Battle of the sexes!
Posted by Foodie on July 28, 2008
I’m sure we’ve all heard and read of this growing up.
“What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That’s what little boys are made of !”
What are little girls made of?
“Sugar and spice and all things nice
That’s what little girls are made of!”
The origin of this Mother Goose nursery rhyme can be traced to the early 19th century. Evidently, the battle of the sexes was already raging then!
In a Malaysian survey recently, statistics show that the fairer sex continues to dominate admissions into public universities. This is causing great concern to the ‘patriachs’ of our male dominated government. Their brows are all furrowed now because soon the fairer sex will be removing their aprons and leaving the kitchens for top positions in the country.
On the other hand, it could be viewed as a rather kinky experience if the scenario (woman being on top) was played out behind closed doors in the bedroom. Nevertheless, in the education and corporate world, the mere notion of a woman being in a top position is not a readily accepted praxis especially in Malaysian culture.
Women in top positions? What next? A woman prime minister? What does this mean? Females are smarter? More diligent and focused? I’d like to rejoice in a resounding Yes! but I also do not wish to receive hate mail from the gender that’s not as fair, figuratively speaking 😛 So I’ll go with … there must be some valid reason for this considerable difference in numbers.
This is not a phenomenon exclusive to our backyard mind you. In fact in China, extensive ongoing research have gone into this subject as well. A series of statistics in China also show that girls fare better than boys when it comes to schooling.
There is a phrase in China “female prosperity and male decline”, which refers to this phenomenon after a report came out detailing the differences, especially in education where girls on the whole are doing better than boys. As a matter of fact, this phenomenon has a long history, but previously people thought it only existed in early education. In recent years, it has extended to higher and tertiary levels as well.
Back to Malaysia, our Deputy of higher education, Datuk Idris Haron even held a press conference to raise his concern. This is what he intends to do. He wants to embark on a study to look into the effects on the career market should this phenomenon continue.
“There are some critical positions that can only be filled by men because the facilities on hand for the job are only suitable for men. We need to look at this now and the government is getting prepared to face a flood of women in the (job) market” he said. What does he mean by critical positions that can only be filled by men because facilities on hand for the job are suitable for men. What, there are only urinals in the toilet?
No more space for squats?
Malaysia should take some cues from China in this respect. Sexism has been successfully eradicated thanks to the late Chairman Mao’s communist revolution. Chairman Mao knew what he was saying when he quoted this “Women hold up half of the sky”. And I’m not endorsing communism when I say this. Just that the society needs to view the roles of women differently in this day and age.
Chinese women take up 45.4 percent of their country’s workforce, the book Facts and Figures on Women and Men in China published by the National Bureau of Statistics bureau showed. About 64 percent of 347 million working women are in the agricultural industry, which is about 10 percent higher than that of men in the sector. Did we ever wonder if this contributed to the fact why China progressed at such a fast pace? Gender equality is necessary to achieve sustainable development of a country and Malaysia
certainly needs that to progress further.
According to Idris, females took up 67.3% of places in Malaysian universities. “We have taken a proactive step to encourage male students who failed to gain places in public institutions to continue tertiary education …” He also added that the males must “buck up” so as to gain more places in public universities and institutions of higher learning. If only this nugget of advice could also be applied to our long standing discriminatory policy of allocating a quota of university entries reserved to be filled by the bumiputeras when it should be based on meritocracy. (That’s another story for another day…)
Statistics of students in local universities by gender