Wives, Mistresses, and Matriarchs: Asian Women Today

Front Cover
Rowman & Littlefield, Jan 1, 1998 - History - 302 pages
3 Reviews
This rich and perceptive book shatters the myth of the submissive Asian woman with its vivid portraits of women in the region. Drawing on her many years working in Asia, Louise Williams frames the issues facing women through the experiences of individuals. We are introduced to women as varied as politicians, call girls and mistresses, revolutionary heroines, laborers, and business magnates. Exploring the paths to power both private and public available to women in Asia, Williams has had remarkable access to both the famous and the faceless. She skillfully draws out the stories of extraordinary individuals ranging from Benazir Bhutto, Corazon Aquino, and Aung San Suu Kyi to the one-time Viet Cong commando, the Jakarta factory girl, the Korean publisher, and the second wife in the Chinese mistress village that serves Hong Kong s wealthy men. Common themes emerge: the expectation that women will place their duties to their husbands at the forefront of their daily lives, whether or not they have their own vocations to pursue; the continuing importance placed on the need to bear male children; and the pervasive attitude among Asian men that extramarital relationships are their prerogative. We discover how a region that elects the world s first female prime minister at the same time tolerates child prostitution in Bangkok and Manila. We see how women can rise to the top of industrial conglomerates or be sold into servitude. Set in a vast region of enormous social disparity and rapid change, these unique stories dispel Western stereotypes and show just how often the concerns of women in Asia differ from those of women in the West."
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Wives, Mistresses and Matriarchs

User Review  - Nikki - Goodreads

Its kind of poorly written but the stories were very interesting. Read full review

Review: Wives, Mistresses and Matriarchs

User Review  - Goodreads

Its kind of poorly written but the stories were very interesting. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

the only child
1
The maid and the washing machine
20
Splitting the bamboo
32
I am not a prostitute
50
A tale of four mothers
61
The mistress village
78
Her fathers face
88
The execution of Nguyen Thi Chien
95
Her fathers daughter
166
Rich bitch
185
An arranged marriage
194
Mothers of the uprising
211
The CEO
226
The love boat
235
The reeducation camp
243
The only man in the Cabinet
253

A heroine
109
The rear legs of the elephant
115
The night bus to Bangkok
133
The girl in the white MercedesBenz
150
On stoning for adultery
268
The princess
280
Bibliography
301
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (1998)

Williams is the Jakarta correspondent for th Sydney Morning Herald and Age.

Bibliographic information