Are Taiwanese women submissive and passive, innocent and cute, as some people suggest? The following story, although extreme, seems to prove the opposite.
As Apple Daily reported, on Chinese New Year a man surnamed Liu went with his wife to visit her family in the southern part of Taiwan. On February 21st, while the couple were returning to their home in Taichung, they had a quarrel. The man decided to stop at a service station in Gukeng, a township in Yunlin County, to try to ease up the atmosphere a bit.
But his wife was so furious that she took his money, wallet and phone, and just left. “Find a way to go back home, if you can!” she reportedly said as she drove off the service station, leaving her dumbfounded husband alone and penniless.
Without his money and mobile phone, Mr Liu could neither pay for a taxi nor call friends or relatives to help him. Nevertheless, he asked the staff of the service station to call him a cab. He explained to the driver what had happened and asked him to take him to the nearest police station.
At Yongguang police station Mr Liu told the officers his story and borrowed from them money so that he could return home. Jian Liangguang (簡良光), the head of the police station, gave him 1000 TWD (around 30 euros) out of his own pocket.
20 days later, Mr Liu’s wife called the police station and asked for their address, promising that her husband would soon repay his debt. Mr Liu did, in fact, send 1000 TWD by registered mail to the policemen who had saved him from his wife’s little prank.
Obviously, this story does not tell us what Taiwanese women are like. This is just one episode in the lives of 23 inhabitants of this island. However, my personal observations tell me that similar angry reactions – albeit less extreme – happen quite frequently in Taiwan. They are not just considered a normal part of a couple’s relationship; they are an actual habit, a kind of test which many women need in order to prove to themselves that their position as girlfriends/wives is safe and solid. As long as a man accepts a woman’s whims – so the logic goes – he is a good boyfriend or husband, and he truly deserves her.