Joy Luck Club By Any Ten

Is it fair to judge someone by their sex? In traditional Chinese culture, many
judgments were made about a person just by observing their sex. The women was
looked upon as an inferior being. They had little or no status in society, and
little was expected from them. They were discriminated against when they tried
to stand up for themselves. Chinese culture was customarily male dominated. The
male was expected to do most of the work, and the woman was expected to stay at
home with their mouth shut. This custom leaves an unwelcome feeling in a
womanís heart. They feel like nobody cares, and it makes it much harder to
live with an optimistic view on life. In the novel, The Joy Luck Club, by Amy

Tan, Ann-Mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying Ying St. Clair are all women who grow up
in a traditional China, where there is sexism. They deal with serious problems
that corrupt their lives. Through perseverance and the passing of time their
lives return to normal. Ann-Mei, Lindo, and Ying Ying subjugated by males
because of their sex, and Chinese tradition. Ann-Mei is oppressed in many ways.

Her mother is invited to spend time at the home of a wealthy merchant named Wu

Tsing. During the night he comes into Ann-Meiís motherís room and rapes her.

Despite emotionally scaring Ann-Mei this demonstrates the lack of respect for a
woman in China. Ann-Meiís mother is forced into concubinage because of her
lack of power as a women. She becomes the third wife. As a third wife she
maintains very little status in the home of Wu Tsing. Ann-Meiís family disowns
her mother because by becoming a third wife she has brought shame to her family.

"When I was a young girl in China, my grandmother told me my mother was a
ghost". Ann-Mei is told to forget about her mother and move on in her life.

The fact that Ann-Mei is told to forget her mother because she has become
something she could not control, is preposterous. She was raped and forced into
concubinage. The lack of appreciation for a female causes this feeling of shame
for the Mei family. Since rape and polygamy is accepted in China, it makes it
appear that what Ann-Meiís mother has done is wrong, and what Wu Tsing did was
right or normal. Ann-Meiís daughter Rose, reaps the disadvantages of being a
woman because she feels that she canít make decisions. "...Ted decided where
we went on vacation. He decided what new furniture we should buy...We used to
discuss some of these matters, but we both knew the question would boil down to
my saying, ĎTed, you decide.í" This illustrates Roseís disability to be
assertive, and her dependence on a male. The life of Ann-Mei demonstrated how
women were undervalued in society. The story of Lindo Jong allegorizes how women
were discriminated against. At the very young age of twelve, Lindo is betrothed
to Tyan-yu. This is an example of the insignificance of a femaleís feelings.

Nobody wants to have an arranged marriage. Marriage is sacred, and is supposed
to be exercised by two people who are in love with each other. This is an act of
extreme unfairness to Lindo. This shows how an accepted Chinese practice is in
actuality hurtful toward the female sex. "I [Lindo] once sacrificed my life to
keep my parentsí promise". Here, Lindo is talking about her arranged,
loveless marriage. Chinese tradition is restricting Lindo from being her own
person, and living her own life. She is unable to make her own decisions. Lindo
is so willing to sacrifice her life in order to preserve the honor of her
parents. There is no honor in forcing someone to be unhappy. On another note,

Lindo was quickly blamed for not having children. Actually, their lack of
offspring resulted from Tyan-yuís lack of interaction with Lindo. It was
impossible for Lindo to stand up for herself because no matter what, the male
would be believed over the female. Lindo is a perfect example of how Chinese
tradition prohibited the female from having status in society. Ying Ying St.

Clairís life suggests a lack of honor for the female. As a sixteen year old,
she attends the festivities after her auntís wedding. There, a man plunges a
knife through a watermelon, symbolizing the loss of virginity. This is a sign of
profound discourtesy. A man who treats a woman like this and gets away with it
is very cruel. Something is wrong