Thursday, September 21, 2017

Oh No – Not Again.

I somehow managed to avoid posting anything about Exercise Swift Lion despite the fact that it was the 20th anniversary of that very dark period my life and the life of everyone I served together with. It was a moment in our youth when we had the horrible, heart-break experience of having to watch our friends come home in a body bag. It’s been 20-years since but I still remember what Ronnie’s face looked like in casket – it didn’t look anything like him. He was a good guy who had his whole life ahead of him and he didn’t deserve to have it cut down because some bureaucrat in defense procurement couldn’t be bothered to their checks properly. For me, it was a moment of being sad, scared and pissed off.

I spend 19-years making sure I had something to say about that incident because I felt and I still feel that if Ronnie and Yin Tit had to die, they shouldn’t have died in vain. It’s the feeling of knowing that you’re not much of the scale of things but you try your best to make sure that no other kids have to go through the same thing that you went through.

Well, I somehow let my usual piece lapse. I paid my respects on the online Facebook forum that was set up for our batch but that was all that I did. In one way, it’s probably a good sign that we’ve finally reached the stage where you’re able to let the dead lie where they are and you think that the sadness, pain and fear that you felt on that day has finally subsided.
Then, the news tells you otherwise – I’m now reading about a boy, who was pretty much like Ronnie (last to book out, first to book in, always helpful to colleagues and his men and never having a bad word to say about anyone) being crushed to death when his armoured vehicle turned sideways and ended up crushing him. The story can be read at - http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/parents-nsf-killed-during-exercise-wallaby-son-was-responsible-good-boy

Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicle 

When I read about such incidents, my heart sinks a little bit more. You get a little pissed off with whatever divine powers are out there for thinking it’s very funny to knock of the good ones.
Then, there’s a feeling of sadness that someone out there is feeling the same sadness that you once had to experience. In a way, I’m blessed with the fact that the immediate child in my life is a girl, so she won’t have the same army type experience I had (not that girls are easy to deal with) but then again, that’s not true. There was Yooga, son of my ex-girlfriend. I’d be crushed if the little bugger was crushed by an armoured vehicle or blown up in a live firing accident. While I’ve not had these major accidents happen to me directly, having seen it once and having had to live through the aftermath and the grief, I ask myself – why should anyone be forced to live through the grief?

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The Happy Part that the Minister gets to See 


I don’t know why young boys get killed through accidents like these. Only sign of progress since that day 20-years ago is that there’s greater public participation in reporting these incidents. At least we got to know that the late 3SG Gavin Chan was one of the good guys and knowing that should inspire someone out there to try and do something to ensure such incidents don’t happen. I only wish we could have made it known that Ronnie and Yin Tit were part of the good guys and didn’t deserve to get cut down when they were cut down. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meet Singapore’s First Short, Fat and Bald President

Singapore has a new President and that lady is Madam Halimah Yacob, our former Speaker of Parliament. Madam Halimah’s rise to the Presidency was never in doubt but it was controversial. It all started with the fact that this was an election reserved for “ethnic Malays.” It turned out that the definition of a Malay became controversial because every candidate wasn’t quite “ethnic Malay.” All of them had a dose of “Indian-Muslim” blood (made sense in as much as the other criteria of being a President in Singapore means you’d have to have ran a company with $500 million in turnover and generally speaking Singapore’s Indian Muslims are business people while our Malay community generally isn’t). The controversy got even worse when one of our Ministers tried to define what it meant to be a Malay and generally ended up sticking his foot in his mouth.

Personally, I don’t have an issue with reserving the highest office in the land for someone from the Malay community. I actually think its high time someone from the Malay community got a shot at the top job. Singapore may claim to be international and our population may be 70 percent Chinese but the truth of the matter is that, we are part of the “Malay” world and in a way, if you take out the list of idiots in UMNO across the border, the Malay world has been exceedingly hospitable. The national language of Singapore is “Malay” and Malay culture is an important part of Singapore. Let’s put it this way – military commands in my mind are always given in Malay and as one of my friends said, “I will NEVER accept my national anthem being in anything other than Malay.”

