Sunday, January 17, 2010

她的故事

(續前文

這位非常特別的女人是M。

她在商界舉足輕重,本地與她地位相若的女性,大概不會很多。
出身也好。爸爸富甲一方,媽媽有清朝皇族血統。
非常聰明、漂亮。懂音律、會騎馬,是運動能手。
七十年代在美國唸大學,本科是電腦。第一份工作,是程式員。
一出生便擁有這麼好的條件,有今天的地位真是理所當然。我以為她的故事必然陳套,過程一定沉悶,一如大部份歌功頌德的名人誌。

但她還是讓我意外了。

她告訴我,這一生對她影響最大的人,是外婆。
因為母親忙於陪父親應酬,照顧她的責任,落在外婆身上。
外婆從小教她:「你生於這個年代,就可以和男人一樣本事。你要努力讀書、學習獨立,將來儘量爭取機會到外國進修。」她一直牢記這句話。

M是富家女,長得又聰慧漂亮,但外婆從來沒有向她說過什麼『你要安份守己,當個賢慧女人,將來一定嫁得好』的話。這位生於一個世紀以前的女人真是不簡單──外婆是貴族之後,丈夫是外交人員,見識與一般女人不一樣,知道女人的出路不再只有嫁人一途。要改朝換代了。

M一直記住外婆的話,中五畢業後,便報考美國的大學,自己一手一腳準備一切。
電影公司叫她去試鏡,父親為她拒絕了:「我女兒將來是要唸大學的。」
其實在那個年代,女生唸到中五已經很了不起。

後面的故事還很長,她的一生充滿傳奇。
M的起點比許多人都高,但她仍然非常、非常努力,高度紀律,沒有以僥倖心態走捷徑,更沒有以家世或美色去換取相對舒泰的生活。
比起許多稍具姿色便想「我要嫁個有錢人」的女人,M的志氣與努力使我佩服。

若生於這個年代,M大概早就成為被娛樂雜誌追蹤的名媛之一,與哪位公子的打情罵俏、戴的珠寶穿的名牌,被鉅細無遺一一列出,結婚那天,豪門夜宴的窮奢極侈也肯定舖天蓋地。
傳媒風氣如此,也很難怪愛造白日夢、怕辛苦的女生不被耳濡目染。

M的條件這麼優秀,要嫁得好,是唾手可得的事,她尚且志比天高,我們凡夫俗子,憑什麼就覺得自己該嫁人享福?

話說回來,你想獨立,還是被人照顧,都是自己的選擇(多慶幸我們有選擇!M的外婆沒有選擇,M的母親選擇也不多,但我們這一代的選擇,沒有受到侷限。)
我不是鼓勵凡女人都要學M那樣,因為即使擁有她的條件,那條路也並不容易走。我只是提醒大家:不要忘了你有不止一個選擇。

只不過,每一個選擇,都有代價--難道「嫁個有錢人」不用付出嗎?。維繫婚姻與家庭豈是易事。
不管選擇什麼,要享受成果都要通過努力,沒有不勞而獲。

30 comments:

Joyz said...

Leona, thanks for your sharing, really insightful.

﹣(我的年代)會考經濟課第一課: 有 choices (選擇),就有 opportunity cost (代價)。現實生活,不是黑白分明,你要事業就沒有愛情。但,我們的時間是 scarce resource, 每人每天只有廿四小時,集中火力尋找長期飯票的女生,比專心事業的,更有機會如願以償。但是,借用亦舒的名句,時間用在哪裡是看得見的,她們把心思精神都放在情情愛愛上,忽略事業發展是一定的。

﹣十分同意妳的看法,傳媒確實潛移默化我們的價值觀:嫁得好是 success,嫁得出也算是項 achievement, 單身等於 failure. 成熟了,便知道, singlehood 不一定是 fate, 可以是自身的 choice (當然,上天讓你有這個想法決定,嚴格來說也是 fate 的一種). but, either way, singlehood is not an undesirable situation, it depends on how you take it.

Hui said...

說得好極了

hevangel said...

就算你有錢又靚女﹐還有另一個問題﹐現代男人離婚的機會成本比以前細好多。以前仲話礙於家族面子不能離婚﹐現在頂多是俾面你個有錢老豆唔離婚﹐到你人老珠黃老豆又死左﹐仔女又大曬﹐拋妻咪拋妻囉。搞不好簽了婚前法律協議﹐連身家都冇得分。

Leona said...

