Saturday, March 08, 2008

The correct term is ‘Living in Sin’

I just read something really stupid and irresponsible in the Today newspaper. Peter H L Lim, a prominent and respected member of society actually wrote a lengthy article in praise of women who live in sin with other people’s husbands.

Titled, Mistress? Me? No, I’m Ms, the article traces the progress that modern women of Singapore have made over the years. In his parents’ time, a woman who secretly lives with a married man is called a mistress. Today, such a woman is financially independent and does not need the man’s money, only his company whenever she can get it - that is when he is able to steal away from his wife and children.

He concluded his article with these words:

“Such women also symbolize the progress the female sex has made with their financial independence, their freedom of choice – and their self-esteem according to their own values and preferences.

Yes, in case you have not noticed, I admire such women, as I admire all women anywhere who have come into their own despite the barriers that still exist for the female sex.”

Dear Sir, I have three simple questions for you.

1) Would you admire such a woman if you were her boy friend’s wife?
2) Would you admire such a woman if you were her boy friend’s son?
3) Would you admire such a woman if you were her boy friend?

You call it self-esteem, I call selfishness. For her own pleasure and enjoyment, she is prepared to bring misery to another woman and ruin the lives of innocent children.

You call it independence, I call it immorality. That’s why the dictionary has a name for such a life style; it’s called Living in Sin.

You call it progress, I call it depravity. In your mother's time, some women have no choice. But today's women?

You sounded as if such women have been discriminated against by society and somehow society has robbed them of their human rights. You salute them for overcoming such ‘barriers’.

Can you not see that such ‘barriers’ as you called them were created by civilized societies to protect women in the first place?
Here's the LINK to the article.


Victor said...

I admire you for taking on an ex-editor-in-chief of The Straits Times Press on behalf of all husbands who have been cheated by their wives. Kudos to you.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with the example the author uses to show the 'progress of women'.

What kind of an example is that? There are so many other examples to pick.

It definitely shows the lack of progress in his mind, that having a mistress/infidelity is OK? (Last time, got to pay money but, now it's free! Wow! What progress!!!)

What an embarassment to AWARE.


Anonymous said...

I cant blame the x-editor for using this as an example to highlight the "new role" of women today, and the reasons why it is possible for women today to be doing that.

I believe it's all got to do with a new kind of woman who is no different from our mother's time. She is just exercising her "right"s that has been possible because she is better educated and financially independent. If you take away these 2 "assets", she is no different from our mother's time, so rightlyfully she would have been addressed as a mistress. Now she has a new title called gf.

Is that bad? Dependes. I have sat down with my boys and their male friends. Mind you they are working and in the mid-20s. They tell me today's Singapore women in that age-group are not just picky and demanding in what they expect from a man but ONLY want to be with "successful men". Obviously "successful men" could eithe rbe married men or singles (who could be at least 10 years older than them).

What is the definition of a "successful men"? Well it seems holding a good career, able to bring his constant companion to Dempsey Hill/BALI to be seen and candle light dinner, and buy lovely presents like the top-line NOKIA phone. If you think I am being biased because I have sons, wait till I tell you this is the same perception I get listening to my nieces who are the 20somethings. Even attending church and cell groups dont usually make a difference in their perception of a relationship (PS:there are always some bad apples somewhere). I am aware that today's generation can slip in and out of relationship and people dont give a wink. I have seen friends' children chnaging gfs or changing bfs like changing a car. It seems that it is no longer a taboo if u were once someone's gf or someone's bf. This phenomenon is not confined to lower-income folks but even professionals.

My concern is what happens when one part of the human relationship is drawn to materialism. How much does it take to sustain the relationship 10 years, 20 years or forever down the road? Does it mean that the man has to slog for the rest of his life to keep his wife happy or his family together? No wonder our men and women are putting off marriage. No wonder it is easy to tackle someone's wife or someone's gf.

Then there is a group of single foreign well-educated professionals in their 20s who work in Singapore like our banks, hospitals and IT sectors. Many have humble beginnings and tell me "It's the same in our country". Besides working to send money home, many are also on the look-out to marry that "great guy" because our males back home dont appreciate us women.

I think I must be behind time. Tell me I am wrong!

Lam Chun See said...

They say it is not wise to send emails when you are angry. You could end up using language you will regret later. I think it is the same for blogging.

I think the language of my original post was too harsh. I have decided to moderate it a little.

My apologies.

Anonymous said...

No Chun See, I think you are harsh, but speaking your mind openly. No need to apologise for that frankness of yours. Remember that your buddy Chuck share your views on that topic 100 %. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

No Chun See, I think you are NOT harsh, but speaking your mind openly.

Anonymous said...

There is a letter in today's Voices which echoes your view that we should call a spade a spade, and a mistress a mistress.

Zen said...

There is no such thing as a free 'service' and any hooker knows better than that. Then why does a modern woman have an affair with a married man without any string attached? My viewpoint is that it takes a woman to understand another woman best. She makes a calculated move - it will be a matter of time when the cat would be out of the bag, and any decent wife worth her salt wouldn't tolerate her husband having an extra-marital affair with another female (or even male- not the least surprising) and a divorce would likely ensue. Now the big question is: who would benefit most of this sunken marriage? Perhaps this calculated risk by the so-called progressive /modern woman is worth taking after all. That is why I say nothing is for free.

Lam Chun See said...

