THE HARROVIAN Issue 15
Leadership for a Better World
South Korea Trip
tells its own story; we were fascinated by the ingenious heating systems, specialised kimchi refrigerators, and stylised sloped
On the 25th January, fourteen students went on a trip to South Korea to gain a more involved perspective of the Korean War.
their beauty. In the extreme cold weather, icicles hung from pipes and edges of buildings; some of us wanted to take the icicles back as souvenirs (sadly, this was impossible).
by Nicole Pullinger (Y12, Gellhorn) and Cisy Ye (Y12, Gellhorn)
still strong, and so learning different views on the ongoing On the second day, we visited the Korean war museum. As Morgan Jack (Y12, Gellhorn) gave us a summary of how the museum portrayed the civil war, we were able to compare different perspectives of the war and form a more balanced view. The focus of the museum was to enable a better
Overall, this trip was enlightening and insightful despite the sub-freezing temperatures. I would recommend it to anyone interested in Asian history and culture!
for their participation. The most memorable feature of the museum was the “drop” - a sculpture made up of the 1300 U.N. participants. On the following day, we visited the Korean Demilitarised Zone. Here we saw one of the four exposed North Korean tunnels, the only train station leading to Pyongyang, and a small section of North Korea through binoculars. This opened our eyes: although the DMZ is a place of peace and prosperity, what lies beneath the surface shows us years of ongoing tension. As well as learning about the country’s history, we also immersed ourselves in the rich South Korean culture. We were accompanied by a tour guide who spoke to us about various topics and pointed out monuments and geographical housing to fashion and cuisine, we marvelled at the differences apparent, Korea is different from other Asian countries. We also tried a multitude of traditional dishes: ginseng soup, Korean barbecue, bulgogi, and (most famous of all) kimchi. We even had the chance to make our own Korean snacks: a sesame biscuit called kang jung.
Guys and Dolls
by Annabelle Paradise (Y10, Keller)
as we eagerly awaited our eight hour rehearsal. Although some castle members were battling illness, we managed to glide seemlessly through the rehearsal, going through all the numbers and singing with the band. For many of us, it was an experience that we will never forget, particularly as the orchestra was outstanding. During the next few days, the mood continued to brighten as we quickly approached opening night on
Coming from Hong Kong, a place of relatively tropical conditions, we were astonished by the extreme cold in South Korea. When we arrived, the temperature was a petrifying minus seventeen degrees; while some of us were dressed appropriately, others were not. Worse still, the lack of humidity in the air caused our skin to dry and crack. Static electric shocks were common, especially as we were wearing so many layers of clothing. The infrastructure of Korea is unique: between busy fashion districts lies traditional housing that is passed down
The Harrovian_Issue 15_A4.indd 1
Debate during the Conference was intense and tightly packed, considering that two topics had to be debated in each Council. The Crisis Cabinet hypothesised the escalation of the IndiaPakistan dispute and the Catalonia Crisis, which would evolve into a situation where ten seconds were left to spare until the outbreak of a World War. Meanwhile, the Security Council debated the imminent threat of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programme and the question of Mutually Assured Destruction. Students from schools invited to the Conference also had the opportunity to take on leadership positions for chairing a committee. This involved the challenging task of maintaining control of the committee room and facilitating debate to allow all delegates to speak on the matter. Chairing is certainly harder than it looks given that the Chairs have to Wednesday. The show was a success and was perfectly complemented by the beautiful set. Gamblers rolled their dice, missionaries read their bibles and the hot box girls took back their mink. We had so much fun learning all the numbers and the dance moves, and in the process made some unforgettable memories. The play follows the story of a group of gamblers struggling to find a suitable location to hold their gambling event. Along the way we meet a devout missionary who throws gambler, Sky Masterson, off his course. We take an unexpected turn into the streets of Havana and dance late into the early hours of the morning. Miss Adelaide, the well known fiancé and impressive hot box dancer, finally achieves her dream of getting married to her significant other, the warm hearted but not unreliable Nathan. The cast and crew worked so hard for this performance and we are all incredibly grateful to have taken part in such a classic musical. A huge thanks to all the teachers for this wonderful experience!
establish and maintain control of a room of teenagers of all ages, many of whom are their peers.
the World Final, I think that this opportunity has been one of the best highlights of my time in Prep School. For several months, we had to work together in order to prepare and hone our strategies for answering questions on a large range of topics. We learnt to work collaboratively as a team as well as develop our bank of literary knowledge, reading an endless number of books in order to prepare. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has a passion for reading in the Prep School for next year!
