#214: The Choice of the Anti-choice

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(This post is in response to this article I stumbled upon very recently)

Being a Catholic, I do find my pro-life point of view influenced by my religion. I hold pro-life beliefs, definitely, but I definitely do not feel like I have the right to tell anyone else what to believe or what to choose, and neither do I have the right to denigrate those who have come up with their decisions based on their personal circumstances. In that sense, I guess I’d be considered a pro-choice. It feels weird as I’ve always told people that I am ‘pro-life’, when asked.

Can one be both ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ at the same time? If my personal choice against abortion is a morally driven one, and that the right to life is a moral standard I personally defend, doesn’t that mean that I am sitting by and allowing what I feel is immoral to happen? Shouldn’t I feel the moral obligation to stop it? Furthermore, my personal pro-life point of view, however, has always been (and hopefully will forever stay) hypothetical. If I were to experience a problem pregnancy, either out of unfortunate circumstances or life-threatening complications, I wouldn’t truly know what my reaction would be. I suspect with my lack of feelings of moral obligation to defend what I think is right, when faced with difficult circumstances, it could be easily abandoned as well…That makes me feel oddly vulnerable and embarrassed at my lack in resolute.

This article really highlighted the cognitive dissonance experienced when militant pro-life believers are faced with the personal experience of an unwanted pregnancy. It’s so obviously hypocritical when one justifies their own act of abortion to be the exception, and turn right around to picket abortion clinics and accuse other people of being murderers – it astounds me that they are able to do that with a straight face!

At the same time, I feel sorry for these individuals. For the fact that they had to contemplate their situation with the psychological stress of their initial beliefs; that they had to twist their psyche so arduously to disavow their actions. Perhaps it was the fear of judgement from their peers, or the pressures they know they would face should they carry the child to term…I don’t agree with their hypocrisy, but I feel compassion for their circumstances.

So what do you think? What is your personal view on abortion and what is your thought process behind it? Do you struggle similarly, or am I the only one?

 

 

This is a repost from an actual homework submission for a USP class, but I felt like the material was personally interesting enough to warrant more contemplation outside of class.

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#180: Nothing risqué, nothing gained.

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Was reading this thread and felt an interesting mixture of amusement and overwhelming urge to throttle OP.

While it seems that DOTA2 female heroes are largely sexy and young and gorgeous, I find it hilariously ridiculous that it is a point of contention. Basically there are two things to discuss: Are they really as one-dimensional and sexualized as they seem; and is there even a problem in sexualizing of video game characters in the first place (Females and males included)?

Are they really as one-dimensional and sexualized as they seem?

The current count of female DOTA2 heroes stands at 17, with the list being Drow, Mirana, Templar Assassin, Luna, Phantom Assassin, Spectre, Broodmother, Naga Siren, Medusa, Vengeful Spirit, Crystal Maiden, Puck,, Windrunner, Lina, Enchantress, Queen of Pain, Death Prophet in no particular order.

Out of these 17 heroes:


Medusa is terrifyingly unsexy.


Puck is an ugly Faerie Dragon.


It’s a stretch to call her ugly, but DP is reasonably deformed, being a ghost and everything.


Windrunner is the least booby female hero in all of DOTA2 and while her costume bares her midriff it is more bulky than sexualized.


I think Enchantress is hot but since OP thought she was classy I guess she goes here too.


Spectre is pretty much sexless. In fact as I was drawing her I was really confused whether she was a boy or a girl. My final conclusion was a dude. I’m wrong!


Phantom Assassin is flat and wears PANTS. Preposterous!


Luna is a middle-aged lady modestly covering up most of her assets.


Let’s not forget about Broodmother because she’s a motherfucking terrifying spider.

Does Naga count? Her boobs are hanging out but she’s half fish.

In any case, that’s more than half of the female heroes being varying degrees of unsexy. Sure you have QoP, but she’s a freaking succubus, it’s her job to look ravishing. The rest, like Lina, TA, Mirana and the like…I don’t know. I think they’re gorgeous. I like gorgeous women.

Is there even a problem in sexualizing of video game characters in the first place?

No. Look at your dainty Luna in her modest full-body cover-up. Then look at this:


Yay ass!

And look at this horrible mess of fats and blood:

TOO BAD. It doesn’t matter if you have a MILF or a hamwhale, things are inevitably sexualized because Rule 34. And more.

