Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Women's Day Rant

Olympic swimmer Stephanie Au campaigns to stop the term "career line"

While it's International Women's Day, it is patronizing to have one day to recognize women today. Even more so are the businesses in Hong Kong that are trying to commercialize the day with special offers for meals and drinks...

The Women's Foundation in Hong Kong has conducted a survey of 1,000 women and found 62 percent discriminated against for their looks, while one-quarter of men aged 31 to 49 believe a women's success is based on her appearance.

Images like these only create expectations of beauty in women
In addition, more than 40 percent of women surveyed thought the Cantonese term "career line", which equates a woman's cleavage to her career progression, was offensive -- I should hope so! However, about 20 percent of men aged under 30 thought it was positive -- and that's scary.

Almost 18 percent of respondents had heard the term "career line" in a professional conversation.

Olympic swimmer Stephanie Au Hoi-shun has been described as "Oriental Venus" by the Chinese media, and that is so wrong on so many levels.

A lot of these perceptions of women are shaped by the media people are exposed to on a daily basis. We are constantly bombarded by images of impossibly tall, beautiful women in advertisements who have probably been photoshopped, and yet men believe these women really exist and belong on their arms.

Women can play hard just like the men, right?
I once spoke to a woman who runs a dating agency in Hong Kong and Singapore and she said men in the former city are unrealistic because they will go on a first date with a woman and then tell the agency to find them an even better looking woman. Whatever happened to what's inside?

And that is probably where men think it's fine to objectify women and that the only way to explain a woman's success is by her so-called "career line".

These attitudes are pathetic and need to change if Hong Kong wants to be considered a progressive society. Women don't even get paid the same amount as men for starters. And then we have women working as domestic helpers...

It's high time for men to consider women as equals. Today should be a day of education and awareness of how much women contribute to our families, communities, and businesses. How the media uses language to describe women also needs to change, and everyone needs to be educated on the reality of advertising, how the images we see everyday are not real at all, but a fantasy.

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