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Is Taiwan Safe for Foreign Women?
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 2:33 am    Post subject: Is Taiwan Safe for Foreign Women? Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

I am new to this forum although I've read many of the posts. Very Happy

I am a qualified teacher from Canada, with a BEd. in primary/junior education. I am hoping to go to Taiwan in the near future to teach English. I have many questions to all of you that are in Taiwan or who have been living in Taiwan.

One question in particular I have been wondering about is my safety in Taiwan. I realize the culture is very different towards women in general, but, would I feel safe walking at night alone? What about during the day? I am thinking of going to Taichung which I know is the third largest city in Taiwan. I've read about the woman in Chiayi(sp?) that was killed. How are foreign women treated by Taiwanese men in authority(supervisors)?
All responses welcomed. Thanks in Advance.

Cheers,
Jojo Cool
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Aristotle



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1388
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you never learn the language, you may make it a few years until you figure out what the Chinese men on the street are saying to you. All women in Taiwan get this. The first time I really noticed it I was on a train that was packed beyond capacity. I was forced to stand in the open doorway as it went down the line.
At every stop the men would yell sexual request to the women and girls waiting on the platform. It wasn't just one either, there were two or three on every car. They were saying some really nasty things at any unaccompanied female, regardless of age.
Foreign women don't usually stay in Taiwan for more than a year, for this reason and many others. A Canadian friend of mine in Taipei used to run up to these obnoxious men on motorcycles and knock them off. She would then chase them down the street. She was a big girl and made quite a reputation for herself. The old women used to bring her flowers when she walked down the street. They really loved to watch her chase these ass holes and would hoot and holler every time she did it. Even the police would just stand there and laugh.
Generally speaking however, it really isn't that safe for women. Besides the obvious harassment women are generally treated as lower than their male counterparts. As most western women tower above the majority of the would be local assailants, attacks are rare in most places. The exception being Chaiyi.
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WorkingVaca



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 135

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 1:20 pm    Post subject: Keeping the girls scared. Reply with quote

Geez, Aristotle paints a pretty hysterical portrait of life for women in Taiwan. Come on. We get cat-calls and harrassment wherever we go in the world, and Taiwan men are much more polite than in other places. I feel as "safe" in Taipei as I did living downtown in a big U.S. city. In some ways, even safer. It depends on what you're accustomed to, but if you have the usual smarts (don't take candy from strangers, etc.) you should be fine. Of course things DO happen, but you shouldn't live your life in fear based on some small chance that something might go wrong.
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Okami



Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Posts: 121
Location: Sunny Sanxia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good ol, Aristotle. The college freshman telling stories around a high school keg party.

Taiwan is not very dangerous to your average westerner, female or male. I've walked the streets at all hours and been all over the place in Taipei and have had no problems. I have almost gotten into a couple traffic fights, but that was due to their awful driving. I see you facing the following 3 problems:

1. Taxi drivers, over 38% of them have done jail time. They have been known to harass and/or rape women. I think the most ironic one was the rape of the woman in charge of handling rape cases in Taiwan. Never get into a cab by yourself if you're very drunk, have someone go home with you home. When you take a taxi have someone write down the license plate number. Talk on your cellphone and try to ignore him unless he's asking for directions. Unfortunately, a lot of cabbies are absolutely clueless about how to get to point A to point B in Taipei as they come from down South.

2. Overbearing bosses, sometimes they will think your an easy target. A single woman without a friend in taiwan. Stand up for yourself and this shouldn't be a problem, though you might have to get a new job.

3. Psycho Taiwanese boyfriends: I'm not sure if these will be a problem for you, but it is a very real problem for a lot of Taiwanese women. Imagine a man who has never been scolded, told no, and had everything done by a woman in his life. This is a lot of Taiwanese men. So when a gf breaks up with them, they take it very badly. They will harass you at work, call all the time(they do this even when they like you, though), get into your apartment and destroy everything, kidnap you, threaten you, and/or kill you(maybe himself too). He'll also have his friends help him. Taiwanese like to do everything in groups. If you're going to break up with a Taiwanese bf/gf, make it seem like it was their idea.