Four Peaks Boat Race
by Morgan Jack (Y12, Gellhorn), Ollie Otten (Y12, Sun), Anna Birkett (Y10, Gellhorn) and Anna Kwan (Y11, Gellhorn)
This race was a gruelling, challenging, exhausting, yet rewarding 24 hour adventure, taking place on the 3rd and 4th February. The combination of hill running and yacht racing put every possible skill to the test, forcing every individual to adapt to situations quickly. The Harrow Hong Kong team named Harrow Time, taking inspiration from our boat’s name, Tardis ( Doctor Who’s time machine), started the race in Tai Tam Bay on the Saturday at 10.30 a.m. The team consisted of the four student runners: Anna Birkett (Y10, Gellhorn), Ella Stranger (Y11, Gellhorn), Vanessa Heung (Y12, Wu) and Ollie Otten (Y12, Sun), who were supported by Morgan Jack (Y12, Gellhorn), Mr. Jack and Mr. Davies as the boat crew, and accompanied by the adult runners: Miss Woodroffe, Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Crosswhite. Even entering the group was already a monumental feat as never before had a school team participated in the race, and we all hoped to pave the way for future school teams to feel able to conquer the challenge.
The event would not have been possible without the Secretariat, who organised the HARMUN Conference. This involved Secretary General Andrew Crossan (Y13, Sun), DSG Hamza Apabhai (Y13, Peel), DSG James EnglandBrammer (Y13, Peel), DSG Anna Tang (Y13, Gellhorn) and DSG Samar Jayachandran (Y13, Churchill). I am sure that all delegates encountered challenges throughout the conference, but utilised the conference as an opportunity to put their leadership attributes into practice. HARMUN is now aiming to grow into an international conference next year. For those wishing to express an interest in participating in next year’s conference, please find more details on www.harmun.org.
Kids Lit Quiz
by Sebastian Walsh (Y8, Banks)
On the 8th December, our team of Harrow students ventured to German Swiss International School to compete in the 2017 Hong Kong Kids Lit Quiz Championships. Four teams of students took part in the battle to reach the World Final, which will be held in Auckland, New Zealand in July 2018.
Harrow Model United Nations by Hamza Apabhai (Y13, Peel)
On the 3rd and 4th February, Harrow Hong Kong hosted its second Model United Nations Conference. The event saw 160 delegates from schools across Hong Kong act as representatives of their country in the Crisis Cabinet, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the General Assembly I and II, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Human Rights Council (HRC).
The Harrovian_Issue 15_A4.indd 2-3
With mixed feelings of nervous trepidation and excitement, we started our tournament. The questions quizzed us on a broad variety of literary texts, each round focusing on a unique theme, such as folk tales, castles and even beards! It was long and gruelling as we had to answer 100 questions, but in the end we ended up coming second place by only one point to Hong Kong Home School Association Team 1. Although we didn’t win and won’t be able to attend
By the time the daunting day of the race came around, we all felt extremely prepared as the training had been extensive. A definite key to our success was the preparation, so not only did the team feel comfortable managing the boat and navigating the most efficient course, but the runners had practised the routes on each challenging hill. The unity of the group was strengthened by being forced to face hurdles prior to the actual race itself. The fact that we all gradually saw the capabilities of ourselves and each other improve made us certain we were ready to confront any obstacle because our collective mindset was one of perseverance and positivity. In terms of sailing, it was incredible to see how much we improved over the course of the training sessions as some members previously had little to no experience, but by race day we were a slick team that understood the mechanics and needs of the boat. The first sailing leg from Tai Tam to Lantau was invigorating as it was the first time our sailing skills were tested under pressure, allowing us to extend beyond our personal comfort zones and to achieve heightened personal growth. Throughout this first sailing leg, we could directly compare our progress to other boats, resulting in euphoria amongst the crew when we hit a patch of breeze no other boats had hit and flew past boats we had previously been trailing behind for hours. The final and toughest leg of sailing was from Repulse Bay to Sai Kung with the fierce winds, rough seas and immense exhaustion taking its toll on everyone. However, once the second this leg was complete, the incredible shared feeling was that we all would have turned around and completed it again, so strong was the sense of pride and achievement.
