my thoughts and some scenarios (regarding Xiaxue’s post)

i’m supposed to do revision and plan for my trips today, but well, i came across a Facebook post on my newsfeed, which was a reply to Xiaxue’s latest (I think) video about how she is not a feminist. to be accurate, she is not a third-wave/modern feminist.

Before you read this i think i’ll be good to watch XX’s video which is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVspgkYbJl4&feature=youtu.be&a ; lol indirectly promoting her video but maybe that’s one of her goals, ha ha

to make things clear, i would like to start off with a disclaimer: i personally feel i have not read enough to be sure of my arguments and i do not claim to represent every single woman, just myself, on whatever i am about to say. i read the reply, which was pretty long, so i acknowledge that i did not internalise and might have missed certain things that the reply said. however, the reply made me curious about xiaxue’s video so i went to watch it. i kind of get what xiaxue is trying to say, and also get what the reply to her video was saying, so let me just get out my thoughts here, because i believe that writing it out makes my head clearer and also, if this at least makes ONE reader (idk if anyone reads this tbh LOL) think, then it’ll have achieved one of my goals which is to have sparked some thoughts or discussion internally or not.

#1 Definition of Feminism

Honestly, my definition of feminism kept on changing. Initially, i thought it was just about fighting women’s rights to be equal as men’s. Then someone told me it was not just women’s rights but humans rights- so why call it feminism instead of humanism then? No idea, but probably because feminism has such a strong impact and started off with caring about women’s rights instead of men’s; similar to how a word has evolved over the years but perhaps there is less impact if we suddenly start using ‘humanism’ (ok i just googled that word, it has a different meaning from what i thought it would be oops).

So what is THE definition of feminism? I think this is an issue because everyone seems to define feminism differently which is why some people identify as a feminist, and why some people do not. Feminism can include fighting for women’s rights such as abortion and gay rights, but others may think abortion and gay rights is a whole other issue that should not be inside the feminism category so isn’t this already a huge problem? What if I am a person who fights for abortion but oppose gay rights, or vice versa? Am I half a feminist then?

So here we have many different definitions of feminism, and it is hard to say who is right or wrong so it’s kind of confusing. How do we solve this issue? Perhaps coming up with a solid definition of what rights feminism consists of, and like drilling this into everyone’s heads? So that everyone has the same definition of feminism? Even if you can get everyone in the world to agree (which I think it is frankly super hard to do) on the definition, the definition of feminism has changed over the years. So I guess you could define feminism at a point of time but it would not survive the passage of time.

So how? No idea. I think feminism is really a broad term to use, so perhaps it would be better to identify individual issues instead of lumping all of them together because what if one of the issues are no longer relevant in the definition of feminism… do we awkwardly remove it? Many often say “I am a feminist!” or “I am not a feminist!” and to be honest, I have NO idea what they mean. I mean, I THINK i get it but I could be misinterpreting their words. I could ask them, what do you mean by that? “Supporting women’s rights/equal rights”- but what rights do they support in general? Then if you really wanna understand what their intentions were you’d have to ask a series of questions. So I would prefer if people just said specifically the issue that they are concerned with. But what if they support a lot of things? Are they suppose to say all 32 issues? Isn’t “I’m a feminist” easier to say? Well yeah but apparently some people have a hard time deciphering what issues. So i still don’t know if which is better- but I think if you’d were fighting for rights, it is easier to address one issue at a time? I might be wrong, but I mean, man, multitasking is kind of hard (for me, at least).

Wow, i thought i’d touch briefly about the definition of feminism but looks like i blabbered too much…

#2 Equal rights comes with equal obligations / responsibilities

I talked about this with some of my friends a while ago (very fortunate to have people to talk about such issues freely) and I will specifically talk about Singapore’s context, from what I know.