Personally I think that Valve is doing lovely with character design and balance between sexy chicks and ugly motherfuckers.We have our non-humanoid female heroes (Puck, Broodmother), our gender ambiguous Spectre (much like the dear Brienne of Tarth that OP loves so much), our old ladies (Luna and DP), hideous woman Medusa and our hot chicks.

Besides, how come no one cares about the blatant sexualization of Dota2 male heroes! I know we have our Pudge and “Triplechin” Lion and Timbersaw, but look at Axe. And Lyncanthrope and Bloodseeker and Beastmaster. Omniknight is goddamn Chuck Norris. All of them the supposed epitome of male sexuality. So many of them topless too. It’s not fair that people are harping over how the female heroes’ boobs are “spilling out” are when they don’t care if you have muscular topless male heroes parading their sexy ass around. In fact I could spawn a whole new blog post detailing how unrealistic expectations of beauty are affecting both men and women. People only care about the poor women developing eating disorders and not about men developing terrible body issues because they are not tall or buff enough. What’s even worse is that different cultures have radically different interpretation of male beauty. Korean male stars are so feminine they are on the verge of sprouting a nice rack on their chest but the generally western opinion of male beauty is ripped.

Okay back to topic.

Picking any random top search choices from the keywords “Dota 2” (Link 1, Link 2) reveals their top demographics to be “Male, 18-24 years; Male, 13-17 years and Male, 25-34 years”. If your target audience is to be males of 18-34 years old, obviously the models of the heroes would be geared towards visually appealing and sexy females. Nothing is terribly misogynistic about any of the female heroes – It’s not as if female heroes are exclusively support heroes bringing their male counterparts sandwiches and buffs, TA or Drow can kick some male ass any day. OP insists that Valve can make the upcoming female heroes “less sexualized and more interesting”. Sexy women aren’t interesting anymore? Just because QoP has a couple of DDs suddenly her interesting backstory becomes nothing? The personality and character that Mirana portrays through her voice actress and her lore is irrelevant because she’s so sexy? Isn’t that so misogynistic of you too to assume that sexy depictions of women are just a reflection of sexualizing females in a patriarchal society rather than a sexy woman wanting to be sexy / just being sexy? There’s little variety (compared to male heroes) because there is simply not enough female heroes for it to be even comparable.

The whole troll thread was also full of arguments on semantics. The thin line between “feminine beauty” and “sexualization” isn’t even mutually exclusive. I think CM is beautiful, but she can also be sexy. Why is it that once I find her a sexy lady, it is suddenly unacceptable? OP is such a full of shit feminist. Sexy women can be beautiful, sexy women can be interesting. Goddamit. In fact, I think OP is more sexist than anyone. I don’t think people place as much emphasis on booby female characters as she, she’s the one objectifying the heroes and then accusing the character designs for making her surface her inner sexist.

I don’t think I say this enough but I really hate militant feminists and their slew of issues and oversensitive feelings of sexual victimization by the media or by society or some bullshit. I’m a goddamn female and I want to stare at QoP’s boobs so fucking shut it already.

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I have tit envy.

#178: What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another should rest on the same pillow.

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This post today is going to be on the whole taboo issue also known as same-sex marriage.

Recently, this picture has been circulating around Facebook and whipping up this uproar with the pro-gay community. People supporting gay rights have changed their profile pictures to the equals sign or something and while the pro-gay community isn’t so huge in my predominantly Asian and hence conservative friend list I still see specks of red equal signs colonizing people’s profile pictures.

The thing is, being a Roman Catholic by birth and by practice, I am obliged to agree to this ugly red poster. I’m sure this makes me a terrible Catholic, but I don’t believe in a large number of the church’s beliefs in many contemporary issues, including things like gay marriage or transsexualism or even abortion. For me, I don’t really give a fuck what other people want to do with their lives.

I’m not really sure why the church frowns upon gay marriage. For the sake of this blog post and my inability to conjure arguments for this point of view, I shall talk about some of the points raised here1 and here2.

If homosexual “marriage” is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior? Indeed, radical elements of certain “avant garde” subcultures are already advocating such aberrations.

Holy shit, are we really going to fall down this slippery slope? To be honest, I see where this is going. While some people confess undeniable and uncontrollable sexual/romantic desires for their siblings/counsins/prepubescent children/animals/the same gender, somehow everyone but the last option is completely condemned. They are outright shamed, reported, or at the very least urged to therapy, assumed to be bonkers. Commonly assumed to be unable to give consent, children and animals are understandably(?) protected by the law. The only comparable ones are incest and homosexuality, because both parties are (supposedly) consenting adults. (I don’t know why many people who oppose incest thinks that it occurs predominantly between PARENT and CHILD. That’s grounds for pedophilia than anything else.)

