Women Without Their Own Rooms

Kit Ying Lau
Posted November 1, 2021 from Hong Kong
Girly Room

Hello, sisters! My name is Iris Lau. I come from Hong Kong. I was born in 1989, so I am 32 years old right now.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to talk about my stories. You know, it’s quite embarrassing to talk about my room in front of males. However, when I found World Pulse, I think it’s a nice place to share my own living experience in Hong Kong. In fact, I seldom talk about my room in reality, just like other female friends in Hong Kong. It’s because we may think a tiny room or without a room is a shame.

Without a room, I even couldn’t write comfortably. Every time, I needed to bring my laptop and went to the public library for queuing for a seat in front of the study room. So, I was always in a vicious cycle.

When I was 29, I received my own room from my beloved parents. It’s about 100 sq ft. People in the world may think it’s marvelous. Firstly, receiving a room at 29 is late in many places. Secondly, a 100 sq ft. room is very small for an adult.

One work desk, one bed, one wardrobe. And, bookshelves which are made by red wine wooden boxes. All these are new for me when I received my lovely room. It’s a life-changing moment for me. I think I am still a lucky girl because my other friends from Hong Kong are still waiting for their own rooms.

After growing up, I started reading English literature. When I read A Room of One’s Own, I am envious that Virginia Woolf was born in London. However, if Woolf were born in Hong Kong, I think her masterpiece can be more meaningful.

As a writer, I think I don’t have dignity. As a young woman, I think I don’t have dignity. If Woolf said that a woman must have money and a room of her own, it’s impossible for women without their own rooms in Hong Kong. It’s because Hong Kong has the world’s highest land prices. More importantly, we cannot afford a room in the future for sure. Even if we have some money, we still cannot afford a room.

When I entitled my article as Women Without Their Own Rooms, I would like to express that I am not the only one in Hong Kong. Please admit that women without their own rooms have no human rights. And, a room is necessary for any woman, even if she is not to write fiction.

I am not Hong Kong’s Virginia Woolf. I am what I am. 

 

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Comments 16

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megsmueller
Nov 01
Nov 01

Hi Iris
How are you? Thank you for your story. Lovely room by the way. I will admit that it's pretty uncomfortable to not have a private space in all walks of life, but especially for the writer. I also know that you can achieve so much in life, despite challenges. Keep on doing what you love doing. We respect the renowned writer, Virginia Woolf as she spoke with good intentions and from a place of concern for fellow writers. We also know that by taking baby steps, we will reach our milestones.

Much love to you!

Kit Ying Lau
Nov 01
Nov 01

Thank you, Meg! : )

Dawn Arteaga
Nov 01
Nov 01

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing this incredible perspective on the importance of ones own room. I hear in that call the space to create, to feel value, to find peace, to imagine. It’s a powerful image and I can’t wait to read more of your writing.

Kit Ying Lau
Nov 01
Nov 01

Omg! I love you so much, Dawn!
I will write more beautiful stories then. ^^

jomarieb.earth
Nov 03
Nov 03

Dear KIT YING LAU,
I have visited Hong Kong many, many times dear sister. Please, bear with me. I always loved it. And by the way, you have a very lovely room. So many women would be extremely happy for such a room, myself included. Putting that aside, I have seen the reality. I have a suggestion since we are here to share. You are a writer. You have a room. You have a place to live that has a story. Please, create that story and share it with the world. Get that story published. Sell that story. And inspire us all. Make all of us enchanted, and curious, confused and disgusted as well. You have 2 gifts, writing and a place to write. Use it to escape and make your options expand. I look forward to reading your journey. I'm excited already! You don't need dignity sweet sister. You need a story! The less dignity the better.
And just so you know...writers worldwide spend thousands to be a nice "room" in a wonderfully lousy place so they can simply write, smell the stench of reality, and taste the rot of unfairness. You already have everything you need. Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf? Virginia Woolf of coarse! Now stop whining and be successful! I'm selfishly looking forward to it!
Love with Hugs...JoMarie

Kit Ying Lau
Nov 03
Nov 03

Thank you, Jo!
Yes, I need a story.
Right now, I got my room and a space to write. I should need to help more people to speak out. : )

jomarieb.earth
Nov 03
Nov 03

You have a story already. You started it here. Help yourself to speak out. Other people will take too long. My point sweet sister is to speak your own voice and truth now while you still can. Time is short. Don't waste it. And you know exactly what I mean! XoXo...JoMarie

Beth Lacey
Nov 05
Nov 05

You are writer. What you have shared with us here is proof of that. I am sure having your own room has helped you create this story. You have talents that are with you no matter where you are. And you have the World Pulse community- we are always here to cheer you on

Kit Ying Lau
Nov 05
Nov 05

Thank you, Beth! : )

Kit Ying Lau
Nov 12
Nov 12

Thank you, Beth! : )

Corine Milano
Nov 11
Nov 11

I love this story and your writing so much, Kit Lau! Thank you for sharing it with us — it is indeed so powerful to have a space of our own to create our own narratives. I had no idea this was uncommon in Hong Kong and it's enlightening to read your account.

I also wanted to comment to let you know that World Pulse loves your story and has included it in the community digest that will go out to the whole network tomorrow. Be on the lookout in your email inbox for the highlight! Congrats and I do hope you will continue to share your stories with World Pulse. You are indeed a powerful writer!

Kit Ying Lau
Nov 12
Nov 12

Thank you, Corine!
I hope my messages can be reached out to other places, as I really think deeply about if having a room is a women's right, inspired by Virginia Woolf.

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12
Nov 12

Dear Iris,
What a story! I am so happy for you that you have your own room, it looks so peaceful. I love that you make the comparison to "A Room of One's Own. I loved that book for many of the same reasons. What was a shock to me was to watch the video about the reality of housing for so many people in Hong Kong. This is the kind of news that is kept hidden. I loved that those working to solve this housing emergency have people playing board games that bring forth discussion and compassion for each other. I look forward to more of your writing, and celebrate that you have such a peaceful "room of your own".

Kit Ying Lau
Nov 12
Nov 12

Thank you, Tam!
Yes, you know what I mean. I really wanna reveal the hidden stories behind the housing problem in Hong Kong.
However, as Virginia Woolf wrote about A Room of One's Own, I think more deeply about if having a room is a women's right. : )

ARREY- ECHI
Nov 15
Nov 15

Dear Iris,
What a beautiful story you have. I enjoyed reading it and it is so beautiful the way you have painted what most of us may take for granted and opened our eyes to the realities out there.

There is something truly liberating to have a place of your own especially as a writer.

I hope you can use your gift to write more and educate the world on this reality.

Looking forward to more stories from you.

Lovely room by the way.

Kit Ying Lau
Nov 15
Nov 15

Thank you, Arrey! ^^