Having said that, reserving a job for a race opens up a few issues. Why do we necessarily have to restrict things to race or religion? One might argue that certain groups are disadvantaged because they happen to be in the demographic minority and giving them the top job (the word top is used selectively. – top in this case is a matter of protocol rather than anything significant. Like the Queen of England, our President does what he is told to do by the Prime Minister.) to an ethnic minority does keep tensions at bay. Lee Kuan Yew mentions specifically that he needed Yousuf Ishak to be our first President because he needed to show the Malaysians that a Malay in Singapore could be our Head of State (or Yang Di Pertuan, though he was not Yang Di Pertuan Agong.) But that was then and this is now. Are race and religion the only things that separate people?

I’d argue that while race and religion still remain powerful dividers, there are other factors that divide people. If you look at it this way, the one group that suffers in society is known as the short, fat and the bald. Regardless of race, language or religion, it seems quite acceptable to make the short, fat and bald feel miserable for the mere sin of being short, fat and bald.

Looking good but still under appreciated - the price of being short, fat and bald

It’s not just acceptable to make the short, fat and bald feel miserable – it’s actually desired to mock the short, fat and bald. A good portion of Singapore’s economy would collapse if people didn’t give a hoot about being short, fat or bald? The slimming centres and hair restoring shops would shut down and people would be thrown out of work.

As someone how started losing his hair in his late teens and gained wait in his early thirties, I think its time that the short, the fat and bald took a stand and damn the fate of slimming centres and hair restoring shops. A bit of pride in being who you are would do much more for everyone that keeping shops open that stay open merely because there are lots of miserable people around.

So, why can’t we reserve the next election for someone who is short, fat or bald or a combination of the lot? I propose myself to be Singapore’s first-ever fat and bald president and one of my acts would be to import lots of Massai tribesmen to make myself look shorter to the rest of the population so that I become Singapore’s first ever short, fat and bald President. 

I think I’d make a good President. I enjoy walking with the troops (even if I was a substandard 155mm gunner), which is an essential skill for being President. I also have a good wave – another essential skill in being President.

In terms of dealing with foreign dignitaries, I believe I would be a hit. I speak decent enough English to keep the British and the Americans onside. One of the best things about an English education is that you know about sports like rugby and cricket. I’d make great palls with the lot Down Under over a pint and a discussion on rugby.
While my spoken Chinese is crap, I’ve been out with enough girls from the PRC to appreciate the beauty that China has to offer. I can see myself getting on with Xi-Jin Peng.

However, I believe that my talents would be best utilized with the Middle East and India. I know that Dubai is not the entire sum of the Arab world and I happened to make a group of Iranian tourists feel very happy when I said “Salaam” and acknowledged that there’s a difference between Iran and the Arab world.

 I may be fat and bald but in a world of increasing diversity and in a situation where Singapore needs to look to new markets, what couldn’t be better than a President who has actually looked at map?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Let’s Get Our Priorities Right

I was relived to read the commentary “Time to hold last rites for marital-rape immunity” (14 April 2017). Professor. Eugene Tan has rightfully pointed out that the concept of “Marital-rape immunity” is anachronistic. More worryingly, the debate on Marital-rape immunity reveals something very disturbing about our legal and social approach to sex.

I support the government’s tough stand on crime. What I disagree with and find disturbing is the fact that when it comes to sexual behavior, there are laws which seem designed to encourage the wrong type of behavior like marital-rape immunity.

The lack of debate both in parliament and in the public sphere becomes even more disturbing when you compare it to the debates on the repeal of 377A, where you have the “LGBT” community and the “Religious” community going through great lengths and with great passion to get their point of view across. Whenever the topic of 377A comes into the public sphere, you will inevitably get letters for and against the law being published in the press.

By contrast, nobody talks about marital-rape immunity. Women do not talk about a woman’s right to say no. The religious community remains silent about social norms or moral standards. You might get the odd letter in the press by an academic now and then and nobody has challenged the constitutional validity of marital-rape immunity in the courts nor does anybody hold a march at Hong Lim Park.

Surely, something is wrong here. How is it possible for a society to turn the right of consenting adults to act in a certain way in the privacy of the bedroom into a national debate on social morality while we remain silent on the concept of allowing someone to force himself on another person without the other person’s consent?