So what makes homosexuality more acceptable than incest? At this point, people like the invoke the “scientific” reason for incestuous relationships to be forbidden. “Inbreeding compromises the gene pool and leads to a much higher incidence of birth defects and developmental disorders”. Well, many groups of people also produce babies with “birth defects and developmental disorders”, like women who give birth over 45 years of age, or people with a family history of bipolar disorder or something. Yet you can’t prevent them from dating or from having 300 babies if they so wish. And what about homosexuals who can’t even contribute to the gene pool anyway.

Note that I don’t actually accept incest as a norm of life and actively campaign for incest rights or whatever. I think it’s weird and honestly quite gross but I can’t care less what other people do. Okay going way off tangent, the thing is, these things are not comparable! No one ever said “Dude, if you can have sex with another man, you can have sex with a dog, you know?”

4. It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle
In the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender variants.

6. “Same-sex ‘marriage’ does not threaten traditional marriage. They can coexist side by side.”
Same-sex “marriage” destroys the integrity of true marriage by turning traditional marriage into a species within the marriage genus. This broad marriage genus would supposedly encompass traditional marriage, homosexual or heterosexual unions, and whatever other bizarre new relationships might arise. This new “marriage” genus, however, is not marriage.

It’s as if people telling me that they are gay will convince me to give up my heterosexuality. It will shatter my notion of marriage and family because – gasp – some men want to have a family with another man! Heterosexual marriages are suddenly less important than before because now any silly homosexual couple can marry each other. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the sanctity of “traditional marriages” are already destroyed anyway. The length of Kardashian’s marriage to Humphries was a grand total of 72 days. Britney Spears and Jason Alexander lasted 55 hours. Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra were married for 18 days4. I know those are high profile cases, but in Denmark 46% of heterosexual marriages end in divorce while only 17% of homosexual marriages end in divorce5. Who “protects the sanctity of marriage” in this situation? “Same-sex ‘marriage’ does not threaten traditional marriage.” because the former is obviously one-upping the latter constantly and “traditional marriage” has not much more sanctity left to protect. Just have anyone marry anyone and no one can bring up this godawful argument again.

Marriage is the permanent, sacred bond uniting a man and woman who desire to constitute a family and face life’s trials together. Marriage entails selfless dedication, devotion and sacrifice. Marriage and the family are sacred institutions that foster the common good of society.

A marriage covenant is a commitment made in the presence of God, and is valid until death. It is a commitment that is irrevocable and does not depend on the performance of either spouse6.

As much as it would be quite interesting, not everyone is Christian and hence Christians cannot supply their own definition of marriage and then forbid everyone else to interpret it differently. Being married is a legal state rather than a religious one. I mean, you can get “religiously married” in a religious ceremony whether it is Christian or Buddhist or whatever religion you are, but ultimately you register in the Registry of Marriage, a state record. I understand if hardcore Christians get their panties in a bunch if gays get married but in most cases where there is a separation of church and the state, it would seem awfully nosy to dictate who gets to marry who. (Then again, the Catholic church “does not endorse a separation of religion and politics”7, hmm.)

I’m tired I think I’ll stop here. I’m tired of people whining about how depraved homosexual marriages are and how validating homosexuality is enforcing different values and beliefs that they themselves don’t subscribe to (“8. It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society”1), when their actions are arguably more obnoxious.

*Edit: Divorce is also against Christian teachings, so why aren’t there Christians actively trying to ban divorce for destroying the sanctity of marriage? In this case, it is up to the onus of the churchgoer / Christian to not divorce or disrupt their marriage, but non-religious people / people of other religions are allowed to have a choice in this matter. What is so different between allowing gay people to marry and allowing heterosexual people to divorce? According to the common arguments against gay marriage, divorce similarly leaves a broken home that is not conducive for the child, “It Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a Mother”1, “It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right”1, and since Christians (Well, the more hardcore sort. And Catholics) denounce divorce for marriages within their religion, legalising divorce would also be “Impos(ing) Its Acceptance on All Society…the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on the natural order and Christian morality.”1 So divorce can be legal, but not gay marriage?