Joyz,
我謝謝你的留言才是:)

你elaborate得多好。感到慚愧的是,我唸的是新聞系、幹的也是傳媒,竟忘記對傳媒操作保持批判,幾乎給這些潛移默化影響了。

Hui,
如此明目張瞻宣揚女權,大概會教許多人看不順眼,幸好還有你這位捧場客的鼓勵。

hevangel,
你話容易又得,你話難又得,離婚不離婚,選擇權主要仍在男方(畢竟女人比較一條心,既然結婚了便以維繫家庭會大前堤)。
想離的話,家裏那位攔你不住;想維持原狀,外面那位拿你沒辦法。
做男人,幾著數呀。

holly said...

我是20來歲的女生,也沒有那種非嫁人不可的枷鎖,只是看過這篇文章之後,心裡總覺得有點不對勁.

對,我們有很多選擇,但那種'你要做人上人就要預左單身一輩子'的想法,唔,很可怕.

我支持女生也應該有屬於自己的生活,有自己的工作,自己的社交圈子,自己的夢想,但,有事業不等於做CEO女強人,我們的理想也不一定要拋頭顱灑熱血的.

工作上步步為營固然很辛苦,但談戀愛,結婚生子,是人生另外一個階段,是歷練.對,是歷練,教出一個有家教的兒子,經營一個溫暖的家,你估好容易嗎?

我始終覺得,剛柔並濟的,才是真女人.

Leona said...

holly,
沒有說做人上人就要單身。只是說你可以有許多選擇。

呵呵,你20來歲,沒有感受過「女人再本事也不及嫁得好」的社會期望。

信我。我18、22時,與你想法無異。

Kempton said...

Very interesting discussion Leona. First, your "宣揚女權" is so gentle and minimal that I am sad to see HK girls like you think it is even considered as "宣揚女權" instead of something basic and fundamental.

Let me follow up on your comment, "感到慚愧的是,我唸的是新聞系、幹的也是傳媒,竟忘記對傳媒操作保持批判,幾乎給這些潛移默化影響了。" I do agree with you that you may have been, like many HK girls, "幾乎給這些潛移默化影響了".

You see, it annoys me to see the full price lists and brand names listed along side the photos of the TV/movie stars and "名媛". Plus the stories that go with them implying branded handbags and money means everything.

The men "reporters" who wrote these kind of stories may harbour the thoughts that "女人再本事也不及嫁得好". But what make me sicker are those women "reporters", may be some even secretly wishing to be picked up as "girl friends" of the rich and powerful. Without naming names here, there are example of a few such reporters that "successfully" taken that route and get a few expensive jewelries and homes as a result.

Leona, you said "呵呵,你20來歲,沒有感受過「女人再本事也不及嫁得好」的社會期望。信我。我18、22時,與你想法無異。" I believe thats how you think right now. But here is something about holding true to ones' principle when it is easy vs when it is tough.

I recommend you and other HK girls watch the great movie The Contender (2000) with Joan Allen, as Senator Laine Hanson. I love the movie and often watch my favourite scene in chapter 18, which Senator Hanson said and I quote here, “Principles only mean something when you stick to them when its inconvenient.”

Good luck to you and other HK girls.

Just Little Something said...

性格與命運主宰一生。

命中要你讀書聰明,但性格偏好愛情,也成就不了大業。

爭取每個機會,努力去試,為自已多添選擇;但要放開心懷,迎接命運。

是我人生playbook 最重要的play。希望妳們受用。

My Blog: 小事。真情

瞎子 said...

Kempton: "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky" is another movie HK gals should watch.

Don't you think?

k said...

to the contemporary man, a woman without a career is boring

Hui said...

"Hui,
如此明目張瞻宣揚女權,大概會教許多人看不順眼,幸好還有你這位捧場客的鼓勵。"

as Kempton said - it's so mild. It's not really about standing for choice, respect and 自食其力.

Talking about the media, you know how I hate those papers & weeklies especially the "fruities": these people are the biggest hipocrite in town. 憎人富貴厭人窮; 滿口仁義道德民主萬歲 but try d*** hardest to spin the most $$$ when it comes to porno, violence and entertainment "news", and then they have the cheek to say they just give what readers want!

rant over :P

C

Kempton said...