Taichung is known for gangsters and great weather. Mostly mid level thugs into pornography, drugs, and pirated goods. They busted a cop near a city there with 5.4 kgs of heroin. He drove a Mercedes and was depositing 2-3 million NT/month in his bank acct. He liked to deal drugs dressed in his uniform and claimed to be undercover. Police are useless in Taiwan. They are a strictly 9-5 outfit that excels at giving out fines to motorists and seemingling nothing else. If you don't believe me, wait till you need them and they refuse to help or give their name.

With your qualifications, you need to apply for the international schools in Taipei, instead of some hack language school. Be choosy and set up your interviews for when you enter Taiwan. Getting a job sight unseen is a major mistake. Most schools take advantage of such people, by offering lower wages, etc... I would check out the following websites for better info. I like daveseslcafe.com, but it lacks the depth and breadth of these two websites in the following ways

Jobs: www.tealit.com so-so site, but hands down the best for jobs put up your resume and watch the hits come or look for jobs.

Living in Taiwan: www.forumosa.com.tw(formerly www.segue.com.tw) Need to knwo where any type of restaurants are? have a hard to answer legal question? It's all there.

Post anymore questions you may have and I'll try to answer to the best of my abilities.

Okami
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone who responded to my question. I feel a bit safer now considering that I do know how to stand up for myself especially if I have Taiwanese men yelling at me!

Okami: How do I know which schools are International or not? Does anyone know the name of some good International schools in Taipei or any other place in Taiwan?

Keep the comments coming.
Thanks
Jojo Cool
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taiwan boy



Joined: 11 Feb 2003
Posts: 99
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Taiwan is a pretty safe place generally. The most dangerous thing you will encounter daily is definitely the traffic Exclamation I agree with Okami's point about taxi drivers though. Most Taiwanese women are reluctant to take a taxi alone at night. Whenever I am with one of my female friends in Taiwan at night and they need to take a taxi I always go to put them in the taxi and write down the taxi's number.
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taxi drivers steal from you too. You drive two blocks and they're like "500NT!" and you're like "not on your life, buddy"
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MissusFish



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 5:38 am    Post subject: Women in Taiwan Reply with quote

"Leave your feminism at home, guys and girls get along there"

Ha! That had to have been written by a guy!

The women of Taiwan need classes in feminism even MORE than they need classes in English! Beetle nut girls, anyone? And I'm not even talking about the skimpy outfits, I'm talking about running out in little ankle breaker shoes in the freezing cold to the lazy ass who can't even get out of his car to feed his addiction.
Ever met the mom of a high school student? Do you know what percentage of YOUR female students have been raped? Forced by their husbands to get an abortion? Divorced or estranged from their husbands because they want to go back to work after having kids?
At least a lot of women seem to be owning and operating language schools, bookstores, cafes, etc. Although, I tagged along on some errands once with a friend who was building a school-it's really a pain to get service in male dominated industries, like construction, technological crap, etc. only the stuff she NEEDS to run her business.

Anyway, sorry for the derailment. This is actually stuff for a different kind of thread, probably on a different board. Just, you know, open your eyes a little more.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12087
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 4:52 pm    Post subject: Taiwan too ? Reply with quote

So the crazed feminists got to Taiwan too !
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 7:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Women in Taiwan Reply with quote

MissusFish wrote:
"Leave your feminism at home, guys and girls get along there"

Ha! That had to have been written by a guy!

