Good Girls Marry Doctors

Parents. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. Actually, that’s not true. I love my parents, and I lived with them for a while during my freelancing period. But, as I’ve grown older, negotiating an adult relationship with them has been extremely tricky. Rewarding, also. But our current rapport hasn’t been achieved without a few hiccups along the way.

I think that’s true for most diasporic women, and sometimes for Asian-American women in particular. Anyone who has grown up as woman in a minority Asian community knows how difficult it is to walk the line between the world of our parents and the world of our school or work environment. Our parents often have unreasonable expectations of our behavior.

Many times, Asian parents in the diaspora have a sharpened sense of what family or society in the “home” country might expect of them. Even if they left Asia decades ago, the older community rules by which they grew up is what is replicated as a model of behavior for their daughters, even if things in the “home” country have changed quite a bit with the times.

Most importantly, it is made clear to women in particular that they are the bearers of their culture, and that if they fail to impart tradition to the next generation, they will have failed in their duties. The stress this creates often leads to these girls loving and feeling totally loyal to their parents, but also feeling like their parents don’t necessarily understand them.

To that end, I’d like to use this post to introduce a project I’ve been working on for quite some time. The project is called “Good Girls Marry Doctors.” The title, meant to be a tongue-in-cheek jab at the things Asian-American mothers sometimes say, was born out of a conversation I was having with a Chinese-Canadian friend (Josephine Tsui) about what our relationship was like with our parents.

Before I knew it, the conversation had morphed into not only a blog, but also a book that Josephine and I started co-editing.

Good Girls Marry Doctors is the first book written by and about Asian-American women, on growing up with Asian parents in North America.

We’ve all known at least one Asian-American chick whose parents wanted her to marry a certain person, make a certain career choice, parent her children in a certain way…

This book is about what it is like to grow up with those expectations, and the kind of tightrope walk we as Asian-American women are constantly performing.

This is NOT a book about resentment. It is a book about love, and the ways in which we love and honor our culture, while at the same time questioning and molding it to our needs!

So included here is our website and facebook group. I hope you will all join and support our cause!

Check out:

Make sure to join us on facebook !

Happy feministing,

Piyali Bhattacharya

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Join the Conversation