瞎子: I've only seen Coco Chanel (with Shirley MacLaine) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1094661/ plus borrowed a few books about Chanel from the library to read.

Chanel is a ground breaking designer/business woman in her time and some of her designs remain classic and very wearable. At the same time, I think fictional characters' specific strength and weakness can serve us better because they are "made-up". Yes, the paradoxical fact is fictional characters can be more illuminating than real person because they don't have any excess baggage.

Hui: "憎人富貴厭人窮", right on! Sadly, it is not just the media, many HK people think and feel the same too.

ECHO said...

我有另外一種看法:
我認為男女之別最明顯之處是physical difference,可是腦海的分別不是取決於他/她們的physical difference,而是使用左右腦的多寡。
M之所以成功可能是因為她學了computer(一般男性/左腦使用者),所以她能同時運用左右腦(而她同時又身處女生堆中,對大腦的教育有時不用語言,只是潛移默化都可以起到教育作用)。
當一個人是左右腦同時併用時,所看到的事情又跟使用單一邊的不一樣,會多一份共鳴和了解,以"men from mars women from venus"為例子,M是一個可以同時說Mars and Venus language 的 人,那麼她自然比一般人容易成功。

而且我認為對於她來說未必存在魚與熊掌不可兼得的想法。也許她認為做妻子/母親是她在結婚時的1st priority,我的感覺是她只是盡力去體驗一個人一生的不同角色。

Leona said...

Kempton & Hui,
剛剛瞥見本期某周刊封面,專訪何超雲:

賭王女婿六條件、百萬衣櫃大公開...

Leona said...

Echo:

有趣。
你的想法讓我記起一本書:The First Sex
作者回應女性主義經典之作The Second Sex,謂女性先天條件,如善溝通、能multi-task,更適合社會發展步伐,未來地位將優於男性云云

Echo said...

嗯...我的看法其實是,如果用這種思維去思考,就根本沒有男女之分,也不會出現男人應該學什麼,女人應該學什麼。而是做為一個人,你想學什麼。
因為如果你說女性善溝通、能multi-task,那為什麼有的男人表達能力很好,也能mutli-task?我認為這是因為他們同時發展了左右腦。觀察香港現在的情況是太多標籤了,理科是男生學的,而語文科是女性學的,即使表面上多了女性學習商科或理科,但骨子裡她們也許仍側用一邊腦部。
我自己的感受是,如果嚐試用這種思維去看別人,就沒有所謂的強弱之分,只有同異的差別。那麼就減少很多不必要的心理枷鎖,比如說我遇到一個學化學的PHD學生,以前我會認為化學是男生學的,我一定不會懂,所以連求知的意欲也沒有,但現在我就會想他只是左腦比我發達,但只要我開口問,就可以縮短我們大腦之間的距離。

我在想也許香港教育的改革,不應集中在提升內容的難度(因為知識永遠越出越新而多),而是要將焦點放在同時發展左右腦,那麼這樣大家的發展就會相近,也會多一份尊重和包容。

瞎子 said...

Echo,我所知英國本土並無分文理科,香港讀中學要分文理科涉及殖民地政策,當年教育主要是訓練技術人材,非思考之人。

試想如訓練出懂左右腦思考之人,殖民政府真是無得瞓有排震。

Kempton, actually I haven't watched Coco Chanel (with Shirley MacLaine). But the strong character of Coco in the movie "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky" impresses me. She is at least 80 years ahead of time.

Highly recommend all to watch.

Echo said...

訓練出懂左右腦思考之人,殖民政府真是無得瞓有排震??從何得出這個結論??請問你覺得現在是英國亂一點,還是香港亂一點?

