No! I became a single mom because that’s the only choice I had at that time. I didn’t get married with the father of my son, because I’m not in love with him anymore. I know nowadays, many Vietnamese girls get pressured from the society and family that they have to choose a certain career path. They have to get married at a certain age. They have to have a child at a certain age, spend a certain time with their family.
But then I think men get the same pressure. Are there many men here? Do you have pressures to have a career path, get married and have children? It’s not that women have the pressure, everyone can get that pressure.
So go back, I’m sorry if you hurry and settle down with some wrong partner. It’s your fault, it’s not because you’re a woman in Vietnam. No! Because go back to my life, I did everything for myself, not only because I’m a woman, but let’s say you’re a strong woman already, and you want to fight for feminism.
You want to become a feminist, and you try to show to the world, as the pop stars that you watch in media. You want to show that you can travel the world, you’re successful. You can do anything without a man. You can fix your car. But let’s say if you’re very successful in your fight, then where you’re going to be.
There’re only 2 scripts for feminists. You would end up alone because that’s what you ask for. You don’t need a man or you don’t need a woman. I think that’s pretty sad, all of us need someone. Even the strongest man or woman would love to have somebody next to them.
And I think it’s pretty sad if you end up just by yourself, because you keep giving a statement for your whole life that you’re independent and you don’t need anyone.
The second script is you try to punish men and then force men to go through what you’ve been through. Have you heard of Mensiety? Anyone, have you heard of Mensiety? So it’s when men feel very anxious because around them there’re so many suddenly so many powerful, independent women. So he worries, like, “One day I’m going to lose my own power.” Anyone of you ever get through this feeling? Good! Good! Because deep down honestly I believe a real man, shouldn’t be thinking that way.
Shouldn’t look at women as the threat. That’s very different from women because women think any men’s problems are for men. But men, I don’t think they care much about feminist or you know how strong, because they would love that, but let’s see one day, the world is flipped. Our men suddenly don’t have to go to work anymore. I think they’ll love it.
I just heard the man and he brings that idea of doing nothing for 10 minutes. I’m sorry but that’s a men’s world. Men have a box in their brains, the empty box. Women cannot do that, when we do nothing, we paint our nails, we’re thinking about what to do next, who to call to talk to. We don’t do nothing, so I think men would love there’s a world that they can stay home, put some toys to the kids, play games all day, watch TV and then wash dishes when the wife came home.
So, but for me as a woman, I don’t like to see that scene. It’s a little bit silly for me. If I go home, I see my man washing dishes. And then I have to go out and fix our car. I don’t think that’s the script any women wants.
And feminists, I don’t think you’d feel happier with that scene. Are you happier? OK! In that case, this morning I was surprised. I’m not going to point out the person who that is. I just know a couple who are the ambassadors, and the lady, just yesterday – and they said they would attend the TED talk. They talked to each other; they said only one of them could attend the talk. And the first thing in my mind is, of course, this ambassador, of course, the man is going to be at the talk and the lady is going to stay at home and take care of the kids.
And then who came up today? The lady! So just a little example to say that there’s many things that could change and many different concepts but at the same time I’d like to say, if you want to become a feminist, that’s your choice. If you don’t want to become a feminist, that’s your choice too. But make sure that’s your choice!
Look back at my life a little bit, the other day my boyfriend said, “I think you should spend more time with your kids.” I was very sad, very pissed and I came up to him and said, “I’m sorry, I’m a mom to my son but at the same time I’m the man in the family. And at the same time I’m myself, I need my morning coffee, I need my little alone time.”
Some time I could travel by myself but that’s mean, and I don’t want that conflict with a man, mother or a father, a man who work everyday. So be anyone that you want to be. I think there’s no definition that you should become or the media lead you to be. Can be strong, can be feminist but make sure, that’s you.