Time to play the 'little woman'
Girls here are smarter, driven but do they better good partners
than neighbouring girls? Letter in Straits Times.
Nov 4, 2004
weeks back, I was intrigued when two male friends started
lambasting the Singapore female and exalting the China girl.
not because of the concept of cross-matching across countries.
That has been going on for centuries now, and I, being half-Peranakan,
should be the last to raise an eyebrow about outsourcing
for mates. Rather, it was the mindset of the men that was
girls are so pretty and have lower expectations,' said one.
Added the other:
'Singapore girls are too demanding, they have a long list
glanced at me expectantly, as if waiting for me to put up
an impassioned defence of the hard-to-please Singapore woman.
waiting for the 'prawn-peeling' issue to surface. This was
the mode of conversation I would have expected from 50-year-old
single or slighted men, but coming from the mouths of 22-year-old
boys with bright futures was a stunning revelation of the
mindset of the young Singaporean male.
they have no originality or Singapore girls are really too
much to handle.
news of the past two weeks confirmed the latter for me:
Young 20-something men going to Bintan for cheap sex; 30-something
men going to Vietnam for quick marriages. What is going
been to Vietnam, and I love the place. The girls, true to
form, are slim, tall and soft-spoken. Every word is punctuated
with a smile, even when you are driving a hard bargain with
speech is melodious, and they work hard without complaining,
carrying loads of cloth and vegetables in the market stalls
and food places. Simple, gentle and hardworking, it's hard
not to fall in love with them.
are Malaysian girls. Having friends who are dating these
girls, I have observed that they are generally of the 'saccharine'
variety. Neither loud nor argumentative, they pander to
the boys' needs.
as doormats, but as cheerful assistants, who see it as their
obligation to help their men without expecting anything
in return. Not that they are stupid - oh, no, the Malaysian
girls I know are smart and hardworking, with careers of
when it comes to matters of the heart, they play the docile,
giggly girlfriend with as much aplomb as their Viet counterparts.
it's easy to see where their attraction lies.
comment on the Chinese girls or the girls from Bintan, but
I can contrast the Malaysian and Vietnamese girls I know
with Singapore girls. We are, generally, extremely driven
by ideals and emotions.
argument, the Singapore girl is twice as likely as her Malaysian
or Vietnamese counterpart to stride away in a huff or throw
water on the male's face or hold a public screaming or crying
for this girl are soft, barely audible replies. The Singapore
girl debates and argues impassionedly. She wants to win
at all costs and treats her love conquests like those fought
in the office arena.
may be pretty, yes, smart, yes, but, oh, so demanding.
Singapore girl, in short, is a challenge to love. Although
she may, at the end of the day, be a supportive and faithful
spouse, the barbs hiding her soft interior are daunting
to the suitor.
is materialistic, and loves being so. Shopping is a major
hobby, and looking good is absolutely essential. The man
is but another accessory, a helper, chauffeur, bag carrier.
girlfriends egg her on, smiling at one friend as her boyfriend
picks her up after class each day and cheering the girl
who unceremoniously dumps her cheating boyfriend in the
middle of the road.
power, we think unanimously. We are not going to be one
of those docile wives who nod their heads and cook for you
at the slightest command. We are not going to have wool
pulled over our eyes by your romantic nonsense. No way.
We are women of the new age, liberal, free and... single?
the whole idea of women's liberation in Singapore seems
to have come at the expense of our love lives. We have assimilated
Western role models of strong women without taking into
account the men that are alongside us.
no answers, short of comforting Singapore women with the
fact that pets make quite good companions.
for the sake of government procreation policies, I think
it's imperative that a compromise be struck between the
Singapore woman and man, before the Singapore born and bred
woman becomes a relic of the past.
an interview years ago in which a prominent local host,
very much an image of the career-driven Singapore woman,
said that with her then boyfriend, she played the role of
the 'little woman'. Perhaps therein lies the secret weapon
that Singapore women need to cultivate: a softer un-barbed
personality for matters of the heart.
Wong Mei Xuan (Miss)
Oct 23, 2004