I am the father of a teenage girl and I hope that she will one day find a good man to settle down with. As a father, I want my daughter to have the choice of when and whom she offers her body to. How can I accept that she needs to surrender her body whenever her future husband feels like it?

We have achieved so much in the last 50-years in terms of our economic development. I am proud of how our society is a mixture of cultures and religions. A good deal of this has been achieved by the hard work of strong women like the late Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew.

So, how is it that we’ve taken this long to lift legalized rape? Are we really a society that is happy to take from our women when they feel like it? Do we find it acceptable to be ambivalent about rape in any shape or form?

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Best and the Worst in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

One of the things that you have to give the Trump Administration credit for is finding new lows. Just when you thought the administration could not get any more immoral and incompetent, they find a way to prove you spectacularly wrong.

During the weekend, far right protesters descended onto the town of Charlottesville in Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, the Confederate General who lead the Southern States to battle during the American Civil War. The protesters were met with counter protesters and violence erupted. People were killed and America finds itself at a bitterly divided point.

This event has been something of an eye opener and for me, it was an incident that brought out the worst and the best of what I’ve called “White America.” I stress the point about “White America” because the largest ethnic groups in the USA are of European ancestry and we have to acknowledge that this remains the ethnic group that holds the largest influence in what goes on in the USA and by extension the rest of the world. America remains the country that sets the tone for the rest of the world.

Let’s remember that we had hope when America elected Barak Obama to the Presidency back in 2008. I know lifelong Republicans who actually said, “I am proud of the fact that his name is Barak Husain Obama.” The message was simple – after 200-years, America had lived up to its promise of being a beacon of hope for the rest of us – a place where the son of a Kenyan immigrant could rise to the highest office of the land. While President Obama didn’t fulfil every hope and dream, he did turn around an economy that was in its worst state in several decades and he did bring healthcare to millions who couldn’t afford it. He wasn’t liked by everyone else around the world but he did make an effort to bring peace to places like the Middle East by being “fair” – so fair that Binyamin Nethanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister was quite open about his dislike for Obama and here in Singapore, the powers that be decided to remind the public on several occasions that “change” was a foreign concept.

Things are different now. The son of an African Immigrant has now been replaced by the scion of a wealthy family that made its money on government projects. He inherited office by playing up to the worst in people, stroking their fears and attacking anyone who wasn’t part his version of the main stream. Somehow, he made the obvious character flaws (inability to be pleasant, competent, brave, truthful) into things that the ordinary people could relate to (it still astounds me whenever people tell me that Trump tells it like it is when he’s openly collecting money for charity and then using the money to enrich himself.)

You could say that the events that took place in Charlottesville was the chance for Mr. Trump to prove to the world that he was more than the narcistic clown who had conned the American people. Instead, of choosing leadership and being as tough as he had sounded on North Korean missile threats, he decided to take the easy way out by condemning the hatred on “so many sides,” and then said somethings about how “ideally, we should love each other.”

It didn’t help that David Duke, the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization that was founded on the premise of destroying black people, happily got plenty of air-time telling the world that he and his ilk got Donald Trump elected. More on Mr. Duke’s positions can be found at -  https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138358/charlottesville-protests-david-duke-kkk
And

To put it crudely, Mr. Duke had chosen to commit an act of domestic terrorism and he had gotten away with it and even got the type of air time that the likes of Osama Bin Ladin could only have hoped for. The clan members, Nazis and other pleasant people at the protest took their chances to attack anyone who was of a different skin colour, Jews and even members of the clergy (which is ironic considering many of these groups consider themselves Christian. An example of the violence can be found at:  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/aug/13/fatality-car-attack-anti-fascist-white-supremacist-rally-charlottesville-video-report

And


This was perhaps the worst in “White America.” The question of how this group of people who once claimed to have “saved the world from Nazis” be the actual Nazis themselves.

Having said that, there were great moments that were inspiring and saw the best of humanity come out. Let’s start with the most obvious – political leadership. If Trump didn’t have the courage to call out the worst in humanity, Governor Terry McAuliffe showed plenty of it when he told the “alt-right “ that their racism had no place and they were neither patriotic or American. This is what Donald Trump in a higher office should have said. The Governor did what a President should have done – told the world that there was no place for bigotry in a nation founded on the premise of giving everyone opportunity.