The women of Taiwan need classes in feminism even MORE than they need classes in English! Beetle nut girls, anyone? And I'm not even talking about the skimpy outfits, I'm talking about running out in little ankle breaker shoes in the freezing cold to the lazy ass who can't even get out of his car to feed his addiction.
- Freezing cold? On Taiwan? Where would this be? All the snow and ice there I guess makes their poor little feet cold. Those girls have a job opportunity that guys can't get. Taiwan needs some equality for men.
Quote:
Ever met the mom of a high school student? Do you know what percentage of YOUR female students have been raped? Forced by their husbands to get an abortion? Divorced or estranged from their husbands because they want to go back to work after having kids?
- None of my female students were raped. And you can't go parading over to Taiwan on your feminist wagon and accusing all men of a crime that less than .01% of them have ever committed. The biological reality of guys and girls is that there will be the occasional idiot who will do something stupid, but let's not brand every guy with the same stigma. Rapists go to jail, for a long time. In Taiwan the same as in Canada and the USA. And so they should. Every guy will agree with that. Regarding women being forced by their husbands. You obviously have never been married. I have never met a husband who could force his wife to do anything. That would be a very bad move. Most married guys I know either get along with their wives, or are frightened of them. In my view, it's better to get along with them.
Quote:
I tagged along on some errands once with a friend who was building a school-it's really a pain to get service in male dominated industries, like construction, technological crap, etc. only the stuff she NEEDS to run her business.
-and I've worked in the building industry, and it's a real pain to try and serve women who don't know what they want and expect you to be able to do everything for them. There's nothing more frustrating that having to explain to a woman the intricacies of some building task she's decided to undertake and then hear her asking questions like "is that really neccessary?" and "do I need to do it that way?" You have to keep your cool. Please, become versed in the discipline BEFORE you start to practice it!!

I said leave your feminism at home for the person's own good, not the good of Taiwan. She'll have a better time if she goes with an open mind.
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WorkingVaca



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 135

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 2:24 am    Post subject: Backlash Reply with quote

......and the backlashing has begun. She points out a real injustice and dares to defend the "F" word (feminism) and now she might as well be just a man-hating bitch that never had a good lay. Rape isn't a problem because only "crazy" men rape. Reverse discrimination is rampant. Men have no rights anymore. Women have it so good and don't even appreciate it. Don't they know that everything men do in this world is for the sake of women? How dare you be ungrateful for their chilvary!

Anyway, you'll find that Taiwan people are just as racist, sexist, materialistic, etc., etc. as the people in your home country. And your fellow expats will be pretty dull, too--most of them only interested in drinking and trying to shag as many of the local "girls" as possible. As a female ESL teacher overseas, that's what might get on your nerves the most--listening to the dumb little adventure stories in the teacher's room. And compared to fears of taxi driver rapists (who you won't find in most cabs), that's really a small thing. You'll be fine in Taiwan, don't let other people's hysteria frighten you away!


Last edited by WorkingVaca on Tue Apr 01, 2003 3:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Okami



Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Posts: 121
Location: Sunny Sanxia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please ignore the chatter and focus on your own program. Taiwan is safe enough and you'll be dealing with the same crap in a different manner that you would in Canada.

Anything you will deal with in Taiwan will be just like dealing with it in Canada just in a different language and culture. No one really knows anything about Taiwan. Like most Asian countries any statistics produced are suspect as anything good is highlighted and possibly increased; and anything bad is hidden, made very obscure to find, and often lowered to make it look better.

Now look at the questions you asked and the responses given. If they do not match, they are useless chatter. You were looking for international schools here are some with there phone numbers.

Dominican International School 2533-8451
Taipei American School 2873-9000 ext 361
Taipei British School 2862-2919
Taipei French School 2862-2623
Taipei German School 2862-2930
Taipei Japanese School 2875-1460
Eighteen Kids American Language School 2874-3003
Yang Ming Shan Christian School 2861-6400

These were all taken from "This Month in Taiwan" magazine. These are the schools most foreign expats and wealthy Taiwanese would send their children to. I believe you need a foreign passport(non-ROC) to attend any of these schools as a student.

