每日英語跟讀 Ep.K120: Hsinchu mothers’group screens members to exclude ‘low-class’ families’
Hsinchu boasts the highest salaries of any city in Taiwan, thanks to the large concentration of technology talent clustered in the city. A woman who works at the Hsinchu Science Park published a revealing post on Monday in the WomenTalk chatroom on Professional Technology Temple (PTT), the nation’s largest online bulletin board. The post’s author wrote that six months ago she changed career and began working for a technology company at the park. During a recent conversation with a 30-something colleague who is 20 weeks pregnant, the colleague mentioned that she had intended to join a fairly well-known mothers’ group called “Hsinchu Science Park Mothers.” However, she discovered that she was ineligible to join because the group vets the employment and education history of aspiring members to “prevent low-class people from joining” and “create a high-quality group.”
The post went into detail about the group’s stringent requirements: at least one parent must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from one of the four best universities or a masters’ degree from another top university, have been employed at a publicly listed company for at least five years or be a medical doctor, lawyer or civil servant. If neither parent has a glittering academic record, not to worry, so long as one of the parents has an entrepreneurial background and can provide proof that they own at least three real-estate properties.
The author of the post went on to write that the mothers often form sub-groups to provide English lessons, swimming classes and music tuition, an “integrated curriculum,” “whole-brain development” and even horse-riding lessons for their precious darlings, adding that the fees are eye-watering. Furthermore, the mothers also form sub-groups to enrich their lives, such as flower arranging, baking and yoga: “As a conservative estimate, a month’s fees covering classes for both the mother and child will start at between NT$20,000 and NT$30,000.“
The post triggered a lively debate among netizens, with some commenting below the post: “Each to their own. I won’t be joining but I won’t criticize them either.” Another commented: “This is just how upper-class society works. Don’t let poverty get in the way of your imagination.” “This is completely normal. What a load of fuss about nothing. Class difference is real,” wrote another.
However, other commentators were less forgiving: “The threshold is actually not that high, but it comes across as really contrived,” with another writing: “I wouldn’t want to join a mothers’ group of priggish upper-class posers that excludes the less well-off.” “This mothers’ group has no class,” wrote another.
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