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Thursday, April 08, 2004


I've just read an email from my sister, that has somewhat struck a chord in me, and which provoked some thoughts in my head.

.... why am I automatically labeled an SPG simply because many of my close male friends are Westerners? I don?t hang out with them for sex, I don?t expect them to set me up in a Condo in Miami and I don?t want to be the supplementary name on their Gold Amex.

The bitchiest comments come from local guys who seem to take is as some kind of assault on their masculinity.... with that kind of insecurity complex, can you understand why?....

Well Singapore, wake up and smell the multi-culturalism. In case you hadn?t noticed, this country isn?t the traditional Chinese/Indian/Malay melting pot anymore. Our booming economy means that thousands of foreigners are calling our shores home. And no, they are not all expat types who hang around Tanglin Mall and sip gin at The American Club. They?re here on local terms and shop at NTUC. ....

.... prefer the company of men who can communicate with me on the same intellectual level, who share common interests and who appreciate similar things in life. This is even more so ? when the girl has lived away from home, in other parts of the world and has a ?broadened view of life? so to speak.

....I don?t want a conversation EXCLUSIVELY devoted to ? talk about COEs, the cost of property, the government system, etc. Listen guys, there?s more to life! ....?Guys here are so narrow-minded. OK, there are exceptions but they are few and far between. All I get are complaints about the everything. They debate the importance of buying property in Bishan so that their offspring can go to RI!!! If we ever progress to the topic of marriage, the M-word is never uttered. Men here don?t go down on one knee and propose, they just say ?let?s get a house together?.?

....the cultural stereotypes were true. I craved conversation that extended beyond the trivialities of this little island. And most importantly, I wanted to be treated with respect ? not ?how much you earn a month arh?!?

I know these Ang Mohs are not all perfect, but at least, some of them have manners and more importantly, they?ve got a life! So I take it all back. I am an SPG and I?m proud of it. A Singaporean woman who Prefers Gentlemen.


Perhaps I am lucky in a way. I was given the golden opportunity to come over here to study, at the huge expense of my father's money. My sisters, on the other hand, did not have the opportunity. At least the elder one didn't, although she got a foreign degree, all the same.

Coming onto the subject of Caucasians vs. locals (in the Singapore context), I can see where my sister is coming from. There are some guys who feel insecure because some females would rather have a Caucasian boyfriend rather than a local one. Whether or not it is becoz they are superior, I do not know. But I do know that those who have studied or worked overseas have a different mindset, a different mentality, that is refreshing from some of those who studied locally.

I have friends who studied locally and overseas. I myself at one point have studied locally, before coming over here. I can see, can FEEL that I have evolved since coming to London. Coming overseas has changed many things. It has somewhat changed my outlook on life. It has changed my priorities. It has changed my mindset. It has changed the way I cope with change.

When I go back home during my holidays, I am amongst familiar surroundings, and yet sometimes feel quite foreign. Talking to friends, they are still the same, and old feelings resurface. Yet something is held back. Many things talked about revolve around their lives. Full stop. To them, that is the BIG picture. They just can't comprehend that the world is bigger than good old Singapore, and they worry themselves silly about little things such as which boy is better looking, or stress over exam results, or how they don't want to do a job they don't like. Some guys are chauvinistic (though thankfully most of the guys I know are not, if not they wouldn?t be my friends at all!)

On the other hand, in London, I am like a small fish in a big pond. Many a time, people who come over stick to fellow Singaporeans, simply becoz they are in a foreign country, and that gives them stability. However, they don?t make a point of getting to know the locals here, thus living in their own Singaporean world still. How will you see the BIG picture if you are isolated in your own comforts? I am in a school where there are relatively few Singaporeans. As such, it forces me to mix around with the locals and get to know them and their culture. Looking at it from their point of view, we would be considered the ?expats, the foreigners?. I live with locals. I have friends who are locals. They are not very different from us. They also have kiasu-ism in their own way. Those who are not exposed live in a world of their own as well. Some are just as chauvinistic.

Some say you have to be like that in Singapore to survive. I think not. Being overseas gives you a whole new BIG picture. There may be racism, but you just learn to cope with it. There will always invariably be change, and you learn to cope with it. I am not saying that all foreigners can see the big picture. Just that there are 2 sides to every story.

Now, going back to the title SPGs = Sarong Party Girl or Singaporean woman who Prefers Gentlemen?

Eventually, I hope to return to Singapore, to work, to settle down. By that time, if I were to hang out with people, they would preferably be those more exposed to the world at large. If that turns out to be the ?expat?, so be it. It?s not that I think them superior to others. It?s more of a case of ?been there, done that, understood it? kind of thing. I?ve been conditioned from young that women?s place is usually in the home. If they can juggle work, good for them. However, their preorgrative is to have babies, and keep the husband happy, first and foremost. I want a simple life. I agree that women should have babies and make their husband happy. Nonetheless, I first need someone to understand what I have been through, someone who has manners, someone who respects me enough to listen and be heard, someone who sees the BIG picture. Is that too much to ask? I think not.

Would I be considered a SPG then? Am I considered an SPG now? Depends on what definition you put on it, I guess. If it is the latter, then some would say that all girls would want that. I beg to differ, esp. when you see how some females throw themselves at guys ? it is disgustingly revolting.

What would you classify me as? A new-age sensitive female? A career minded one? A fluff-head with too many ideals? A first-class bitch? What about an SPG? Can I be classified at all then? What about the rest of the females out there? Is there a need to classify us in the first place?

What is the point of this whole entry then? I guess this was provoked by an response that women are stereotyped, locals are stereotyped, foreigners are also stereotyped, locals vs. foreigners, men vs. women. Guess it depends on where you?re looking at it from. Enough rambling for today. It?s been harsh.