It never ceases to amaze me that so many allegedly “modern” citizens of Singapore possess such antiquated ideals on women, sexuality and marriage. In many instances, inspirational women have had their achievements overlooked simply because society is unable to see past their sexuality.
Take Dr. Martha Lee for instance (http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/straight-talk-singapore-sex-doctor-105440214.html).
Being Singapore’s only certified clinical sexologist and sexuality educator, she created a sensation in Singapore when she founded Eros Coaching, which offers sexuality and intimacy counselling.
In a fast paced yet conservative city like Singapore, it is not surprising that some people might have intimacy and sexual issues. For such individuals, there is often no outlet or empathy. In that regard, Dr. Lee’s efforts must be applauded. However, instead of encouragement, she seems to have received a barrage of insults, many of which are sexist, rude and downright lewd.
1. “She coach women how to give handjob and blowjob to man. Can she also coach men how to do oral and handjob fingering and make women squirts?”
2. “Her husband must be a most sexually satisfied man.”
3. “her husband must have a sore back.”
These are but a few small minded comments in a sea of shockingly myopic remarks. Not only are these quips discriminatory but they completely fail to consider Dr. Tan’s courage and accomplishments. She is the only person who has dared to take on our rigidly repressed views on sexuality. Every human being needs intimacy and by confronting intimacy issues, Dr. Tan is providing a very much needed service. Sadly, it appears from the comments, that our society cannot see past the sex and her gender. To compound matters, they seem to view sex as lewd and vulgar.
Had Dr Lee been a man, I daresay the comments would have been far more respectful. While society is prepared to see women as sexual beings, they are not prepared to see women as individuals who have control over their sexuality. This is perhaps why the comments directed at Dr. Lee have been so offensive. A confident woman dishing out advice on sexuality is too much to bear. Our society is threatened by her.
Male sexuality on the other hand, is something that our society can handle. When faced with it, we are not so blinded by it that we are not able to see past it. For instance, we have been able to recognise the Singapore water polo team as “more than brawn” (http://sg.news.yahoo.com/s-pore-s-sea-games-water-polo-men-s-team-more-than-brawns.html). This is despite the racy photos of them that have been splashed across the media.
Photographs of our water polo team players clad in nothing but teeny tiny swimming trunks, revealing muscular bare torsos, leave little to the imagination. Yet, despite the fact that these pictures present “in your face” sexuality, online commentators are able to see past this and offer the encouragement that was denied to Dr. Lee.
These two examples lead me to draw the only conclusion possible – that Singaporean society is threatened by female sexuality. Men have traditionally been viewed and seen as sexual beings. They are entitled to sex and they are entitled to control sex. In short, a male’s sexuality will never cloud his achievements because to be male is to be sexual. Women, on the other hand, are still viewed as sexual objects – people to have sex with but who have no control over their sexuality.
On paper of course, this is not the case. Singapore is fairly modern and women have careers but the truth is, deep down, deep seated prejudices on sexuality still permeate every aspect of our society.
Why is society threatened by female sexuality anyway? Both men and women are sexual beings so why the taboo? Society has to understand that by being in control of her sexuality, a woman is not attempting to dominate her male partners. She is simply seeking to be in charge of her own sexuality. Society need not take the word “control” out of context. By “control”, women only mean control over themselves. Men are not in the equation – unless of course, Singaporeans are happy with a society which allows men to control women sexually?