Sunday, February 14, 2021

Three random perspectives on Valentine's Day 2021.

Every year, I try to write an article every year on Valentine's Day to update my views on relationships but this year I'm struggling to come up with a grand unified theory of VD that I can employ to traumatise single Singaporeans to read this blog. 

Maybe it's because I got a class next week and I am a little distracted, so instead, I will just share three random perspectives which I think is important for Singaporean singles to think about.

a) The pandemic will hurt chances of an average male in finding love

Some changes are really unpleasant thanks to the pandemic. A pal forwarded an article to me that you can access here

This is important because, in my talks, I always say that retirement planning has a tight deadline because as you hit your 40s, you begin to experience job discrimination and the odds of being retrenched tends to go up after that. Government data points to flattening incomes after age 45. 

Thanks to the pandemic, we are seeing workers in China get sidelined as early as 35 years old. As jobs discrimination is not illegal in China, we sort of understand now just what kind of workers companies want. Companies, left to their own devices, prefer malleability and youthful energy over experience. 

This can be bad for males as we need to accumulate sufficient wealth to be attractive mates. Doubly worst if you exist in a Confucian society.

No jobs means no mates.

b)  Men still cannot accept women who earn more than they do

The second perspective comes from a Woke Salaryman comic strip which can be accessed here.

I'm normally a fan of the Woke Salaryman but I'm not particularly in support of this specific comic strip. Divorce is multifaceted and the last thing anyone needs to do is to present a one-sided view of divorce without giving the husband a chance to air his grievances as well. This logic is mirrored in our Family Courts - divorce cannot be a one-sided affair. 

The strip advocates for a mindset change in society but we know that's just wishful thinking for a utopian ideal. Couples with higher-earning wives still suffer a statistically higher rate of divorce. Adultery is also a two-sided affair these days. Finally, do you really want to visit your in-laws when they know your wife makes more than you do?

Because of this one-sided perspectives, we will never really know how much the emasculation the husband went through and how much micro-aggressions he had to withstand from the wife in his daily life. 

(It does not help that the art made her look like an ENTJ woman - it's like marrying someone like me in a skirt! ENTJ women need to be handled with Diamond Hands !)

There will be exceptions in modern society. A teacher friend said that his female students are glad to bankroll a househusband but they could not find examples of a guy they'd be happy to support citing Finn the Human and Patrick the Starfish as boyfriends they'd love to have as house-husbands. So women can accept a househusband provided he is a fictional being.

c) Mainstream media continues to condemn and pour scorn on low-earning men.

We've known that non-degree men are the most discriminated class in Singapore. They have no parliamentary representation. The last non-degreed PAP MP was Charles Chong.

Mainstream media recently attacked Singaporean men with foreign wives and exposed their incomes relative to Singaporean women who have foreign husbands. Not content with median household income per head, it went on to talk about the marital difficulties experienced by these unions. It should be of no surprise that marriage rates between Singaporean men and foreigners are down as of late.

For me, facts are facts, the statistics in all of these articles are empirical. 

But, to me, it is the lack of moral outrage that's interesting and exposes how much our society feels about discriminating against lowly paid men.

Compare the way the public took this article in stride against the Straits Times report that a survey flagged artists as being the most irrelevant profession in the face of the pandemic. The internet exploded.

Anyway, I leave it to the reader to see patterns in all of these three social phenomena and it is clear that we if read all three together, some kind of painful change is afoot. 

I can identify the victims, but I'm not sure who wins as a result of this.

1 comment:

  1. I can identify with the SCMP article based on my experience in the early-2000s. In those days, Singapore didn't have any fair hiring framework & being a freeflow HR environment, it's a no-brainer for the types of workers that companies go for (even the civil service). I would do the same.

    I should be thankful, as the experience woke me up & drove me to:
    1) downgrade promptly out of reservist & used that as a selling point to get another job,
    2) adopt a frugal lifestyle & maxmimise investments,
    3) evangelise the concept & got the buy-in of my family,
    4) retired at 42,
    5) it's been a decade & I'm still having a blast. (Yes, I retired in the midst of GFC and -50% drawdowns)