Our mama taught us how to be simultaneously brave and pliant, and we found ourselves in this winning combination. Mama Annie was my only teacher for much of my childhood. She home-schooled me through several formative years spent in Central Java, my father’s birthplace. There I made note of the traditional preference that a woman not laugh too hard or be too assertive. There my peers were taught to wait, be patient, and to duck and look down when passing adult men. When I started high school in Hawaii at the age of fourteen, I noticed that American girls were generous, supportive, and cute, and sought academic excellence in the form of pretty handwriting, decorated notebooks, and a strong work ethic. In contrast, teachers had a rapport with the boys, a loose banter that implied, on some level, that the boys were more amusing and were more their equals. Teachers said nothing when sexual remarks were addressed to girls in class, or when girls were objectified when passing by boy-littered benches on campus, by being rated with signs held high bearing the numbers 1-10. I think it was then that I questioned my mother’s judgment when she said that there