Saturday, November 15, 2008

The root of OUR social evil

It has been eye-opening to be part of the gender that is accused of being the root cause of all social and family problems amongst my community here in Singapore, but then again, objectively speaking, I very much agree with that statement. It is interesting to note that while the male members of the community has been accused of such, no one would want to do something or talk about it, either from the accused, or the guilty party! Or perhaps this is a social taboo that someone that is culturally-unaware, like myself, is not supposed to be talking, or in this case, be blogging about.

But seriously, for what it is worth, I seriously think that beyond just the mere accusations and assigning blame to anyone in particular, I do believe that more can be done in order to reverse our social situation. Not that I am a social scientist, or someone who is well-versed in the social affairs of the community, but I guess one probable cause of this could be the seemingly double standards that society, and perhaps parents in particular, have placed over the upbringing of their child. I have seen numerous cases, in families of both within and out of my families, and perhaps in fact, even in families of which I am just a peripheral stakeholder, in which the male younger members are seemingly measured by a different level or standard of upbringing compared to the females. And I am not talking about exacting standards here, just suffice to say that it is a level of which these male members would not be able to live up to when they grow up and become the captains of their own ships, once they are settled down.

On this front, how many times have we seen the young male members being given additional leeways and their lame excuses being given more weight, once they falter. Or the the wide berth that they enjoy in terms of their social lives, or the nonchalant attitude towards actually learning and knowing the inner workings of how to 'run' and lead a family! Surely for what it is worth, and beyond just knowing how to make babies, the male members must be accorded and graded based on a higher level of standards than the other gender! What more with the emphasis that our religion places on the Man of the house being accorded a higher social status, shouldn't the community then be having a higher social standards on the male members of the community and placing social pressures on the 'man of the houses' to better themselves to be good role models, and then, perhaps, just perhaps, things would be better.

But at times sadly, it is the parents of these very families that are facing these social problems who would have the higher propensity to be the ones who are 'producing' such male members. But then again, to be fair, I have seen my fair share of those from a normal regular families too. I guess it is very much about the kind of values and upbringing practices that the parents practices as the child grows up that matters more! And surprisingly, these seemingly preferential treatment towards the young male members of the family are more pervasive amongst the...surprise...mothers of the family! Seriously how many times have we seen these boys being given more leeway by the mothers than the fathers. Yah...perhaps the fathers are mostly not around due to the fact that they are out working, but it is really times like these, when the child is growing up, that perhaps, the mothers can really emphasise these qualities of leadership amongst their sons, and perhaps expect from them a higher level of 'sonship', compared to their female siblings! Make them do their beds, laundry, and their own coffee...(which reminds me about the fact that one of my friends actually still have his mum make for him his coffee even when he was already 23 years old!..hmm, so who is to blame here!?) Expect from them a higher level of performance in what ever that they do, well actually, more so in their academic outputs, since the society here in Singapore is very much academic-results driven during their teenage years! And to top it all off, enforce in them qualities and virtues that will make them good leaders, of both their families, and on a larger scale, the community. For what it is worth, it does require a Herculean social shift in some of the thinking about how parents raise their children in order to reverse the trend, but again, i must add, though this is not a blame game, lest we fail to do something now, it will STILL be a blame game generations from now...the guilty party will still stand at the guilty dock, and nothing better would ever come out of it if nothing is done!

No comments: