Monday, December 15, 2008

My Mom is a FOB

This is an awesome website. Brings to mind some of the conversations I've had with my mom.

A "FOB" stands for (F)resh (O)ff the (B)oat. That's often used as a derogatory term, representing the use of Engrish, and flawed understanding of western culture. To me, it shows that they are trying hard to understand and accept the world they are now in, albeit through murky lenses.

I especially love this story where a FOB mother refuses to take a "YES on Proposition 8!" sign because "Our family has the gay!".

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The often-cited "Singapore is not ready for XYZ social change because of traditional conservative social values" is a bunch of crock. Quite beyond the often-hilarious aspect of this website, I think it provides a stark insight into how traditional asian values are not incompatible with modern social issues like same-sex marriage.

To me the question here is this - which value are you championing?

What is more traditional than loving your children unconditionally?

What is more traditional than wanting your children to have a happy marriage?

What is more traditional, more Chinese, than wanting your children to have a better social conditions than the one you come from?

Answer these questions, then tell me again that social change is incompatible with Asian values.

4 comments:

-ben said...

Hmm... I have gay friends who agree with Proposition 8. Does that make them homophobic?

52.3% > 47.7%

Pretty strange that some ardent supporters of democracy and democratic processes turn to thuggish means when the results are other than what they desire. E.g. digging up personal details of contributors to Proposition 8 and destroying their livelihood / businesses through persecution, harassment, boycotts; threatening the personal safety of contributors and their families, etc.

When I was growing up, we read about children with a mother and a father in school textbooks and story books. Households with a widow, widower, or unwed mothers never cried foul. But for some strange reason, elementary schools in many school districts in California now ban the phrase, "Mommy and Daddy," in school textbooks as well as spoken conversation, for fear of hurting the feelings of children with same-sex parents. Instead, pupils are taught to employ the generic term, "my parents." The new superminority? Sounds like a bunch of drama queens to me.

What began as a movement for peaceful acceptance has been hijacked by a bunch of fascists intent on exhibiting their way of life to the world and shoving it down the throat of everyone.

The movement really has the best interests of the children in mind too. More than a few Catholic orphanages have been forced to close because of their policies of only allowing their wards to be adopted by heterosexual, married couples. Personally, it boggles the mind that an individual embarking upon what is ultimately and irrevocably (until scientific inventions deem otherwise) a sterile affair, would demand the fruits of what biology denies him/her — and willngly put at risk entire institutions dedicated to helping children, just to satisfy his/her wants.

The whole thing doesn't sound like a cry for acceptance to me. It reeks of exhibitionism, narcissism, selfishness, and collective sociopathy.

Khayce said...

I think it's a basic social want/need to gain acceptance from society.

The lack of reproductive ability for adoption cannot be an excuse - infertile couples adopt all the time and no one discriminates against them.

I've asked this question before Ben, and I'll ask it again. How do you go about agitating for social change? Quietly? Politely? No one's going to pay you any heed.

As for political intimidation - wrong is wrong, no matter who does it. That they are associated with both sides of Prop 8 (which I believe is the case) makes it suck more. Point taken, but some perspective is required here.

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

I don't know really. One observation is that lately, the Christian groups here have been a lot more vocal. Church leaders including archbishops have expressed disapproval of the impending arrival of the casinos and repealing that homo law.

I don't recall seeing such a response previously until the last few years. I think the Islamic groups here have been more vocal too.

-ben said...

Hi KC,

The lack of reproductive ability for adoption cannot be an excuse - infertile couples adopt all the time and no one discriminates against them.

Yes, but these are heterosexual couples that happen to be infertile. Gay couples are by definition, sterile. This is like taking a 4WD to a motorcross circuit and demanding that the track be widened for it because it too has wheels.

Also, this begs the question: for whose primary benefit are orphanages set up for? The orphans? Or the gays? We don't hear of unmarried couples suing orphanages from not letting them adopt. From the way it looks, the fate of the children seem like collateral damage to the gays' cause for "acceptance." This is what I mean by narcissism and selfishness. Which is more important? The wants/needs of the gays who want to adopt, or the availability of housing, food, and security for orphans? Why target the Catholic orphanages? There are other orphanages that do not have such a policy. Why not go there? Why threaten the safety and security of the orphans? Haven't they suffered enough? Now they must suffer more because a bunch of people do not feel accepted? A line has to be drawn somewhere.

Demanding tolerance is one thing. Acceptance? That's probably tough call, especially when such tactics are involved. Some go further and want their lifestyles celebrated. Why? Are they that insecure?

How do you go about agitating for social change? Quietly? Politely?

In the case of Proposition 8, the population in California have spoken via their votes. What agitation are we talking about? Yes, quietly. Politely. Or else, it will have to be a two-way street: if anti-Prop 8 people can harass, intimidate pro-Pro 8 supporters, then the specter of hate crime legislation (with enhanced penalties) for the inevitable backlash must be removed. Equality must go both ways. Why is it socially acceptable for a group to say, publicly call for a boycott of Business XYZ for donating $100,000 to the campaign for Proposition 8, but bordering on a hate crime (hate speech) for Club / Organization ABC to bar membership to gays? Why the double standard?

No one's going to pay you any heed.

You are right on the money here. That's the thing. These people — this minority within the gay community — want attention. Come on, you must have encountered such individuals. They come to the cafe, or board the train, posturing with exaggerated mannerisms, talking on top of their voices and shrieking with astounding regularity. Now, if a bunch of high school kids did that, they would be shushed/stared down, told off, or expelled from the premises or train. But, oh, for this special group of people, to do so would invite a lawsuit, or even a charge of committing a hate crime, or discrimination. Why? Do they suffer from an unknown variant of Tourette syndrome? Why do these healthy, mentally sound adults get a free pass to behave like brats?

The sad thing is, this movement for acceptance shows increasing signs of being hijacked by radicals spoiling for a fight, or their 15 minutes in the limelight. The same has happened with feminism; same with Islam, or Critical Mass.

As for the "Christian" groups here... without going into specifics, lets just say that I have a very dim view of many of the local ones here; peer pressure, group manipulation, herd mentality, blatant dismissal/ignorance of biblical scholarship, shoddy theological grounding, fixation on cash collection/hoarding, are the norms. So, just to be clear: my displeasure with this whole issue has nothing to do with religion, but fairness and social justice.