by Joan Goldstein
“Where’s the Queen?” I
ask Jack and
Sho, two boys in the Chinese
Chess intently, their rounded wooden
Pieces embossed with swirling characters in
Red or black.
“There is no Queen in Chinese Chess.” Jack
answers solemnly, politely.
“Then who is powerful? “ I persist, “certainly
Not the King.”
“No,” the boy of 12
thinks for a moment. “The horse – or later the castle-
not the King.”
“But why is there no Queen in
Chinese Chess?” I am bothered.
The woman in me needs to
Stops still, the wooden piece in his
Hand, poised hovering for a fatal move,
“Because a woman does not belong on
The battlefield.” He pronounces his English with care,
as if he were an old man,
wise and knowing – had he
heard these very words in Chinese
from his grandfather?
Was he translating as we spoke?
“Nor do men,” I think.
Joan Goldstein, Ph.D. is host and producer of “Back Story with Joan Goldstein” at Princeton TV30, and syndicated with MCTV 25/26. She is also a Professor of Sociology at Mercer County Community College, and leads the Talking Politics book discussion series at the Princeton Public Library.