Jeremy Lin and Modern Good Women

Every couple of weeks something in the radio gets on my nerves. This week there were two.

The first was started by udn with this news: A middle school’s physical education exam contained a question which was: “林书豪是哪一國人?“ I am putting up the question in Chinese because one English translation cannot convey the subtlety. More than a half of the students answered, “Jeremy Lin is Taiwanese.” But the correct answer is, “He is American.” Unfortunately, the question could be interpreted in many different ways, either “What’s his nationality?” or, “Where is Jeremy Lin from?” or, “What is his origin?” It is the inherent subtlety of the Chinese language that put the poor middle school in the media spotlight and had the Mayor of Taichung getting on my nerves. He said, “Legally, Jeremy Lin is American. Whether he identifies himself to be such is up to Jeremy Lin.” After all the craze I wrote about, I still want to say, let the guy take care of his knees and play his ball, please!

The definition as appeared on the website. Retrieved on 5/25/2012 from

Then, there was this the media stirred all day long. There is a Chinese Dictionary published by the Ministry of Education of Taiwan. The new revision contains an entry for “xin hao nu ren“, modern good women. The definition reads:

“A term used for women in the late 90s, as opposed to ‘modern good men’. It is a view offered to gain equality between genders. The characteristics of modern good women include: focusing on family life, loving husband, caring for children, doing her best to maintain happiness and harmony in marriage.”


So I searched for the term “modern good men” in the same dictionary. This is what the definitions says:

“A term used in the late 90s to describe expectations of modern men. It is a view offered to gain equality between genders. The composite image includes: humor, providing comfort and trust, being earnest and conscientious about life, ethical and moral, adhering to principle, respecting life, and showing consideration for women.”

Late 90s, equality.

I searched for “modern men” and “modern women” in English on the Internet. It would make an interesting Ph.D dissertation topic.


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