Dining with Lesbians

A bowl of personal identity served with blueberry pie

Girls Can Fly

I don’t like roller coasters and I still get nervous on planes.  The only reason I strapped a huge plastic tent to my back and jumped off a cliff yesterday was for no other reason than in the name of family: my sister wanted to paraglide.

So there we were in Yilan overlooking a beautiful ocean that would have looked better if we were on the beach instead of high up in the mountains.  I knew I was going to be nervous about the jump, I’ve never liked that centrifugal gravity that confuses my stomach with my lungs, but I was going to do it for my sister anyway.  I’m sure you’ve seen paragliding in pictures with blue skies above and feet dangling happily below.  It’s actually quite different from the pictures though when you step out your car to a panoramic ocean view making it clear that you’re on the highest point all around with gale forces gushing into your face.  It’s at situations like these that I think about how creative human beings have been with defying gravity by dreaming up an assortment of materials and testing them out with their lives.  In this case, it was a plastic tent attached with flimsy strings.

Just as I was busy figuring out what to grab hold of in case the strings snapped while pretending to be funny and brave in front of my sister who suddenly wanted to back out, I heard a woman in her mid-forties say to her husband,

那是女的。(That’s a girl)

At that moment, it suddenly occurred to me that the majority of people gearing up were guys and all the six flying instructors were guys.  We had been watching person after person disappear into the skies below for half an hour and this was the first girl to do it.

I don’t really know what to make out of this remark.  There were two other girls suiting up apart from my sister, her friend and I, but they were Japanese tourists and we weren’t locals ourselves.  I don’t know if it so happened that chance only put Taiwanese guys up in the air for display that day or if it were something more than by chance.  Maybe it’s that sensitive feminist inside me thinking too much about that remark and that there can’t really be anything stopping Taiwanese girls from flying off cliffs.  I mean after all, girls can fly if they want, right?


4 comments on “Girls Can Fly

  1. rebbit7
    August 2, 2015

    Perhaps the person wasn’t being sexist, but was rather surprised, considering that most of those who had gone were men. But I do agree that it’s kind of strange that that person would make such a comment- after all, who said that women couldn’t fly?!


    • nmwords
      August 4, 2015

      Yea, I think it was just an offhand comment because women will fly when they want!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ellen Hawley
    August 3, 2015

    I’m hopeless with heights and wouldn’t sign up to start with, but if I somehow found myself on the edge of a cliff, trying to work up the nerve to go over the edge, that’s the kind of comment that would make me do it.


    • nmwords
      August 6, 2015

      Same here, I felt more inclined to jump off that cliff after hearing that comment!


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This entry was posted on August 2, 2015 by in equality, Feminist, Gender, Taiwan, Women and tagged , , , .

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