Feminism

Patriarchy & Feminism

Patriarchy has always been a big threat to feminism. In this post, I discuss the how a patriarchal mindset affects the decisions we make solely based on ego.

I’ve lived in Singapore my entire life (well up till I came over to London for university), growing up in an Asian country meant having a rather patriarchal mindset instilled in the majority of us from a very young age. I got lucky. My mum and dad always believed that I could achieve anything I wanted – never limited by gender. However, most of my peers do not receive the same support.

Patriarchy has always been a threat to feminism. What is patriarchy you ask? Well, it’s basically a society where woman are dominated by men. With most families in Asia having grown up with a patriarchal mindset, it swerves and affects how a person sees themselves. Men feeling like they have to be the sole providers, if not deemed a failure. And women being taught that they should learn how to cook, clean and be submissive; if not, no man would marry them.

The concept of wives having better careers than their husbands – or even working at all – would be seen as a threat to what we would call their “manlihood”. Men are brought up on the principle that they should be able to give their wives and children a comfortable life, and if not the sole provider, at least being the one who earns more.

Once I had a conversation with a friend that went a little like this:

Male friend: “I could never marry someone that earns more than I do.”`
Me: “What? Why?”
Male friend: “I don’t know – but it’s just not right. I should be able to provide for her.”
Me: “What if you were engaged? And she was the love of your life? And she got a promotion a month before the wedding that would result in her earning a thousand dollars more than you?”
Male friend: “I guess I’d have to leave her.”
Me: “What if you were already married, had children to feed? Would you still leave her?”
Male friend: “If she really loved me she’d leave her job and rough it out with me.”

To be honest I was pretty shocked, disgusted and saddened by this exchange. Having been given the luxury by my parents of not letting gender stop me from doing what I wanted to do, this exchange got me thinking. I brought this exchange up a couple of time with friends, some who grew up with the same luxury reacted the same way. However, most (both male and female) agreed saying that yes, men should be the sole providers.

I feel that a patriarchal mindsets’ primary issue is ego disguised as selflessness. As mentioned in the exchange above, a man would rather risk (possibly) his one shot at true love than having his wife raking in bigger income than him. Even if it meant that his family would have to suffer surviving on one income in the household as compared to living comfortably with two. This does not make any sense and the decision made is solely to make the men feel superior to the wives.

The main point of feminism is for woman and men to be treated as equals – and not for one gender to have a heavier weightage than the other. A patriarchal mindset defies this in more ways than one. Patriarchy, at the end of the day claims more than one victim. Sure ten years ago patriarchy was even more prevalent than it is now, but the fact that people my age still feel that men should be the ones “bringing home the bacon” even if it meant hardship saddens me. The burden of being financially competent should be shared and not compromised just because “it has always been this way”. Essentially what I’m trying to get at is not that you shouldn’t let men open doors for you, but that it should be socially acceptable for you to open doors for them too.

Writing this post got me thinking. If you would particpate in my mini poll, do you think patriarchy is still prevalent in your culture/where you live?

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Media

Use of Media Influence

I think we could all agree that the media has great influence in the decisions we make (admit it, we are always on our phones). From something trivial like what to eat to something of more substance like our political views. So, why not use the power of the media for something good? Something that could make us all better people.

If I asked you to name a soda, I’d dare say that 90% of you would think of Coca-cola, or Coke as most of us call it. I’m not sure if you guys already know this but they are big on encouraging people to choose happiness, love and kindness. The “Choose Happiness” campaign was one of them.

This week-long campaign, held in 2015, featured YouTube sensations to help spread positive vibes thru their videos. The entire list of videos can be found here.

It warms my heart seeing big corporations like Coca-cola taking out a bit of time to use their influence to spread messages like this. With so much war, hate-crimes and entitlement in this world, we sometimes forget what it’s like to care for one another or just do something nice for someone once in awhile. And I think it’s great how Coca-cola incorporates the media into their campaigns to remind us of this.

Take this video for example:

The idea of ‘Paying It Forward’ has always resonated with me. I have always believed that whatever you put out in the world will come back to you. And this video accurately shows us how that happens.

I don’t know about you, but thanks to these videos I feel incredibly inspired to go out there and spread some positive vibes. I’m not quite sure what yet but maybe a smile or asking about someones’ day would suffice. For now at least.

Let me know what you guys think! And if like me you LOVE watching videos like these here are a couple more to lift your spirits! These are my personal favourites 🙂

  1. #CokeDrones
  2. #WishUponACoke
  3. Coca-Cola Friendly Twist

Have a fab week everyone and I hope you guys smiled at least once during this post!