It's precisely becos Mr Lim is such a prominent person in Spore (I didn't know he was ex-editor in chief of ST)that makes me fume. I think it was quite irresponsible and insensitive to the innocent victims of this problem.

Still I regret using such strong language becos it is always my aim to keep GMY clean (i.e. no foul language and sleaze) and friendly to attract young people to come and learn about the 'old days'. I have always resisted the temptation to blog on controversial issues.

Lam Chun See said...

BTW, I'd rather my readers lend their voice to protest this outrageous piece of writing than to offer me 'kudos'.

Anonymous said...

Quite an eye opener on the modern Singapore to read the extract from the article. I agree that if you wanted to praise women's independence and progress to equality in society this is an absolutely lousy example. As Chun See has emphasised there is a wife and perhaps children who will suffer from this kind of selfishness and there is also the constant stream of stories of such 'mistresses' being promised that the husband will leave the wife - and then not doing so, indicating that many 'mistresses' are far more emotionally (if not financially) dependent on what is a relationship founded on rotten foundations.

Lam Chun See said...

Sorry I forgot to insert the link to the TODAY article. I have just added in at the end of my article so you can read the article in full.

Victor said...

Chun See, I do agree with your views wholeheartedly and stand behind you (not in front) unequivocally in condemning the rather thoughtless article by Peter Lim. That's why I wrote about "doing no evil", in reference to Peter's article.

Tom said...

Tom said...
Chun See I agree what you had said about that article from the news paper, and I agree what Brian said if there are childern around they always get the brunt of it, because some one has been playing around.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this was a very poor example to show how far women have "progressed". There are women who are doing a great job in the medical field/research/engineering etc..
I agree with a lot of things Peter said. This is all about MATERIALISM. We live in a society that places more importance on money and outer appearance. Please bear in mind that the man is wrong too. I know the article is using that example of a sign of women making progress but I thought I should just point that out.
As a young married woman, let me just give my 2 cents abt the state of dating in singapore. Its mostly about appearance and money. And it goes both ways. The men want pretty young things and the women want rich guys who can give them a "good" life. I know female friends who married for money and male friends who reject girls based on their looks/education status.
It all boils down to how ppl are raising their kids/have raised their kids. Do you have materialistic children who hanker after designer things and who only seem to care about themselves? You only have yourself to blame. There's a whole generation of young ppl who dont think too much of their actions and have been coddled by their parents. As a teacher, I see it 5x/week.
*gets off my soapbox*

Zen said...

In coffeeshop hokkien lingo: "wah so ho-kang (advantageous) - free love, no commitment, wife and children don't know, not accountable and live happily ever after in bliss-land". Even if the submissive wife and children know of their father infidelity - so what! after all he is the bread-winner who calls the shots, the rest of the family members have to tolerate him in silence whether they like it or not. But wait a minute, the account is still not settled only carried forward until the children grow up and become financially independent, the the scores will then be settled with the old man once and for all, that is the reality of life.

Lam Chun See said...

I think Brian has put it very aptly that such a relationship between the modern woman and her married boy friend is founded on rotten foundations. It is based on deceit and guilt.

I have not commented on the man's role here not becos I condone it. It's just that the writer focussed on the female.

I think the man is even more to blame for the deceitful manner he deals with the one he has publicly vowed to love and cherish; and where children are involved, his own flesh and blood.

Unk Dicko said...

Hi C See,
Fully agree with your stand on this.I do not see your views or language used as harsh. Strong,direct and firm, yes.
PL is no ordinary Ah Beng.He should have known that whatever views he espouses in his public writings will have an "impact"on whosoever he wants to impact on.In this case he has stated his open admiration for such women...with loose morals. In can be seen by such slutty women as a faux pax encouragement for them to continue in their loose behaviour and contribute to more broken families and more innocent lives and homes destroyed. That is very dangerous!
Those who have not started their "merry-making" may also see it a kind of modern "acceptance"[ no thanks to PL's" I admire such..."] to get their illicit thrills too, sooner or later.
Such nonsense must be stopped where possible. I'm glad you took a stand.

Anonymous said...

If this is the same Peter Lim who presently lives in Tiong Poh Road (he lived there as a school boy), I can understand where his article is coming from. In the 1950s/60s, the pre-war SIT estate of Tiong bahru was populated by wome kept by rich towkays and dance hostess who worked in the nearby Flamingo Cabaret in Great World.

Maybe he was able to "compare & contrast" yesterday's women and today's women.

Yesterday's women who became mistresses usually had a good reason. It was purely economic reasons because women were less educated then nor protected under the Women's Charter. Sometimes u had to do it because you were the eldest in the family and u had to make a sacrifice. Sometimes it's because you were left in the lurch because your husband left you. So it is difficult to justify one's actions on grounds of morality dont you agree?

However having said that I am not sure whether the same set of circumstances prevail today. If they do that for economic reasons, are the girls in the wrong?

There were rumours not too long ago that some local TV stars were "kept". Of course there are very young girls (as young as school girls) who like the idea of "Sugar Daddies" because they can get what ever they like.

Anonymous said...

I share your viewpoint but the article is a clear reflection of the "values" of these times - or rather a lack of values.

But such is the world today where so many things are just 'not right' and I am constantly outraged by what I read - if I'm not too careful to catch myself.

Stand by your own beliefs and values even when others do not.
Be well. All the best.