Wednesday, August 26, 2009
In Malaysia, when you buy a house, it’s usually not furnished, but today, most developers make it attractive with a package, bedroom set, dining room set, kitchen set and even the toilet set.
Most men are not particular about the style and the quality of furnishing compared to women. Since we are still in the men’s world, women spend most of the time at home if they are housewives or at least a quarter of the 24 hours in the house if they are working.
Most houses have three bedrooms, a master room with attached bathroom, sitting area, dinning area and the kitchen.
Living Room Area
Most sitting areas have a big screen TV , a hi-fi system and sitting settee in this area with bright lights. When you get into the house, the sitting area will be the first you notice, so this is most important area where furnishing needs more attention. I found most sitting areas among the Malay community very well furnished with attractive settees. I believe they use to change settees very often especially during the festival seasons like Hari Raya. Unlike the Chinese, who seldom change their settees until they move house. A sitting set usually cost between RM 500 to RM 3,000 depending on the type and quality. It usually comes with one sofa, three singles and a table top.
Also among, western people who are my tourist friends, buy comfortable furniture of good quality that will last for a long time. I also noticed that most Asian do not display their books because most of them do not read except for newspapers. I have visited my expatriate friend’s homes; they keep a small library with good books in their sitting area.
We spend three times eating a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. So furnishing in the dinning area also has to be dwelt with. One would need the most basic items like a table with either four or six chairs. In the olden areas, my grandmother used to have a big round table with stools where family believe in gathering to have a family reunion dinner which signifies the unity of a family. Some people are very particular of the quality and do not mind paying a price which can go up to RM 6,000 to RM 10,000. A basic dining set usually costs between RM 400 to RM 2,000 again depending on the quality.
This is the area most men would leave to the women to decide what they want. After all, this is the area the woman folks want to enjoy cooking and washing. My sister in Brunei told me that she is very possessive of her kitchen area where she would want to have build-in cabinets where she can store her kitchen stuff. She would be very particular about the oven, the fridge, the washing area and she wants a big kitchen where she can move around. Today, most houses have dry and wet kitchen areas. For me, I just want a small kitchen with the basic necessities where I can cook a simple meal that would not take so much of my time. Preparing and cooking a meal can take hours, eating a meal takes less than half an hour and washing up may be takes about 20 minutes, so I usually have two of dishes, meat or fish and a vegetable for a meal.
Again women are very particular about the choice of bedroom furnishing. A bedroom set usually comes with a bed, a wardrobe and a dressing table. I do agree with Valiant Knight that this is one of the most important furnishing that set a good mood for couples. It does work well with newly married couples with the setting of dim lights, sweet aroma of freshener, good quality mattress that does not squeak when you toss around. Well, after 10 or 20 years, all we need is a comfortable bed, mattress and pillows. Children are all grown up, there is no intention to have any babies anymore, romance seems out of track, so no matter how much you put into furnishing the bedroom, it does not arouse romantic moods for old couples anymore.
I find this area the most sensitive area for western people; I am very impressed by carpeted toilets with everything in pink and with lots of toilet accessories. Asians are not very particular in trying to beautify the toilet area. As long as they are dry and clean, it’s OK.
These are all observations from my visits and travels as well as based on what how my house is furnished.
After deciding which house to buy, a newly married couple would want to decorate and equip the house to their taste and needs. However, two people would have some similar and opposing views and aspirations. Furnishing a house is not merely an exercise of putting things into the building; it is also an exercise where by the aesthetics of the house would be a result. Therefore, what they purchase is not only relevant for the needs of daily existence in that building they want to call home but also later on for the offspring that would follow.
The taste of a man would definitely differ from that of a woman. This is something that couples living together must understand. However, when it comes to buying furniture and putting up fixtures in a house, they tend to forget this fundamental difference. One would want to impose their likes and dislikes on the other.
Basically, as a practical man, I find this problem easy to solve. All new married couples need do is divide their requirements into three categories. What the man needs, what the woman needs and what they both need and when children come along later, a fourth category can be added – what the children need.
However, it is never easy to have clear cut demarcation lines between the categories and often there is not enough space to accommodate all the categories into a small house that initial couples would have purchased. Therefore, there are lots of compromises! Setting up home is really part of the long series of tests new couples get to see if their marriage is made in heaven or in hell!
BASIC NECESSITIES yet they can cause conflicts
In the Kitchen:
Yes, we need kitchen equipment so that food can be prepared and cooked. Many feel that this is the domain of the women and men should stay out of decision making here. However, very often the women who are suppose to make the kitchen into their second most frequent visited room is not savvy enough to understand the technical qualities of modern kitchen equipment? Therefore, when deciding on the type of stove you may need or whether a fridge should have the freezer compartment at the top or bottom and whether you need a hood or an extractor fan in the kitchen, there is a need for consultation between the man and the woman. Failure to do so will result in equipping a vital room in the house with white elephants and making it rather unpleasant to do the regular daily chaos of preparing food!
In the Bedroom:
We spend practically two thirds of our day in the bedroom! Shouldn’t this room which take up more than half our time at home be the most important room? How often we find young couples just throwing a mat on the floor and lying on it night after night? Wow, I wouldn’t want to share their experiences on it!
Having a comfortable bed, mattress and pillows (Dutch wives if necessary) is most important for a good night’s rest as well as other activities. Without them, many couples will wake up in a nasty mood and not be ready to start a new day properly. Since most couple share the same double bed, it is most vital that they decide together what sort of bed they want.
In the living room:
Here again is a common domain. They spend some time here to relax, to read or to watch and to listen to music. Men and women have different body shapes thus different type of chair would be needed. Friends and relatives (including the frightful mother-in-law) who may visit once in a while can do with lesser comfortable chairs. What is most important is the man and the woman of the house get a nook to rest their butts comfortably after a long day of work to enjoy watching their favourite TV program or listen to their selection of music or read the papers or a book.
Do not forget the lighting and an ambience of the room. After all, it is from here that the couple move up to the bedroom and if the mood is not set correctly, what may follow or may not follow in the bedroom will be affected. Whether we get offspring or not may be at stake!
So, this week, I have merely touched on certain rooms I feel need to be equipped with some sensitivity. My writing partner may tell you her views from a woman’s perspective. I tried this week to be more neutral (as if I can). Next week we talk about a huge headache – budgeting and finances!
When we first got married, the first agenda on the list is to buy a house. In those days, houses cost as low as RM 35,000. I am not very particular about what type of house and the location as long as I have a home where I can have my privacy. Unlike most women, they are very particular about their type of houses they are buying, one of the reasons of course is to make a good impression on their relatives and friends that they can afford such a home.
I do agree with Valiant Knight that men are more realistic and practical; the first thing that comes in their mind is the location. Most people want to live in a place where shops or supermarkets are nearby so that we can get our groceries. Valiant Knight is stressing his point in west Malaysia where public transport is accessible. In Sarawak, public transport is poor, they only service in certain residential areas in Kuching or in Miri. And most people in Sarawak have their own cars and their only concern is the access roads to and from their work places and fetching their children from schools. Traffic jam is not a constraint to Sarawakians yet ,as parents, fetching their children only happens during peak hours and our roads in Sarawak are accessible to the schools. I know of a bachelor friend who buys a house where there is a bus stop right in front of his house. He didn’t have to worry about parking fees and after making a survey, he found that he had actually saved a lot on transport. Sometimes, he gets a free ride from colleagues.
In West Malaysia, people go to work, they start their journey as early as 7 am and only comes home around 8 pm or even later than that especially among the singles. In Sarawak, the people start their journey at around 7.30 am and get off from work at 5 pm, the latest 6 pm and they can go shopping, or go for a game and go straight home. For those who have children, they would be early to send their children to school and some can still go home to have their breakfast before they get to work.
