In “Disguised” by Huong Ngo, I learned how fearless this woman have done.
The fake passport photo provides more information about where she passed, lived, was arrested many times… In particular, the fake names helped her hide herself.
Or how this clever woman communicates with her teammates through letters using invisible ink – a wartime encryption technique. Letters written in boiled rice water, to be read, must be dipped in iodine solution to make the text appear.
At this point, I wonder why the “land” to talk about her in the media and in popular knowledge is so limited? If there is an impression, it will often be: “Women are still so good, how about men”; “Under the leadership of Mr. A, Ms. Nguyen Thi Minh Khai has …”. How talented are women themselves, still just a comparison and affirmation for men?
Besides a famous woman like Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, there are millions and millions of other fates – maybe just as talented or as ordinary people – trapped in the gender stereotypes of society, even the many. backward like Vietnam at that time, or as civilized as other liberating countries.
In Who Owns the Light, a silkscreen cut from a fresco mural, now in the National Museum of the History of Migration in France, there is also a lot of interesting information about the so-called “civilization” of the man. go free. The museum has many works illustrating the legacies and successes brought by colonial conquest such as celebrating peace, art, commerce; promote freedom, industry and science. But there are no walls to display injustices, oppress their bloodshed against the natives, much less the covers that promote the disdain for women you will find in ‘con’ novels. girls’ is also displayed here.
The novel line ‘daughter’ refers to the fictional works of French male writers, about the sexual relationship between Western men and Eastern women in Indochina. In Vietnamese, ‘daughter’ means ‘young, unmarried woman’. After the French invasion, the word changed meaning, referring to ‘concubine’, ‘servant’, then ‘prostitute’. Indigenous women suffer from pre-existing social prejudices and become victims of sexual assault by “liberators”.
In “Disguised”, you can see these novels in their original form – pocket paper – with erotic covers. The artist’s version of the thermally printed book is on display at the back, containing excerpts from the original. Don’t forget to touch the paper with your hand to see how the impact of body temperature affects the display of content. Thereby, you are also a part of the journey to find and discover the relationship in that page.
Voice of feminism
It can be seen that the feminist movement in Vietnam has appeared for a long time, although it is not clear. The role of women changed from being only a housewife, not going to school, ‘only giving birth’, gradually participating in big jobs. During the war, they played an important role in national liberation. In modern times, they persistently struggle to get rid of old prejudices (must have a husband to be happy, women have little education…).
To this day, that mindset still more or less exists. You may encounter many interviews with female politicians or celebrities with the question: “As a busy person, how do you balance between contributing to society and taking care of your family?”. The interviewees either reluctantly, or did not realize that it was the chain of gender stereotypes, still answered stereotypically: “It is thanks to the support of my family, husband and children, I also try to spend time balancing…” .