01 May 2009

Feminism is important for men too

Many men think that the issues surrounding the Christian fundies' take-over of AWARE, the women's group, have nothing to do with them. In this guest piece, Bryan Choong recalls how the progressive feminism of AWARE made a huge difference to him and his mother. Guest essay.


KiWeTO said...

Brilliantly poignant.

Something that should go straight to the home section or forum section of the ST. Simply because it brings home the point of what AWARE stands for in SG.


Anonymous said...

Bryan, your article brought tears to my eyes.

Our mothers will always be the most important person in our lives.

Your mother is blessed to have a son like you.

Fargoal said...

Thank you for sharing.

What AWARE does is of course up to its members, but in this case, they spoke up for those who were weak and had no voice.

Anonymous said...

Dear Alex,

I have been puzzling over the term "Christian fundamentalist(s)" and its use in the context of the AWARE takeover. I wonder if we are overstating matters here.

Would you care to share your thoughts behind its use?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Alex,

It's me again, author of the Christian fundie question.

I did not mean to be rude and thus, cause a distraction away from the article to which my comment is logged.

Just so we are clear: I am with old-AWARE, but I still think the "fundie" label is more of a liability than help with regards to the broader political issues of the day.

Perhaps you could address the issue (if you so desire in the first place) in another post?

SY said...

The last paragraph made me horribly guilty.

There are many reasons why we have not signed up for AWARE so far. But anyway, my gf and I just signed up for AWARE. We're rushing down to the AGM now.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that Derek Hong , Dr. Thio and gang, will probably say "see? broken family. that's why he is gay."


But Bryan, your courage is truly commendable. Thanks for a truly sensitive and insightful piece.

Jackson Tan said...

A very moving article, but I am rather concerned with the second last paragraph, which said:

And I cannot trust them when the church they belong to, openly state that ‘the wife is in subjection to her husband’ and ‘women [are] to continually deny themselves and yield the rule to men’.This seems to be lifted out of some COOS resource:


Alone, it may be an entirely disgusting advice, but I've glanced through the article, and I think to lift just this quote out may be twisting things out of context.

For example, the same resource also said that men should not be wield their power in a dictatorial fashion. So in their defence, if the article is taken as a whole and followed as such, it should not lead to an abuse of woman rights. And the terrible case of Bryan's mother should not happen in the ideal situation.

I know, of course, that there are numerous arguments that, even if the article is taken as a whole, the advice is still a poor one. But my point is that such a lifting of quote may be putting COOS in an unfair light.

Anonymous said...

"twisting things out of context."
Heard that one before.
Same excuse is given by
fundamentalist Islamists for
subjugation of women.
Go to any Islamic site.

Doublespeak said...

I agree with KiWeTO that this article should be published in ST.

Such an honestly written real life account will bring home the importance of AWARE and smash Josie & gang to pieces.

Even so, I remember Maureen Ong speaking about many abused women who didn't know the rights they have in Women's Charter.

It is true.

And I also agree AWARE should be more active in their profile and reach out for new members.

To be honest, I am one of those ignorant Singaporean & tend to ignore issues until they hit me.

In this AWARE saga, it has hit me in more ways than one.

Anonymous said...

I feel so bad after reading this. I have always been absolutely neutral, detached towards and distanced from all things in life, preferring to be a silent observer instead.

I wonder if it's too late to do something about this attitude.

Just someone who received help from Aware.