Hello, sisters! My name is Iris Lau. I come from Hong Kong. I was born in 1989, so I am 32 years old right now.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to talk about my stories. You know, it’s quite embarrassing to talk about my room in front of males. However, when I found World Pulse, I think it’s a nice place to share my own living experience in Hong Kong. In fact, I seldom talk about my room in reality, just like other female friends in Hong Kong. It’s because we may think a tiny room or without a room is a shame.
Without a room, I even couldn’t write comfortably. Every time, I needed to bring my laptop and went to the public library for queuing for a seat in front of the study room. So, I was always in a vicious cycle.
When I was 29, I received my own room from my beloved parents. It’s about 100 sq ft. People in the world may think it’s marvelous. Firstly, receiving a room at 29 is late in many places. Secondly, a 100 sq ft. room is very small for an adult.
One work desk, one bed, one wardrobe. And, bookshelves which are made by red wine wooden boxes. All these are new for me when I received my lovely room. It’s a life-changing moment for me. I think I am still a lucky girl because my other friends from Hong Kong are still waiting for their own rooms.
After growing up, I started reading English literature. When I read A Room of One’s Own, I am envious that Virginia Woolf was born in London. However, if Woolf were born in Hong Kong, I think her masterpiece can be more meaningful.
As a writer, I think I don’t have dignity. As a young woman, I think I don’t have dignity. If Woolf said that a woman must have money and a room of her own, it’s impossible for women without their own rooms in Hong Kong. It’s because Hong Kong has the world’s highest land prices. More importantly, we cannot afford a room in the future for sure. Even if we have some money, we still cannot afford a room.
When I entitled my article as Women Without Their Own Rooms, I would like to express that I am not the only one in Hong Kong. Please admit that women without their own rooms have no human rights. And, a room is necessary for any woman, even if she is not to write fiction.
I am not Hong Kong’s Virginia Woolf. I am what I am.
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own