Both in the song and the poem, sister and the girl child are in a dilemma since they do not know whether to go on with their cultures or rebel against them and have their own footprints. Sister comes from china where women are looked down upon. They are forced to do what the Chinese claim is their culture. To the women in china, being a woman is a big disgrace. However, those who follow their culture are considered valuable. Sister has struggled to have what men can. Sister has thus gone through experience and is determined to overcome her culture into this achievement. She is thus in a dilemma as to whether to live her culture and adopt a better culture where women are recognized or to continue with the Chinese culture. On the other hand, the girl child is on a dilemma on whether she should please her American society on doing what they require of her or leave it and take her own path. The two struggles with the expectations of their cultures and take different paths.
Girl child was born the usual way and conforms to the way the American expect her to grow and present herself. If a woman is not worthy in America, if she is not recognized, she is belittled by the society.
"This girl child was born as usual and presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE stoves and irons and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy." (Piercy, line 1-4).
She thus learns how a beautiful woman should be. She believes in what the community expects of her and does everything to satisfy the requirements. Even when she is told that she has fat legs, she goes ahead on diet to try and reduce them.
"Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs." (Piercy, line 5-6).
She did take care of her health and this is why she broke and gave everything up. She did not know what to do anymore and could not take the ridicule from the peers. When she died she was placed in her death bed with all her beauty just as the society wanted and they were very happy.
"Doesn't she look pretty? everyone said." (Piercy, line 23-24).
Sister on the other hand did not like the way women were treated in her society which is china. They did not have any right whatsoever and this did not seem right for sister. She knows that she can adopt other traditions which recognize women and do the way those societies do. Her lifestyle and that of Americans differs in so many ways. In china, women are not allowed to travel.
"Women are to be at home and taking care of the children." (Piercy, line 5-6).
Their place is at home where they are responsible for children. There are thus many obstacles that a Chinese woman has that do not allow them to be recognized. In America, a woman is free and recognized unlike the oppression they get in china. When a woman comes in America, she is expected to adhere to the American traditions to express her as Americans do. When sister got to America, she disobeyed her culture and took the American's.
"But they traveled far in surviving, learning to stretch the family rice, to quiet the demons." Her home land seems so fragile after being able to access what men do. "In America, there are many roads and women can stride along with men." (Piercy, line 5-6).
The two women take the issue of culture differently with one conforming to their culture when the other rebel as and suits her self in a better way. Sister takes the right path by choosing to live the oppressive culture and adopt that which adds her value the same way men are. For the girl child, she pleases the society and ends up died with the beauty her society values for a woman.