Security and Neighbours
People in Sarawak are not very particular about their neighbours. When a new residential area was launched, most people (especially among the Chinese) would choose a good number for their house and be concerned about the “feng shui” of the house. Some are particular about their neighbours and would check out who are living next door to them. You will be lucky if you get good neighbours but sometimes you get inconsiderate neighbours and then it’s too late to withdraw because you have already committed to buy the house. This often happened because some owners buy a house to rent it out.
Most house owners are not worried about the security because “breaks-in” are not frequent in those days. Buying houses in areas of “High Class Residential” or “Low Cost Housing Area” makes no different nowadays because “robberies” or “break-ins” are common everywhere. I know of a huge mansion, surrounded with high stainless steel fencing, security system and security guards in a high class residential areas in Miri, this house was robbed and the victims were shocked and refused to stay in the lovely mansion. They moved into a condominium where security is better.
Most people don’t fix security system until their houses got broke into.
Finance and Insurance
I was lucky that I am not involved in contribute part of my salary when my husband first bought a house. I only feel the pain when I got my second house in Miri and I am still paying the loan, although I can easily just pay off the balance, but I am reluctant to let go because of the insurance terms that benefit my husband when I die. The people with the government agencies are lucky because they can get special housing loan with interest rates as low as 4 %. Those in the private sector usually get bank loans. I can see the trend of young people buying their own house, of course with strong backing from their parents. EPF have special withdrawals schemes to help buy houses. For a working couple, with an average income of RM 3,000 per month, they can afford a monthly payment between RM 800 – RM 1,000 for a 25 year long term, depending how much they borrow.
It is not the trend yet for singles to get their own home early yet. My niece hits 26 years old this year and still lives with her parents and some as old as 40 years old still do the same. Unlike in western cultures, once they are over 18 years, they want to stay on their own and most of them would consider to rent rather to buy a house.
House insurance often comes in a package when buying a house. Single premium depending on how much you service the loan will benefit your beneficiary when you die. One has to name someone to benefit from this, however will making is not popular yet in Sarawak.
I conclude by encouraging young couples to buy a house once they are financially stable, to set aside a certain sum of money to service their housing loan. Start young and get use to live a life moderately.
For a married couple to start home management, they need a home. Young couples normally start by renting a house but eventually given all the incentives by various institutions, they may decide to buy a house. We often hear of people speaking or a ‘dream house’. Most women tend to have this idea whereas men are more realistic and practical about a buying a house.
Basically, a man is more inclined towards the location of the house they intend to buy. Various factors will be considered, such as distance from place of work. This is a primary concern of the men and in many cases now of working women, too. To live in a place that is not too far and too difficult to get their place of work is a major concern. Some may even prefer to live in a place where they can easily use public transport, what with the rising cost of petrol and car maintenance.
When it comes to location, another important factor a man would look for would be facilities for his children and himself and wife, usually in that order. He wants to ensure that his pre-schooling child would have a baby crèche on the way to work, and his kindergarten child a suitable kindergarten to go to and if he has children going to primary or secondary schools, he wants to be sure that there are suitable schools nearby.
Then he wants to be sure that there are places he can hang out for a drink with friends and a gymnasium where he can work out, hopefully with his wife, too and a club they can join. Such facilities are important for his career and business opportunities, if he is in the business line.
Security is primary in a man’s mind. From ancient times, a man is always the protector of the family and in our modern society, although we have the law to protect us, it is not doing too good a job, or may I say, it is doing a very poor job. Therefore, a man has to rely on himself and his instinct to find a place safe for his family. He would be looking out for the type of security his neighbourhood offers him. He wants to know the neighbours, whether they are suitable people of a same class as he is. He has to look at a possible budget for installing and maintaining a burglar’s alarm system for his house.
Most men are very practical when it comes to buying a house. Although most men would have talked about a dream house with their girlfriends when courting, when it comes to buying a house, they would be most realistic. They would look at their finances and buy a house they can afford for the time being. Hire purchase and other forms of financing a house purchase has enabled many newly married couples to buy houses rather than rent them.
The couple must decide on the amount of money they can put aside each month to pay for the instalments for the loan repayment. In addition, there must be made available enough money to pay for annual payments such as assessment, quit rent, insurances, general maintenance, repairs, etc. It would indeed take up a large proportion of the couple’s total monthly income. They will have to sit down and plan a budget that is realistic and which they have to abide. This is usually the task of the man.
Most men will have to take care of all the legal aspects (with exceptions) and should be responsible for all the documentations when dealing with the developers, the banks, lawyers, etc. It is not a simple task and for those who do not take particular care to read the fine prints of documents, they may live to regret it later. Therefore, it is best, if both husband and wife are educated, that this should be done together.
Consultation and Agreement
Finally, I would advise young couples to be constantly in consultation when purchasing a house and come to mutual agreement on all aspects before they endeavour on such a major project. Buying a house is not like choosing a place to spend a vacation. It is something that they have to live with for a long, long duration of time unless they want to incur a major lost in finance.
Being a parent is one of the most important, rewarding and toughest jobs. Every day we have to make choices on how to bring up our children. It is these experiences that help us become better parents.
From the very beginning as a result of the fall of man, God said to the woman, “Because of you that caused man to sin, I will greatly increase your pains in child bearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” That is the pain of love every mother experienced.
And Baby Makes Three
After being married for a year or two, pressure would come from in-laws and your own parents to start a family. Now, when you're a parent, how will your day-to-day life become changed? What do you expect? The result of sleep deprivation can make a person very irritable and turns tasks like household chores and errands into ordeals because one has less energy and can’t concentrate on what one is supposed to do.
All mothers have their own challenges to confront. The pregnancy temporarily robs them of their body shape and they would put on a couple of extra pounds, have dark circles around the eyes from late-night feedings and all these can make a woman feel self-conscious and less attractive to her partner. Some mothers may find it difficult to reconcile the image of a mother with that of a sexual woman, so they may become less interested in intimacy.
The sight of a baby may stir up surprising feelings of jealousy. Sometimes a new father gets jealous because the baby takes up too much of the mother’s time. A father may feel like a third wheel and the mother will have to adjust her time to cater for the needs of the father, too, otherwise the father may go astray.
When I first became a mother at the age of 22, I had to deal with the numerous and varied issues a child will encounter between birth, the growing up and eventually when the child leaves home. This is a great challenge.
After carrying a full term and experiencing the child birth which lasted about 6 hours, a long labour pain, I do not know who I want to blame. I said to myself I am not going to have another baby. But when the baby finally makes her way out from my womb, I change my feeling and said to myself, “It’s worth the pain” seeing a beautiful life coming out from you.
Forty days of confinement, I am not allowed to take bath or wash my hair, I have to eat the food cooked in wine and ginger and I cannot even enjoy air-conditioning or fan. All the restrictions are supposed to be for the good of the mother.
Being a young mother, I also learned to take responsibility to teach my daughter the good values and when the child grew older, it became a harder task to handle when she an adolescent
Having gone through this experience, I can conclude it is not easy being a parent. . Whether you are good parents or not will be shown by how your children appreciate you. It is like the story of the ‘Sower and the Seed’. The Sower took care of the seeds, watered them, gave them fertilizer, watched them grow and they grew and started to bear fruits. After my daughter graduated, she wrote this:-
“Today I have high self-esteem, confidence and found my ability in what I’m good at. It took me a very long time to look for what I love and good at doing, but ever since I found it, nothing can stop me from reaching my destination. I’m putting all my effort to achieve my dream and I know I’ll get there. It’s only a matter of time, and from this, I owe it to both of you. You always tell me that you are proud to have a daughter like me. I tell you…you should be proud of yourselves to be such excellent parents. Thanks.”
No Father’s Day or Mother’s Day can replace this statement from my daughter that can verify that I passed the test of being a parent.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day just went by and the whole world was crazy spending hard earned money of gifts that most of the time mothers and fathers do not appreciate or need. I leave my Lady in Red to write about the mothers’ point of view and I shall obviously handle the fathers’ point of view.