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/homosexuality/10-reasons-why-homosexual-marriage-is-harmful-and-must-be-opposed.html
[2] http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/homosexuality/answering-top-10-arguments-used-to-push-homosexuality.html
[3] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hidden-motives/201012/is-incest-wrong
[4] http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2098279_2098285_2098317,00.html
[5] http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199705/lessons-gay-marriage
[6] http://purposeofmarriage.org/
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state

#175: The anti-anti slut-shaming campaign

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Thought Catalog is usually an interesting blend of emo lovesick  articles and random cool articles and militant LGBT feminist rights activists articles. The first category is okay, I like to read it when I’m feeling emo and lovesick as well and feel all self-righteous about my emo-ing and lovesickness. The second category is the most fun, when you read about an incredible breakdancer or an in-depth analysis of famous TV shows or something. But the third and the most irritating one is expanding and growing more recently and is so incredibly off-putting.

There’s way too many things to complain so I’ll just pick one today: Anti slut-shaming. Just clarifying key terms:

Slut: A person, typically female, who have a lot of casual sex. Other terms include: Whore, Tramp, Harlot. The male variety are usually referred to as Manslut or Manwhore.

Slut-shaming is the process in which the media / society / people consciously / unconsciously make people (especially women, somehow) feel guilty for having sexual relations. Arguments include “Women are like locks, sluts are shitty locks” and “if you have sex you are broken goods” or “you homewrecker / whore”

Anti slut-shaming is of course, shaming the slut-shaming campaign. Common arguments are “Gurl you own dat body”, “It doesn’t matter if you have daddy issues”, “if you have tons of sex it’s just empowering” and “promiscuous women are respectable because they have tons of sex”.

Both sounds ridiculous, so I’m on the side of the anti-anti slut-shaming (AASS) campaign.

a) Portraying sexually empowered women as empowered women is just retarded. Sex isn’t the only way women can empower themselves, treating it as such just further butchers their new-found empowerment because women who don’t have sex are suddenly failures because they didn’t sit on a dick even though they can be completely confident in themselves. You earn six figures and two cars, but you’re saving for marriage? What a poor product of a sexually repressed culture.

b) Women don’t only have sex because it’s empowering. Many women do it for completely opposite reasons – To gain male attention, to seek male validation or to “hope that someone will love her” or whatever bullshit reason. Thing is, things aren’t ideal. Not all women are like “I like to fuck and I don’t care what society thinks” but more like “Boo-fuckity-hoo I want to have lots of sex so I know that I am wanted”. Anti slut-shaming tells people that hey, you shouldn’t stop a friend who is being promiscuous for all the wrong reasons because then you’re just being mean about her sexual activity and she can do whatever she wants to with her body even though it’s terrible for her mental health!” No.

c) The anti slut-shaming campaign feels that it’s necessary for people to all become nudists because “You’re shameful of the human body? You slut-shamer!!”. The anti slut-shaming campaign feels that it’s necessary for people to accept what they feel uncomfortable “How dare you refuse to date this girl who slept with 2839432845 men, you slut shamer!!” The anti slut-shaming campaign forces you to choose certain set of morals as good and right even if you do not subscribe to it “Having sex is the ultimate pinnacle of your life, if it’s not for you then you are obviously oppressed.”

d) Having lots of sex says something about your character. Sorry, but it’s true. Then again, I didn’t say whether it’s something good or bad about your character. It could mean that you are a sad poor lady with low self-esteem or you are sexually liberated, whatever. People can choose to date you or not depending on your promiscuity and it’s not about discrimination. Many people say “I won’t date someone who smokes / have tattoos / eats only MacDonalds exclusively for breakfast lunch and dinner”, so why can’t they not date someone for their sexual activity? It’s a preference and nobody should give any flak for people who prefer women with less sexual activity. Stop calling it slut-shaming.

e) Oversensitive people are oversensitive.

In conclusion: Being an AASS doesn’t make me for slut-shaming. Whether you have sex with 2839432845 men or you have had sex with nobody then you just have to deal with the logical (stereotypical) repercussions that people deduce about your character from their first impression. It’s like having a limp handshake. You may not be laid-back and unmotivated but you portray yourself as such with a limp handshake. First impressions are judgmental because they are essentially a judgment on a person you’ve never met before in your whole life. Deal with it.