More of Governor McAuliffe’s speech can be found at:  http://time.com/4898560/virginia-governor-terry-mcauliffe-church-speech-transcript/

What was especially encouraging was to hear a lifelong Republican, who served under George W Bush (a President I loathed for his policies in the Middle East) denouncing the “alt-right” supporters and advisors of Mr. Trump for being unAmerican -you can hear his disgust at sight of the KKK and its ilk at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO029In3oiI&feature=share

While White America was on the side of the devils, it was also on the side of the angels. The woman who gave her life was called Heather Heyer, a White American who chose to stand up to bullies and to fight for the victims. More on Ms. Heyer can be found at http://buzz.blog.ajc.com/2017/08/13/fundraiser-for-family-of-charlottesville-victim-heather-heyer-nets-42k/

I am emotionally involved in this. While I haven’t been to America in nearly half a decade and I don’t really do much with America in my daily life, America is the nation that gave me two great blessings – my stepdad Lee and his family and my step mum, Nora and her family. These are the families from “White America” that accepted me and took me for who I am. They helped to nurture me into the person that I am today. I like to believe that America, for all its faults, is a land of decent people who accepted people from around the world as one of their own (I do make the point that it’s the part of America that accepted people from around the world as their own that prospered).

The families from “White America” that touched me are the ones that remind me that Americans are intrinsically a decent people and it’s hard to look the KKK ilk and think of them as being “Americans.” I don’t recognize them as American and yet I have to acknowledge that they are sitting in America.


I can only pray that this Nation of Decent people triumphs over the likes of David Duke and condemns them to the dustbins of history quickly. 

Monday, August 07, 2017

What’s Next for Singapore?

Since National Day is only two-days ahead, I thought I would try and bash out a few thoughts on a topic which should be on the minds of every right-thinking Singaporean – namely, what is it that we want our little nation to be?

Image result for national day 2017
I’ve somehow avoided this topic for the last 12-years because, for all my complaints about Singapore, it’s been pretty much the “Celestial Kingdom.” I never tire of saying this but Singapore is pretty much what a city should be – rich, green and clean. Our crime rates are low and as long as you’re reasonably intelligent, you can get by. It’s been as if we got one formula right at the start and everyone after that just needed to follow the proven script. If you don’t believe me, just ask yourself – “When was the last time you heard the Singapore Government come out with a vision for the nation?” There’s plenty of talk about how to grow the economy but we haven’t exactly heard anyone talk about what they want for the nation.

I can say with all honesty that I’ve never thought much of the question of what I want Singapore to be. Like my fellow citizens, I’ve merely been following the path of just making a living and avoiding getting into any trouble. However, now that fatherhood to a teenager has become part of my life, the question has suddenly become important and why shouldn’t it – this is, after all, the ONLY country that I have an obligation to die for.

I guess we should start with what I hope never changes, which is for Singapore to remain a safe little red dot that remains open to the world.
Safety is something I never fully appreciated until I became a father of a teenage girl. I’ve lived in London, which is generally pretty safe and I’ve visited big American cities like New York and Chicago. While I’ve never experienced anything really nasty, there are parts of those cities that I wouldn’t walk in. I remember getting lost in “California Avenue” in Chicago with a best friend of mine who was driving a sports car. We were running low on gas but we drove on till we got the hell out of there – the local residents didn’t exactly look like they were going to let us keep the car if we got out.

You don’t get that feeling even in Singapore’s neighbourhoods. I remember a US Navy boy asking me if Geylang was our worst neighbourhood and when I replied that it was, he invited me to the States to show me what a bad neighbourhood was.

Image result for Geylang
This is officially a bad neighbourhood in Singapore


I hope that aspect of Singapore remains in perpetuity. I can live with a slowing economy but I don’t want to live in a place where I worry for my safety or more importantly not being able to sleep because I’m worried that my little girl hasn’t come home yet. One of my favourite Englishmen tells people, “Singapore is the freest place in the world – the safety it provides makes me feel free.”
I also want Singapore to be a place where we continue to accept people from all over the world. I love the fact that we remain a place where you see people of various shades walking around and having fun together. 