CYA
Okami
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MissusFish



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 4:32 am    Post subject: re: what itchy said Reply with quote

"Studies concerning women in Taiwan have consistently showed an urgent need for improving women's personal safety. An estimated 25 to 36 women are raped every day in Taiwan, and one out of five female university students in Taiwan has been sexually harassed. The Taipei City's Domestic Violence and Sexual Asasult Prevention Center reported 6,150 cases of marital violence between June 1999 and April 2000, meaning that during that period, every 24 hours, there were twenty individuals in Taipei city alone, who had sought help because of domestic violence. According to National Police Administration statistics, 19 women are robbed in Taiwan every day. 70% of surveys on women's welfare and rights identify women's personal safety as an urgent issue that requiring immediate attention. Government-funded hot lines that receive calls for assistance from victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, received 52,000 calls between January and July 2000 alone."

You can find the entire article here
http://www.womenweb.org.tw/English/Issue_Show.asp?Issue_ID=13

And here's something about migrant workers
http://migrantnet.pair.com/files/Rtaiwan98.html

And here is a website called, Men Against Sexual Assault with which you should make yourself familiar.
http://sa.rochester.edu/masa/

And another, because it's not all about rape.
http://www.gio.gov.tw/taiwan-website/5-gp/rights/tr_06.htm

Not all rapists go to jail. Many of them are never even reported because many victims are too terrified or ashamed to report them. Some are never caught. Some are caught and then just let go...really.
And you really shouldn't go around saying that rape is a "biological reality of girls and guys" because your are opening yourself up some pretty heavy attacks and taking away all your own defenses. Think about your statement & consider changing "biological" to "cultural" and then maybe you will see why there was ever a feminist movement in the first place.

About a quarter of my female students have been sexually assaulted or raped(at least, a quater have told me about it). And, just to be clear, I do count groping on the subway as sexual assault-especially when it happens to a 12 year old because she really shouldn't have to go through that just to get home from school.

Since last December three of my (married) female students have had abortions. I know for a fact, since they discussed it thoroughly with me(I dunno, maybe they want to talk to me because I'm a woman positive, progressive, FEMINIST), that at least two of the three had the abortions againt their will because their husbands did not want to support another child. Two families already have one child and one has two.

And, for the record, I am married. My husband is huge, he is over a foot taller than me and many pounds heavier. I would never be able to fight him off physically. I really believe that I would never have to, but I know not all marriages are like ours. Even back home, not every wife is as comfortable as I am. So, maybe instead of asking the married guys you know, you should start talking to the married women you know.

I will give you the "freezing cold" comment. I am from California, and since you are from Canada, I'm sure we have different ideas of what is cold. But I live in Hsin Chu, also know as the "Windy City" and seriously, it can't be comfortable standing out in that wind in only underwear. And I think the locals would agree since the ones who aren't selling beetle nut are wearing down jackets and gloves (and not getting out of their cars!)

I'm not going to respond to your comments about the construction because they were just dumb.

Anyway, the previous post is correct-this thread is about foreign women in Taiwan and we should focus on that. If you want to further discuss women's issues in Taiwan, go do some reading, talk to some real women in Taiwan and then start a new thread.

To the original poster, I'm sorry to get off your topic. But it's always good to talk about women's issues and rights and think about what we need to do to make things better for all of us, right?
I've always felt safe in Taiwan. Safer than in California. Western women are generally treated differently than the locals so don't think what I've been posting reflects the situation for western women.
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is what I like about Daves Cafe,, freedom of speech! I understand Missus Fish that these issues of safety for Taiwanese women may exist and Im sure they do. It's a shame really but, rape, abuse and other problems do exist in other countries as well.

It's a shame about the vulgar language that goes on in this thread. It doesn't sound to professional Itchy.

I have another question for Okami: Is there a website on any of these International schools that you gave me information on? Do these schools hire foreign teachers? How can I find out more information regarding these schools from over here in Canada?

Thanks
Jojo Cool
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taiwan boy



Joined: 11 Feb 2003
Posts: 99
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to further rebutt itchy and back up Missus Fish please have a look at this editorial from the Taiwan News: A projection of self-contempt
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