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Thursday, May 03, 2007

A series from the time I was studying in the Science Library:

"WARNING - Theft (sic) and vandal (sic) will be handed over to the POLICE."
I would have vandalised this atrocious sign or even thefted it to stop the pain, but I didn't want to be handed over to the POLICE.

While entering or exiting the toilet, I saw this across the corridor. Amazingly, none of the girls I spoke to (3 of them) had noticed it:

Unfortunately you may not be able to see what the sign says. Fortunately, I dispatched my minion Bunny (whose price for her services was a link) to move in for a closer look:

"NOTICE: Male if found in the female toilets will be handed over to the Police. Science Library, 7 Jan 2004"

Presumably they had a peeping problem in the Science Library. I am reliably informed by multiple sources that no such signs can be found in female toilets in Arts (despite, or perhaps because of the different supply and demand both) - Science guys must be very desperate.

I protest this rampant sexism - having a sign like this in the female toilet but not the male toilet sets up the dialectic of the Self and the Other. It just perpetuates negative stereotypes and essentialises females as innocent creatures who just want to finish their business in the toilet and males as nefarious boogeymen whose sole purpose in life is to peek at females.

Their attitudes towards sexism disturb me. I thought it mildly offensive that they would put up a sign about peeping males in the female toilet. Prejudice of any sort is unfair, no matter how 'rational' it is. Of course, prejudice of any sort is rarely rational at all. It poisons the way people interact with each other. To think that all males want to peep at females in the toilet - no matter how 'rational' - is awful.

Many people justify sexist comments the way they do: 'it's rational [since males have peeped at females in the toilet before]! therefore I am justified!' but this rationality is merely a laziness, an unwillingness to think beyond comfortable modes of thinking.

At any rate it is really ridiculous to formulate conclusions on an entire gender based on one male peeping in the female toilet. In fact I think it would be unsound to formulate such conclusions based on 200 males peeping in the female toilet (though slightly more sound than basing it on one male).

'Perverts' cannot fall into the same category as 'Male', for obvious reasons: perverts choose to be perverted, Males, on the other hand, do not choose to be Male. To hate someone based on something that is not his choice seems to me not only highly illogical but morally dubious. It is impossible to prove the claim that Males are perverts. (NO MATTER HOW MANY MALES HAVE PEEPED AT FEMALES IN THE SCIENCE LIBRARY TOILETS. THIS POINT IS SO IRRELEVANT.) It is not equivalent to say 'Men suck' and to say 'perverts suck'. This is terribly obvious to me. Am I missing something here.

I don't see how it is any less sexist to say "Based on past experience, males have peeped at females in the toilet and you should guard against this possibility." Any statement in the following form: "(group X) is (undesirable quality Y) and therefore can be excluded from (social/political/economic activity Z)" is unacceptable. It is stupid - grossly so - since any such statement, even if derived from inferential knowledge, is bullshit. Such statements are two or three steps away from saying, 'Oh they are of no inherent/less inherent worth. Therefore we are justified at spitting at them/enslaving them/sending them to death camps." They obviously have very different views of what sexism is.

MFTTW: this is amusing on so many levels -- for its obviousness, for excellent command of English... it's almost poetic

maybe females in arts don't mind getting peeped at.

Me: uhh

oh yah that's why they wear such short skirts

Someone: wat if female is found in male toilet?
happened today at sci lib

cos i come out
then i see a looong queue at girls side

then one ask me
is there anyone in gents?
n whether i can check for her before she goes?

i was like

then i just listen to her lor
turns out it was empty
so she just go in one of the cubicles

Me: haha

Someone: eh i dint mind
but come on
its in her best interests rite?

Me: no I mean women can go into male cubicles

Someone: eh well
i had to wait outside n tell her got ppl coming
but no one came la

if she can go into man's toilet like that wonder if the same behaviour applies to men's pants :P

ok la she was prolly in urgent distress
so i think can justify
but can the same rule apply to guys?

Me: men in women's toilets are perverts
women in men's toilets need to go

Someone: exactly my point
n they say we live in a patriarchal soceity

Me: aiyah
it's all our fault lah

"Singaporean men marry foreign women because they're losers. Singaporean women marry foreign men because Singaporean men are losers."

Someone: eh techically im not born in singapore:P

but that doesnt imply that im not already coopted by the losership
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