How one becomes a father:
Some of us became fathers by choice but others without even realizing it until they are told that the women they have made loved to are bearing their children. Whatever the circumstances one becomes a father, the fact remains that that person has a responsibility to at least an offspring! The moment the child is conceived in the woman’s womb, fatherhood begins, not only when the child is born.
What is entailed when you become a father?
The moment you are told or know you are a father, the first thing people around you expect, most of all your wife, is that you should be happy. Is there a lot to be happy about when you are about to carry such a heavy responsibility. Yes, fatherhood is a serious responsibility. You have committed yourself to many years of bringing up a child with your partner. There are many sacrifices to be made but there are also many moments of joy to experience which may last a significant number of years or forever!
In the initial pregnancy period, you have to tolerate your wife’s fancies and idiosyncrasies and ensure that your baby is carried to full term. You pay her special attention, you provide her with the much needed rest, you pamper her all for the sake of the child or hopefully because you treasure and love her as well and that she is going to give you the gift of your life!
When it comes to the time for the baby to come out, your role is minimal, you only have to ensure that your wife is sent to hospital in time or else you run the possibility of experiencing a very traumatic time if she has to deliver before arriving at the hospital. Some men are brave enough to accompany their wives during birth. If you are not, you then pace the floor outside the maternity ward wondering if it is going to be a boy or girl (nowadays ultra sounding would eliminate this anxiety for most fathers) and whether he or she would be normal and your wife safe.
Most fathers are happiest to see the doctor or midwife/nurse coming out to announce the birth of their child. (He won’t be so happy when he sees the bill and pays it.) Then, he takes a peek at the baby at the nursery through the glass window or is lucky enough to go to his wife’s bedside to see them both. This will be the time when you wonder whether the child looks like you or your wife.
Then begins your sleepless nights, anxiety moments when the child cries for unknown reasons and need for extra money to buy expensive food for both child and wife. You go to office half-asleep and your mind is always thinking of the mother and child. You have to distribute red eggs and roast meat if you are a Chinese after a month and you may even want to throw a big dinner.
These are merely the initial responsibilities. The main one will be a long financial strain you have to bear. Some fathers need to come out with half a million Ringgit to finance a child through school right up to university depending on the course your child is taking. Others will have to spend less. However, bringing up a child is not only about providing food, shelter and education. There are other costs like clothing him and buying him toys and giving him pocket money to spend. In pre Independence days, it was cheaper on a father to provide for these things but today with all the branded goods, sophisticated toys and special food and the things your children spend on for entertainment; it would simply cost you a fortune to support one child let alone many!
Finally, the responsibility of bringing up a child then is well-mannered and civic-minded. Here many fathers fail miserably. They tend to leave this to the mothers. Some fathers only play the role of disciplinarian or the final arbitrator in mother-child disputes. However, there is a crying need for fathers to be actively involved in bringing up a child let it be a boy or a girl. More so if it is a boy, because he has to learn manly things and if it is a girl, she needs the warmth of a father to show her what a man’s love is life in her future selection of a spouse.
So friends out there, the next time you feel the urge, remember, you may become a FATHER!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
CHANGES! There will be lots of changes in the new lifestyle after a divorce takes place. I am not in the position to comment about what Life after divorce is like but I do shared the pains and their anxieties of divorcees out there willing to tell me their stories. Tina, a teacher after two years separation, finally got her divorce finalized after all the hassle. With all the hurt and disruption caused, Tina wondered whether there is life after divorce. How can she pick up the pieces and start all over again? It certainly takes time to make adjustment on house management, having to do everything and having to get use to being without a man in the house.
Mary, a divorcee had a different mindset. She felt that there is life after divorce. It is like an experience of a new life after being detained and she has to believe in herself and have faith that things would work out in order to survive.
There are several factors that affect a divorcee in society and in her lifestyle. These are some of the challengers she has to face in society and it is like “being born again.”
A threat – Divorcees are often seen as “dangerous and available” to married men and their spouses are not comfortable with them socializing with divorcees. Mary once told me that she had to be careful when socializing with men to avoid being branded as “Desperate Women looking for a fling or sex.”
Loss – Speaking from the Lady’s point, some of these women still grief on their loss of their husbands to the other women and it would certainly take time to overcome this loss. Bitterness and anger are still with them and their chances of socializing are out, what hope can these divorcees expect if not for their children? The few friends who used to hang out with them slowly disappeared as they felt uncomfortable in their presence. Therefore, finding new friends are their only options that can lead them to new experiences and a renewed sense of purpose and enjoyment.
Unsecure – Married life gives stability and security to the women but divorce would pull them apart. This would tear the fundamental sense of security and many plans will come crashing down and explanations had to be given gently to the children. It’s no longer a “mummy and daddy affair” anymore. Often this can lead to panic and worry but the fact that if these women are trying hard to stand on their own feet and create new routines and build a new stability, it will be the first step to win the battle.
Change of roles in Parenting – When divorce disrupts the whole family unit, the whole house system change, most often mothers may have less quality time with the kids if they have the custody, they have to adjust to the level of support, especially sending and fetching the children to and from school. Managing a family after divorce is flexible and adaptable if it is being planned properly. For example, most of the older kids have to learn to be in dependable and help out in taking an adult role to supervise the younger kids and doing house chores. Mary said “surprisingly my kids can adapt quite well and succeed in the new “non-traditional” family. I have to be strong and lead by example during the transition and show them that life has to go on in a new environment”. However, there are some mothers who are emotionally affected that may result in their kids ending in the wrong path because of depression at home.
Financial - Divorce is costly and divorced families are often more expensive to maintain. Working mothers will have to adjust their financial planning as the husbands financial support may not be consistent. These usually resulted in most mothers getting involved in direct sales or second job to provide for the family. For the non-working wives who are less adventurous, they will often end up a situation where they may compromise their morals. But I can see most women do not belong to those of YESTERDAY. Survival is a challenge to them and I see some successful women like Pauline who is a divorcee who started her home business making cakes and gradually makes her way to raise all her children by herself. She now owns her bakery shop and her three children graduated in different careers and Pauline has become a role model for the “single mothers.” Helen Reed is one single mother who has survived the storm from Sewing Buttons to owing 12 Boutiques in Kuala Lumpur.
Divorce is an opportunity for new careers, pursuing self studies and pushing their current lifestyle forward. It is a choice to accept what is right now, what one can do and know what it’s best to do and look for whatever opportunities that comes along the way to make things better and to get through the storm.
Divorce is a process with a beginning or an ending to a life is all up to what choices we make.
Life goes on after a divorce. But what sort of life? For a man, his social life is not much affected unless he divorced because his wife left him for another man or his wife cheated on him. Then he may feel rather ashamed among his men friends. However, the main difference would be at home.
When he is at home, the moment he returns from work, he would notice that the house is in a mess and he has to clean up if he is the tidy type. If not he would leave it as it is and tomorrow, he will return to a greater mess! If he wants to clean up, he would not know where to start and he would not know where the gadgets are. He may find the vacuum cleaner but he may not get all the parts fitted together for it to be most efficient. If the bag is full, he doesn’t know where the spares are or even how to change it.
Should he manage to get the dust and rubbish into a bag, he may not know when he has to take out the garbage for collection. If he leaves it outside on a non-collection day, the dogs will drag all his rubbish around the neighbourhood. A couple of used condoms may be strewn across his old spinster neighbour’s house!
Then he looks into his fridge and low and behold can you imagine what he will or will not find in it? He may not even find a bottle of water to drink but he may find lots of beer or lots of stale and mouldy leftovers! He may find a foul odour but he may not know where it is coming from. The food he bought yesterday were hard frozen and he has to defrost it first before he can even heat it up or cook it, if he knows how to cook, that is.
He may resort to eating bread, biscuits, instant mee, even that is beyond him at times. His best alternative would be to go out for dinner or if he is sick of the polluted air of the city, buy home something already prepared to eat. He has to eat it all alone out of the package as he is unable to find any clean crockery and cutlery as he had used all of them and did not wash any.
