Friday, September 21, 2007

The Unenlightened Society Part III- The Manage a trois

I really need to stop reading the Straits Times because everytime I do, my blood boils. I haven't had much chance to read it lately thanks to the combined effort of my twins. But I feel guilty when I don't because I spent the last 4 odd years berating students for not staying abreast with the news out there. But then again, when I do, this is what happens. Blog fodder.

So, apparently 7 in 10 people in Singapore are homophobic. That's what the article said. And that's just one of the things I have issue with. As someone schooled in research methods, even though it was never my strong suit, the article cited an NTU study that apparently sampled 1000 Singaporeans and that's where my gripe starts. Quote- "they were asked whether sex between two men or two women was 'plain wrong' and whether homosexuals or lesbians were 'disgusting'."

Trying to figure out what was the issue with this "sample" question isn't really rocket science. And in a court of law, these questions would be considered leading questions. How can a study with these sorts of questions be published in an international journal? Of course, I'd like to give the study the benefit of the doubt and blame it on ST who obviously had an agenda behind publishing and angling the issue this way.

Why oh why do we need to be reminded of how homophobic we are? And now, drawing in the religious angle into it? I'm a devout Christian and even though my faith has very strong views on homosexuality, I do not hate the gay community nor frown upon. So don't go blaming religions for the inherent discrimination the society has against them. Does that make me a heretic? Am I going to burn in hell? Well, let's see. One of the commandments that I have to live by is to love thy neighbour as thyself. So, with that, doesn't it mean we shouldn't condemn those different from us? Ok, yes, there are people out there that I despise and I'm guessing some out there would then accuse me of being hypocritical and I'm not proud of it, but I know that I do not categorically hate a group of people just because they are different.

Then, there was this other article that once again made me feel that I live in a small minded society and am surrounded by small minded people and no matter how I try, I cannot change the inherent small mindedness of the students I teach because their parents' and society's small mindedness is more than I, one person, can contend with. A lecturer was not given a public speaking license because he was going to talk about decriminalising homosexual sex. He wasn't going to talk about promoting homosexual sex. Just about making it not a crime. There is a difference here but it seems to be one that most choose not to see. It's not like he was going to stand on a soap box and tell Singapore to go have sex against the natural order of things (once again, one of those super loaded phrases). I have a friend who as part of her job description has to stand up on the world stage and get eggs (metaphorically speaking) thrown at her because of Singapore's human rights record and this is why we deserve eggs thrown at us, although not at her personally because she's my friend.

We are such a schizophrenic society that cannot decide what we want to be. Everything I learnt about the psychological maturation and struggles a child goes through to become a teenager and subsequently an adult, is happening to us as a society. One minute, our PM, in his pink shirt announces that we will tolerate the gay community and reading between the lines, enjoying the tourist dollar brought in by the gay tourist community. Then, in a blink, we have a health minister announcing that ALL the cases of HIV reported within a certain period of time were all due to a gay party held at the beach. One night blamed for the spike of hundreds of cases? Prolific much, this gay community.

And now this. I don't see the point of telling us how homophobic we are. Why? Are we supposed to stand around and clap and celebrate in our togetherness just because 70 % of us think the same way and if 70% of the population thinks that way, it must be the right way to think. And people ask us why we don't lurve Singapore. This is why

Technorati Tags: ,

Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:53

2 thoughts...

2 thoughts...

At 11:15 am Blogger chemgoddess said...

Actually I do think that living overseas for while (ie, studying) does lead to a broadening of perspectives. I am currently studying in sydney, and am beginning to see the increasingly stark contrast btw liberal western culture and conservative (in some ways, ridiculous) sgrean culture.
After a while, I realised that it is not the teachers who are at fault for not being able to guide their students into being more broad minded, but the larger forces at play; ie. sg's culture, policies and obstinate mindsets that might never chamge.

At 12:31 pm Blogger James Chia said...

I only read the sports section. My daily news sources are from the internet mainly!


Post a Comment

" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"