Friday, February 08, 2013

Kudos to Kim Lee

Some of you will remember our Chinese housekeeper, Wendy.  Her husband beat her, and she struggled with the choice to leave him.  Without any support from her family or friends, and needing to leave her daughter in his custody, she did choose to leave him.  She chose to set an example for her daughter, that abuse is not acceptable.  And she ended up living close enough to her dysfunctional husband that he asked her to care for their daughter most of the time anyway.  She is happy - thank God.

A friend sent along this story about Kim Lee, an American married to a famous Chinese man and living in China.  When her husband beat her, she went public with photos and her story went viral.  She faced problems every step of her way to divorce and prosecution.  And she was finally awarded a divorce, full custody of their children, and a handsome settlement.

Her story is far from the norm in China.  But I loved her quote,
"I made a conscious decision. I used a Chinese lawyer, I used Chinese courts," she says. "To be honest, a lot of my American friends did not understand this. They were like, 'You're crazy. You're American. Go to the embassy immediately.' But I did not want to teach my daughters, 'No one can beat you because you're American.' I wanted to teach them, 'No one can beat you because you're a person, you're a woman.' "

I love the example she set for every Chinese woman who feels worthy of respect.  For every Chinese woman who never felt worthy of respect.  Here's to hoping that this begins a true tide of change for women in China.

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