year of birth
I picked these headphones because I wear these everywhere. They are purple because this was the colour I picked a while back that was the easiest for me.
The main way that I get through commuting in London is the fact I have these headphones. I can shut out the rest of the world, so I can’t hear if people are cat calling and referencing the fact I am female in public. Once I have my headphones on, I don’t hear any of that. In this sense, the fact that I am female has more of an impact on my everyday life, rather than the fact I am Chinese.
I remember when I was 11 years old, walking home from the station to my parents’ house and being cat called on that road. People would just, you know, comment on things that I am a ‘Chinese school girl’ like ‘Asian school girl’ or people shouting a derogatory leng neui (pretty girl). I remember this happening all throughout my teens and early 20s.
A part of the reason why they are so brightly coloured is to indicate to other people: do not try to talk to me, I will ignore you. Sometimes it’s not even playing music, the headphones signal: I am not listening to you. They are not noise cancelling because I don’t feel safe if I cannot hear anything.
Since I got these headphones, I’ve not had another cat call. Either these have become an indication that I can’t hear them or I’ve aged out of that age. With these headphones, I am in a little bubble where I can live in and that means that I can travel round and it’s absolutely fine and I don’t feel the impact of being female in public.