Anyway if you love having sex so much and are proud of your sexual achievements and if the term slut is a term referring to women to have a lot of sex then just take the word slut as it is rather than as an insult by your butthurt self. “You slut you have a lot of sex.” “Yes I am.” Just take the insult out of the word. “You prude you don’t have sex at all.” “That’s right.” The word would be a better place if no one got butthurt over all these terms they can choose to not deem offensive.

#174: The highly misunderstood friendzone

Day 14 of 16

I keep reading Redditors bitching about each other regarding the friendzone so I want to write something about it rather than wring everyone’s necks cause they all can’t handle the other side’s viewpoint. Here is the goddamn misunderstood friendzone shit debunked.

I am only generalizing the arguments I have seen and not generalizing the plight of all friendzoned people.

Friendzoning men

Friendzone definition for women:

Men are all assholes pretending to be nice guys but actually want to fuck all their hot female friends. They act all kind and gentle and friendly and once the female friend express their disinterest they a) fly into a rage and cut all contact with the female due to feelings of emasculation or b) cry and complain to the world about females choosing assertive men over their pussy beta self when instead it is evident that such over-reaction is due to them having a different focus for the friendship. Hence the friendship was actually a falsehood as the ulterior motive of the men is to have lots of sex with sexy women out of their league and so rejects the woman as friends once she doesn’t seem to follow the evil plan he has laid out for her in his perverted mind. The woman is the real victim since she is so sad to have lost a friend and to realise that the friend that she had was never a friend but essentially treating her as a vending machine (The age old analogy of “Put in nice gestures, get back one sex/fulfilling relationship)

Friendzone definition for men:

Women are all assholes stringing men along for attention and for self-validation. They keep close guy friends around, flirting massively with them and giving them incredibly high hopes for a certain romantic future but instead rejects all the genuinely caring male friend to fuck a douchebag, after which they run back to the nice tender men when their hearts are broken and abused to seek more solace and comfort without the commitment of a relationship. The sad men are confused and hurt over the actions of the fickle and slutty-ass women who can’t seem to find a romantic connection with someone more sane and less assholey when a perfect specimen of a boyfriend is standing before them. The man is the real victim since he is being taken advantage of while his romantic acts are being completely ignored by the woman he adores. “I will totally date someone like you, but not you!!” (The age old analogy of “I’m gonna compare everyone’s resumes to yours as a standard but I’m never going to hire you.”)

Friendzoning women

Not enough things to talk about so it’s going to be very brief and very general and definitely very insulting to some. But it’s just what I hear.

Friendzone definition for women:

Men are all assholes who can’t see that this 6-pack chugging, video game-marathoning, [insert sports here]-watching cool girl of the century can be the love of their life; they call us bros so how can we make them think of us like a woman?!?!?!

Friendzone definition for men:

This woman is acting like a bro and I’m going to treat her like one / This girl is physically unattractive to me.

Actual sensible definition of friendzone:

Person1 likes Person2 romantically. Person2 doesn’t like Person1 romantically – with perfectly good reason. Person2 treats Person1 like a friend. The-fucking-end.

If you are dealing with people stringing you along or feeding you nice things in hopes of being romantically involved, your friend is an asshole, and it is not the conventional, completely innocent and sensible ‘friendzone’ which is now a word thrown around with hatred and contempt for the other party.

Please don’t argue about “I hate guys get friendzoned and whine about it cause they are all trying to buy us women’s emotional intimacy” or “I hate women who string us along for validation and for ego-boosting purposes, while completely avoiding our advances” because that is not under friendzone anymore it’s just under assholery.

That is all.

#169: He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him.

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I keep brainfarting recently.

Sensitive content incoming, if you are a sensitive person/have been in abusive relationships or whatever.

Was having a shower late at night when I heard shrill crying sounds coming from a unit downstairs. It was quite horrific to hear this anguished crying repeating “Mommy I’m sorry I’m sorry” over and over again, while the mother bellows “COUNT TO THREE YOU BETTER STOP CRYING” while the child cries harder and harder and I felt strangely compelled to listen till the end of it, and it made me wonder about my experience of that when I was younger.

