In China, daughters are traditionally considered "spilled water" — when she's married off she has no value to her family, totally worthless. That's the basis of its gender-bias culture that has far-reaching effects on its women and girls, even today. I wonder how many cultures still consider their daughters that way — worthless. The metaphor can be different but the connotation is the same.
I have thought about this issues long and hard, and have re-branded my documentary film "Rise of the Phoenix" to "Spilled Water" — women redefining their worth. I also like the idea of water being soft, the yin to the yan. The Taoism wisdom says it well, "Water is the source of life. Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving rock nothing can surpass it. The soft overcomes the hard; gentleness overcomes the rigid."
I am very sympathetic to women living in countries with the baggage of sexist cultures that rendered them helpless. The weigh of traditions can be suffocating. But we do have the power to make choices and change our destiny. To empower women is to change their mindset about traditions. Mothers must stop aborting girl fetus because they prefer boys, they must allow daughters to be educated, they must stop viewing them as dowry barter chips. Mothers are their daughters' first teachers, mentors and role models. Women must assess their own worth before they can assert their rights to transform their world. Maybe its time to push back rather than lean in for some of us.
So ladies, can you imagine wearing a T-shirt that says "I am not SPILLED WATER? to show our solidarity" For more information of my film please visit http://spilledwaterdoc.com/Girls Transform the World 2013