I love the fact that I can walk around and find a mosque, church and a temple side by side and worshipers popping into each other’s place of worship for a friendly nod to the divine. To my mind, God is everywhere and nothing is Godlier that human beings acknowledging him in all his various forms. I pray that we will remain the place where a Hindu temple is crowded with Taoist devotees worshiping the Hindu Gods outside. This is the way it should be. I want Singapore to always be the place where a Buddhist can enter a church and a Christian family will observe Hindu rights and Muslims celebrate Christmas.

Image may contain: 1 person
The Way it Should Be.

What would I change about Singapore? One of my biggest frustrations with life in Singapore lies in the fact that the minds of people tend to be preconditioned to look at the world in a certain way. Admittedly, it’s something that you could say about any other part of the world but I guess, since I live in Singapore I feel it the most here.

One of the most prominent examples of this “preconditioning” comes in the area of race. For all our talk about being a “multi-racial” society, we are shockingly racist. I go back to my favourite Englishman who tells me that when his son when to apply for a job at F1, it was quite noticeable that anyone who was white or yellow ended up as an usher while anyone who happened to be brown or black ended up on cleaning duty. I’ve refused to take up certain positions because what I was being offered was significantly lower than my predecessors and my colleagues have defended the discrepancy in what was being offered because the other person was of a lighter shade.

The other area that frustrates me about Singapore is that it can be an unforgiving place for people who don’t follow the prescribed cast system. I speak as someone who never had a conventional career path of going into the government or the government and decided to do his or her own thing. My own people could never look beyond the fact that I never took the position that New York or London were essential to global prosperity. For me, it was the companies from places like Dhaman (Saudi) or Chennai (India), that gave me a chance and I guess you could say I’m biased but I’m willing to give people outside the established order a chance because they gave me a chance.

It's like this, I applaud the fact that we welcome people from the third world to work here. However, if those people from the third world become uppity and try and go beyond the menial job we gave them, we don’t like it.

We need to be the place where second acts are celebrated. On my Facebook page, I’ve linked up with a few of the girls who worked at the bar that I drink at. They’ve gone back to the Philippines and reinvented themselves as online entrepreneurs. They came here with not very much and gone back as entrepreneurs.

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An example of the Capitalist Success Story of a Girl with Hunger

While I celebrate their success, I ask myself, why can’t we encourage them to start their second act in life here?

As well as celebrating the success of migrants, we should also be the place that encourages second acts amongst our mid-career professionals. We succeeded by producing the people who could work in one job and at one thing. So, as the world becomes more fluid, we should now focus on being the place where second acts take place and succeed. Would Ray Kroc, a milkshake mixer sales man at the age of 60 plus or Colonel Harland Sanders a washed out cook in his 60s get their second acts as restaurant owners in Singapore. The answer should be – why not.


Majullah Singapura. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Put Faith in Science

I was delighted to read “Marmite may be brain food: Study” (5 April 2017) because the article brought home an important point about how we approach many of the issues – letting the science speak for itself.
 Image result for Brain food
Marmite, like many things in life is more than just an item that we eat. It is something that defines us in an emotional manner. You either love marmite or you loath it. Both sides have plenty of reasons to support their arguments and somehow, if one speaks to one side about the other’s argument, they will inevitably ignore the points that the other side is trying to make. Thankfully, in this instance, the science has been allowed to speak for itself – it has now been established that marmite will not harm you and may even be good for you. This fact won’t change the mind of those who loath marmite but it will allow people who enjoy marmite to do so without government interference.


Unfortunately, letting the science speak for itself is not an approach that applies to everything. Take the example of alcohol and cigarette consumption. Everyone agrees that alcohol and tobacco consumption are bad for you is bad for you and nobody complains when governments raise taxes of alcohol and tobacco and places restrictions on their consumption. Yet, despite all of the efforts to curb alcohol and tobacco consumption, those who love to smoke and drink continue to do so.
 Image result for Heavy Booze
Surely the approach to alcohol and tobacco consumption is to “create” science to find a way that allows those who enjoy alcohol and tobacco consumption to continue to do so in a way that minimizes harm to the user and eliminates harm to innocent bystanders. If we can send people to the moon, surely, we can find a way for people to drink and enjoy the pleasures of drinking without the risk of them becoming a danger if they get behind the wheels of car. If we can get people to live underwater, surely, we can find a way for people to smoke without putting the rest of us at risk?
 Related image
As much as the tobacco companies are unlikeable, they’re trying to come up with ways that that smokers can smoke without damaging the rest of us. Unfortunately, few governments around the world are trying to encourage the tobacco companies create science. Smoking remains an emotional issue guided by emotional responses.