 

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Identity

We are who we are

“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.” – Stephen Chbosky, Perks Of Being A Wallflower.

A lot of us struggle with our identity. We struggle and we try and change every inch of ourselves to be something that society is more accepting of. Some of us might even be embarrassed of things that essentially make us who we are. Be it your parents, your birth place or even your race. This part of your identity cannot be changed, so what do we do? We adopt a personality that completely dissociates ourselves from our core.

I’m not going to lie, I am a part of this majority. I’ve struggled to accept who I was. I never felt like I was good enough to be part of something. I was on the constant search to figure out who I was. I wanted to know quickly and in this search I lost myself. I neglected the good that surrounded me and the people that were placed in my life to help me get to wherever I was meant to be. I got caught up with this idea that I had to be “perfect” and if I wasn’t I would be an utter failure. I constantly compared myself to my friends, family and even strangers. And all of this for what?

Society’s definition of perfect?

And one day, everything just clicked. I know it sounds so cliché, but it’s true. One day it just occurred to me that I will never be perfect, and that’s okay. That’s okay. Perfect is not something that anybody is. Instead of striving to be perfect, I strived to happy. I strived to be the best version of myself; someone that my family and loved ones would be proud of.

I started taking my time with things. I stopped rushing life. I did whatever felt right for me at that moment. Take university for example, many of my friends are in their final year and I’m just starting out. I took my time to look for the course that I felt would be the most beneficial for my future. And I found it, after looking for 1.5 years.

Who am I at my core? I’m a Chinese Singaporean who likes dogs but is afraid of cats; who prefers sneakers over heels ANYDAY; who would never go on a hike unless a gun is held to my head; who sometimes has a little too many drinks; who cries way too easily at movies; who sometimes loves too much and sometimes loves too little.

These things essentially makes me who I am. And maybe 10 years down the road some of these things won’t be true of me anymore. And honestly, I’m pretty damn excited to find out what stays with me throughout the years and what doesn’t.

Identity is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

 

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Travel

Surprise, Singapore!

So over the weekend last week, I took a little trip back home. (Well, okay, it wasn’t really the weekend, more like a five day weekend.) It was my cousins’ wedding and we are pretty tight so I couldn’t miss it.

I thought it’d be fun to do a little vlog(s) to document my trip. I didn’t tell any of my friends that I would be back so you guys will find out how that went down in the video! It’s my first time doing something like this so, please, be nice!

I split the daily vlog and the wedding vlog up. A wedding IS a big deal, so I figured it deserved a vlog on its own!

Daily vlog:

Wedding vlog:

Let me know what you guys think!

P/s: Just a disclaimer, my friends cuss quite a bit in the vlog…haha

P/p/s: There’s a little poll below! Let me know what you think of Singapore!

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Thoughts

Home

It’s been a little more than a month since I’ve moved to London and I have to tell you, it is taking quite a bit getting used to. I’ve been away from home before, but never this long – two weeks, three weeks at most. Even then I’d always find solace in the fact that at the end of those three weeks I’ll be on a plane home. Back to all things familiar. And it’s starting to sink in that I’m going to be here for awhile.

Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love that I’m in London! I’m excited for all the opportunities that have yet to be presented to me. All the friends I have yet meet. All the memories I have yet to make. And I love the fact that I know at the end of my three year stint here, I’ll go back much more independent, (hopefully) more intelligent and ready to kick some butt.

I knew coming here, some days I’d definitely feel homesick. That I’d miss our local delicacies (oh god, I would kill for some chicken rice right now). That I’d get upset that I couldn’t join in all the fun my friends were having. That I’d miss out on quality time with my family. That I’d miss the Chinese New Year celebrations. That I’d feel insecure about people forgetting me and get used to not having me around; that when I get home I wouldn’t have anyone there. That some days I’d feel lonely; even though I’ve made some great friends in just three short weeks.

But when those days happen I remind myself about something a good friend once told me:

The people who really, really love you will always know how you are. If it isn’t excellent intuition, it’s making an effort to find out.

And it’s absolutely true. I don’t think there’ll ever be a time when I’m not missing home, but knowing that my friends and family in Singapore are always there for me really helps. Their messages, phone calls and Facetime calls never fail to pick me up.

You know who you guys are, thank you for always checking on me and keeping me in your thoughts. (Even if half the time it’s sending me pictures of food over Snapchat, I still appreciate the thought!)

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I can’t wait to see all your beautiful faces over Christmas!

xx

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