夫人的角色,继而声名鹊起。其他许多女性领导人,有的是并非由选民直接选出来的总理,有的只当过不长时间的代总统。

Some people argue that female leaders face an inordinately high level of scrutiny and criticism compared with male leaders. Indeed, Ms. Park is embroiled in a scandal in which South Koreans are calling for her resignation. But regardless of how or why female leaders came to power or how they’re treated in office, the one advantage that these countries have over the United States is that their people have seen and experienced a woman in power, thereby normalizing the idea of women’s leading and representing both men and women. In those countries, it is now accepted that a woman can be in charge.

一些人认为,比起男性领导人,女性领导人要面对超乎寻常的审视和批评。事实上,朴槿惠眼下卷入了一桩丑闻,韩国人正敦促她辞职。但不管女性领导人是怎样或者因为什么上台的,也不管她们在职期间受到了怎样的对待,这些国家与美国相比都有一个优势:它们的人民已经看到并领略过女人掌权是个什么情况,从而让女性可以领导并代表男性和女性这一观念常态化。在这些国家里,人们已经接受了女人可以掌权的观念。

Back in third grade, my female classmates and I were upset over what happened but not particularly surprised. I bet that girls in classrooms across South Korean today would be shocked by a teacher punishing girls for wanting to run for president; they wouldn’t stand for it. Because once something has happened, it is no longer unthinkable.

说回小学三年级,我和我的女同学对当时发生的事情感到沮丧,但并不特别惊讶。我相信,在现如今的韩国各地,女学生如果看到老师竟然因为女孩想要当总统而施以惩罚,肯定会大为震惊;她们不会忍气吞声。因为有些事情一旦发生,就不再是匪夷所思的了。

The youngest of my children is now in third grade. For him and his classmates, the only president they have known is African-American. To them, the idea of an African-American national leader is normal, the way things have always been in their lives.

我最小的孩子目前在上三年级。他和他的同学们所知道的唯一一位总统是非裔美国人。对他们来说,由非裔美国人来领导国家的观念再正常不过,他们的生活一向就是如此。

I hope for my son and his classmates, both girls and boys, that the next president they see is a woman, and that they grow up with the idea of a female president as normal.

我希望我儿子和他的同学们——不论是男孩还是女孩——看到的下一任总统会是一位女性,希望他们在女人当总统被视为理所当然的环境中长大成人。

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