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美国把我变成一名女性主义者

更新时间:2017-6-14 11:15:03 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

America Made Me a Feminist
美国把我变成一名女性主义者

I used to think the word “feminist” reeked of insecurity. A woman who needed to state that she was equal to a man might as well be shouting that she was smart or brave. If you were, you wouldn’t need to say it. I thought this because back then, I was a Swedish woman.

我曾经觉得,“女权主义者”这个字眼有缺乏安全感之嫌。一个需要宣称自己与男性平等的女性,就好比要高呼自己有多聪明或勇敢。如果这是实情,你根本不用说出来。我这么想是因为,当时我是一名瑞典女性。

I was 9 when I first stepped into a Swedish school. Freshly arrived from Czechoslovakia, I was bullied by a boy for being an immigrant. My one friend, a tiny little girl, punched him in the face. I was impressed. In my former country, a bullied girl would tattle or cry. I looked around to see what my new classmates thought of my friend’s feat, but no one seemed to have noticed. It didn’t take long to understand that in Sweden, my power was suddenly equal to a boy’s.

第一次踏进一所瑞典学校时,我9岁。刚刚从捷克斯洛伐克过去的我,因为移民身份而被一个男孩欺负。我的朋友,一个小女孩,一拳打在那个男孩脸上。我惊叹不已。在我之前生活的国家,女孩受了欺负只会打小报告或哭泣。我向四周张望,想要瞧瞧新同学们如何看待我朋友的壮举,但似乎没有谁注意到这事。没过多久我就明白了,在瑞典,我突然拥有了和男孩子同等的权力。

In Czechoslovakia, women came home from a long day of work to cook, clean and serve their husbands. In return, those women were cajoled, ignored and occasionally abused, much like domestic animals. But they were mentally unstable domestic animals, like milk cows that could go berserk you if you didn’t know exactly how to handle them.

在捷克斯洛伐克,工作了一整天的女人回家后要做饭、打扫、服侍丈夫。作为回报,这些女人会被哄骗、被忽略,有时还会被虐待,很像家畜。但她们被视为精神状态不稳定的家畜,就像是奶牛,如果你还不知道如何对付它们,它们是会对你发狂的。

In Sweden, the housekeeping tasks were equally divided. Soon my own father was cleaning and cooking as well. Why? He had divorced my mother and married a Swedish woman.

在瑞典,家务活是平均分配的。很快我自己的父亲也开始打扫和做饭了。为什么?因为他跟我妈妈离了婚,娶了一个瑞典女人。

As high school approached, the boys wanted to kiss us and touch us, and the girls became a group of benevolent queens dispensing favors. The more the boys wanted us, the more powerful we became. When a girl chose to bestow her favors, the lucky boy was envied and celebrated. Slut shaming? What’s a slut?

快上高中的时候,男孩们想要亲吻和触碰我们,我们女孩成了一群施恩的仁慈女王。男孩越是想要接近我们,我们就变得越强大。当一个女孩选定施恩对象时,那个幸运的男孩会被羡慕、被祝贺。羞辱荡妇?什么是荡妇?

Condoms were provided by the school nurse without question. Sex education taught us the dangers of venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancy, but it also focused on fun stuff like masturbation. For a girl to own her sexuality meant she owned her body, she owned herself. Women could do anything men did, but they could also — when they chose to — bear children. And that made us more powerful than men. The word “feminist” felt antiquated; there was no longer a use for it.

学校的护士提供避孕套时不会东问西问。性教育告知我们性病和意外怀孕的危险,但也会侧重于一些有趣的事情,比如手淫。对一个女孩来说,拥有性意味着她拥有自己的身体,她是自己的主人。男人做的任何事情,女人都可以做,但如果愿意的话,她们还可以生孩子。这让我们比男人更强大。女性主义者这个词给人以过时之感,它已经派不上用场了。

When I moved to Paris at 15 to work as a model, the first thing that struck me was how differently the men behaved. They opened doors for me, they wanted to pay for my dinner. They seemed to think I was too delicate, or too stupid, to take care of myself.