After the first leg of the race, we arrived at Lantau Island, and the first three runners set off in the kayak, which was our only means of transport between the boat and beaches. These were extremely tricky, as we often needed to transport three people on one kayak or two people on a standup paddleboard, as well as carry the waterproof bags that contained the rucksacks with which we had to run. After a strenuous run on the way back from Lantau Peak, it was time to return to the boat via kayak. The feeling of accomplishment of finishing the highest peak was quickly reversed when the kayak was hit sideways by a wave throwing us into the cold water and in the path of oncoming waves. We arrived at The jagged terrain encountered during the ascent of the 934-metre Lamma Island in the dark and what seemed like fun in training Lantau Peak.
experience. We signed up for our respective shifts in the area that we found the most interesting - environmental, task force team, media, etc. - not knowing what to expect on the days that we would be there. On the day, we were surprised by the variety of tasks set; from stepping into the mascot costume to counting people at the entrances, people were also in charge of garbage disposal, chaperoning school children, helping out at VIP events and manning the volunteer centre.
now appeared to be an impossible task. Mount Stenhouse easily had the toughest and steepest terrain, and the team had to work themselves through the shrubs and bushes to find a barely noticeable track. Mrs. Crosswhite had done the route four times out of our team training just to familiarize herself with the route, showing fantastic commitment, and this helped her lead the way. Then we sailed a short way to Violet Hill, where the two student runners ran their second peak in a row. What really kept us going during the run was the real sense of comradery among the group as we kept on going for the team, and the 30 second hot shower on the boat! After a smooth run from Repulse Bay up Violet Hill and along to Stanley, we continued the toughest part of the sailing course in the early hours of the morning. By then everyone was knackered and we each took turns power napping, whilst the others stayed on deck watching for ferries and helping track through the coldest hours of the night. The comfort of sleep was hindered by strong winds and a choppy sea, which led to some of us feeling somewhat seasick. In the early hours of the morning, we anchored at Sai Kung and kayaked to shore to ascend the final peak Ma On Shan before heading back to the finish line. We finally crossed the finish line at exactly 11.01 am on Sunday morning, meaning the journey took 24 and a half hours. It was a journey that taught us not only about endurance, resilience and teamwork but about the power of self-reflection and motivation. It also exemplified the importance of morale and support as being integral components within a team as they are needed when collaboratively resolving issues and providing each member with a feeling of accomplishment.
Girls’ Football by Sophie Haik (Y12, Gellhorn)
On the 18th January, the Girls Football Team faced their toughest opposition yet: South Island School. After being catapulted to the semi-finals following last season’s success, the team finished strongly against RCHK with a 13-0 win in their penultimate game. South Island had beaten KGV in the semi-final to now face Harrow Hong Kong on home turf. The Harrow Hong Kong team knew how strong their opponents were, having lost to their U16 team a few months before. With many pupils watching from the comfort of the sidelines along with a buffet dinner, the match began in a frenzy. Soon South Island were 2-0 ahead, but the Harrow
The Harrovian_Issue 15_A4.indd 4-5
Hong Kong girls fought back mercilessly and scored! With the scoreline tight and tensions high, the South Island attack continued to challenge the Harrow Hong Kong defence.
We worked with an extremely diverse and dynamic team, with volunteers ranging from 16 to 80 years old, from both local to overseas, and from sailing fanatics to those who knew next to nothing about the sport! Whilst some of the tasks that we had to carry out were tedious, and the shifts felt like they would never end, the entire experience was rewarding. We were fortunate to be a part of an extraordinary event, and work with all sorts of people. Overall, we also gained a better understanding of what really goes on behind the scenes of such large scale events through helping to man the stalls, which enabled us to develop our leadership skills in this field. What a memorable experience!
By half-time the opponent was leading 3-1, but the Harrow Hong Kong team had no intention of giving up. After an uplifting team talk from Mr. Moss and Mr. Hamon, the team returned to the pitch with renewed determination. Despite missing several chances, the Harrow Hong Kong team finally scored an outstanding goal created by an excellent demonstration of teamwork. The rest of the match was extremely tight and both teams fought hard; however, South Island were able to penetrate the Harrow Hong Kongback line and came out on top with another two goals. While the Harrow Hong Kong team didn’t win, the crowd’s unrelenting support and involvement was an excellent example of our school’s community spirit. The game also showcased the influential nature of female sport. As the most successful football team at Harrow Hong Kong, our female football players not only demonstrated the importance and competitiveness of sport, but also acted as role models for younger girls hoping to get involved.
