I remember quite vividly one afternoon tea I had after graduating from a women’s college in the States – I had come back to Asia (being deliberately vague here), and gone straight from my flight to a tea hosted by and for Seven Sisters alum in the area. There we had graduates from the class of ‘55 all the way up to right now – anyway, here’s the thing: many of the older alum, while chatting, realized that all of them had been approached by US intelligence post graduation and offered jobs. Back in the day when a college education in the US was accessible (mostly) only to daughters of diplomats and other high ranking government officials, and in the post-WWII era as the Cold War ramped up – the prospect of well-educated, multilingual young women with good connections to various governments seemed to be quite the draw.
In any case, I was talking to allofthefeelings yesterday (also a Seven Sisters alum! yay!), and we got onto the topic of how rarely we bring the topic of Melinda May’s background as an Asian-American woman into fanspaces, and how that conversation has to start with Lian May, her mother. We don’t quite know how she came to be involved in the world of intelligence, so all this is speculation on one possibility – and I would totally love to explore more at a later date! (Full disclaimer – my major was East Asian Studies, but my focus really was women & gender as well as reproduction & understandings of fertility in the ‘modern’ era, so please correct me if I’ve got the history wrong - political history was never my strong suit ;) #andtheysaidiwouldneverusemymajor)