Next he deals with the laundry. He has spewed all his used clothes all over his bedroom, drabbed on chair backs, on his bed, on the floor, all the hooks in the room and bathroom, some under his bed even. He opens his cupboard and could not find a clear t-shirt or a pair of clean briefs. How does the washing machine operate (if he still has one, after all, the ex-wife is entitled to half of everything and this may be part of his ex-wife’s half). Where and how much detergent to put in? Too little and there is no suds and too much the machine will be overflowing with foam! He will soon have to go out and buy new items which might very well include disposable briefs!
Coming home to a quiet house may be a blessing for most people, but to a recently divorced man who is used to his ex-wife’s nagging and his children screaming, it would be very strange indeed. The silence may shock him and he turns on the TV and the CD players just to get some noise. The loneliness sets in. To avoid it, he calls a few friends, but they may not be in or busy with their own thing. “No, not tonight, dear!” may very well be the answer to all his phone calls for a date. He sits alone in the living room watching a stupid programme on TV.
This is a realistic situation immediately after a divorce. Of course, we adapt after some time. We become better organized as a ‘bachelor’ again. We may even enjoy life as it is. However, it takes time to adapt. Most men would look forward to taking their children (if any) out for an exciting outing and send them home again. It would be fun without the unnecessary encumbrances. However, there will also be the agonising questions children toss at you, “Dad, when are you coming home to us?” How do you answer that? “I’m never coming home to you and your mother again!” would that be what you will say? Most likely you will say, “Soon, dear, soon”.
Many men remarry fast unlike women. Why? Men cannot live without a woman if he can find one that is foolish enough to have him! So men, enjoy your marriage while you have it, and when you don’t, try to get into one as quickly as you can!
Yes, divorce is like a fashion trend in to-day’s society. I did a random survey and surprisingly, I found out the rates of divorce is quite high among old couples who opts to stay out of their marriage that sucks. Mrs. Lim, 65 says, “Life is too short, if my husband wants to keep Amy, let him. I don’t have to slave myself to take care of him.”
In the earlier topics why men or women cheat, a fling for pleasure is not to be taken lightly as it will definitely develop into a relationship and once the fire is lighted, emotional feelings cannot be control and this leads to divorce. Sally, 50 told me when she found out that her husband cheated on her, she said, “What’s the point to keep the marriage and pretend that nothing happens!”
I do agree with Valiant Knight that Lack of communication is one of the key factors that cause a divorce. Ann said, “I do not know what is happening to our marriage. Every time there is a conflict, he just switched me off.” Expectations were not clear and discussion about their feelings was not carried out. Sometimes I do experience that myself, how my husband expects me to read his mind when he is angry with me. Generally, if husbands and wives do not communicate, there will be bound to have a lot of hidden skeletons that will shock each other. Lack of communication can get worse if this is not being sorted out.
Sex is an essential aspect of marriage. For older couples, sexual dysfunction or being disinterested may begin and if the couple is unable to resolve this, it may become a reason for divorce. Valiant Knight had mentioned about that and men can easily seek sexual needs with any women and of course they have to pay a price. So ladies out there especially those who had reached menopause, it’s still part of the deal to provide sexual needs to your husband if you want to keep him.
The other reason could be Financial Issues – Money can be a possible cause of disagreement between couples. Particularly housewives not getting enough to manage the household, so they source for other income like direct sales. And when the wives get too involved in top selling programs that may take them away for outstation trips, that’s where trouble starts when they meet other men and get involved in relationships.
Various forms of Abuse usually allow the wives to take the bold steps by starting their own business with a Woman Support Group to help them to be independent. Abuse can come in the form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Drug, alcohol and excessive gambling can become detrimental to the marriage. With more women awareness program, these women can make a choice to stay or get out of an abusive marriage.
Having affairs of course is the main reason most wives want to get out from their marriages. Lucy, 45 said to me, “its better that I let him go because at the back of my mind, his heart is no longer with me. So what’s the point of keeping him?”
Incompatibility – I do agree with Valiant Knight about his view on some couples not able to keep to a standard of a high profile lifestyle. For an example, Lydia, a lawyer felt out of place with her husband, a mechanic on official functions. Due to frequent official functions, they were not able to find a common ground intellectually and emotionally resulting in stressful situations which lead on to a feeling of jealousy on the part of the husband.
Divorce is ugly but what’s the point in keeping the marriage just to “save face” when things just don’t work out anymore? Husbands have to sacrifice the hot meals, the laundry and the daily needs unless he finds another replacement that has a price tag attached. Although divorce women are still a threat to the society, most women are quite happy without men in their lives and if they have, they want to keep them as “soul mates” only!
Divorce – the legal dissolution of a marriage is such a common thing nowadays compared to what it was in the past. When we were young, our parents would not even use this word when they talk about so and so having broken up with his or her spouse. It is a taboo word. Nowadays, young people flaunt the word like a branded name. “I’m a divorcee,” they would proclaim as if telling people they are wearing a Rolex watch! It is in fashion! Let us examine the consequences of such an action.
Many people still have the opinion that it is the man that is the initiator of a divorce. Wrong! As I have pointed out in earlier articles, the women have to bear a big part of the onus, too. Most man would have their flings outside marriage but the idea of divorcing their spouses if far from their minds. However, it is the women who when they find out that their man has been committing adultery who would want a divorce.
Why is this so? A man wants to have his cake and eat it! Most of the time when he is out having a good time with a lady companion, he is out for a good time for a moment. [Of course there are some who find the situation more inviting than that at home. We will discuss this below.] He hides the flings from his spouse if possible and should the good wife finds out from a busybody friend, hell breaks loose and usually the man would deny it ever happened or make excuses and try to play it down all for the sake of trying to save his flimsy marriage. Surprisingly, most women fall for the lame excuses because in their hearts they do not want to lose the husband for various reasons. It may be because of financial insecurity, it may be real true love for the husband, it may be for the sake of the children, it may be to save face and so on. However, will she forget or forgive him even if there is no immediate divorce? The answer is usually, no. This becomes the catalyst for and ultimate showdown that would lead to a divorce at a later stage.
Most men would be at a lost if their wives divorce them. Men being men are practically poor home managers and can do very little for themselves if left alone, so a divorced man is left in solitude and rather incompetent to look after his own daily needs! [There are exceptions.] Also, a man who is divorced sort of feels he is useless and it is a morale deflation! His fellow men would look at him and say he is a failure. Many men would not admit to this. Worst still, if it is the wife who had an affair and divorce him for another man! Most men would be devastated, his world would crumple and he will be a pathetic sight to behold! Many run whimpering to another woman to seek solace and repeat the vicious cycle of failed marriages!
When a man can no longer tolerate his wife for various reasons, he would usually find a standby first and until and unless he knows that he prefers this spare tyre, he would not make the move to divorce his wife. Reasons such as young children would be foremost in his mind. But should he find the new relationship more ideal and there is sufficient pressure put on him by this other woman to divorce his wife, he is most likely to do so.
The main reason why a man cannot tolerate his present wife is usually related to adultery. This is the number one reason men divorce their wives. Secondly, it is usually when the wife cannot satisfy him (in his usual selfish way of making love). Even for this second reason, he may not divorce his wife if he can satisfy his lust outside. Third, a man divorces his wife because his wife is unable to live up to his social level. Imagine a Managing Director of a company having a wife that looks like a house maid! Some women neglect themselves so much after marriage that they become so different in looks and behaviour before marriage. Don’t they deserve to be chucked out? Finally, complete breakdown of communications between the couple is the final straw. If two persons cannot bring up things in a sensible manner of conversation, what is there left? Sign language or body language only?