我的邏輯反而是左右腦同時發展與作不作反沒有直接關係,重點在於如何去設計左右腦發展的教材。

教材必須要考慮到人的天性,例如好奇,妒忌,憎恨。在發展左右腦時,如果可以盡量降低學生從學習中產生出來的負面情緒,如懶散,並同時提升從某些人性引生的正面情緒,以好奇為例子,狗仔隊的好奇心可能不亞於研究家,但為什麼同樣的天性,出來的效果不一樣?這可能因為研究家生長在一個把好奇心正面行為放大,而負面行為縮小的地方。相反,狗仔隊生長在一個把好奇心負面行為放大,而正面行為不被重視的地方,那麼他們自然傾向負面行為。

另一個例子,associating skill,你可以用來捉姦,亦可以應用在發明、探索問題方面。劣根性是不分國藉,膚色,性別與年齡,人人都有,亦有正反兩面。。而人之所以有不同的價格觀和性格,有小部份是天生的(由DNA決定),但大多數是受後天環境影響‧
你不可能消滅某一種天性,如妒忌,但你可以透過改變制度和態度,而這就視乎你想利用它改變世界還是破壞世界。

瞎子 said...

唔,有看過這篇文嗎?(Sorry Leona, 在這放別報的文。哈哈)

http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/template/apple_sub/art_main.php?&iss_id=20100113&sec_id=12187389&art_id=13619893&cat_id=3530509&coln_id=3530511

金馬倫讀的就是物理和英國文學。在香港大中小學都無可能有這組合。

試想金馬倫如為香港人,於殖民治下讀大學,讀物理和英國文學,然後拍《香港阿凡達》暗示Pandora實為香港1841年前,地球人實為英國人,宣揚反殖,你話驚唔驚?

回看過去,有否香港金馬倫?當然無。因英國人早早看出此等問題,所以才會有文理分科這著。就是給你不完整的教育。利害吧,以前英國叫日不落帝國,當有其原因。

Hui said...

Whether the education policy was a deliberate coloinal "愚民政策" is debatable but there is no denying many of our social institutions - here include the established way / system of doing things - are "tired" and outdated - our society has out-grown them. We have been going through what many developed societies did many years ago. Our problems nowadays are those of a developed society - for at least 10, 20 years already.

hence, there is no use in telling the younger generation that they already have a lot: they only have reference to the era they are in! Not that the younger generation must be correct (or agreeable), but we must understand the answers in the past are not the right answers today anymore!

Sadly many mindsets are still "gleefully" mired in the past.

Taken the thread a bit too far - apologies :)

C

瞎子 said...

「the answers in the past are not the right answers today anymore」

Hui, can't agree more. I have exactly the same feeling:

http://thehongkongblind.blogspot.com/2010/01/blog-post_14.html

ECHO said...

第一,我當然知道目前的香港教育是不可以混科學習。但即使不能混科學習,也有其他方法去鍛鍊左右腦應用,比如說減少背誦,加強project based的功課。比如以大學的computer science 課來說,可以增加business based的project,而且不應該評分,因為目的不是要打分數,而是要鍛鍊左右腦不同技能的應用,你怎麼能給一些抽象的東西打分數?
第二,我也知道香港過去是屬於英國,但現在不是。數落英國人有什麼意思呢?他會少一塊肉嗎?
第三,我個人的生活經驗告訴我,如果一直回頭望,只會看到大大小小的失敗、錯誤和歷史。只有向前看,我們才可以看到希望,才能前進。

小糖 said...

嘩我剛剛也寫了一篇,也是談到魚與熊掌的問題 (不過我呢... 是典型真愛大過天的人),很認同你所說的,每個人都有他們的選擇,沒有對或錯,但千萬不要後悔抱怨!

Kempton said...

瞎子,

If you can learn something from Coco, great. I think, in life, we can find many role models where we can learn something from.

My role models include people from a wide range of fields a former supreme court justice (Louise Arbour), a physicist (Richard Feynman), a computer scientist (Bill Buxton), economists (Stephen Cheung, Ronald Coase), an inventor/entrepreneur (James Dyson) and many others, including few of my highschool & university teachers. I try to learn something from them all.

ECHO,

I am not sure why "business based的project" should be "不應該評分"? Sure, the teachers should grade based on the success or failure of the business itself. But there are many things and knowledge that the students can learn and be "graded".

Mind you, students at university cares too much about grades and less about what they learn or gain from the courses they take. I took the hardest first year Calculus course (the same one required by math majors) and my slightly less than "A" performance in the course caused me my scholarship for the following year. Yes, it sucked at the time but looking back, I learned so much from it.

P.S. I want to thank Leona in posting this entry. I think our new discussions are more interesting than the original entry now.

