Friday, October 13, 2006

Chapter 1 : Are you a scholar or a statistic.

The following snippet can also be found in the Mr.Wang's blog. Clearly the Blogosphere has a very intelligent and powerful presence which can be harnessed in the publication of my second book.

Here it is :

“You might as well show up with your salary printed boldly on your T-shirt. Save the women at SDU the trouble of asking.“, remarked a cynical male colleague when another fellow worker was talking about attending the next speed dating session organized by the Social Development Unit (SDU). In this country, even love and romance in are tainted by financial considerations.

Nothing seems sacred anymore.

June, 32 year old single lady, is a now an extremely unhappy single in Singapore. A local university graduate of a local university, sheJune joined the SDS in the hopes of finding an eligible man, someone humble and unassuming, not your typical a distant cry from the credit- card toting yuppie maen out on who throng Boat Quay on Friday nightevenings. The Social Development Services, being an organization which caters which caters only to matchmakesing non-graduates, did a spot check on her. They and found that she has a degree and promptly cancelled her membership in the organization. June now joins the ranks of thousands of graduates who infiltrate the SDS every year, only to be caught and kicked out of the organization after their graduate status is being discovered to be a university graduate.

In a study on marriage trends in Singapore by the population planning unit found in the Statistics Singapore website, 32.8% of female graduates aged 30-34 wereare single in the year 2000. This statistic has decreased over the previousast 10 years ( From 1990 ) all thanks to the sterling efforts of matchmaking organizations like the SDU. In contrast, 41% of males aged 30-34 with below secondary education are single. This is a whopping 3.8% increase since 1990 over the past 10 years.

Can we blame these men for being unwanted and feeling disenfranchised? Their only hope now of being attached comes from marrying foreign brides and this hope is being dashed by a policy which prevents foreign work permit holders from marrying local citizens.

The trends reflect the changing nature of Singapore society over the past 10 years. Graduate women have organizations built for the expressed purpose of finding their life partners creating a slow but steady improvement in marriage trends. Men with poor qualifications, however, will have to live their lives either being hopelessly single or taking a calculated risk with mail-order brides. In such a case, Thus we are seeing the effects of a meritocracy being pushed to its extreme logical conclusion - . A meritocracy when practiced to its extremes it evolves into social Darwinism, a term coined by Englishman Herbert Spencer, who espoused the theory that only the most capable humans weare chosen to dominate. Living in Singapore has become a game of the survival of the fittest. According to social Darwinists, the strongest or fittest should survive and flourish in society, while the weak and unfit should be allowed to die.
an enlightened society should weed out their unfit and permit them to die off so as not to taint the gene pool.

If you visit make some effort to surf, you’ll see that can find its mission statement sayswhich boldly proclaims that:

“We believe in our mission of promoting marriage among graduate singles and inculcating positive attitudes towards marriage among all singles in Singapore to achieve strong and stable families in Singapore.”

It seems to give the impression that the organization wants graduates to get married but other singles to simply appreciate marriage as a wonderful abstract concept.

In our push to do what works and reward those which we deemed as capable, we constantly run into the problem of determining what is best for us with crude and primitive benchmarks. In the above case, in oOur drive to create families with intelligent and capable children, we engineer a master plan to get highly educated people to marry each other creating some sort of a social stratification within our society. (“Does any one here belong to the Graduate caste?”, one might ask.)

Of course social Darwinism with myopic policy- making fails to consider excludes other more personal factors which may be quite significantdisrupt the authority’s ultimate objective of population growth. Perhaps some graduate women are have less willingness to play a nurturing role within the family and Asian men have already sensed that and subconsciously marry down. Perhaps children with graduate moms may also have to see less of their parents if both turn out to be who are high- flying professionals.

Thus In conclusion, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In our drive to have marry two graduates marry each othertogether, we deny many children the opportunity to have at least one graduate parent to guide them along in their life journey. For now, we have to learn to be aware of the threat of social Darwinism and be mindful to defend ourselves against that.

And for June’s sake, could we please merge the SDU and the SDS?

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