Many many years ago, prior to our family’s immigration to America, certain things had happened that to this day my mother had forbidden me to tell anyone else. It’s better to bury those shameful events deep in your memory, she tells me, it’s best to completely forget them …
My parents lived in rural Jilin province, the economically under-developed backwater of the barren, rustic northern China. My older sister told me, after her mother had given birth to her, she had been given involuntary abortion four times. “Unable to bear the shame, she killed herself,” that was my sister’s exact words. “In China, if a woman cannot give birth to sons, it’s considered shameful, and whenever the results came back saying that she had been pregnant with yet another girl, our father took her to the hospital and forced her to have an abortion. At the end of it all, it was just too much for her.”
My older sister always said everything without any emotion. She would just as well be describing someone else’s mother. She went on to describe how our father used to torture her. “Oh the cooking is not done right? He picked up the iron stick and beat her.” In winter time, to keep our home warm, every family had a furnace that burned yeontan, and we always had iron sticks, iron chopsticks, and pike poles studded by scary hooks right by the furnace. “He hated her because she was not able to give birth to sons, and it’s considered disgraceful. Sometimes he stripped her naked and beat her in front of guests. Sometimes he used lit cigarettes to burn her flesh. Another time he used his belt to whip her. Another time he even used a plier to twist her nipples. When her screaming became too loud and disturbing to the neighbors, he stuffed his dirty socks into her mouth and continued to beat her.”
I was of course horrified when she told me all this. Then my sister said “We are women. We are cheap and worthless like insects.” After coming to the United States, and finally being freed, I once told her, recollecting all the events that had happened back then, and all the conversations that we exchanged: “Back when you said that, you should have annotated with an asterisk, adding the phrase Asian women. It’s Asian women who are cheap and worthless like insects.” Seeing all the gorgeous beautiful white girls being pampered and treated like princesses by tall and muscular white guys, my sister nodded.
One particular evening, after another round of brutal beating, her mother drank farm-grade insecticide and killed herself. I say “her mother” because I have never met her mother.
My father remarried a second wife and gave birth to me. Exactly one year before my birth, gender-testing during pregnancy was banned and, no longer able to tell the gender of the unborn, my mother had no choice but to give birth to me, and on the day I was delivered in the hospital, my father cried and begged to heaven that I was a boy. Lucky me, I suppose, that I was born and not aborted. Or perhaps unlucky me, that I was actually born, and destined to suffer this life as a lowly Asian girl.
After I was born, my father was on the verge of suicide himself. “I am doomed! My family lineage is cut. I am rootless. I am now castrated.” He said those words all the time. Not only that, but even my grandparents hated me for being a girl and had on numerous occasions tried to kill me. My grandfather once took me into a forest and left me there, hoping that I would never be able to find the way home, or, even better, get eaten by wolves. Miraculously I walked home later that night. There was another instance when my grandfather tried to sell me to a human trafficker, but was stopped by my older sister.
As I grew older, they had given up on killing me, but not on torturing me. From a young age I was told that as a girl I would never be able to receive the same treatment that a boy would get. “You will grow up and then marry and forget about your parents. Feeding you is like feeding my neighbor.” My dad would say. “What’s the purpose of sending her to school? If she learns to read and write, she will just disobey her parents.” My grandfather would say. “Raising a daughter is like raising a poisonous snake. You raise her. You feed her. Then one day, she will bite you and kill you.”
Both my father and my grandfather were members of the Chinese National Communist Society. My American boyfriend once joked that being a Chinese National Communist is like being a National Socialist, but with the added advantage of being a Communist.
I remember when I was little, I once saw my father cooking chicken for a family meal. He had plucked off every feather of the poor bird, and then poured cooking oil on its skin, rubbing into its every nook and cranny. As it was still alive, he impaled a long, slender bamboo stick about the length of a small child through the chicken’s mouth all the way until it came out of its rear end, and then, he put the thing on open fire. Five minutes in, the poor thing was still twitching as fire crisped its skin. Its legs twirled as the flames burst over it.
Another traditional Chinese dish involved skinning live frogs, put the flayed skin into their own mouths and then cook them by tossing them in boiling water.
This earthly saint, adored by this devil, little suspecteth the false worshipper: for unstained thoughts do seldom dream on evil; birds never limed no secret bushes fear. So guiltless she secretly gives good cheer and reverend welcome to her princely guest, whose inward ill no outward harm expressed.
“Poor thing, what are we going to do to you now that you have given birth to a daughter?’
