Thursday, 29 May 2014

Not Quite Progressive

About two weeks ago a young American male colleague remarked how sexist Hong Kong is.

Coming from San Francisco, he is shocked at how women are treated here, how local men look down on them and the preconceptions they have of the fairer sex.

To verify his point, there's a report out today from Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang Yam-wang that there are mostly small and mid-sized companies that have made serious breaches with the law.

One shocking case is of an investment company that required all of its female staff to give blood samples for DNA testing after menstrual blood stains were left in the women's washroom.

There is no indication in the news story of how much of a mess was left, but is such a witch hunt necessary?

YTSL expressed frustration to me recently when she went to a restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui and ordered a dry martini, only to be warned by the waiter that the drink "might be too strong" for her.

Knowing her, she probably gave him a dirty look, but to assume that she wouldn't be able to handle the drink is condescending to say the least.

It's really amusing the preconceived ideas Hong Kong men in particular have of women -- how they are supposed to be delicate pretty things with long hair, big eyes and skinny legs -- and need to be supported by a man physically and financially. And then they get thrown off when they meet a woman who is more than capable of looking after herself.

They are immediately intimidated and perhaps wonder if they are lesbians!

Which explains to a certain degree why there are so many more single women in Hong Kong than men, who pursue women who depend on them.

So much for women's lib in Hong Kong...


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