当我在15岁那年以模特的身份搬到巴黎时,头一件令我震惊的事情就是,男人的行事方式竟会如此不同。他们为我开门,他们想要为我的晚餐买单。他们似乎认为我太脆弱,或太愚蠢,无法照顾好自己。

Instead of feeling celebrated, I felt patronized. I claimed my power the way I had learned in Sweden: by being sexuality assertive. But Frenchmen don’t work this way. In discos, I’d set my eye on an attractive stranger, and then dance my way over to let him know he was a chosen one. More often than not, he fled. And when he didn’t run, he asked how much I charged.

我没有觉得受到恭维,反而有被人屈尊俯就之感。我以在瑞典学到的方式宣示自己的权力:在性方面积极主动。但法国男人似乎不吃这一套。在迪斯科舞厅,我会盯住一个有吸引力的陌生人,跳着舞凑过去,让他知道他被选中了。但他通常都会跑掉。如果没跑,他会问我要价多少。

In France, women did have power, but a secret one, like a hidden stiletto knife. It was all about manipulation: the sexy vixen luring the man to do her bidding. It wasn’t until I reached the United States, at 18, and fell in love with an American man that I truly had to rearrange my cultural notions.

在法国,女人的确有权力,但那是一种隐秘的权力,就像一把暗藏的短剑。一切都在于操控:性感的狐狸精引诱男人听她的吩咐。直到在18岁那年抵达美国,并与一个美国男人坠入爱河,我才真的不得不重新整理自己的文化观念。

It turned out most of America didn’t think of sex as a healthy habit or a bargaining tool. Instead, it was something secret. If I mentioned masturbation, ears went red. Orgasms? Men made smutty remarks, while women went silent. There was a fine line between the private and the shameful. A former gynecologist spoke of the weather when doing a pelvic exam, as if I were a Victorian maiden who’d rather not know where all my bits were.

事实证明,大多数美国人并不把性当作一种健康的习惯或讨价还价的工具。而是视之为某种秘密的东西。如果我提起手淫,就会有人耳朵发红。性高潮?男人发表情色的评论,女人则闭口不言。隐私和羞耻之间仅有一线之隔。一名前妇产科医生做盆腔检查时谈论着天气,就好像我是维多利亚时代的少女,宁愿不知道自己身上的零零碎碎都在哪里。

In America, a woman’s body seemed to belong to everybody but herself. Her sexuality belonged to her husband, her opinion of herself belonged to her social circles, and her uterus belonged to the government. She was supposed to be a mother and a lover and a career woman (at a fraction of the pay) while remaining perpetually youthful and slim. In America, important men were desirable. Important women had to be desirable. That got to me.

在美国,一个女人的身体似乎属于所有人,除了她自己。她的性爱属于她的丈夫,她对自己的看法属于她的社交圈,她的子宫则属于政府。她应该是一个母亲、一个情人以及一个职业女性(只拿一小部分工资),同时永远保持年轻和苗条。在美国,举足轻重的男性令人神往。举足轻重的女性则必须楚楚动人。这一点让我恼火。

In the Czech Republic, the nicknames for women, whether sweet or bitter, fall into the animal category: little bug, kitten, old cow, swine. In Sweden, women are rulers of the universe. In France, women are dangerous objects to treasure and fear. For better or worse, in those countries, a woman knows her place.

在捷克共和国,女人的昵称不论甜美还是难听,都难免落入动物范畴:小虫、小猫、老牛、猪。在瑞典,女人是宇宙的主宰。在法国,女人是令人既珍视又害怕的危险品。不管怎样,在这些国家里,女人知道自己的位置。

But the American woman is told she can do anything and then is knocked down the moment she proves it. In adapting myself to my new country, my Swedish woman power began to wilt. I joined the women around me who were struggling to do it all and failing miserably. I now have no choice but to pull the word “feminist” out of the dusty drawer and polish it up.

但美国女人一面被告知她可以做任何事,一面在证明这一点时被打倒在地。适应这个新地方的过程中,我身上瑞典女人式的强大之感开始萎缩。我加入了周围那些女人的行列——她们竭力变得无所不能,却惨遭失败。我现在别无选择,只好从尘封的抽屉里拽出“女性主义者”这个词,并把它擦得锃亮。

My name is Paulina Porizkova, and I am a feminist.

我的名字叫保利娜·波利斯科娃(Paulina Porizkova),我是一名女性主义者。

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