Never hiding the secret that my father was extremely disappointed that his second wife had given birth to another daughter, never forgetting the fact that now, having two children, he would not be allowed to have another child, due to the One Child Policy, my father took out his anger on my mother. And for the first time, I witnessed, that my sister wasn’t lying to me about what had happened to my father’s first wife.
There is something I need to explain about China’s One Child Policy. While urban areas are allowed to have only one child, in rural areas, a family is allowed to have a maximum of two children. After a family such as ours has had two children, and both female, our family would be put on a watch list, and an official would come to visit our home every month to check that we are not having more children. For any family that is caught having children after the maximum two, the wife will be arrested. She will be forced to give an abortion, and afterward, she would be involuntarily sterilized, and the husband will have to pay a hefty fine, if he ever want to see his wife again.
Well, there weren’t absolutely no options at all. You can try to bribe the officials to have a third try, but for poor peasant family like ours, the bribe would cost way too much money, even if my dad had sold both me and my sister into slavery he wouldn’t be able to afford the bribe needed to get a third try, and if we were indeed that rich, my dad would never needed to have to abide to the One Child Policy. He would have had dozens of Chinese concubines and have as many children as he wished, which is in fact what the really wealthy in China do.
During this period my dad resorted to drinking and after he got drunk, he came home and beat my mother. The beatings were extremely brutal. He would strip her completely naked, hung her wrists by the door frame, and whip all over her body with his leather belt. My sister and I would beg him to stop. I had witnessed first hand my sister throwing her own body over my mother’s to try to protect her from the whipping. Sometimes the crying would be so terrible that neighbors would wake up and come over to try to dissuade my father.
“All I ever wanted is to have a son! Why is Heaven forbidding me? Why is the world so unfair to me?” My father would stagger backward, burst out crying, and then crash on the ground.
It was a cold and moonless night. As usual my father had been bloody drunk and staggered home in tattered clothes. Not only was he a drunkard, but in the past few years became a complete hooligan and often got into brawls with others. His clothes were always torn and there was blood on his face, and also on his clothes. He kicked open the wooden door to our house and walked in in zigzag, almost like a crab. My mother, demure and gentle, sat quietly on the edge of the bed, scared to speak, while me and my sister were laying on our single bed and stared at our father. We had hoped that tonight we weren’t going to witness my mother’s getting another round of beating. “Bitch! Slut! You ignore me!” My dad started yelling. He loosened the belt around his trousers, swingingly it in his hand, while his trousers were about his ankles. My sister murmured to me: “Oh no, here we go again.”
My mother looked up, on the verge of tears, and said: “Have you been drinking again? I’m not ignoring you. I’m afraid to irritate you. Here. There’s blood on your face. Let me wipe it off for you.”
In stead of being grateful to my mother, my father continued to yell: “Bitch! Slut! You give me a son. Or I kill you!”
Then he swung his belt and lashed it across her. My mother screamed as she got off the bed and started to run, but my dad grabbed her, pushed her down on the bed, and pulled down her pants, revealing her naked white bubbly butt, which shone like silver under the moonlike lamp-light. Rounds and rounds of whipping on her naked butt ensued, occasioned by the grueling, wolfish, and desperate wailing of my poor mother.
My sighs like whirlwinds labor hence to heave thee. If ever man were moved with woman’s moans, be moved with my tears, my sighs and my groans. All which together, like a troubled ocean, beat at thy rocky and wrack-threatening heart, to soften it with their continual motion; for stones dissolved to water do convert. O, if no harder than a stone thou art, melt at my tears and be compassionate!
Her pleadings fell on deaf ears. The whipping continued from ten in the evening until midnight. Her screams had become tired and listless. Both my sister and I have been crying the entire time. Finally seeing my father stop, my sister timidly got out of bed, and with my both hands offered a cup of water to my dad and said: “Daddy. Please stop beating mother. You are tired. Let’s go to sleep.”
But all he ever said was: “You give me a son. You give me a son.”
“I will make money. We bribe the official. We—”
“Where you gonna make money? How?”
“I will quit school and make money. I will work. I promise. Daddy, I—”
His eyes suddenly brightened, with an evil askance. “What kind of work can a woman do that make lots of money? And quickly too.”
By this time my older sister had blossomed into a very beautiful young Chinese woman, much prettier than me. She had lily white skin like me, but also a perfect S-figure, with perfectly round breasts and upturned buttocks. I have always been an ugly duckling compared to my older sister.
