Sunday, May 27, 2018

What Feminists Want

I made a promise to myself that I will not start criticising an author before I read her work.

This is what Inequality Looks Like by Teo You Yenn is an excellent piece of work which I thoroughly enjoyed.  But as a right-winged capitalist and patriarch, I would position her work in the same category as Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century. Capitalists do not read it with a desire to inequality - they read it so that they can be on the "correct" side of the rich-poor divide.

Instead of making me more sympathetic to the under-privileged, this piece of work has made me more anxious for my own children and for the next few years, I need to figure out how to entrench my children's position in Singapore society today because they will be a confused bunch - I believe that the 4G leadership is very open-minded to You Yenn's ideas which is why she has not been given the same criticism as other academics such as Donald Low or Thum Ping Tjin.

This book may be the defining work for Singapore over the next 50 years.

As I've only read half the book and, as usual, I still find that the book is long on problem definition but short on solutions. While sociologists excel at describing the problem, as my sociology scholar friend tells me that "we are doomed to praxis" -  Solutions in the real world must be better than the interventions that we already have today and should not introduce more problems.

Our social spending has already gone up since the 2011 elections. Welfare can have secondary effects as it kills innovation and the work ethic. Society can also destabilise if wealth transfers to the poor are seen by some as wealth transfers across racial boundaries - this was what caused the rise of Trump and the collapse of UMNO.

Some of the examples given by the book has really started to get me wondering at what really gets feminists off. So far, the examples in the first half of the book always concern women. One poignant example involves a mother of three called Nana who has a husband who can no longer support the family. But at the end of the story, Nana proceeds to get pregnant with her fourth child !

At what stage does personal responsibility come into the picture and society's obligations end ?

In essence, the plight of a lot of women concern their husbands. These are men who cannot focus on getting a job, who commit adultery,  and who stop supporting the household financially.

Why do women choose these flaky men when I have so many geeks pals who are nice, earning money but single ?

State intervention into these families are, in essence, a "put option" on bad husbands. Feminists want the government to get into the picture and raise their kids when their husbands refuse or are unable to do so.

This is, in essence, an appeal for portfolio insurance.

This is eminently unfair.

Women choose men based on the dictates of evolutionary psychology. Tall men with symmetrical features get a larger share of women in spite of lacking conscientiousness. Many aren't even agreeable.

This is why women marry dangerous men and jerks.

When these dangerous men leave their women to fend for themselves, feminists appeal to tax payers to support their kids.

Imagine my friends who are single, happily playing away in their Playstations in their apartments being asked by the State to subsidise children who do not belong to them. This income support comes in the form of higher GST, capital gains taxes or income taxes.

This is no different from asking husbands after a divorce to maintain children who do not share a DNA with them.

No one wants to be a cuck.

I hope Prof Teo would articulate what she really wants from society in the second half of the book.

I can't wait to read it.


  1. Gee, Christopher, I'd have to say that I agree with the many points you have brought up here - not on your commentary abt TYY's book, but on the other stuff: plight of women, personal responsibility, how women choose their men, etc..

  2. Because I picked up the book at the bookshop, browsed through it (well, it deserved some attention since it was so much in the news recently)... and then after about 5 minutes of speed-reading, very gently put it back on the shelf where it belonged. My 25 bucks would be better spent somewhere else - though this is just my personal opinion, of course.

    So this is not to say that I agree or don't agree with your commentary of the book. Just that since I haven't read through the whole book in detail, I wouldn't want to pass judgement - but you know my opinion on it already...