Monday, July 13, 2009
Topics :- Eastern Times Sdn Bhd Published on :-
What men expect from their spouse? 11 July 2009
Why Women Cheat 04 July 2009
Why Men Cheat 27 June 2009
Men Yesterday and Today 20 June 2009
Women Yesterday and Today 13 June 2009
Relation before and after marriage 06 June 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Similarly when a woman selects a man to marry, she wants the best attributes from her Prince Charming. But then fairy tales doesn’t exist anymore because it does not work anymore in this world. A good example that does proof the theory is Princess Diana.
When I was young, I expect my man to be romantic, at least good-looking and rich enough to provide me with security but when I got married, I can achieve only 50% due to circumstances and somehow the marriage still works because I am still married to the same man.
I asked a few men from the older generation who had been married for more than 30 years and this is the findings I got from them. Most of them want a good team mate that does not cause any conflict in the family. The younger generation has different sets of opinions. There are many factors but I will focus on the five basic ingredients men expect their spouses to be:-
Presentable Appearance - Mr. Lim’s marriage was an arranged one; he is lucky that his wife that was chosen for him is presentable and can be shown around. Unlike Mr. Loh, he always makes excuse that his wife (fat and not presentable) does not like to go out. It makes a man feel good) when their wives are being admired. For those that are still young, beauty does not matter; the attraction is just too strong for each other when they think they are “in love.”
Home-oriented - My own husband already complains that I am away from home too often. Of course most husbands expect their spouses to stay at home, clean, cook and set the house in order. Whether they are full time housewives or working, it’s expected of the spouse to be stationed in the kitchen and come out with dinner. So, men what’s wrong in giving in a helping hand when the working spouse had to rush to get dinner ready? It’s a different setting now with the younger couple helping each other.
Independence – man expect his wife not to bother him with little petty things. Sebastian said to me, “That’s why I insist my wife to learn to drive!” I know of one working wife who can bother her husband for little things. Even when he was at a meeting the poor secretary had to run errands for the wife. Financially independence is also one of the key factors that most husbands prefer their wives to have.
Obedience – Men still prefer the traditional trend to manage their spouses – “You obey!” I don’t fully support this statement because obedience shows no freedom of choice. A good exercise for every husband is to try to show your wife some respect. A major part of showing respect is to avoid the trap of being hyper-critical. Most men like to criticize the way their wives dress, cook meals, park the car or walk the dog. You might think you are instructing your wife, but you are actually showing disrespect for the decisions she makes. By criticising her you have contempt for whatever she is doing, that you are treating her like a child or even as a pet. Showing a lack of respect is one of the surest ways to kill off a marriage.
Loyalty – I wonder why wives have to stay loyal if husbands do not. Mr. Stephen Lim said to me, “I expect my wife to take care of me when I am sick, no question asked, that’s the reason I married her. For better or worse, until death do us part, that’s the deal”.
Good communication is one of the keys of a healthy marriage; good communication requires you to tell her how you are affected. Don't focus on her actions, but on the consequences of those actions. If you simply accuse her of undermining you or being insensitive, it automatically puts her on the defensive. When she's defensive about her actions, good communication becomes all but impossible.
Valiant Knight had brought up some good points of things he expect from a wife. Any woman can do that and satisfy his man if the husband plays his part too.
When a man selects a woman to marry, he is already mesmerized by that person in the first place before he would pop the question of marriage. Therefore, unless it is a shotgun marriage, he would think that he has found the ideal person to marry! Sad to say, what a person in love sees or experiences with a woman who is possibly equally in love with him, differ from reality! Young people during courtship (refer to our earlier articles) see things through rose tinted glasses and only wake up after some time after marriage (some after the wedding night, others take longer).
I am sure many men would have a prepared list of what they want their future spouses to be and would use this as a guideline to search for one. Eventually, failing to find one, they would start to compromise on the list and accept lower standards. What is the lowest standard would they expect from a wife? I will deal with this low standard first and if I have the space, write about higher standards men expect from their wives.
The minimum requirement is that she is a woman where sex is concerned. I mentioned sex first because most men marry for sex! Sex for his pleasure and sex for children! In modern society, most men may be fortunate enough to have a sample of this but some don’t get the chance and it is rather risky to accept without first sampling! So, on the wedding night, some of these men who bought the figure of speech ‘pig in the poke’ will have to poke (pun intended) and find out! If they are not satisfied, then the marriage in already on the rocks! Dissatisfaction because of things like a wife being frigid, rigid, etc. will be a major problem. Many will forgive even if she is not a virgin but can satisfy the men beyond his lower basic standards.
Secondly, men would expect a wife to be able to cook a simple meal for him. I don’t think there is a man in this world that will not expect to eat some meals at home. Worse come to the worst, he would expect breakfast some mornings! If a wife cannot make a proper half-boil egg (some really can’t even after years of trying) and not burn a toast (even with automatic toaster – wrong setting) or make a decent tasting cup of coffee, then again the marriage is doomed!
Thirdly, a man expects his wife to produce children! If in the first few years they fail to come up with an off-spring, they would be patient, even the man, after a few years, they will start to look at each other and start placing the blame! A check-up would do the trick to find out who is to be blamed! If it is the woman, this will be an excuse, maybe not for a divorce, but for a second wife to produce off-springs. If the woman cannot take this, lo and behold, a divorce is imminent!
Fourthly, a man expects the wife to be a good home manager (not gender bias so not going to use ‘manageress’)! Yes, I give you a certain amount of money, you manage! Wow! Tall order, with rising prices, greater demands, etc. how do you expect a wife to manage if the amount of money from day one of marriage till now remains the same? Well, a good home manager should know how to negotiate for increases accordingly, right? If supplementary budgets must be provided all the time, a man would be irritated and find this is an excuse to dislike the wife.
Sixthly, a wife has to be a nurse or better still, a doctor (even though she isn’t by profession). When a man is ill, he is the most difficult person to cater to! He will groan at the slightest pain (imagine if he should go through child birth!) and demands for attention with the lowest fever. If a wife cannot see to his needs in such a tragic moment, she is as good as the garbage waiting to be thrown out. But if she performs above par, she is usually remembered and treasured. After all, she has saved his life (a man always thinks he is going to die when he is slightly ill)!
So, you see, a man has only six things he expects from his wife. Why can’t any woman satisfy any man?
Saturday, July 4, 2009
PUBLISHED IN EASTERN TIMES SDN BHD ON 04 JULY 2009
Lady in red says….
Valiant Knight seemed to feel that women are at fault for cheating on their spouse. It takes two hands to clap and they are mature enough to make choices, no one should be blamed except themselves.
Men usually cheat for physical reasons and women for emotional reasons. Very often, the husbands are not aware of their wives' affairs as they are consumed by in pursuing their own goals. The reasons are similar to men's reasons for infidelity. Women cheat on their husbands for various reasons like excitement, passion, boredom with their marriage or being neglected by the husband.
There is some truth to that, but when I asked some women to share why they strayed from their husbands. Here are some of their stories:
Unappreciated -- Jane 35, a secretary said her reason for cheating on her husband was that she was taken for granted too often. According to Jane, "My husband is not able to appreciate what I bring to the marriage in terms of sex, thrift and housekeeping skills. He is too busy trying to make money and so I have been receiving attention from my boss at work and one thing led to the other, so I enjoy my attention at the workplace."
Lack of excitement - Annie, 55, a businesswoman, admits that she has a great companionate relationship with her husband of 20 years but, she says, "I want sexual excitement which he does not offer nor is willing to try." She said that she was so bored with the marriage that she resorted to Internet dating. One day, by chance, a younger man admired her at the courier service center, they exchanged numbers and pho\ne conversations took on a sexual nature. She felt young and the excitement of attracting a younger man makes her life more exciting. The outstation trips became more frequent.
Lack of communication - Mary 30, a teacher married for just four years, describes her marriage as a “living hell", because her husband is very autocratic and does not communicate well. There are frequent fights and her husband fails to understand how his wife feels. This is leading to several other problems which will eventually lead to many other problems and the marriage is shaky right now. "It is hard to express my sexual feelings and he does know that he is not satisfying me, so I had to find sexual satisfaction from one of my many colleagues on training course."