“You go to work! I will arrange you for work. Tomorrow. You go to work. Quit school and go to work. You go work as a prostitute. You make lots of money. Then we pay bribe to official.”
My mother, half naked, her hands and feet tied to the bed post lying on the bed, all of a sudden started to struggle, “No! What kind of man you are, forcing your own daughter to be a prostitute.”
Thinking back now to the way my mother and my sister had been treated, I find it hard—nay, impossible—to deny that it had a very severe impact on how I turned out later on in my life, especially in regards to my relationship with men, and the type of men that I was bound to choose: it is no secret to all who knew me that I am deeply masochistic and sought out men who are sadistic, who are wiling and able to treat me as worthless, men who find no compunction in beating me, abusing me, and taking advantage of me, both physically and emotionally, and in the twisted and sick way that I was brought up, I have always derived immense pleasure and sexual gratification in such treatment. Deep inside I had always had the nagging suspicion that my mother and my older sister too had enjoyed being treated in this way, even though they would deny and abject that such a thing even existed, and will never openly discuss any of what I have written here, but in the buried deep of the subconscious, that interior ecstasy that sexual slavery procures them like sweats that pour out of their pores of their hair follicles as they are being tortured, shows itself underneath the layers of plastic emotional makeup that they wear.
I once asked my sister what they did to her in the “Red Chamber”, the brothel in British Weihaiwei where she had worked as a prostitute and she told me the following: “For the first three days, me and six other girls were locked in a single room without any food or water. Then on the third day, a group of men came in, and smeared honey all over their genitals. We had to lick the honey off their genitals. Later on we were given food to eat, but before we were able to eat, all the men came over and ejaculated into our food. We had to eat the food with their semen on it. The owner told us this is how they train the girls to give the best blowjobs, so that we naturally associate men’s penises with food and would not feel disgusted when swallowing semen. Most of the customers we serve are foreigners, westerners, middle-easterners, and sometimes even African, and in order to stretch out our pussies we had to wear dildos inside our pussies at all times. In addition every night we were ganbanged by as many Chinese men as possible, because most Chinese men had small dicks, so the owner said, we have to be able to take Chinese dicks without any problem and then we’ll be able to serve foreign customers. Many western customers demanded anal sex, and we had to learn to do that as well.”
Even though her training was harsh, the fruition of her labor was sweet and delicious. Within just a few months, my older sister had risen through the ranks to become “big red”, a term denoting the most popular and the hottest girl in the Red Chamber. She was even recognized as having the best blowjob skills among the girls. She said whenever she saw a man’s penis, she couldn’t help but be reminded of the honey that she had sucked when she was near starvation. “The mere sight of a man’s penis made me salivate. I sucked every cock as if it were my last meal.”
Combined with her extraordinary beauty, she was so well-beloved by so many customers that within a year, she had made so much money that our family was able to afford to build a new three-storied house and still had enough left to pay the bribes for my dad to have another child. Not to mention that some Japanese customer was so smitten by her charm that he wanted to marry her and take her to Japan and make her into a JAV actress.
Ay me, the bark pilled from the lofty pine, his leaves will wither and his sap decay; so must my soul, her bark being pilled away.
In order to bribe the official, you must invite them to dinner, make conversations, drink alcohol, flatter them, then and only then, will you be able to lavish your gift to them, which they will refuse to accept, and you have to insist, yes, please please accept this bribe as a gift, it’s sincerely just a gift and mean nothing else, and they will pretend that they have never done this before, that they are not as corrupt as you think and will act as if they were offended that you think so little of them, and then, you have to grovel on your knees, begging them, flattering them some more, obsequiously, subserviently, slavishly, and finally, yes finally!, they will reluctantly accept your bribe.
That day my father, my mother, and I spent the whole day, cleaning the house in preparation for the dinner with the regional officials in charge of the One Child Policy program.
Like VIP customers they arrived and my entire family went out to welcome them with flowers, me and my mom dressed in our best clothes. My mother wore a red skirt, symbolizing joy like a delicious, ripe fruit and I wore a lily white skirt, symbolizing my pure innocence.
The drinking started from 5 PM and did not stop even when it was past midnight. My mom and I had all been exhausted to the point of passing out, but the drinking continued. One official, a chubby middle-aged guy with a bald head, said that they should play a game, a ritualistic game played at the drinking tables that was like a glorified version of rock, paper and scissors that I played at the playground. I didn’t know and still don’t know what it was but the official said, instead of drinking, the loser should get spanked.