Volvo Ocean Race by Joelle Chan (Y12, Gellhorn)
This year, Hong Kong was lucky enough to be a host city for the Volvo Ocean Race, a sailing race around the world, held every three years. Starting in Alicante, seven teams embarked on a ten leg race around the world, travelling to Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajai, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and finally The Hague. The race attracts a large audience, from sailing fanatics, to the curious passerby. The fifteen day Hong Kong race festival had around 450 volunteers, with a total of over 8800 volunteer hours. For a group of Sixth Form students, the race was an opportunity for us to gain some corporate voluntary work
Hong Kong’s Cultural Legacy by Morgan Jack (Y12, Gellhorn)
The handover of Hong Kong took place on the 1st July, 1997, and last year marked its 20th anniversary. This has prompted many people to reflect upon how Hong Kong has developed over the past 20 years. While many at the time questioned how it would affect the economy, all too often these questions ignore the issue of culture, and even when they do, they failed to consider the positive changes that could take place. Although the city may have undergone changes, some argue that it has managed to keep the unique qualities that differentiate it from anywhere else in the world. This, however, has not stopped some skeptics from deliberating whether Hong Kong is not far from morphing into another dull, lifeless city. Within this article we will explore whether or not Hong Kong has kept its unique and deep rooted culture, looking at a variety of local opinion from the average person on the street to those born and bred in Hong Kong who have since chosen to move abroad.
unmistakably distinct atmosphere which shapes our lives. This is easily depicted when one simply goes for a meander through this metropolis, wanders past the wet markets of Sai Ying Pun, watches the bustling streets with sounds of friendly chatter and smells of local delights right in the heart of the city, or passes the boutique shops and hipster hangouts of Sheung Wan on the way. You can then hop on the convenient and efficient MTR and head to areas such as the West Kowloon Cultural District, walking through the cultural park which boasts a stunning view of the iconic Hong Kong skyline. What appears typical and ordinary to locals astounds many tourists that see what Hong Kong has to offer, from tracks of luscious greenery right above the centre of the city to lanes of markets in the hub of the central business district. While these characteristics of the city may appear insignificant on the surface, they combine to instill a passion and connection within the communities that live there. Recently, the University of Hong Kong asked 1,016 residents to rate how passionately they feel they are a ‘Hong Kong citizen’ from a scale of zero to ten, and found the average rating was 8.23, the highest result found in the last ten years of regular research. For all of Hong Kong’s flaws, it must be acknowledged that people are still proud of this city. Even though Hong Kong appears to have kept most of its heritage, some citizens doubted this might be the case in 1997, sparking mass emigration to countries such as Australia, Britain and Canada. Two Hong Kong born emigrants from Canada were interviewed about their perspective on Hong Kong now, and many observed fundamental shifts in its atmosphere. “You look at Hong Kong now ... it’s a shell of what it was,” stated Geoffrey Ho, who is a Hong Kong born emigrant currently working in Vancouver as an engineer. “I don’t listen to Canto-pop any more. I haven’t watched a Hong Kong movie in ten years,” continues Jeffrey, as he sadly acknowledges an erosion of his roots. Others thathave moved to Vancouver have similar sentiments, for example Fenella Sung, a former RTHK journalist, says “The years I grew up in Hong Kong, the city was relatively peaceful, people were optimistic. That’s what I miss the most. Now when I go back, I don’t see it. The confidence is gone.” This serves as one example of how Hong Kong could be struggling to maintain its cultural legacy. To conclude, with the benefit of hindsight we can recognise that Hong Kong has managed to keep its distinct,
The city we wake to everyday is teeming with an
HK International Literary Festival
fascinating culture, yet only time will tell if this remains the case. In my opinion, the perception of the population by Sophie Haik (Y12, Gellhorn) determines the strength of a place’s heritage, which then leads A few months ago, Hong Kong welcomed a number of to the question: What will you do to cherish Hong Kong’s celebrated authors and poets for the annual Hong Kong culture and traditions? International Literary Festival.