Lonely - Lucy, 45, a housewife is well provided for by her husband and she should be satisfy with her lifestyle managing the house hold with house maid. Lucy said, "He is always travelling and when he is home, it is meetings, meetings, meetings!" And when he return home, he is usually tired and pay no attention to her and her effort of making herself looked good is a waste of effort. Lucy became lonely and temperamental and leads her to find comfort elsewhere by seeking out another man for happiness. She found a friend who is a tuition teacher giving tuition to her children. The daily tuition activity became a more excited event for both of them. Lucy said she have to play the game until she cannot take it anymore.
Revenge - Amy, 40, a nurse became unfaithful to her husband out of revenge, because she found out that her husband was sleeping around. Amy feels that since he chose that path, she will go there as well just to get back to him to get some revenge, an Egyptian doctor who was posted here, and being lonely without his family makes it easier for both of them to develop a relationship that may not lead them anywhere, but what does Amy cares?
Thrill - At some points, I do agree with Valiant Knight that some women simply cheat on their husbands for the thrill of not getting caught, or the feeling that they are getting away with something.
Self-esteem - Sex can be an instant pick-me-up; a self-esteem booster that makes women feel sexier, more beautiful and more loved. There are ways of making your spouse feels secure and good by paying attention to her and not holding back the compliments. Women needed to be appreciated, why let other men compliment your wife and you know that your wife looks good but you just can’t open your mouth and compliment her.
Predictable pattern - According to Michele Langley, author of Women's Infidelity, women's extra-marital relationships today follow a very predictable pattern like pushing men for commitment, getting what they want, losing interest in sex, becoming attracted to someone else, becoming angry and resentful and resulting them to start cheating. They blame their partners for their behavior and eventually, after making themselves and everyone around them miserable for an indefinite but usually, long period of time, they end their relationships or marriages.
So it’s all about choices men and women had to make!
From personal experience, I would say the main reason is that they met someone they could not resist! Sounds similar to why men cheat, right? Women cheat for almost the same reasons as men! Shocking? Not true? Believe me, it is often the case.
Of course the underlying factors may not all be the same in each case. I know of a woman who cheated because she was unhappy with her spouse. She was unhappy with her spouse in many ways. Basically, he was too involved with his work and spent very little time with her and the children. Secondly, he was a selfish lover. The type that would get his orgasm and them turn over to snore! Thirdly, she has to put up a false front because of the nature of her spouse’s work.
Finally, she had the opportunity to work with a man that she found was all that her husband wasn’t and given ample opportunity to work and be with him most of the time, they touched physically and an explosion resulted and the next thing you know, they were making love like old married couple! Here too, thing were different from her previous experiences. This cheating relationship ended of course in both the woman and the man divorcing their respective spouses!
In another case, there was this woman who was just one step below this man in the office hierarchy and since they share a common office that is quite secluded (opportunity) she did everything to attract this man’s attention to the extent of even seducing him by exposing herself to him (temptation). So, this man eventually took advantage of her and she was all too willing to be involved (cooperation). The reason: opportunity to rise in her position of work.
The next true case I want to bring out is one where the woman having reached a position of power finds that there is still one final challenge for her. She uses her position and power to get herself a man of equal power. Her husband, a good fellow, is rather a weakling and rather unimpressive, whereas she was a big boss wielding lots of authority in work. She found another fellow worker from another branch equally strong and powerful in nature. She liked what she sees in him so much that at every opportunity they were working together under some pretext. Eventually, they were at a conference outstation together and it didn’t need a spark to set them off! This went on for years without their respective spouses knowing. It was well controlled as people in power know how to control situations!
From these three true to life situations, you will have to agree with me that women of today are no longer isolated and confined at home. They have ample opportunities at work especially to meet someone they can take up as a lover, either for permanent sake or as a temporary situation just to please themselves.
More shocking for men, even if you leave your wives at home, don’t think you are safe from a cheating woman! The final example of a cheating woman I want to bring out is that of an uneducated home maker. Her house was in a secluded area and since she has no means of going out to shop for her daily necessities she has to ask for delivery. (I know how Western storybooks and TV series have portrayed this theme but this is a true life situation in Malaysia!) Unfortunately, most of the delivery personnel are men. It was no difficult task to invite each in for a cooling drink in our hot weather and after a cool drink heat up the man with her seductive ways!
So, why do women cheat? They are just like men, too. They are bored, fed-up with their partners, they want to impress, they want to convince themselves they are still attractive and wanted, they want to experience new thrills, they want to compare men, they want out! Also, because in some cases they also know that their men cheat on them (as pointed out last week that men cheat because their wives first cheat on them).
All is fair in love and war!
Monday, June 29, 2009
After the topics of Relationship before and after marriage, Women and Men of Yesterday and Today, these are going to be related issues that are very common to men. Like it or not men cheat. The percentages of men being unfaithful to their wives are higher than women being unfaithful to their husbands and only about a third of marriages survive affairs. It is harder for women to get over the emotional stress, to forgive, redevelop the trust and try to make the marriage more intimate and satisfying again. Although women are more forgiving, they are still hurt but are forced to put up a brave face in front of the community.
Having a perception that men involved with women are more attractive than their spouse is not really true. Men cheat because of the following reasons:-
Unhappy Marriage: - This usually prompts many men to go for an affair. Their lives are being controlled by the nagging wives and they have to tell lies about work involvement outside. As a married woman, I thought that I should give my husband his privacy and not questioned him about his movement but then it may give him opportunities to stray. In most cases lack of communication in marriage leads a man to run into the arms of another woman. It always starts with a casual relationship, slowly developing into a deep relationship and gradually getting sexually involved, by then it’s too late to get out.
Loneliness: - Don’t leave your man alone. This usually happens when they are away on a job. Another woman can easily fill in the gap if he is left alone too long.
Sex: Sex is one of the main reasons. Most couples do not want to discuss it frankly. When they have problem in their sex life, they do not talk about it resulting in their husbands’ sexual needs not being fulfilled. According to a marriage counsellor, most men cheat are due to not getting their sexual needs met.
Ego: During one of our husband/wife arguments, my husband once said to me, “You think no woman wants me. I can find one if I want to!” I guess men have very fragile egos and when complimented by other women, they feel great and want to prove to themselves that they are still attractive to the opposite sex.
Money: Money is one of the main factors. My husband once told me that if only he has money, he can have any woman he wants. He said only money can attract women. I do agree with him because material things do matter. They are willing to spend on their girlfriends when they think they are “in love.”
A Relationship with No Commitment: Men often looked for women they can turn to and often jump into such relationships looking for some “fun”. No matter how good or faithful their spouses are, many men tend to think that having one woman is not enough. One of my uncles is one example of one playing a double role in front and at the back of his wife. His wife is contended with all the attention given her by all the “darling” and “honey” calls in front of her relatives.
Men are Men: Many men think they are superior to Woman and get away by doing anything they please, breaking the sacred marriage vows they took at the time of marriage and not caring about the feelings of their spouses. Majority of men are selfish and they try to get what they want and it does not matter who they hurt while doing so.
One thing Men must understand is that they are going to get caught at one point or another. It may be the scent of a different perfume, some fallen hair, a lipstick mark or their different behaviour. But women are smart; many men have lost their money, property, health and wealth by opting for relationships outside marriage. But that still does not prevent them from doing it again and again. After all, Men are men!After years of marriage, everything is taken for granted and couples tend to stop appreciating each other. When that is absent, can you blame a man for cheating?
A simple enough reason would be, because women cheat! It is a matter of two can play the game! Many women would like to put the blame solidly on the men. My partner, the Lady in Red points a finger directly at men and says that they are basically the cheating type! I would agree with her to a certain degree that men basically would be the first to cheat on their wives/lovers/boyfriends and what have you. However, in today’s modern society, sometimes the women would be the first to cheat. Remember, who fell to Satan’s (The Snake) temptation first in the Garden of Eden?