“Oh that sounds like fun. I think I’m gonna definitely lose. I’m not good at those games.”
Because my dad was trying to bribe those officials so he could have another child, he was not going to let those officials “lose face” by being spanked, so he already knew he was going to lose and he was going to lose on purpose. As soon as the game started, my dad had been losing. By the tenth round, the official with the pot belly said, “Maybe it’s time to pay up.”
“Do it to my daughter.”
“Okay, if that’s what you said.”
Like worthless insects that can be stomped and killed at their free will, women are to those Chinese men, and so it was no big deal to beat women, unlike it is in the west. My mother, my sister, and I had all been spanked frequently by our father and grandfather, so it was no big deal, at least that was what my dad said.
So, my American boyfriend liked to watch wrestling. I used to remember watching with him and there was a few instances where one guy will bend his opponent over at the waist, pull his arms backward and then lock his arms behind his back and push this opponent’s head into his crotch, so now the opponent’s ass is turned upward and there is no way for him to move out of this locked position.
Well, that was what the official with the pot belly did to me. He pushed my head into his crotch and my arms were twisted behind my back. Then another official, the tall one, flipped my white skirt up and pulled down my white panties so my lily white buttocks were completely revealed. And then, using a big wooden board, he swung with full force and hit my butt cheeks so hard that I felt a shock wave going through my flesh and into my pelvis. In about three seconds, whereas before those three seconds I had been quiet and tried my best to endure the shame, the humiliation, and embraced my self for the incoming pain, as I felt the scolding pain shooting up my nerves I screamed out in agony and my legs kicked wildly around so wildly that my shoes flew off, but the official with the pot belly had so firmly locked me in submission I was unable to struggle free. Then another hit landed. The pain was so unbearable my legs kicked so high my entire body flipped vertically upward and I was screaming and crying hysterically. I heard those men’s laughter as I screamed and cried. Then I felt somebody grabbing me by my bare feet—since my shoes had been kicked off in my wild struggle—so I stayed in position and another hit landed. My whole body went into convulsion and I felt I was on the verge of death. Everything before me started to blur and that was when I heard a woman’s pleading: “Please stop. For Heaven’s sake, please leave my daughter alone. Do it to me. Do it to me,” at which point I passed out from the pain.
The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light and fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels from the day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels.
My father eventually got what he wished for. The official granted him a special waiver so he could get his wife pregnant, and as luck would have it, he did have a son, but he was never the same afterward. He became morose and taciturn, and though he hadn’t been drinking as much as he did before the birth of my little brother, now he just smoked lot. Like a pack of cigarettes a day. As if his mind was troubled, but troubled by what exactly.
I never knew exactly what had happened that evening after I passed out. By the time I woke up everyone was gone. I had seen a meat cleaver being left on the ground next to my bed. I asked my mother where did all the officials go and she pretended to not understand what I was talking about. They were trying to hide something from me, exactly what, and why, I suppose, I would never be able to know.
My sister was continuing to make so much money at the Red Chamber in British Weihaiwei. For those of you who are not familiar with the name, Weihaiwei used to be a British colony located in northeast China. It was used as a hubbub for commerce and today, even though no longer a part of the glorious empire, many foreigners still go there to do business with the Communist Chinese, who claim ownership to the patch of land like a greedy and evil patriarch, and so as commerce boomed, prostitution also boomed. It was a major sex tourist destination for rich foreigners from America, Europe, Japan, Singapore, the Middle East, and so many Chinese girls went there to sale their flesh.
It is interesting to note that all my family members have very white skin. My mother, me, and my sister all share this trait in common. And our lily white skin won us a lot of favors among the yellow-skinned Asians who adore white skin as a symbol of wealth, status, and beauty. Especially with my older sister who many people have compared her to a pale swan, because she is so white and so slender, and so often seemed so cold and melancholy.
So while the European and American customers didn’t care that much for my sister’s fair skin tone, many of her Japanese customers absolutely loved her and lavished her with gifts, tips and, eventually an expensive trip to Japan from which she never came back. Her Japanese husband called her “my fair love” and kept her there.
Even though my father, being a typical narrow-minded Chinese national communist, didn’t care so much about my sister’s marriage to a Japanese, he did enjoy all the money she had made to our family, and so he didn’t have much to complain. Besides, my sister was the one who enabled him to have a son, so literally it was my sister who gave birth to his son, sort of incestuous if you ask me, for him to be made a man out of his own daughter’s vice, and for my brother to take life from the shame of his sister.