women issues

Girl holding sparkler

HOoray, I’m thirty! Let’s make shit happen!

Last week…it happened…I turned 30 years of age. Here’s my crack at thirties life advice. Ha!

Nothing special happened, and the next day my country recognized same-sex marriage as a right, so my birthday became even more of a non-event. I don’t mind.

If my Facebook feed could be this full of people celebrating something this wonderful all the time, I would be happy forever.

I’ve never really celebrated my birthday, and I generally don’t like being the center of attention. I even felt somewhat of a twinge of selfishness when planning a small outing for my 30th birthday with a handful of friends and my sister.
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Feet in yellow shoes tiled floor Taking a look at myself

Women wear what they want to in Singapore, or How awesome it is that there is no catcalling in Singapore

Sure, you have heard that Singapore is a safe and clean city. Or that it’s the most expensive city in the world to live in. (This is mostly skewed by the price of cars, which are not essential, but that is another story.) But what you may not know is that women wear what they want to in Singapore. It’s remarkable, and simultaneously a sign of old stereotypes/gender roles and a sign of hope in the face of gender issues in Singapore. There are a few things that I really like and admire about Singapore, and this is one of them.

The recent video of a woman walking in New York City has gone viral because it shows just how much harassment a woman can receive just by walking around in NYC. I’m glad that they are drawing attention to this issue, because this is at the root of what I don’t like about NYC. Catcalling is nonexistent in Singapore, which one reason why I think women can have the freedom to dress as they wish.
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On not freaking out when all your friends are getting engaged or having babies

I’m a few short years away from turning 30, and it seems I’ve entered the time span where all my Facebook feed seems to be dominated by is posts about engagements, weddings and babies. It has been like this for probably a year or more, but wasn’t so apparent until a few months ago when at least 5 or 6 people got engaged within about a 2 week period.

With this, I’ve come to realize that I’m not that close to contributing to Facebook feeds of my friends in this fashion, and I’m ok with that. I’m better than ok; I’m pretty good! My life is not devoid of happy events and especially not jewelry which I don’t care to wear. I’m in no way less “complete” and don’t feel like I’m “behind” in any way. Life events aren’t necessarily following a particular sequence (except for getting older and other time related phenomena). Continue Reading

Are Asian girls too easily embarrassed?

Maybe that is unfair to generalize and say just Asian girls are too easily embarrassed. It might be context dependent, and situational embarrassment. There are also cultural forces at work here that are complicated and difficult to understand, but I think it is interesting to think about.

Last week, I attended a safety orientation session that was required for new staff and students at the university. The first session was on basic safety, first aid, and CPR. The second session was on fire safety. A few instances stuck out in my mind as interesting examples to consider. One girl wouldn’t give an answer when called on by the instructor. Granted, she was put on the spot to try to answer his question, but she couldn’t come up with anything and just shook her head, looked uncomfortable, and nervously touched her hair. Another girl looked completely mortified during the head bandage demonstration where the instructor showed the audience how to wrap a cloth bandage on her head. It also didn’t help that her “friend” in the audience was taking photos with her mobile phone (with the flash on!). Continue Reading

Rethinking worldliness

What would you do if a gang of monkeys threw coins at you? How would you escape out of a bus if it fell on its side during a rainstorm? I thought about these on my trip to India. In mid-2012, I was lucky enough to be sent off to India for work purposes, and was able to take vacation days to stay around after the meetings and see more than just the inside of a hotel.

At the airport, the hotel had sent 2 people to pick me up. We arrived in the perfectly luxurious hotel, tucked away from the center of Delhi. Meetings are what they are, but it was interesting to experience the biggest blackout in Indian history that took out most of Northern India but also be minimally affected by it. It is easy to complain. The elevators were not working. The lights flickered. The A/C turned off in the middle of the night. But in the bigger picture of things, many more people suffered much more devastating results. Continue Reading