We have discussed the frustrations of married women in our earlier article and given a scenario where the wife is frustrated with a husband that is no longer romantic or caring then we find a time bomb that is ready to explode the moment the detonator is hit! Thus, when the husband is away working to his bones to earn enough to feed his family, having no time to play around with other women or is so worn out by his work until he is no longer appealing to other women, a man enters the life of the frustrated home-maker and the fuse is lit! Karboom! There is this spontaneous explosion of lust and the woman cheats on her husband!
Usually, men who go for frustrated housewives are single Casanova type, so they do not cheat on their spouses as they have none! Thus, it is now the attached wife that is involved. Most women know how to ‘forget’ the slight indiscretion but not all can and will feel guilty and eventually ‘confess’ to their husbands! Boy, can you imagine the effect on him? It would be worse than the shockwaves of the atomic bomb dropped at Hiroshima! The poor husband is devastated. He has been cuckolded! What can be more degrading? So, he tells the world that he wants to get back at her and the best way possible is to have an affair too. Once he sets out on this path, he is on a journey of no return. One ‘conquest’ will be followed easily by the next and it goes on!
A man who cheats because his wife first cheated is the kind that will go on cheating till the very end! He is a ‘wronged’ guy and he has no remorse about cheating the woman who cheated him or any other women. To him, they all cheat after all!
The next category of men who cheat are those who are frustrated with their wives because their wives care more for the children, the home and things domesticated except bedroom activities and looking after the husband well! I find it strange that a woman who can take care of her children so well, manage the curtains, cushions, floor and food in the house cannot find time to please and satisfy her husband! Is it that difficult?
Once a man cannot find meaning and pleasure with his spouse, he would definitely look for this elsewhere. It is easy to come by these to fulfil his needs. Any pup, karaoke lounge, bar, nightclub, etc. would provide him with hostesses ever willing to fulfil all his fantasies as long as he is willing to spend money! Others who do not want to spend money of different hostesses each night may look for a special one (a constant companion [don’t like the term ‘mistress’] and start a second home! This home is different from his original home because there are initially no children, he gets all the attention of his woman as he has so little time with her anyway and so the best situation arises from such a relationship. Since he is not legally tied to this woman, he is free to leave anytime and the woman knows it and would serve him on hands and feet! Again, he has to spend extra money!
Thus, we can also point to money as the root of all reasons for men to stray from their wives. If you have the financial means you can buy ‘comfort’ if not you just walk out and try to find another. Even in such a situation, you still have to pay alimony and children maintenance to the old family and it will cost you a bomb!
So gentlemen, cheat at your own peril!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
PUBLISHED ON 20 JUNE 2009 , EASTERN TIMES SDN BHD
Since the beginning of time, men have been given a place of importance and dominance over women. Adam was first made and Eve was derived from him! Cain and Able were the first offspring of Adam and Eve and recorded as such in the Holy Books. In most civilizations, males were featured as most dominant. A Chinese family cannot imagine not having a son to carry on the family’s name. Therefore it is not strange that even to this day, men always feel that they are the superior gender.
However, this is a generalized concept and actual dominance of the male gender is not something that is guaranteed! How often in history, legends and in myths we find the fall of the dominant male! Cain and Abel saw the murder of Abel by Cain and thus the disfavour shown to Cain after that! It is so common for Emperors of male origin being subjugated to the dominance of Empress Dowagers or their Empresses! Such male rulers were merely puppets of the ladies behind the men. It is also not uncommon for societies to adopt female oriented power houses. A common example is the Menangkabaus. Many remote tribes and societies in today’s world still practice this matriarchal form of society.
Why do men in the past dominate the family and society? Again we look at the respective roles of primitive civilizations. Women bear children and must look after them in their dwelling places. The men go out to gather and hunt food! Outdoor activities make men basically stronger to weather the environment and hunt down and kill fierce animals. Thus men developed the hunting skills and killer instinct, making them a dominant gender as compared to motherly image of homemakers who are basically women.
So long as men go out to gather and hunt, they maintain this dominance in physical skills and strength. However, in some societies, women played and are still playing an important role in providing for their families’ needs. This is so when farming and domestication took place. Women could cultivate and look after livestock! The role of the gatherer and hunter of men becomes less important. In many societies, men became docile and sort entertainment to overcome their boredom! Thus they fly kites and play with tops. Many games originated as a result. This left men with the solitary role of sperm producers to propagate mankind! Not very attractive a description of the He-man!
If we look at today’s society, anything that a man can do to earn and support a family, a woman can easily do it too. Given such equality, women no longer look up to men as superior. Therefore, men have lost the psychological advantage. Through centuries of seeking fun and frolic when idle men folks played games and sort out women, men have grown weaker and less efficient in many areas. Today’s men has become lazy and not diligent, especially in the field of education. If we look at our local universities and most universities, we find that women are dominant and do better unless suppressed by social and religious controls. What are our men doing in such places? They play games, go to parties and orgies and make fools of themselves (with exceptions).
When they come out to work, because of the dominance of males in higher places, they are given such status to the detriment of companies and government departments. They lack the knowledge and efficiencies as well as the will to make things work successfully. Thus, many large companies fall and businesses collapse because of inefficient male leadership at the very top. On the other hand we see women CEOs steering their companies to greater and greater successes! Today’s men are a faint reflection of their ancient counterparts.
To make matters worse, today’s men are allowed the freedom to practise something that was tabooed long ago – homosexuality! Many societies are coming to terms with male and male relationships and even marriages! This erodes the one and final fundamental role of males – to produce children. No male and male marriage can produce children! When men degrade into this form of activity, what is left of his role? In such a relationship, one of the two must play the role of the women! Thus half of the society that practises homosexuality to the extent of getting married is no longer actively maintaining the male role! Instead, they are no better than females!
Don’t get me wrong! I am not against homosexuals! I believe they have a right to express themselves freely as anyone else, but I am here discussing the roles of men yesterday and today. When homosexuals was the exception and not so common in the past, men usually (especially in public) acted like men but today when it is condoned, many men are now acting and even looking like women!
A review of popular artistes would show that the cute, sweet looking males are more popular as their fans are females. It is a mistake to think that women go for macho looking men! How often we see screaming girls (especially teenage girls) going berserk at sweet looking males! These same people would make a manly man puke yet they are popular among women! Men are still playing their roles to attract women to them so that they fulfil the ultimate role of reproduction! However, with society freely allowing homosexual activities, many man also fall for them, thus disrupting the natural role of reproduction!
Where will all these lead to? Will women find a way to reproduce humankind on their own? Do they merely ‘milk’ men of their sperms and fertilized themselves to reproduce? Where are we head for? Your guess is as good as mine.
Over the years, I have many good and bad experiences trying to understand men. I hope this discussion will give me a clearer picture of the characteristics and behaviours of men.
Men were given an authority on everything on earth since the beginning of time. I agreed with Valiant Knight that males are dominant and since then they live in the level of authority and ego is their number one in their list of attributes. Even surnames have to be maintained to keep in touch with the generations of their forefathers.
In olden days, men were the rulers and decision makers in every workplace and household. Most top posts were held by men and there were no questions asked even though there were potential female candidates.
Every first born male is a blessing and females are considered a curse in the family. Especially among the Chinese, the males would get the properties and have the rights to carry down the name of succeeding generations. Opportunities, especially in term of education are given to the males. When a man gets married, he expects the woman to move into the man’s family home and served the whole household. She holds no authority.
You don’t expect men to do any household activities as they claim that it is the woman’s job to cook and to clean.
When men go out for social activities, women have to accept that they are part doing business.
It’s just a simple theory – Men command, Women obey!
I do agree with Valiant Knight in most of the facts he had highlighted on the men being the domineering figure in the family and in society in the past.
