Social stigmas faced by Singaporean Chinese women

Among the Singaporean Chinese, there's a social stigma if a woman:
1. was a prostitute or worked in KTV's or bars,
2. was raped,
3. had many sex partners,
4. is divorced,
5. is a single mother.
Both Singaporean Chinese men and women typically regard such women as having "lower market value". For #1-4, it's like the woman has been "used" and for #5, it's a buy-1-get-1-free situation. I admit that such thoughts do cross my mind because I've been influenced into thinking this way by society. But when I think about it, I know it makes no sense at all.

For #1-4, perhaps a woman's virginity and chastity are still prized among the Singaporean Chinese. It seems some men just cannot stand the thought of "their woman" having sex with another man even though it's in the past or distant future! Some of them even tell their wives that they don't want them to marry another man if they are widowed! (This is ridiculously selfish!) I'm sure everyone is aware of the double standards when it comes to having sex partners!

As for #5, biologically, no human being would want to spend time and energy raising the children of another. But human beings have largely mentally evolved to be able to love and raise the children of a spouse or partner whom they love. Of course, there are cases where the step-parents abuse the children but these are the exceptions. Then there's also double standards: men who have babies from different women are thought of as macho and virile while women are looked down upon.

In India, women who have been kidnapped, forced into prostitution, and subsequently rescued do manage to find husbands. In Thailand, men are willing to marry Thai girls who work in bars or as exotic dancers. Divorce, re-marriage, having children out of wedlock and accepting step-children into the family is not uncommon among Singaporean Malays. Perhaps certain races and cultures have evolved more than others. Sad to say, the people of my race and culture are not as open-minded as we think we are.

Related posts:
[Virginity: prized or despised?]
[How many people have you slept with?]
[Double standards in relationships]


David said...


Certian stigmas should apply to men as much as women. Men who frequent prostitutes in countries like the U.S.A. often have pictures and names published by law officials.

Women are less often blamed over here when pregnant out of wedlock. However far to many of the fathers skip out of any support for the mother or child.

Such men should be embarassed and publicly shamed. You must have met men who like nothing more than to have as many sex partners as possible, regardless of any pregnancy.

Women who are victims of rape need support and care. Any male linking up which such women need to be keenly aware that the women is victim, not the perp.

Single mothers and divorced women while in a unique situation are less often stigmatized here.

However in many parts of the world single mothers and divorced women are socially ostracized.


Yu-Kym said...

If men who frequent prostitutes in Singapore had their names published I wonder how long that list would be!

I don't personally know any guys who sleep with as many women as possible without caring about pregnancy but I have heard about it and there had been cases in the newpapers. I'm sure there are many more which people have not heard about - because the guy won't say it and the women don't expose him out of shame of themselves.

Sadly here, an unmarried Singaporean Chinese woman who chose to keep the child ends up being of a lower social status than one who chose an abortion. Society usually would think that the woman did the "right" thing to abort the child because she would have to bring up the child single-handedly, the child will have no father and which man will want to take care of her and some other man's child?

Anonymous said...

why dont local girls carry a condom in their handbags? Private doctors can prescribe a morning-after pill for $10 to $20. So stupid getting pregnant with an unwanted kid.
Or the bitch must have liked the idea of being pregnant (like she loved him - snickle, snickle....) after getting laid.

Yu-Kym said...

I think most women don't. I get the idea that women think it's the man's responsibility to carry one. However, not all guys do. Maybe because there are so many 24-hour 7-11 shops around that sell condoms.

Hamsterbaby said...

Dear Yu Kym,

Singapore is not the only country that thinks like that. As a matter of fact most developed countries with a higher amount of educated people thinks like that and more so in Asia where traditional values and liberalism collides.

As a matter of fact , its more often than not that such stigmas are being initiated by women themselves instead of men.

It would be extremely naive to think that men are the main perpetrators when it comes to gender bashing and double standards in Singapore.

I would kindly like to inform you that gender equality no matter how you look at it , it will never happen because when it does there will be a huge problem in society.

Therefore the classic case of a men sleeping with a lot of women is considered a 'Stud' and a Women sleeping around with multiple men being considered a 'slut' will never go away.

And the social stigma that you pointed out #1 - #5 will always be there whether you like it or not and its not just in Singapore, I can assure you that such stigmas are hugely prevalent amongst the educated circles of 'India' , Thailand' and countries who have are deem less developed than Singapore.

They are here to stay and it will never go away.


Anonymous said...

I hate it when Yu-Kym posts blogs that I generally do not find anything major to deride or chide against! So boringly agreeable blog. Yes unfortunately the stigmas are real, they are here to stay at least for a few more lifetimes.

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

Hamsterbaby, I didn't mean only Singaporean women face these social stigmas. I have never lived in other countries so I don't think it is appropriate for me to comment on social stigmas faced by them.

I am not a supporter of any gender equality movements. And it isn't my opinion that men are to blame. Women also play their part.

Anonymous said...


Why are you not a supporter of any gender equality movement? I am not suggesting it is right or wrong to support. I am just asking why are you not a supporter?

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

curious cat, people usually support causes because they feel strongly about it from personal experience. I don't recall being discriminated against because of my gender. Besides, many things are in the mind and laws cannot change much.

Anonymous said...

But Yu-Kym,

will you feel at all disadvantaged as a woman with the concept of the man as the head of the household with all the accompanying responsibilities and authority he has to uphold?

Or will you say..Oh no...I too am deserving and want to be the head of the family. I dont like the shit that comes with it, but I will not allow my man all the credit too. lol

You cant say you will agree to "sharing" because this word is not in your vocab. In your world shaped by your past experiences in relationships, its always man vs woman. Sad.

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

It is not my desire to be the "head of the family". Please point out to me where I gave you the impression that "You cant say you will agree to "sharing" because this word is not in your vocab. In your world shaped by your past experiences in relationships, its always man vs woman." so that I can correct it or clarify what I meant.

Anonymous said...

Ok Yu-Kym

I will try.

1) If even on selected occasions you do not wish to play the secondary role by relinquishing the final decision making to your husband, does that not imply you want to hold on to being the "head" at all times?

2) Does the above also not imply that you are not into "sharing" because you dont see why you should play the secondary role?

If you re-read our exchanges on this topic, you will detect clear indications of this attitude which i think stems from your "womanistic" ego. But if you still cant see my point, it's just a big deal...let it pass.

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

curious cat, not wanting to play a secondary role could mean:
- wanting to play be the "head of the family", or
- acknowledging that both parties play a primary role.

Anonymous said...

Ok noted. We dont understand each other. lol Thanks Yu-Kym for the exchange. We have taken it far enough. It's kinda difficult to understand each other perfectly thru this medium.

curious cat