If this was my post, I would be very happy of the addition discussions it has drawn out.

ECHO said...

Hi Kempton:
I should make it clear, business case can be graded, but grading is not the main purpose.
For example in Sweden, they grade courses paper/exam in 4 grades only. Pass, Good and Very Good & Fail. Maybe this system seems too relax, but it actually motivates students to engage in learning process, instead of focusing on scores. I was exchange student in Calgary, the studies is more intensive than Swedish way, I didn’t enjoy it even though can manage to have high score, like 80%. And I don’t think I learned a lot.

Learning is a process, instead of a destination, and we need time to observe、digest 、process and apply what I have learned. In Canada or HK, the only main source of learning is from the lecture and then I have to study so hard to get a pass in the exam.

In Sweden, I learn from lectures, group mates and the world, I don't need to worry about my grade but I still get VG (>75%) sometimes.

success or failure of the business itself-->I think teacher should grade base on how the students apply different skills, such as associating skill, analyzing skill, presentation skill. The grading system should aim at telling students their strengthen and weakness, instead of picking up the best homework.

Swedes are so good in designing, not just physical products, but also the society system, model and solution.I think I just cracked their design code: P, I will share my view at my blog which I hope people could get some inspiration.

Kempton said...

First of all, I meant to type, "Sure, the teachers should NOT grade based on the success or failure of the business itself."

Now Echo, sorry that your learning experience in Calgary wasn't that great. I think good students, when they are motivated enough, will try to learn from everything, and not necessary just from assigned textbooks or from the lectures.

Speaking about design. Bruce Mau and Bill Buxton are both Canadians and they are both great design thinkers and practitioners. Bruce has his own studio. Bill works with Microsoft now.

Echo said...

TO Kempton :
我想補充幾點:
第一:我認為那時推動你學習的動力是來至於競爭的心,而不是grading system.
競爭是人的本能。


第二:我認為教育制度可以分成2 類:精英制和全民教育,成效是取決於各制度下的成本和回報(cost & benefit analysis)。
精英制一般出現在普及教育成本太高的社會,政府為了提高整個社會的成效,而資源又有限之下,必需挑出各行業最聰明的人才加以培養,從而令社會進步;
但精英制在教育成本低時是弊多於利,人人都想做醫生,那誰做護士呢?總要有人擔當不同的角色,社會才會進步和諧‧

當普及教育的成本下降時,全民學習就有利多於弊的成效,因為人人都忠於並熱愛自己的工作。當每一個人都做出一些貢獻時,可能看上去個人的貢獻比精英少,但總合一定比少數精英所做出的貢獻要多。

瑞典一直採取免費教育制度,什至是對國際學生也不例外。他們想達到的效果就是全民教育,每個人既是老師也是學生。
其實香港現在也有免費大學,就是互聯網。
有時看到香港新聞,感覺心痛又心酸,講智力、反應,香港人不比外國人差,為什麼會有現在的負面競爭局面?

我認為香港還有希望,但精英制下的ABCDEF評分制度一定要取消,換成good,very good & Fail。那麼每個人才會開始找自己的夢想和位置,而不是整天做夢成為I-bankers.
我只是不喜歡calgary 的學習制度而已,calgary 有瑞典沒有的港式餐廳,我那時常常去滿足我的口腹之慾:)。

I think good students, when they are motivated enough, will try to learn from everything,-->I think a good system can motivate everyone to be a good student.

Echo said...

I know Bill Buxton, you recommended his book to me when I was in calgary, I read your blog entry and asked for more information.
I don't have enough time to finish the whole book ,but I got some inspiration:) which is good enough for my own business idea.
Thanks for the recommendation! And sorry to Leona,I use your blog as a chat room.However, I hope you enjoy the discussion :)

Leona said...

Echo, my pleasure :)

瞎子 said...

1. The process defines who we are, not the result.

2. Education in Hong Kong, sadly, linked to employment mainly, not education itself.

Sorry I won't elaborate more on the above statement. Having been in and out of the education system in Hong Kong. It is my own experience, which some of my friends share also.

Kempton, Steven Cheung is a controversial person. I know some of his students at HKU dislike him. I am not his students but remember him saying to learn the logic of bright people, not their arguments. Brilliant.