Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Flight from marriage and foreign brides

A most interesting but equally ridiculous article I found.

'In this Lecture, the flight from marriage amongst the younger generation of Singaporeans was highlighted. The issue of education homogomy indeed plays an important part in this problem as more educated women in Singapore have found it harder to find a husband of equal or higher educational and social status as them. Extracted from the Get Real Series, men deemed Singaporean women as harder to love because they may come across as “arrogant”, especially for those who pursued a higher education. In my opinion, the fact that women may not necessarily want a man who is less accomplished as her does not equate to arrogance. In fact it may just be a reflection of the growing emancipation of women’s rights, and the fact that more women have come to realize that they are able, and have an equal right to that of men, to attain what they truly want. Men may see this emerging trait amongst women as a sign of increasing materialistic values and demands, as they have not changed their mindset, from that of a patriarchal school of thought to one which holds an egalitarian point of view of society. Furthermore in terms of educational homogamy, Nock mentions in his article on mate selection that, “those who have completed comparable amounts of schooling exhibit similar values, attitudes and lifestyles”. (Nock, 1992) With that concept in mind, it might be hard for a man of lower educational status to “connect” with a woman who is more successful.

This lack of a change in their way of thinking has thus lead to an increase amongst many poorly educated Singaporean men to turn to a foreign bride resulting in “transnational patriarchy”. They are choosing to marry “foreign mail order brides” as they are deemed to be more conservative and would fulfill the ideal role of a spouse as seen by men ( Jones and Gubhaju, 2009). It could be said that men’s symbolic identity is threatened as they may no longer hold the breadwinner status when involved in a dual-income relationship. Hence, by resorting to marrying these “foreign mail-order brides” it may be an affirmation of their masculinity. Thus for men who have set their ideals based on traditional gender roles,such as that the wife should be only concerned with the household and taking care of their children, they will indeed be lacking in choice of spouses in the domestic marriage market.

In a recent article in The Straits Times, entitled “Bride and Gloom”, the struggles faced by these foreign brides in Singapore were emphasized, as seen in this statement; “These men take their wives as 'maids-***-sex partners-***-caregivers for their elderly parents”. Singaporean men who marry foreign brides, a large number of whom do not have a steady income and sometimes are unable to support themselves, often do so, so as to gain companionship and also to exploit them. It was also highlighted that as many of these brides are on a long-term visit pass, they fear being deported back and being separated from their children, should their husbands cancel their passes. In the lecture, we were asked to question whether Singapore is in fact a matriarchal society, due to the large number of laws that support women’s rights and creates a “protected class”. However, I do not feel that we are. Though Singaporean women are protected by the women’s Charter etc., in the case of foreign brides we see a clear disjuncture in that, they are not protected at all. Their rights seem to be considered to be negligible compared to that of their husbands. If Singapore was truly a matriarchal society, a safety net would be set in place to prevent such brides from being exploited by local Singaporean men. Hence, I feel that more can be done by the state to help protect these women, who are not ‘’gold-diggers” but rather come to Singapore in hopes of a better life so as to create not a matriarchal, but rather egalitarian society where both the concerns of men and women are considered.'

Now since this person has established the extent of their insanity, I wonder if they'll get arrested.

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