There are, however, encouraging signs. New Zealand recently allowed the use of e-cigarettes in effort cut smoking rates and respected international bodies like the Royal College of Physicians in the UK have argued that science points out that this is the way to go.

One might argue that the science is not conclusive. However, instead of doing the draconian thing, surely the thing to do is to encourage all sides to create more science until there’s a clear direction. Both the tobacco and alcohol companies have made millions selling harm. Surely, its time they returned the money though investment in science and research to create better paying jobs for the rest of us.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Beauty is the Mouth of the Complainer

I got to admit it, I am total cad when it comes to beauty contest – I love watching them. As a heterosexual man, I like looking at women walking around in not very much. Then, there’s the anthropologist, sociologist in me, which enjoys something more – the reaction of the public towards these contests and what it says about them.

Beauty contest evoke a host of emotions in people. You have the brigade that hates them, arguing that beauty contest degrades women to the lowest common denominator (Let’s not forget that the Miss Universe Pageant was once owned by Donald Trump). Then you have the extreme end, the societies that take pride in them. Venezuela, for example takes so much pride in the fact that it has produced more “Miss Universes” than anyone else and has established a school just train girls to get through the pageant.

While I do admit that Beauty Contest are shallow and superficial, I believe that they have their uses. Just as sports has been used to raise boys from the streets into well to do heroes, beauty contest can do the same for girls. Conservative India for example, celebrates the various Miss’s by turning them into Bollywood starlets. As well as producing a great number of pageant winners, Venezuela produced the woman who won the grown and gave the world a first-hand account of what the soon to be US President is https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/30/alicia-machado-donald-trump-backlash-smear)

While places like Venezuela and India use the pageant to get its girls onto better things, we in Singapore do something entirely different. No, we don’t attach the pageant for being a sexist relic. We merely set up the girls who enter the contest for a royal roasting. Where one would expect men to have sympathy for women who willingly parade in swimsuits, here in Singapore …..well just read the comments in the  following links:



Sure, I understand that we’re a society that doesn’t value the beauty pageant winner the way Venezuela does. I can understand that we’re a more conservative society where the girls considered “beautiful” don’t enter beauty pageants (once again, I don’t think Singapore can claim to be more conservative than India). – But do we really have to take so much delight in being so mean.

Sure, some of our beauty queens deserve the roasting they get. I think of Miss Ris Low, the 2009 winner of Miss World Singapore, who proceeded to give a lesson in how to turn people off while possessing a decent body in a bikini by giving an interview on internet TV ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F74FZfdSJY) and then getting caught shoplifting and committing credit card fraud.


Now, Miss. Low is back. She no longer looks like this:

Image result for Ris Low

She now looks like: 

Image result for Ris Low

However, she’s learnt how to speak properly (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3bGVHh3ifw) and somehow she’s managed to use her infamy to propel herself into different things.

While Ms. Low deserved her online roasting, many of our other beauty queens have been decent representatives of the country and projected a respectable image of what a beautiful Singaporean woman should look like. I was particularly fond of Nuraliza Osman, our 2002 winner, who happens to be a senior legal counsel at Shell. Another beauty that comes to mind Eunice Olsen, who became a nominated member of parliament (a job I would love to have). I’ve also had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Cheryl Tay, who was the 2005 winner and a vet (brains and a good heart – girl who loves animals).

What makes girls like these join the pageant? Surely you can’t say any of these ladies are lacking in the brain department nor can you say that they were coerced into the joining the pageant.

Which leads to the main point here – we may like beauty pageants for being shallow and superficial but we don’t have to mean spirited about the girls who enter the pageants. We should accept that a woman has the right to define beauty in her own way and we should celebrate that women with brains have the conscious choice to enjoy these pageants.

As for the guys who are complaining about the girls in the competition – I’m reminded of what my favourite flesh ball once said – “Eh, you think you very handsome ah!”