If you linger on the Americanized (Westernized?) part of the internet for too long ie. Reddit or any sort of columns and things like that, you’ll get used to their specific way of thinking which is strangely misogynistic, nazi-feminist, homophobic and LGBT-friendly all at the same time. On stop of that, you hear very strong views on things like male circumcision (Stop cutting off little boys’ dicks that’s just sad) and of course physical beatings for just about anybody (men, women, children). It is not uncommon to come upon comments like “My boyfriend shoved me all in good fun BUT HE SHOVED ME and I’m going to break up with him because he will obviously end up physically abusing me at the end of the day” and everyone is like “YEAH how could you push a girl!” Same thing for children, except to a greater extent. Because children are so cute and fragile, we must obviously protect them from all harm. No verbal insults (“My dad said I was fat!!!” “Well you go gurl, you don’t need a dad like that!”) and most definitely no whacking, kicking, slapping as a form of punishment.

I’m sorry, but I find that hilarious. As a Chinese child (or a Singaporean child? I’m not so sure.) I have gone through my fair share of caning and beatings and I can say with a 100% certainty that it had neither scarred me nor affected me negatively in any way, but rather the opposite is true. I still remember my last incident of beating quite vividly. It was 6 years ago and I was an absolute mess in terms of organization (I still am, but I try!) and it was a few months left to PSLE and I didn’t do anything to compile or consolidate the things I have learnt in the past two years and they were all piled up randomly all over the room and I bought nice clean files for every subject but they were still nice and clean and very much empty. I promptly got the worst beating of my life that I deserved and now I am vaguely more organized than before. I have a perfect relationship with my parents despite said beatings, and now I’m well-behaved enough such that I don’t even need to be subjected to these beatings at all.

Of course one has to be discerning whether the punishments are descending into abusive relationships or something, but I find that less likely than just a well-meaning parent trying to get their child to understand a lesson they just don’t get until you beat it into them (Because so many children nowadays are snarky bastards thinking they can outwit their parents while doing bad things) and speaking to them nicely about it just means that you allow them to walk all over you and you have to show your authority as a parent whether they like it or not. But you don’t whack your child and leave them there to cry, you’d have to educate your child when he or she is a sniffling mess and let them know WHY you beat the crap out of them just now (They attempted to shoplift, they took drugs, they cheated in an exam et cetera et cetera) and WHY that is bad and WHAT they can do to change that and all that usual stuff.

Any good parent don’t want to beat their own child. Its just the most effective way to convey an important message and have it stick.

#168: That’s it! When you come to know men, that’s how they are: too sensitive in the wrong place.

As the title promised, sensitive discussion ongoing (if you are a touchy butthurt kind of person)

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Are people coming up with more and more things to be indignant about nowadays? Because it sure seems so. So what if people call you slanty-eyed shorties, or flaming homosexual? If you do actually have slanty-eyes and are extremely short, then you deserve to be called a slanty-eyed shorty. If you are very much gay then everyone should be able to call you a flaming homosexual. And you should be very proud of it.

Just recently I read a very butthurt post about someone who is angry about the term “colored-people” and how “white people” call themselves “white” as if it is a “symbol of purity” while Asians are “yellow” and so “dirty” or African-Americans are “black” and similarly “derogatory”. Hence the “white people” use such labels in order to show their “superiority” over other races. He? She? went on to give a very detailed anecdotal evidence that Asians really don’t have yellow skin and that some of his? her? friends had obviously whiter skin than her. And then he? she? ranted that “white people” don’t actually have “white skin” and that their skin is more “pinkish” which makes this labelling “inaccurate” and “insulting” or something. Similarly, “black people” don’t have “black skin” but rather “dark brown skin” so…

I don’t know. It’s just so utterly nonsensical to be debating on that. Do I call “white people” “pink people” then? It’s still inaccurate. Why do you call “African-Americans” that, most of them aren’t even from Africa. Isn’t that offensive then? Why does everything offend everyone?!

I mean, we use the term angmoh for anyone looking vaguely Eurasian, no matter if they are American or British or Australian or something, and that serves us just fine without any derogatory implication in the usage. Why don’t we just take that “white people” “yellow people” and “black people” are just colloquial and more convenient ways of addressing people of different groups of races with very obvious phenotypical differences in terms of skin color and leave it as that! Goodness.

/rant

#164: It doesn’t make much difference what you study, as long as you don’t like it.

I drew this banner for my future brain-fart posts! Yay!

Why are Singaporeans making such a rah-rah over the education system all the time? Sure it may be a little stressful sometimes, but I feel like everyone is just pushing for a change in the system to coddle their own precious princes and princesses so they do not have to deal with real life.

