When I set out my wine blog, I didn’t expect to end up advocating so much about diversity. Perhaps it was wishful thinking, but I simply wanted a space to write about things I enjoyed.
But as long as I am who I am, every space I occupy will be racialized (from my acting and producing days, through my MBA, and then in the business world). I am no longer one who is willing to put up the mocking, aggressive and abusive behaviors as I once did in my youth, nor am I willing to turn a blind eye any longer.
As a Chinese woman, an Asian woman, I come from a culture that values humility, and harmony over conflict. That pressure is further compounded by my gender. In North America, our upbringing to remain silent and not rock the boat became more a means of surviving in a society that has marked us as the other. And that time for silence is over.
I hope that the young women who come after me will not be hushed by their parents, that they are encouraged to speak up loudly, demand what they want, not smile but slap the creeps that mistreat them, and recognize that they are just as much of a force to be reckoned with as the white men and women that occupy the pedestals of leadership.
And we should be able to achieve all these things without erasing our stories. Our language, culture, and upbringing are unique. It is our burden, but it is also our power. Treasure it. Hold onto it. Do not wash it away in order to fit in. A tree will only ever grow so tall without strong roots.