Author Visit: Ms. Grace Lin by Robbie Haik (Y7, Shackleton)
On the 12th January, Ms. Grace Lin came to Harrow to talk to Y5, Y6 and Y7 about her unique journey to becoming the person that she is today - a talented author who has won many commendations such as the John Newbery Award for her book Where The Mountain Meets the Moon. Grace Lin was born in the U.S.A. and was raised by Taiwanese immigrant parents. She had a challenging childhood; she was the only Asian person in her whole school, giving her the impression that she was an outcast. Ms. Lin explained the difficulties that she had to face to become an accomplished author. At a young age, she was forced to overcome many hardships due to her background, as she was often singled out for her Asian ethnicity. Grace mentioned that everyone knew two things about her: the first was that she was Asian and the second was that she was a dedicated reader. Despite her challenges, Grace found a passion for books. However, she struggled to identify with characters in the books that she read because they all reflected Western culture. She became so engaged in this literary world that she began to deny her own Asian roots. Nevertheless, this fantasy was shattered when she auditioned for the play, The Wizard of Oz at school and her classmate yelled, “There can’t be a Chinese Dorothy!” Ms. Lin pursued her dream of becoming an author and illustrator in Rome, and it was here that she finally came to embrace her identity. She was in a cafe speaking Italian with a local man who asked her how to say coffee in Chinese, but she explained that she was not Chinese and could not say a word in the language. He seemed confused but carried on, asking why her parents immigrated from Taiwan to the United States. It was then she realised that she had no idea. She was in Rome, speaking Italian, but did not even know why her parents left their home country. Grace was suddenly, “ashamed for the right reasons.” She had denied her ethnicity for her whole life, but now she yearned to learn about it. She discovered and fell in love with the rich Chinese culture including its folk art for all its bright colours and interesting patterns. Her books are in English, but her characters are Chinese with illustrations in the style of Chinese folk art. Therefore, Ms. Lin is known as a multicultural author. She has written many children’s books, but also intriguing chapter novels such as Where The Mountain Meets The Moon and When the Sea Turned To Silver. She has had phenomenal responses from children all around the world. Schools perform plays with her stories, and letters are written to Grace saying how amazing her books make them feel. By finally accepting her ethnicity, this led to Ms Lin wanting to explore her cultural roots, the rich culture of Asia. She turned her passion for reading into a passion for sharing her heritage through her exciting writing and colourful illustrations.
The Harrovian_Issue 15_A4.indd 6-7
The lights dim and a hushed silence fills the audience. Crowded into a small hall teeming with eager ears, we watch in anticipation as a narrow beam of light falls upon the podium. She clears her throat and begins to read. Suddenly the room and its fellow listeners seem to melt away, and I find myself staring out into a sea of barbed wire and dead bodies. I watch as the limp and lifeless pull themselves off the frosted dirt and return to their respective lines, their wounds sealing with every step. Carol Ann Duffy opened the reading on the sombre note of World War One poetry, highlighting the wide range of responsibilities that her position as Poet Laureate entails. As the appointed Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom (and the first woman to hold this position), Duffy is expected to write verse for significant national occasions; her opening poem was no exception. Last Post was commissioned by the BBC to mark the deaths of Henry Allingham and Harry Patch, the two longest surviving soldiers from the First World War. The heart of the poem depicts the deceased coming back to life, and pictures what could have happened to them if they had not died (several million lives still possible/ and crammed with love, work, children, talent, English beer, good food). However, as an avid lover of verse herself, Duffy is not confined to writing poetry relating to events in the UK. She has also written several personal poems and books, including her first themed anthology The World’s Wife. The collection takes characters, stories and myths which focus on men, and, in Duffy’s renowned feminist way, presents them anew for the public to view the women in a different light. Duffy read several notable poems from this anthology including Mrs Faust, Mrs Darwin and Thetis, however she did not perform one of her most personal and revealing poem of The World’s Wife: Little Red Cap. Little Red Cap (based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood) reflects her relationship with Adrian Henri, a fellow poet whom she met at one of his readings at the young age of 16. He was 23 years her senior when they became romantically involved. While the poem does explore Duffy’s first experience of romance and the world of literature, it ends on a darker note resulting in the wolf’s murder (I took an axe to the wolf / as he slept). Although Duffy did not literally murder her beau (he has passed away since), she explores the implications of the break up and the dark personality that her once innocent character adopts (I filled his old belly with stones/ I stitched him up/ Out of the forest came with my flowers/ singing all alone). Duffy’s poetry gives us a more abstract look into pivotal experiences in her own life, and allows us to access her deeper and darker emotions through our personal interpretation. It was striking to witness such an accomplished poet display her rawest emotions through her words for a room of complete strangers.