Xiaxue mentions a few things in her video:

  • Banquet Waitress experience
    • boys have to carry lots of heavy stuff despite getting same pay at work
    • girls just have to smile and serve some drinks
    • My thoughts: I think this is like a specific work experience because you can give examples of gender inequality in many other jobs that favor either genders; and even in her banquet waitress experience, the girl could have wanted to have experience in logistics instead of serving customers on the frontline so it depends on the individual??
  • Boys and national service
    • horror of serving NS for 2 years
  • Blogging industry
    • still managed to rise to the top despite being a female
  • Dating life
    • she did not have to be the pursuer, she just have to wait there to be pursued by males and often get free stuff/didn’t have to pay
    • most likely be able to get alimony from husband and custody of children if divorced

So basically all her points up there are logical, but i felt that it was quite irrelevant because she’s just saying that she had all these advantages of a female, and that females are forgetting that they have these advantages and should be grateful for it.

 

She is not a feminist because some of the issues such as

  • How do you plan to enforce equality
  • Women have all the legal rights that men have, and more
    • e.g. abortion — women make the decision to abort a baby (and men has zero say)
      • uses analogy that you should not steal if you dont want your hands chopped off to counter an argument claiming that the man should not have sex with the woman if he does not want to have a baby
    • e.g. rape — if a woman rapes a man, it is not considered rape (at least in Singapore)
    • e.g. punishment – women cannot be caned unlike men

 

#3 Compensation vs Oppression 

  • Basically, women need these ‘advantageous’ laws to override and compensate for the oppression we feel
    • analogy: women earn less than men, so its fair for men to pay for women (for like dinner or anything)
    • e.g. gender wage myth has been debunked by economists
      • a lot of reasons why women earn lesser than men; one of them is that
        • women choose to focus on their family than their career
          • agree, more women than men choose to focus on their family than their career; therefore statistics need to show people who chose career over family and see if there is any gender gap? dk if it’s been done so could still be a myth
          • men should be penalized for what women choose to do (seems unfair, as she says- which i agree with)
  • In a utopian feminist world, where women earn same as men, XX does not want to go dutch and pay for her own dates ; i guess this is where i differ? wouldn’t mind paying for my own dates if it was a utopian equal world but i guess if you’ve always not been paying for dates then like why would you wanna pay for dates suddenly amirite
  • She acknowledges some things are harder for females, but believes that the meritocracy system is the fairest system so far and will help females overcome it
    • XX states having same pay as your male co-worker is not a right (i agree, this is called affirmative action and i think many people who call themselves feminists are advocating for this- short term benefits but long term it will not work out in my opinion)

 

At this point she starts talking about some ‘dumbest feminist quotes’; not going to rly say anything because i think these are kind of more like opinions but i’ll just summarise it

