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Since my early 20s (I’m 28 at this point of writing), I’ve been regarded as a “power woman”.

I can understand the source of these comments, for I’ve achieved certain noteworthy milestones in my life.

However, this still did not stop me from having the above concerns, for it is a societal fact that many men (particularly Asians) prefer less domineering, less opinionated females.

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This reminds me of this incident two years ago where a friend’s friend, Kev, who is a spiritual practitioner, located me in a very busy locale in Hong Kong by way of my aura—during peak hours no less. It got to a point where I questioned my femininity. Rita thought for a while, and said, “I think that might be true for other girls.

(I was in Hong Kong then for a business trip.) While my friend Fenix was getting ready to text me and check where I was, Kev simply told him, “No need. But for you Jie, I think it’s more of a case that guys are afraid you would hurt them.” While my immediate reaction was to burst out laughing because the thought of that happening sounded so ludicrous, I immediately stopped to think right after.

While I am totally okay and at peace with being a single (I would rather be single than be with someone whom I don’t like), I don’t want to end up as that archetype if I can have my way. Deep down, I thought there was something wrong with me as a woman.

I don’t want to have a life where I have no one to call my own. Where others have no problems landing the relationship of their dreams, I seem unable to do so.

Hence, I’m frequently singled out by others for my accomplishments and for being a driven and “fearless” person.

Despite people lauding me from a place of good intention, I would feel mixed about being such a “strong” person (read: woman).

Believe it or not, even though I was trying my utmost ability to intimidate guys, I would still wind up intimidating them anyway, through no direct action of my own. (I later found out from a common friend that he is highly averse to strong female characters, which would include me.) I thought one reason for the unwitting intimidation could be my height, which is 1.7m—taller than the average Asian girl. I was chatting with my god-sister, Rita, while I was in Hong Kong, and she said something that made me see the situation in a different light.

Another reason could be my talking speed, which is faster than the average person. I had always thought that the solution to my guy-intimidation problems was to shirk my character, dumb myself down, and/or work on my appeal as a woman…

Some friends have gone as far as to tell me that I’m the smartest / most capable person they’ve ever met, which I think is the biggest compliment anyone can ever receive.

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