The Hong Kong Literature Festival also featured a number of world-renowned authors. Over the following days, I attended various talks held by Min Jin Lee, a national bestselling writer. Lee is a Korean-American author whose work frequently deals with Korean American topics; many of her stories are based on her own experiences of growing up in a foreign place and how she dealt with such experiences. Lee is a particularly interesting case as she never intended on becoming a full time author; she studied history at Yale University and went on to practice Law. However, her ability to delve into the Korean culture is so poignant that her books are used by universities like Columbia and John Hopkins. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to talk to her privately about her own experiences and advice for budding writers. Q: What were your favourite books growing up? A: I mainly read novels by American or European authors. Growing up, I read a lot of George Eliot (Middlemarch and The Mill on The Floss). In university, I thoroughly enjoyed studying the work of American author Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, in particular.
write and work. Q: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with receiving bad reviews? A: I have been fortunate enough to receive predominantly good reviews! However I am quite sensitive, so I try to avoid reading Amazon reviews. At the end of the day you just can’t let what people say get to you; I started writing because I had a strong passion for literature and I am lucky enough to have been able to share my stories with others. That is sufficient satisfaction for me.
Why We Need Feminism by Annabelle Paradise (Y10, Keller)
This is not another article that has been written to decry the reign of the patriarchy by stating how horrible men are. There is a clear difference between man-hating, and a movement that encourages equality between genders. The failure to make this distinction has, unfortunately, led people to believe that feminism is no longer needed . The actions of a militant subset have changed how people perceive the movement; however, their behaviour should not be confused with what feminism really stands for.
Q: Your latest book, Pachinko, has been a huge success. What was the writing process like and what was the key to its success? A: Funnily enough, I was close to abandoning Pachinko after completing the first draft. I wrote a dreadful manuscript with a pretentious title that was never inflicted upon innocent readers. After putting the manuscript aside, I began developing a new story, and my third attempt at fiction, Free Food for Millionaires, was published in 2007. And yet, I was not willing to let the abandoned second novel go. While Free Food spotlights Korean-Americans in New York, I wanted to write about the fascinating history of the Korean-Japanese. I think the key to Pachinko’s success was my determination to do justice to the stories of thousands of Korean-American immigrants and their descendants. I tried to make the main character accessible to the audience to relate with those who have been through similar experiences.
Many supporters of the movement believe there is a feminist spectrum; it is important to distinguish between someone who thinks that men are evil and someone who actively strives for gender equality. Before you roll your eyes at this concept, consider the fact that there are religious spectrums and political spectrums – some people will always be more extreme in their views. There will always be a few who take matters too far and lose sight of what they are really fighting for. Fewer and fewer people are associating themselves with the word ‘feminist’ because of its negative connotations and misunderstood meaning. In the United Kingdom, 91% of women do not consider themselves a feminist, but that does not mean that only 9% of them believe in gender equality. It is disappointing that women are reluctant to identify with a movement that strives to establish equal rights. Feminism means gender equality, but its definition has been distorted by the media and society to reflect the actions of a militant few. Ownership of feminism has been taken from women who Q: What do you think is the key to effective writing? believe in gender equality and placed in the hands of those A: Every topic you write about needs to be emotionally who have a warped interpretation of the movement’s purpose. personal to you. You need to be passionate about the questions you have. Much of my writing stems from the most powerful Such statistics as above are used by anti-feminists as emotions - envy, shame and anger - the topics people do not evidence to support the claim that the feminist movement is want to discuss. Readers want these things to be explored. now redundant when in fact it is evident that the vast majority They also want to observe only the most dramatic events of of women, like men, do not support the ‘man-hating’ subset life; they don’t want to see the cake being baked, but they of feminists. There are countless parallels that can be drawn want to see the cake fall and fail. when the radical actions of a minority within a group alter the public’s perception of the entire group, such as religious Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers? terrorism, the suffragette movement, and