Eternal Sights; Spotted Mind

Eternal Sights; Spotted Mind: The Irony of Sunday Lifestyle (14th March 2010)

Eternal Sights

I was reading through the papers on Sunday before heading out to watch “Alice in Wonderland” with the mum, grandma and godma.

Now I’m sure that everyone (at least in Singapore) is familiar with all these cases of affairs involving celebs like Tiger Woods and most recently (in the local scene), Jack Neo.

So while I was reading the Lifestyle section of Sunday Times, I came across this huge feature speaking about women who stick by their philandering husbands. To keep the long story short, I’m going to provide a short summary of what the article was about:

The article focussed on reasons on why women ended up forgiving their husbands despite knowing that their husbands have and may continue to cheat on them. Reasons brought up mainly included the fact that women forgave willingly because of keeping the family together or for the simple fact that they are still loyal to their husbands due to the influence of values or religion.

The article was probably spun mainly by the recent uproar of celebs caught and admitting to have had affairs with other women. It then later featured a few other women, asking them about whether they would readily forgive their husbands as other celeb wives did.

On a side note, I read a letter in the Forum just yesterday (Monday) and saw that someone from AWARE stated that such incidents actually end up teaching negative stuff. An example raised by this person was that these stories were framed in such a way that it’s okay to be philandering, if the affairs are kept discreet.

To be honest, I could not agree more.

One of the lines in Rihanna’s songs, “Take A Bow” resonates quite clearly here: “When you’re sorry, you got caught.”

Personally speaking, I won’t have much to say because I’ve never been in such a position and friends who have been in such positions (but not married) have dealt with it with almost parallel approaches (which was to hate the guy’s guts and have nothing to ever do with him). But I would just like to raise a point with regards to the social double standards given to women.

When a male celeb, or a male is caught for getting into an affair for the matter, he is ridiculed, scolded and shamed but you find that he gets more leeway because there will be this group that goes, “He’s a man, he probably has weaker willpower, people make mistakes…” and something along that line.

However, when a woman is caught having an affair, it’s as if the world has sentenced her to death and acted as if death was too light. This was also mentioned in the article as well. It’s totally double standards, if a woman is disloyal, she literally dies a horrible death as compared to a man who is caught for adultery. Yet, the women, as featured in this particular feature have so readily forgiven their husbands, further proving how strong women can actually be. (At least in my opinion)

Now the irony actually came when I flipped the newspaper towards the back and there was an author profile for the author Xue Xinran, author of a collection of short stories, “Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love”.

This article talked about her experiences while gathering the stories in China, which mainly centered around the infanticide carried out then during Mao’s “One Child Policy” in the villages. Needless to say, most of these victims are baby girls, drowned in pails of dirty water.

I’ve browsed through that book a bit and the first few lines I saw angered me much. As a Chinese female, it doesn’t only make you feel sad but also angered at such customs being forced out of the environment. The need for a male child in those villages were so great that female children were not considered children at all and women bearing and keeping female children ended up mistreated and starved because of traditional customs.

So Xue was sharing her experiences, with the above paragraph being one of the experiences she had collecting the stories. Stating that writing this particular book was one of the saddest experiences she had to go through. Where the female race was seen as something to be ashamed about, instead of glorified like their male child counterparts.

I’m adamant about respecting both genders as capable people, regardless of gender or anything superficial for that matter. But when actions like so happen, you cannot help but question the rationales and justifications behind it.

Just thought I’d think about the ironic arrangement of this Sunday’s Lifestyle paper. Thought provoking though, I quite like it.

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