  • most guys will have sex with women regardless of what they wear but most women will not have sex with men who crossdress [her opinion, but i understand where she is coming from- a stereotypical woman would, based on a societal’s perspective, would NOT]
  • a quote about how feminism is raping someone even without their hands- i think its like a metaphor for how the patriarchy is raping females who do not subscribe to it?xx chooses to take it literally and says that because the girl is feeling oppressed by a man he should go to jail for life — i think she’s doing this for the views or smth cause like the quote clearly states ‘men’? (why am i even like spending time trying to mindread what XX is actually thinking omg)
  • some point about teaching women to not walk down a dark alley — XX links it to people claiming that they can do whatever the f they like to do, and to say that is to promote rape culture where you blame the victim instead of the rapist.
    • my thoughts: ok logically speaking i think there has been lots of arguments about this and one of them is the thief thing; you can teach a thief to not steal but ya you can also teach a person to protect their belongings; so i honestly don’t get this. i think the rape issue is different from the thief issue is because you don’t see anyone blaming the victim for getting their items stolen (ok maybe some people would say they are stupid for walking down a dark alley); you see (more) people blaming the victim for getting raped so i guess that’s the difference? idk isn’t it like quite simple to understand- XX is right but irrelevant in this point and actually tbh, many other points too
  • choosing between family vs career
    • xx says women have to choose between family / career
      • i understand her point, and i agree- i do think that because women are still seen as both the primary caretaker of children in a dual-income family which is an issue- the solution is probably more of a marriage issue; the husband/partner needs to understand and like work out an agreement between the both of them and BOTH of them need to compromise lol so again she is right but quite irrelevant (but some may think this is a relevant issue to feminism, thoughts? if educating men to take on a more equal role with regards to taking care of children is considered part of feminism then i might agree it is relevant to feminism)
  • the quote about not wanting to shave and like being whoever they r etc etc
    • i understand her point and ya i understand why she said ‘that’s how the system works’; personally, i think its just quite suay that women have a much higher beauty standard and pressure to adhere to and i’d love to change this standard to something more manageable, so perhaps people talking about such examples may get people to realise this disparity in standards and hopefully try to be more equal and forgiving and less discriminatory when women doesn’t live up to the standards?? i know many men have to shave their beards so they got their own issues to deal with to, but ya it is the current system and like i’d rly love to change it but again, don’t really know how
  • some video about a woman doing yoga with her period and that men should not be disgusted; err in my opinion it is quite disgusting and like, this issue is a little on the gray area because what is considered disgusting? exposed nipples of women when they are breastfeeding? menstrual blood? men’s penises when they are erected? like ya so it is a gray area– if it is disgusting and makes people uncomfortable should you like not show it? well, i wanted to say yes you should hide it, but then i thought about other issues such as two guys kissing- if it is disgusting and uncomfortable to people, should they not show it in public? are you oppressing them? tbh i don’t know what’s the right solution for it but i guess you gotta look at the intention and the situation of the ‘disgusting stimuli’ — if a woman had no time to cover her nipples then i’d think people should not blame her; if she feels proud of her nipples but she lives in a society that hates nipples… what the fk should she do then? should she conform to society and be the greater person and cover her nipples for society’s sake or should she be herself and fight for her nipples’ freedom of expression????? i hate to say it but i think many stuff in the past such as women’s rights, racial equality and so on has started with oppression initially but i think it didn’t gain momentum until a decent amount of people spoke up so in this case…. i guess i’d go with the majority? people did not fight for rights at least until they were aware they were oppressed, so if more people started feeling oppressed then i guess societal rules and laws would be modified and adapted to update societal’s feelings.
  • some other quotes i chose to not include cause i felt it was super irrelevant

 

actually, to sum it up, i think XX was just saying that

  • she’s attacking people who are using ‘feminism’ very vaguely and perhaps abusing the term [she refers to them as third wave feminism but i think even within third wave feminism there’s a lot of different claims to its definition]
  • she does not want equal rights because she does not want the equal obligations that comes along with it (e.g. paying for her own meal, going for NS, able to cry and express emotions without being laughed at)
  • her experiences in this system (i.e. patriarchy) has proved to be fruitful and beneficial overall so she does not want to change the system

logically, and if i was thinking for just myself, and if i was XX, i wouldn’t want to change the system and fight for equal rights as well. i mean, if everything has been working out for me why do i need to bother changing the system? i don’t feel oppressed or anything, i don’t think there is anything inherently wrong enough to want to stand up to it actively. i agree, some females benefited from this system, and some adapted to it, some could not, and some simply didn’t have the option to choose.

so, should we change the system or not? probably 50 years ago, whites were more superior to blacks in a more obvious way- and if that system were still in place, whites would undoubtedly be still on top of the hierarchy and be thriving. should it have been demolished? if i were a selfish white person who thought only for myself, then i would maintain the status quo.

cliche i know but just wanted to end off with this: it is hard to change the system, but it is impossible to change it if you don’t even try.

 

honestly, wtf am i doing writing a post like this when i have a million other things i should be doing..

