“CHIOBU” – WHEN BEING PRETTY GETS YOU INTO UNNECESSARY TROUBLE

Written by Uyen Le-Khuc

Being a woman in male-dominated industries or jobs is definitely difficult. This is the case for Military Expert 1 Gorgina Choo, whose looks were enthusiastically discussed after being spotted in the latest National Day Parade with President Halimah Yacob. Unfortunately, the discussion about her, mostly from eager Singaporean males, was unpleasant; most of the comments focused unnecessarily on her look and explicitly sexualised her. The public was angry; they blamed MINDEF for exploiting her as a bait to attract ‘thirsty’ males to sign on with the army. Choo and her female colleagues, some of whom were also subjected to such male chauvinism before, strongly rebutted, claiming how more emphasis should be put on their achievements than their looks. MINDEF quickly clarified its publicity efforts and denied any form of female objectification. Sadly, all these efforts were token actions; they are not enough to uproot the generally misogynistic attitude towards women. This reflects a rather depressing reality that Singapore is still far from its declaration of being truly progressive, at least for its female citizens.

(Featured photo from The Independent)

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