data-pub= ”f945e3bcc79c235c68e674ab0e2804ed ” data-adunit= ”28043 ” data-type= ”responsive ” data-format= ”standard ” data-init= ”false ”> “Yes?” Bai Tiantian was puzzled.
Bai Qingqing sat up and leaned against the wall: “I want to discuss something with you.”
“What is it? Tell me.” Feeling needed by others, Bai Tiantian was instantly full of energy.
She was the kind of person who didn’t know how to refuse; whether it was a shortcoming or an advantage was not certain but as long as the request was not too much, she would become soft-hearted and agree to anything.
A-mei also looked at Bai Qingqing with curiosity.
“A-mei, you thought the village’s rules and traditions were inhuman and you tried to escape.”
A-mei sat up in her turn: “Yes! My mother…” She gritted her teeth before saying in a bitter voice, “My mother was beaten to death by my father.”
“How can this be!” Bai Tiantian let out a shocked cry.
The men beat their wives to death or those who couldn’t stand being abused and tortured every day would jump into the river, hang themselves, or drink medicine.
Their status in this village was no better than cattle.
Bai Qingqing raised her hand and patted A-mei on the shoulder.
“We are going to do something big tomorrow.” She looked at Bai Tiantian and added, “Didn’t you give a lecture to the women a few days ago? You will give another one tomorrow.”
Bai Tiantian was confused: “What kind of lesson? The same harmful one as last time?”
Bai Qinqging leaned closer to the two other girls: “Listen to me…”
After she shared her plan, the girls were shocked and looked at her before asking with some hesitation: “Are you sure it’s a good idea?”
Bai Qingqing nodded and smiled: “Just do it.”


The next day.

Sunlight filtered through a layer of clouds and scattered over the mountains of Zhou village.
People got up early to eat and smoke rose from every house.
Bai Qingqing and A-mei went door to door to inform the women of the upcoming lesson.
Hearing they were going back to class and that the lecture was given by the Holy Maiden, the men readily agreed, eager to have their wives and future daughters-in-law learn more about rules and female virtue.
The women gathered in the previous room.
A-mei and Bai Qingqing stood on the side and Bai Tiantian was in the middle.
“I will be leaving today, but before I go, I will give you one last class.”
Because the Elder had shaped a particularly noble image of Bai Tiantian, the women were all looking at her like she was the reincarnation of Bodhisattva.
“Lesson one: Awareness of oneself.”
The women were very puzzled.
Was the Holy Maiden going to talk about Sister Hong’s previous lecture, when she had told all of them to recognize their lower status and treat men as the sky?
Bai Tiantian looked at Bai Qingqing and said: “Please, come here to give an example.”
“Yes.” Bai Qingqing smiled and this smile reminded all the women of her outburst from a few days ago.
Their memory was still very fresh and they had all thought she was crazy; otherwise, why would she have cried out to get married and be eager to be killed by her husband?

“The truth is that I was married once.” Bai Qingqing lowered her eyes, her voice full of emotions, just like an actor, “I gave birth to a daughter for him but he thought of her as waste and would punch and kick me every day.
Even when I served him with all my heart, I couldn’t change his mind and he threw my daughter into the pond one night.”
When the women heard this, sympathy appeared in their eyes.
The pain of losing a child, only mothers who had could understand.
Men were too much, how could they kill their own children!?
Bai Qingqing raised her head and said in a bitter voice: “My poor baby… She didn’t even get a chance to touch the flowers and grass of this world, nor look at the birds and the fishes, she just died like that in the cold pond…”
Women were soft-hearted by nature and as they listened, those words resonated with everyone, and hatred spread uncontrollably in their hearts.
Even if she knew it was only an act, Bai Tiantian also shed tears.
Bai Qingqing’s big eyes were hollow and desperate.
She took a sharp breath and continued in a soft voice: “I cried all day and he beat me again.
When he fell asleep, I took advantage of it.
I tied him up, took a knife, and stabbed him a few times.
The bed was full of blood.”
Everyone felt chills on their backs.
Bai Qingqing smiled, both beautiful and bizarre: “Guess what happened in the end?”

“Did you kill him?”
“Did he die?”
Although this story was terrible, the women had a hint of joy in their hearts.
Bai Qingqing had a blank expression on her face: “He didn’t die.”
Everybody was confused.
Bai Qingqing: “Of course I wouldn’t let him die so easily.
After he was sent to the hospital, I cried and told him I was sleepwalking.
He was broken and had to rely on me for the rest of his life.
Fearing I would abandon him, his attitude towards me became better and better.
But it was far from enough to make up for the harm and grief he had caused me.”
Led by her story and understanding her thoughts, the women felt good.
Bai Qingqing: “After experiencing these things, I realized I was no worse than a man.
And if I had realized that earlier, my daughter would not have died.”
“Then why did you scream you wanted to get married and be beaten to death by a man before?”
Bai Qingqing laughed: “If I don’t make trouble this way, how will you see these rules are wrong?”
Bai Tiantian used this perfect timing to say: “Men are not the sky and women are not the earth.
You need to learn to love yourself and be independent in order to protect yourself and the people you love.”
The men of the village were lazy and the women were the one working and taking care of the children.
They relied on ancestral customs and rules to get away with it and the time to break those had come.

After concluding the lecture, the three girls walked down the mountain.
Bai Tiantiant couldn’t help asking: “Qingqing, did you make up the story yourself?”
A-mei was also wondering the same thing; the whole thing had felt too real.
Bai Qingqing answered indifferently: “Doesn’t this happen everywhere in the world?”
With the end of days, the environment had become more severe and difficult to live in.
Most women were reduced to animals to be disposed of at will; their only values were to comfort men or become broodmares in fertility camps.
Truth was Bai Qinqging had based this story on the experience of one of her classmates.
After she had been born, she had been thrown into the pond by her grandmother but fortunately, her fate had been to be picked up and raised by a better family.

狗改不了吃屎 (gǒugǎibùliǎochīshǐ): lit.
a dog can’t stop himself from eating shit (idiom) / fig.
bad habits are hard to change

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