 

 

 

 

Where I Got My $32.90 Spectacles (foptics review)

So today I’m going to be reviewing about my $32.90 spectacles. I wanted a new pair of glasses, because

1) the one I was wearing was at least 5 years old, and I heard that it may not have been very healthy for my eyes (How Often Do I Need New Glasses)
2) I wanted a new look. I recently cut my hair to shoulder length, dyed my hair reddish-brown, and wanted new glasses to complete it
3) I was going for exchange, so I wanted a spare pair of glasses just in case.

I usually got my glasses from a shop along Tampines Street 43, but ever since I moved to Simei it was quite inconvenient to go there. (Actually it is still very near lah, can actually take a straight bus there but LOL i am a sloth)

So I asked around for any recommendations- and the price range I got was anything from $50 to $300, and like obviously, as a cheapo student, I narrowed it to those below $100. I googled as well, and names like “owndays”, “four eyes”, “mimeo”, “uncle tony” popped up. They were quite decent, but still expensive to me. Then, my sister recommended this shop- foptics. They have a carousell account as well, and I was like super seduced by its attractive low prices. They afford both prescription and non-prescription (no degrees) glasses [starting from $12.90]. I browsed through it and saw something I kinda liked. It was the Clubmaster in Matt Knight. With prescription, it was only at $32.90!!! (My aunty eyes was like so happy LOL).

But I was really skeptical. Firstly, I couldn’t try out the spectacles in person so this is a huge risk for me. What if I look ugly in it? Secondly, what if the quality is cui? Like use after one week then break or something. Thirdly, what if I kena scammed (the person zao and run away with my money). BUT… not wanting to give up on such a good offer, I tried to find a solution for my problem. I googled stuff like “virtual tryon glasses” etc. I found a really good website. They provided sample faces to try on glasses, but of course I needed to use my own face. And its really easy because you just upload your photo or take a photo directly from your computer’s webcam. Actually maybe I should also have checked out this website since it looked like it had a good returns policy if you’re not satisfied with the glasses HAHA. The price is also quite affordable (their cheapest glasses at the time was $38). But anyway, I used this to gauge if the spectacles I wanted at foptics was suitable for me or not. I realise knowing your face shape kind of helps you in narrowing and deciding what type of spectacles are suitable for you, but then again I think you should just try it on (virtually or not) to see for yourself.

Anyway, after I ordered it online and paid via my debit card, the person contacted me through Whatsapp to get my prescription (you need to take a picture of your contact lenses prescription box and also measure the diameter between the center of your pupils- usually around 60mm). I don’t know if its luck or what, but the person said he would deliver to my doorstep since he also lived in Simei (instead of the normal mailing package), so yay!! I asked him how long it would take to arrive, and he said around 1.5 weeks. Oh ya, replies are typically efficient and fast as well. So yup, in less than 10 days, it really arrived here!! Oh, also, while waiting for it to arrive, I realised that my contact lens prescription didn’t account for my astigmatism so I was a little afraid.

Ok, here’s the important part of this post: *DRUM ROLLS…!*

 

specs collage.jpg
Disclaimer: I am just providing a basic reference. As you can see, the photo quality is different for each photo. 

TOP LEFT: My old spectacles.
TOP RIGHT: The foptics spectacles

BOTTOM LEFT: My virtual tryon (using a similar design to the foptics one),
BOTTOM RIGHT: The actual look.

So yup. In conclusion: it met my expectations, though there is always a risk. But I say, $32.90 is a risk I’m willing to take! Another thing I liked about foptics is that they believe that just like clothes, you can have multiple glasses too to match your entire outfit. I will definitely buy from them again in the future. Even though my old spectacles had astigmatism adjusted for it, I got used to foptic’s glasses after a few hours of wearing it (but maybe its because my astig isn’t very high so can’t really tell the difference?). The only caveat is that, if you can’t wait 1-2 weeks, then just go to those typical eyewear shops.  My only hope is that they will stay competitive and not jack up the prices of these glasses in the future, because it is their main selling point after all 🙂 I would recommend this to people who are looking for cheap, affordable glasses (I am not sure if they will charge extra to adjust for astigmatism)- an especially attractive offer for students.