A Startling Revelation From A Young Mind
My son is what you would call typical. In fact, slightly privileged too, if you ask me, with very little material wants he can think of.
Thus, when he gave me his take on how he sees the situation is for Singaporean boys, I was astounded, not just by his semi-warped logic, but rather his matter of fact delivery which indicates that he has given the matter thought, or possibly have discussed it with his friends.
It started with an observation that one of my friend’s young Eurasian son will be starting his primary school education next year. My soon to be adolescent boy commented that only girls will like him more, mainly because girls like “ang mohs”, including eurasians and that gave me a start. I started to probe him for his views and asked him what the consensus amongst his friends was and the results are pretty startling.
1. The general belief of the boys in his school is that girls prefer “ang moh” boys because they are exotic and can give them a better chance of living abroad.
2. “Ang moh” boys have the choice of local or “ang moh” girls.
3. “Ang moh” girls have less preference for asian boys.
Thus he worked out that Asian boys have about 30% chance of getting the girl as he assumes 50% of local girls prefer local boys and 20% of “ang moh” girls prefer local boys.
I took a while to digest as I had never expected him to build up a stereotype so quickly (he is only 12) and it would seem that his opinion is quite set.
His qualifier to me later on was that the theory does not hold if one was rich. Because rich guys get all the girls.
It must be YouTube !
Having said all that, he assured me he was not ready to settle down yet. I had threatened that if he kissed a girl before 15, I would make him marry her which I think is a fair enough deterrent as I was a 15 year old once and would not like to be led on, for girls are far more emotionally fragile. And I am lucky to enjoy a close relationship with the kid to know that he is not reciprocating to several advances of interest of late from the fairer sex at the moment.
Yet the stereotype must be addressed.
I asked him if he felt any inferior to his Eurasian friends. His answer was no and God knows, he has many of them and they all get along famously. His perception was guided by observations of the behaviour in school, conversations with girls and discussions with his best friends.
He thinks the passport is an important issue or the status symbol of having a Caucasian partner is appealing to the girls. Is the prospect of leaving Singapore such an important one ? What about the dozens of east Europeans and South Americans who would not mind living in Singapore ? He is of the opinion that the choice is theirs, for them to settle down here if they can find a Singaporean girl to marry them.
His conclusion was that it is just easier for the “ang moh” when I finally decided to laugh. It is such a young and naive world view that he is laden with at this point in time with much more that he is unaware of. Nonetheless it is good for him to observe and comment and, at least, he is not resigned about his fate or what he thinks his fate is. We went on to observe mixed marriage couples at Cold Storage, speculating what sort of marriages they probably had, and had a good laugh on one occasion when we noticed that a wife forgot her status and reverted to perhaps her former maid self, calling her husband “Sir” in front of their kids.
It is going to be a long journey for me to correct his mindset (without molding it to mine) and I will not be attempting it overnight. Golly, I do not even have a game plan yet and I have to consider how to broach the topic of the other races in the world like would we consider an Eskimo an “ang moh” ? And I cannot answer his question on why the advertising exec was fired when she stepped off the plane for tweeting that she was a white etc and the Duck Dynasty chap got laid off for dissing gays and yet no one gets into trouble for making fun of heterosexuals or whites ? Need to make another trip to the bookstore to get a how-to-explain-it-to-teenagers book.
For now, I think I will stick to the superficial and feel I am making a good start when I pointed out that Daniel Wu (this Hong Kong actor) got himself a gorgeous American wife.