The influence of homosexuality is no longer a taboo. “What choice do I have?” said Mrs. Chan, one of my aunty whose son is a gay and is living with a man.
Yes, men are fearful of women, some of them do, there’s no doubt about it. The fact is that men are human, too. They feel deeply, they care passionately, and they want to be respected, and loved.
As we can see it today, the roles of men have changed. We have men working under lady bosses; in the medical field, we have male nurses that were once only meant for women. We have men who didn’t mind to being kept by older women who are single and rich.
The roles that men have to play are now expanding and they share with the women many of the roles once reserved for women. We do hear of men becoming house-husbands, staying at home to care for the children while more ambitious wives go to work without becoming the butt of jokes and being mocked by friends.
Men are like a fine wine. They all start out like grapes and it’s the women job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you’d like to have dinner with.
To conclude, whether we are men or women, we all want to be respected and valued for whom we really are, free from the old limitations and role-playing. Men and women should open themselves to bridge the old and new age. We call it the magic of differences, made possible by genuine curiosity and sincere listening to know the human truth beyond the old clichés about:”all any woman wants….” And “...that’s how men are.”
Monday, June 15, 2009
The Lady is from East Malaysia and the Knight is from the Peninsula.
Their writings in this column will e based on the real facts of life in this society.
They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBLISHED ON EASTERN TIMES COMMUNITY'S SECTION - 13 JUNE 2009
I must agree with Lady in Red that women is a gift from God to man. However, her sense of curiosity practically ruined the comfortable life God granted us in the Garden of Eden. One of women’s greatest weaknesses is the inability to fall into temptation and therefore women from before and until today do not usually put themselves in a situation where they can be tempted as Eve was tempted by the snake. Given such a situation, most women would fall. (So would most men!)
Thus, mankind, in order to protect womenfolk from temptations that would ruin the family institutions have always kept up the pressure on them by making them feel subservient to men! If women are kept at home and unexposed to the temptations of the world, then the family institution stands a better chance to survive. This will ensure than mankind will dominate the world as it is doing today with so many billions of us around. Women are kept as baby-makers (in the past they bear easily half a dozen children compared to the one or two of today’s world.) They are kept as home managers (a nice term in today’s language) and feed the children and husbands.
In the past, a women’s role is that of a child-bearer and a home keeper. Today, as I pointed out in last week’s article, since the suffragettes’ activities in Europe and America, even women of Malaysia are demanding for equal opportunities and rights. They want to be like men! I am not here to discuss whether this is right or wrong. There is no such thing as right or wrong when it comes to this issue. The question I want to raise here is whether it is suitable for our Malaysian society. You give us your feedbacks.
When economic activities were limited and demands for labour were not great, it was all right to keep the women at home to clean, cook, and care for the babies. However, when industrialization progressed, the demand for labour saw the influx of women working in the factories, in some case, taking along their children. It was to the advantage of the industrialists to exploit women’s labour and pay them lower salaries by exploiting the idea that women are less able than men being the so-called weaker sex. This concept, to exploit the cheap labour of women at that time, stuck on till today in many societies. However, with the women’s rights fighters, many Western nations capitulated and improved the rights of women as a whole, not only in work places but how the law treated them.
Today, the world is not similar in the way women are treated still. In developed nations they are given practically equal rights. In less and undeveloped nations, they still are second class citizens. In some countries, religious taboos and practices prevent them from progressing. They are not allowed to go to school, they have customs that make them subservient to men and in general they are sometimes treated no better than cattle in some tribes.
In Malaysia, I see a mixture of both such situations. Our women can be in top executive positions in the public and private sector yet at the same time some of these are still subject to the control of their husbands to such an extent that they cannot choose to wear what they want and cannot go out to meet others! How is it that we have this paradox? A large proportion of our ladies are governed by religious and traditional and cultural rules! We cannot and maybe should not imitate Western societies! Again I leave it to the general public to respond here.
If you ask me, I would say that women are equal to men both physically and mentally. In some cases one group may out do the other. There will be some men who are definitely stronger physically and some women stronger than some weak men. Likewise, some women are smarter than some men. It is a matter of given the right incentive, motivation and opportunities. Malaysian women today are lucky in that they are free to go to school and university. They are employed based on meritocracy by commercial and government departments. Yet, there is still some discrimination. If not, one would definitely find most of the government departments headed by ladies!
Treating women as the weaker sex by a segment of our society has actually resulted in the men in this society to be less capable. They cannot even do the basic necessities to keep alive if they are without a woman! Yet they profess to be stronger. By being deceived to be the stronger gender, they allowed women to overtake them in the field of studies and workplace! They are too relaxed to the extent of being lazy! Thus, women in their society improved because of their own fault. Today, more of their women are university graduates and working in government positions at all levels. The men are street thugs or kite and top players. Those that are gainfully employed do not show the quality of diligence that their women folks show!
So, if you look at women of yesterday/yesteryear and today, it is not the same all over the world. Even in our own country, there are vast differences. If you ask whether the trend should be to give women more opportunities and rights, I would definitely agree. It will benefit our economy. But on the other hand, unless men are willing to take over the role of women as home managers while their wives become income earners and breadwinners, society and mankind as a whole would suffer. Reproduction and consistent growth of our numbers would be reduced and one day we may become extinct like a large percentage of most animals do!
When GOD first created the world, there is already a sign of discrimination. Men are to be in controlled and Women have to obey. From the beginning, the woman is already at fault when she was blamed for man’s fall when he ate the forbidden fruit. Until today, they are still eating the forbidden fruits! Adam had a choice, if he had made the wrong choice, why should a woman be blamed?
In the past, most women are considered as child bearers and are of lesser value to society.
In the olden days in most Asian countries girls are often put to death or sold as slaves. They preferred cows which are more useful in giving milk for the household. Men can have many wives or concubines and women had no right to object.
Women are deprived of education and careers and are often forced into marriages when sometimes they were abused by their husbands. Women often suffer in silence and give in to their husbands’ demands in order to keep the family together whether they liked it or not.
These are some of the remarks from the men when I put forward the question: “What do you think of women today?”
With the influence from western cultures, women have started to grow and have more freedom in expression. They come in different and better packages now like how they dress, make-ups, behave, and think. They are more courageous.
A famous quote says: “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” still has a major impact on world affairs. We can see today how Hilary Clinton worked her way up to become United State’s Secretary of State and she commands the attention of the world.
Women still hold a great influence among mankind. The advancement of women is a very complex issue which is related to cultural values, religious beliefs, traditional mindsets and numerous other factors that tend to be reflected in polices and regulations. Today in Malaysia, we hear of more women acquiring top positions in the corporate world.
I am proud to be born a woman and it is definitely a fact that man cannot live without a woman.
Women are survivors and they can manage their lifestyle very well with career, household and children. Women make a lot of sacrifices for their men and children and yet we still find ungrateful men having affairs or extended families without the knowledge of their wives. And if that is the case, women are still being blamed for not looking after their husbands there by causing them to stray.
Changes take place
However, women today are more aggressive and realize that they have rights, too. A lot of single women either divorcees or single mothers under the influence of western culture begin to look for their men as a spare tool.
On my trip to Thailand last year, I met 5 ladies of leisure between ages of 40’s – 60’s having so much fun that they are willing to spend money on the so called, “Toy boys.”
As a woman myself whether it is yesterday or today, I should think we should be shown respect and appreciation from the opposite sex. Women are considered the most prized gift to mankind. Generally, woman can handle almost everything, giving birth, raising children, managing the household, having night duties serving our men, having a career life, dealing with in-laws with high tolerance abilities. Woman has to spend a lot to maintain their physical appearance from head to toe, trying to look good for their men and yet some men still go astray.
Today you men be warned! Women are well exposed now and they have options too and we hear many stories about women having their hidden agendas.
“A Woman is like a teabag, you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Nancy Reagan –