Friday, February 26, 2010

Typing on Keyboards in Defence of Gender

A lot of people probably don't really think before they speak, resulting in hurting the tender feelings of those around them, especially those who actually care for them, or perhaps saying something so incredibly silly that other people share whispered gossips about them, secretly laughing behind their backs. Small problem, I'd say.

And then there are those who say incredibly stupid things to all and sundry by voicing their myopic concerns aloud which then get picked up by the newspapers. Monday was one of those days where the secretary general of cuepacs commented about their (or is it his?) concerns on the “increasing dominance” of female employees in the civil service, saying it would have “long-term implications on the progress and growth of the country.” 

It's secretary-general Ahmad Shah Mohd Zin said on Monday that the trend now was that more women officers were being appointed to important decision-making posts.

For example, almost three quarters of the new posts in the administrative and diplomatic service (PTD) were being filled by women, he said, adding that this was contrary to the present government policy to “reserve only 30% of decision-making posts for women.”
(The actual government policy is to have women in at least 30% of decision-making posts. -- ED)
The teaching profession was also dominated by women, he added.
 (quoted from the star online)

I've heard a similar sentiment before almost a year ago from someone I work with, and since I had given my two cents on women and decision making before, I shall refrain from doing so here... (my two cents can be read here: Joseph and his myopic view of the women in decision making positions in my workplace)

It makes me wonder if his concerns are in the right place. As an outsider looking in (as I am neither in the civil service nor with cuepacs), I've noticed that the civil service attracts women by the dozen. In fact, a few years ago, one of the chemists (a young woman) mentioned to a few of us that there were openings in the civil service and told us to go and apply... unfortunately, it came with an age limit and I was a year too old. However, those that were born in the same year as her or a year or two later all applied, and they were all women who needed more time to 'focus on their personal life'.

What's even worse is that when I was much younger (in the fifth form, actually - aged 17), my additional mathematics teacher (a middle aged man) advised us in the class to pick up the teaching profession as we were women (I went to an all girls school at that time), and the teaching job would enable us to focus on our (future) families better! Imagine that. This has also been said about other jobs in the civil service, where people (read: older men) tell you... "Apply for work with the government, la...", and not surprisingly it is because you can apparently focus on your personal and family life better by working with the civil service.  It also doesn't matter that you don't get paid as much, although in recent years, the civil service salary has improved tremendously. 

I wonder if this could have been a contributing factor.

12 comments:

  1. There are many dinosaurs in this country that think women should have no rights at all! I'm not surprised we have idiots lie this Ahmad Shah fellow spouting nonsense like this.

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  2. Why shouldn't half the population have half the decision making power? We have so far still to go.

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  3. The reason most teachers are women is men don't see it as a "status" job. when really, if you think about it, teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world.

    Maybe THAT'S why women do it so well

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  4. Nick: They just need to say something... maybe to get attention, I don't know...

    SAW: Hear! Hear! I believe people should be judged based on merit... and not their gender.

    Anon: Que tu problema?

    Nursemyra: That could be the case... although admittedly there were quite a number of male teachers in my primary school.

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  5. oh yes.... i have heard that one too.. become a teacher, take a govt job, take an "easy" profession.. bcs the man in ur life will not be able to cope with your insane hours and ambition, if any.

    And what hurts the most is that all of it is true...

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  6. Hmmm... probably.

    Thanks for visiting :)

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  7. Evidently there isn't as much concern about men needing to focus on their personal lives and families?

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  8. What exactly is supposed to go wrong with all these women in the civil service? So what? If they are getting good jobs and advancing then good for the women making it. Some of the guys in my gender get a little too flaky over nothing. It's 2010! Hello!?!?

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  9. Ah Ricardo, but what if they all have their period at the same time? The country will surely crumble!

    Oh yeah I've heard it all. The teaching thing pisses me off as it is a difficult skill to teach, and deserves more respect than it generally gets. I think people are drawn to the stability of civil service. So women who have a family or want to start probably think more about stability than the rest of us.

    I think there's generally a lack of discussion about men and the family. Here there's no legal requirement to give fathers paternity leave when a child is born - as if they should be unaffected, and it seems reflective of society's general acceptance that men should/can have little to do with the family. I can't help but think something that would do the cause of women much good would be to include men more in family matters (I apologise for the terrible construction of that sentence! but you know what I mean). If men were more included (as many want to be) in the caring side of families then there would be less pressure on women in the workplace and less assumptions like 'don't hire her she'll just have kids and then never be a work'. I'll stop rambling now!

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  10. Ricardo: It's mostly the middle aged men who do that and people with political interest... say something silly and everyone in the country will google your name, etc...

    Aunty: How so very true! A friend was once refused from a job just because she mentioned that she was about to get married in a year - they asked the question during the interview, imagine that.

    I suppose the situation is somewhat similar here regarding males and their roles in the family - which they surprisingly place on women - must say that the men I know (from work, especially) seem to place importance in their family, and the place I work in does have allocation for paternity leave for new dads.

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