Thu, May 24, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Definition of ‘new good woman’ called outdated

STEREOTYPE:Critics say the Ministry of Education’s definition was an old and discriminatory delineation of the role of women and should be amended

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Gender Equality Education Association panned the Ministry of Education (MOE) over its definition of “new good woman (新好女人)” in the ministry’s online dictionary, saying the definition was “neither new nor good.”

According to the ministry’s official online dictionary, a “new good woman” is a woman who “focuses her life on the family, admires her husband, takes good care of her children and tries her best to maintain happiness and harmony in marriage.”

“I don’t see anything ‘new’ or ‘good’ about the MOE’s definition,” association secretary-general Lai Yu-mei (賴友梅) told the Taipei Times by telephone. “Rather, it’s a very traditional, stereotypical, old and discriminatory definition of the role of women.”

The definition, she said, is discriminatory not only against married women, but also against those who are not married, lesbians or those without children.

The ministry definition triggered an uproar among Internet users when the association posted it on its Facebook page.

“I was so shocked that I almost spat out my coffee this morning when I saw it,” Facebook user HP Liang said on her Facebook page.

“It doesn’t make any sense at all,” Facebook member Naomie Huang said.

National Languages Committee executive secretary Chen Hsueh-yu (陳雪玉) said the ministry would make changes to its online dictionary.

“The definition of ‘new good woman’ has been on our page for nearly 20 years. When we look at it today, it is certainly no longer appropriate,” Chen Hsueh-yu said. “We will ask the editorial committee to look into it and make changes accordingly within one or two weeks.”

“Whether it’s a married woman, a single woman or a woman without children, everyone can be a ‘new good woman,’” she said.

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