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Monday, May 09, 2016

Reddit comments: Sangeetha Thanapal

Chinese Privilege, Gender and Intersectionality in Singapore: A Conversation between Adeline Koh and Sangeetha Thanapal : singapore

"'National beauty pageants also tend to celebrate a Chinese ideal of feminine beauty, as opposed to other ethnicities, so that it becomes exceedingly rare for a minority to win these competitions.'

Curious about this so I checked out a few beauty pagents in Singapore on wiki. I just assumed that names reflected races and that there weren't other notable beauty pagents.

Ms Singapore Universe past 20 years: 4 non-Chinese names, 16 Chinese names. Last winner was non-Chinese:

Ms Singapore World past 20 years: 10 non-Chinese names, 10 Chinese names. Last winner was non-Chinese:

Miss Singapore International past 20 years: 2 non-Chinese names, 18 Chinese names. (It has only ever been won by three non-Chinese)

16/60 non-Chinese names roughly = 26% non-Chinese, 74% Chinese. This roughly matches up with Singapore's non-Chinese:Chinese population of 74%

... 'Heterosexual patriarchy is also at work here.'

The word is "hypergamy". OMG if she's going to use cheem words, can she at least use them properly?...

What - however - irritates me tremendously - is how she acts as though this is brand new information. But there have been tons of studies in Singapore about this. Professors in NUS have written books about this! On how racial theories apply to Singapore. But she ignores all of this to focus on transplanting American race theory to Singapore? It feels like a) she's trying to reinvent the wheel and b) she has not done any research on what Singaporean academics - or even Southeast Asian academics - have done. I find it immensely frustrating that she herself (by not referencing any Singapore academic, and relying almost exclusively on American authors) undervalues what Singaporean academics have done."

"I'm not saying that discrimination doesn't exist, because it does. I'm saying that she does a very poor job of demonstrating and discussing it. She's just regurgitating what's she's been taught in her liberal arts classes (much of which is problematic in the first place) and clumsily applying it in a local context. The concepts taught in her course are very un-scientific. Students such as herself are conditioned to see patterns that aren't there. As a consequence, they enthusiastically attribute differences between demographics (a very popular one is the myth of the gender pay gap) to discrimination without considering other factors."

"American social science theories are dominant in today's social science. To use academic language, we could say that by solely utilising American social science discourse to explain a Singapore social phenomenon, Adeline Koh is in turn uncritically reinforcing the dominant hegemony of American intellectual inquiry. As a assistant professor of postcolonial literature, she is demonstrating exactly what she's criticising...

Even if Thanapal was influenced by Internet social justice, her role as an academic (or "independent scholar") is to critically examine both the tools of analysis being handed to her (that is, examine the American theories she is using), as well as to do research into existing Singapore academic literature (either build on or to refute Singapore theories). As someone who holds a Master of Arts in Social and Political Thought from the University of Sussex, I would honestly expect a more rigorous analysis than what I'm seeing. But maybe I'm putting too much value on holding a Masters"

"Screw this kind of SJW bullshit. I found a lot of the text highly racist. As a Chindian myself... My identity is human. Singaporean. Post-racial. But these SJW-types keep insisting that I'm some underprivileged PoC/Indian/otherised victim. Encouraging professional victim-hood over self-empowerment."

"Having been an art major myself, I am very sceptical of "studies" conducted by liberal arts majors. They tend to formulate the conclusion first ("we are being oppressed, maligned, etc"), then conduct "research" where they cherry pick data that suits their conclusion, after which they nod their heads in collective agreement, satisfied with the "proof". This is a disgrace to academia and to the scientific method... they see oppression the way some religious nutjobs can see god in a potato. I'm tired of this shit."

"Do minority races feel left out in a Chinese speaking group? Of course. In the same way a vegetarian feels left out in a group of buddies going for the Meat Lovers special on a pizza outing. Do we do it on purpose to oppress them? I do not think so... speak up("got secret ah! channel 5 please"), not suffer in silence like how the author is trying to portray the minorities as an oppressed group. I've been in majority malay groups as well and I don't feel oppressed when they speak Malay amongst each other sometimes. I understand that it is the way they feel comfortable in communicating, and I don't take on this adversarial, antagonistic stance where I have to believe they are oppressing me or are excluding me from something."

"[Adeline Koh's] approach paints her as someone who sees themselves as part of a group of enlightened (likely presumptuous) folk, better than everyone else, and we should all listen to her.

Her self-importance really highlights the irony of this little blurb from her essay:
'It’s also not up for you to decide whether the person speaking is “right” or “wrong.” That you think your opinion is important is already indicative of how much privilege you have, and how ignorant you are of it.'"

"Why don't we kick out the Chinese, and make Singapore equal parts Chinese, Malay, Indian, White and Black? And while we are at it why don't we abolish English and replace it with Esperanto or Elvish to avoid giving Whites any special advantage?"


Balderdash: Fact Checking Sangeetha Thanapal's Lies (Again) : singapore

"She's following the American Liberal school of SJW-ism. By their standards, victimhood is virtue, xe who cries 'oppression!' loudest wins, and calling out false claims of victimhood is impossible.

If their activism screws the nation with racial conflicts, then in their minds they're vindicated because the nation is racist, therefore they're needed more! Like how if a man denies being sexist, it proves that the Patriarchy is all-powerful, or if burning a witch doesn't stop the drought it proves that witch-magic is very powerful and more need to be burnt."

"I've talked to a few genuine SJWs and attended their meetings here in Edinburgh where I'm studying (I was subsequently banned for arguing that cultural appropriation isn't real and that cultural exchange is a good thing, therefore I have "internalised oppression and support white supremacy" even though I'm a brown Chindian). They're almost all sheltered, privileged and delusional idiots. Like a black person with an upper-class English accent (probably born into it), studying in a high-tier university, funded by her parents working in London, and still complaining about "being put down by white supremacy" and organising protests against it.

They have no idea what oppression is. They haven't even experienced the level of oppression all Singaporean guys face in NS, or non-Malays experience in Malaysia, let alone the serious racist oppression they claim to fight against like colonial atrocities in India and the Americas.

They literally think that hearing an Israeli diplomat speak is 'violence' that 'makes students on campus feel unsafe'. They literally say that "white people don't look us when we walk down the street because they want to erase us". They literally banned 'Blurred Lines' from being played because it violates the 'safe space policy' and 'promotes rape culture'. If they gain power the West is doomed."

"I commented on her FB once disagreeing that there was 'Chinese Privilege' in Singapore. Instantly blocked without any message whatsoever. And I'm Chindian with an Indian surname so there's no way she couldn't have known that."
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