Chinese Education

We have always been very proud of our bilingual education, as I am, because I find it absolutely awesome that I can speak and think fluently in two different languages despite differing sentence structure and grammar rules. Instead of having one first language and one second language, I have two first languages. That’s insanely cool once you stop taking it for granted. In fact, Singapore used to have a Chinese-based education system until they started shutting down everything because they think that people in there are communists or something. [1] And now everyone downplays the importance of Chinese education.

Chinese education has become something so dull that pretty much every student finds it a chore to study. Even in supposed ‘Chinese-educated’ schools like Nanyang Girls or Chinese High School you don’t find many students speaking Chinese regularly. I distinctly remember spending most of the time in Nanyang talking in English. Heck, even the principal couldn’t speak Chinese fluently. I feel rather disgraced when people would marvel “You are from Nanyang! Your Chinese must be very good!” or variations of that because really, I know otherwise. And we all know. It’s not even an issue anymore, not speaking Chinese. Because English does the job well enough to communicate decently with other individuals, and to a certain extent I agree.

And I’m scared that I do agree, because I am already subconsciously undermining the importance of Chinese.

Regardless, I’m still shitting my pants from disbelief that people are saying things like this:

Arthur Lim wrote that there is a need to prevent Chinese Language scores from forming a critical component of PSLE scores next year because the poor mark his son may score in Chinese has “no bearing on whether he has the aptitude to become a surgeon or accountant or any other key professional.” [1]

Oh really now. I want to be a literature student, can everyone please not look at my Mathematics results? What if I want to be a professional ballet dancer, God forbid. Then you might as well not look at any of my results. Maybe I shouldn’t go to school anymore. Since all the Mathematics and the Physics and the Biology that I learn won’t have any bearing on my aptitude as a ballet dancer. Or a housewife. Or something. I’m beyond horrified that this is a published opinion. You don’t reject a subject if it doesn’t teach you things you don’t need in the future. And what’s worse is that it is important. Even if people reject the theory that China would rise to be a superpower in the near future or something, it is definitely beneficial to whatever career path you are taking since 1 in 5 people of the world speak the language.

Furthermore, if you don’t even have the patience and determination to learn a required second language I don’t know how you can be a good surgeon or accountant or any other key professional.

Also,

Recently, the MOE even raised the topic of “teaching Chinese using English language” for those coming from English-speaking background. [2]

Just. No. That’s never going to work. Learning a new (?) language requires discipline and letting them half-ass their way through the classes isn’t going to do anything for the language ability of the students.

Exams

At first, everyone emphasizes on exams as the ultimate measurement of intelligence and knowledge retention. Then people found this system biased against less intellectually inclined students and strove for a more well-rounded education. That was all good.

Then suddenly exams are big villians and we should shield children from these evil things that is banding everyone! Let’s abolish the Primary Three banding system because its stressful! Let’s have Primary One play through their whole year because now they don’t have exams anymore! Let’s remove the T-score system from the PSLE scores because apparently 4 A*s that would result in 263 (Me) is obviously the same as 4 A*s that resulted in a score of 275 (my brother)! Being marked relative to your peers is stressful! Have top secondary schools to consider a bigger pool of students!

1. My brother is a whole bunch smarter than me. 2. Being marked against your peers is awesome because if everyone flunks, not everyone dies. Which is great! (And what I’m banking on for A levels this year) 3. There’s already a pretty big pool of people to choose from without considering those who scored a lower T-score but similar looking grades. There are already effective systems like the whole Direct School Admission process that allows for talented students to join a higher ranking school.

DSA is a pretty sad system actually, because people who were not able to perform well enough in PSLE and squeezed into a good school by their CCA achievements or talents are ultimately going to have to face the studying part of their education. Good schools set harder papers. People end up doing not well enough. Then follows loss of self-esteem et cetera et cetera and people complain about how good schools are too competitive and have a stressful environment and not optimal for children’s development or something or another. Then why did you go that way.

It all boils down to the twisted values Singaporeans put on branding. Somehow your child is a lesser person if they don’t have the badge of a good school on their breast / collar. Somehow a neighborhood school is unable to provide a good education for your child, because everyone knows that people with different studying capacities study efficiently under the same kind of teaching, right? On a slightly related point, I’ve heard of tuition centers that help students enter the GEP programme. Personally I don’t remember what the exams were like, but in any case the tuition centers proudly proclaim that they can help your children [3] (And look! They are shams! Also they want your kids to have an IQ of 130 – then why do they need you $1k per month tuition?). And GEP students are more often than not given automatic placements in all the top-end schools who want a piece of that young smart ass, so there is an immediate association for GEP = Successful secondary, tertiary education and/or career progression.