the battle for racial A: I believe it is important to keep a low overhead; equality during Apartheid. It is thus unjust to relabel feminism don’t have a high expense in life and be thoughtful about money. Nobody becomes an author for the pay but rather based on the actions and radical beliefs of a small group within the passion. Writing is an undoubtedly difficult path, so the wider feminist movement. choose important over urgent. Ask yourself, will I have other Let’s consider some of the reasons why Feminism opportunities to do this? It is also important to discover what kind of writer you want to develop into, so read through is still relevant today. Although some may argue now that authors: pick one, read all their work and pick apart how they statutory laws have been put in place to tackle sexism and unequal pay in the workplace, feminism is no longer necessary,
acknowledged. However, in no way can one say we have reached a state of total equality. It is important for young women to recognise that in all aspects of society there are still persuasive male-orientated biases. While some may argue that there is now little basis for feminism to be needed in developed countries, it is indisputable that there is still progress that needs to be made. Equality is something we should always debate, discuss and continue to strive towards in society. It is now more crucial than ever that we continue to To give a sense of the current situation, here are recent debate this openly. examples of gender pay discrimination: Mark Wahlberg was Finally, as Elizabeth Nyamayaro said, ‘It’s not our reportedly paid $1.5m to reshoot scenes for ‘All the Money gender that defines us, but ultimately our shared humanity.’ in the World’ whereas his co-star Michelle Williams was paid $1000 to reshoot her scenes. Tesco was taken to court A photographic census of the over female store assistants being paid £3 per hour less, or Harrow community, one story £5000 per year less than their male counterparts for carrying at a time. Inspired by out the same role. The top earning male NHS consultant Humans of New York. earned £740,000 last year as opposed to the highest earning by Louisa Cho (Y12, Gellhorn) female consultant receiving £280,000, nearly a £500,000 gap. Progress may have been made, but current projections show that it may still take until 2059 or even 2119 for women to receive equal pay to men. its need is still evident today. According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2014, the median salary for men working full-time, year-round was $50,383, while the similar figure for women was $39,621. Furthermore, according to the Gender pay gap report in the U.K. in 2017, men and women working full-time in the highest-paid occupation group (chief executives and senior officials) earned a median hourly pay of £48.53 and £36.54 respectively.
Humans of Harrow Hong Kong
One common, but flawed argument against the gender pay gap is that it doesn’t take into account professional decisions made by individuals. The idea that women don’t want to work in finance because there are long hours and the work is unfulfilling is a myth. Only 6% of the most successful companies are run by women; one could argue that this is because women are overlooked for CEO roles based on their gender. Whilst this may be true in some cases, I think it is because the industries to which these CEOs belong are dominated by men. This is the case for many historically male dominated industries and thus it is significantly harder for women to break into these fields. Much of this derives from historical attitudes of society towards women. As Michael Kimmel said, ‘Without addressing men’s sense of entitlement, I don’t think we will ever understand why so many men resist gender equality.’ In addition, we need to recognise the effects of social conditioning. Some have argued that men are stronger than women biologically, and as a result, their manual labour skills are arguably more effective than those of women. However, excluding manual labour, when sitting at a desk working, marketing, consulting and banking, our physical differences are irrelevant and our success is based purely on the opportunities we have had. Furthermore, until recently, girls have been brought up from a young age believing that a woman’s role is to raise children and a man’s role is to be the breadwinner. If men and women were perceived to have equal roles 500 years ago, we wouldn’t be in the position we are in today. Society has been telling women we cannot do it. It is interwoven into many cultures that men are the more natural leaders. Just because the feminist movement started 100 years ago doesn’t mean it has fixed thousands of years of social conditioning.
‘Through crises and conflicts, Model United Nations not only allows us to understand more about the world and pushes us to interact with people, but it also enables us to learn how to negotiate with one another - I got so good at it that I nearly started a nuclear war!’
We have made immense improvements in terms of Writers and photographers out there, step forward and contribute balancing the gender scale and these rectifications must be to get your work published! Email the editors at harrovian@ harrowschool.hk!
The Harrovian_Issue 15_A4.indd 8
issue 15 of The Hong Kong Harrovian, published May 2018.