To be fair I sort of agree with these kiasu placement chope-ing because what if you fuck up your PSLE amirite? /shame

Actually I only randomly wanted to write this article because I’ve had about enough of parents whining about the education system in newspapers and forums because their little children and too stressed out for their itsy brains to handle or because they can’t read Chinese or something or another.

And…so this ends very anticlimactic-ally. Sorry. I sounded better while I was wording it in my brain but now I don’t really feel like it anymore. Maybe I would write somemore after another forum complaint letter or suggestion to tweak the education system in favor of the children. For now I shall study for my GCSE A Levels, which I can’t complain about to the government.

Sources:

[1] http://www.tremeritus.com/2009/11/26/debate-on-chinese-education-in-singapore-rages-on/
[2] http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?/topic/32946-chinese-language-education-in-singapore-school/
[3] http://everythingalsocomplain.com/2012/06/03/parents-sending-kids-for-gep-tuition
http://sgforums.com/forums/10/topics/382954
My brain farts

#163: Sex shall not be unregulated

Can someone please explain the whole hoohah (Haha I said hooha) about the whole Alvin Tan and his sex-blog incident? Call me progressive, but I really don’t see the big deal in this whole issue.

I do see an issue with the Edison Chen scandal a few years back, because there was no consent from all the ‘participating’ victims. He was also a mighty pervert with 16 year olds and stuff and that, while legal, is still pretty iffy to me really. He’s twice her age! And my personal belief is that his right to privacy trumps the freedom of speech for the internet, so.

But less of that.

Alvin Tan deserved all that. Because of this:

NO YOU DIDN’T

Are you kidding me. Fucking YOLOs.

But aside from that, really, I don’t see the issue at all regarding what he and Vivian did. To put it quite plainly:

Lee said she failed to understand why people had different perceptions on Asians when they posted such images in cyberspace.

“It is all right for Westerners to do this but not Asians. This is double standard. I cannot understand why people have to judge us,” she was reported as saying.

Why is it such an outrage to know some people have sex and post pictures of themselves online doing sexy things? If it wasn’t known to you yet, Tumblr contains a shit-ton of sex blogs, many personal, and there are no repercussions. And I bet y’all dude jerking off to those pictures. That’s where you get your user-generated content, your FREE PORN.

Maybe you don’t really like Asian people banging. But why should this affect them so negatively? I’m not saying its tasteful – it’s not. Anybody can judge them however they’d like, but to revoke scholarships because they are having happy consensual sex just does not seem to make any sense to me. Sure its disgusting, who wants to know that people connect unmentionables (We go through life pretending that everyone never ever had sex, obviously /s), but is it bad? Is it morally reprehensible? Does it in any way suggest that they have done some heinous crime besides being too sexually progressive for our obviously sexually repressed and ultra-conservative Asian society? A father was interviewed (not his/her father):

He wondered if the couple were under the influence of drugs when they recorded and posted videos of their sexual acts because, “it is hard to believe that anyone with a sound mind would do such a thing”.

Would you like to repeat that to all the r/gonewild “Hi this is my [f]irst time and I’m shy, here’s a picture of my gaping cunt” chicks? Then again, a ‘sound mind’ is really relative to the majority of the population’s minds, so that the majority is sane and the awkward few who think differently are labelled as ‘insane’. I’m pretty sure we’d all be insane in ‘Murica.

I’m not going to say that I endorse their behavior. I think its icky and seeing some thoughtfully censored photos online I can tell that the quality isn’t terribly good either so I don’t think they would’ve justified their claims that those photos are ‘art’ (Self shots with Instagram filters ≠ art). I also think it was a stupid idea because they should’ve known better than to post these sort of photos that can identify them because obviously they’d be harassed to no end by our conservative Singapore society. But since they wanted to put it up, stupid as it may be, I’m really on their side. I don’t see anything fundamentally wrong with their actions: There’s consent everywhere, they’re all legal and everything, it’s not like there is any racism or bigotry or anything Singapore might nitpick with that may interfere with their ‘harmonious society’.

Maybe young people would see this and think of emulating such actions. I guess the media’s over-the-top reaction to it is deterrence enough?

References:

http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20121019-378492.html
http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20121021-378821.html
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/woman-in-sex-blog-defends-postings-of-explicit-pictures-with-boyfriend/