Monday, June 12, 2006

Neanderthals: The "New" Hong Kong Male

I wasn't going to delve further into the whole Sammy/SiuYee affair than what I have already previously contributed on both my own blog and others. But the more I read the responses the more I realise that there is a new gender dynamic at work: the rearing of the ugly head of proud Neanderthals amongst some of the male population in Hong Kong, who disingenuosly masquerade themselves as sexually-enlightened forward thinkers in this debate when they are nothing but. Witness the online exchanges from 袁建滔‧門外看 's blog (which I linked through Jacky's blog), who concluded that "森美小儀真正的錯誤,是在一個偽善、缺乏幽默感、以道德口號管治的城市開這個壞品味玩笑". Reading the comments below this post is even more disheartening in terms of the amount of illogic being propagated in support of such a view.

The following are my online contributions - if I have a chance later to write these thoughts up properly into a single essay I will. But for now these are my initial reactions to the nonsensical arguments being put forward.

Snowdrops said...
1. There is a huge difference between sexual fantasies and sexual assault (and 非禮 is sexual assault).

2. There is a whole world of difference between sexual assault and sexual conservatism. The key is whether the sexual contact is CONSENSUAL. Surely this should have been a lesson in Sex Education 101. Arguing against promotion of sexual assault in the media DOES NOT EQUATE arguing for sexual conservatism, in the same way that arguing against idiotic polls that promote acceptance of the idea of bank robbery (hey let's name ten banks you would most like to rob) does not equate arguing for fiscal conservatism.

3. There is a huge difference between "Repressive Government", "Hypocritical Next/East/Apple Media", "Prudish Moralists", and ordinary people and women's voluntary organisations. Don't lump all legitimate critics as "illiberal-brainless-prudes-afraid-of-sex-and-stirred-up-by-hypocritical-mass-media-conspiring-with-the-repressive-government-agenda". Don't insult the public's intelligence and place oneself on the "intelligent highground" when you yourself can't tell right from wrong.

4. In an era dominated by Next/Apple/East media, I found it hugely absurd that somebody would still hold on to this notion that the present Hong Kong media is still prudish and sexually-repressive.

5. Just because others have committed far worse crimes than you, doesn't mean that you are allowed off the hook for the mistake that you yourself have committed.

6. There is a huge difference between being popular and being right.

June 12, 2006 1:17 AM

Anonymous said...
June 12, 2006 3:21 AM

Snowdrops said...
Anonymous wrote:

"Who says sexual fantasies include only "純吃茶"??? It wouldn't be called "sexual" fantasies would it if you're only going for a cup of coffee. The key difference between「性幻想」同「非禮」which you've miserably failed to note is that one is in the realm of individual fantasy where the recipient of your attention accepts your sexual advances, whilst the very definition of 非禮 is that sexual contact is initiated against a person's will. The difference between the two is NOT that one is sexually tamer than the other, or that one phrase is more「順耳」than the other, but that one could be CONSENSUAL while the other is CLEARLY NOT. Get it?

So you could have a poll asking people for the actress they would most like to engage in any type of XXX-rated sexual activities and it would still have been perfectly legitimate, but to use the term 非禮 is totally inexcusable even in liberal, sexually-progressive Western media* precisely because its very definition involves a victim of sexual violence.

*I would say the poll would NOT be condoned "especially" in liberal, sexually-progressive Western media precisely because these media are the first propagators of women's rights and the feminist agenda. Remember it is the feminists who burned bras and demanded sexual freedom for women. So what gets my goat are those Sammy/SiuYee supporters who try to paint the feminist organisations as "sexually-repressive man-haters". They really have no clue and I feel sorry for these blind fans.

June 12, 2006 8:46 AM

jol said...
i think samsiu is in the wrong time wrong place wrong situation. i truly think this is not a problem, i don't see why people freak out on this normal topic. this topic isn't a bigggg deal sure hk teenagers were already exposed to "sex" long before they step into secondary school. the women organization are probably the only group that still hold the traditional mind set, which is naive. c'mon, this is 2006, is not 1900. get with the program ladies! just let dj go!

June 12, 2006 5:19 PM

Snowdrops said...

Jol says "i truly think this is not a problem, i don't see why people freak out on this normal topic. this topic isn't a bigggg deal anyways."

Great, thank you for letting us know that you think sexual assault is a "normal topic" and "isn't a bigggg deal". I will advise my girlfriends to avoid you like the plague.

Jol also says, "im sure hk teenagers were already exposed to "sex" long before they step into secondary school."

You still don't get it do you? We are talking about SEXUAL ASSAULT, NOT SEXUAL ACTIVITIES BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS!! If you think that HK primary school kids have been exposed to learning how to 非禮 their female classmates then I'm truly sorry for the state of education in HK.

And just so you know, people are not "freaking out" over this poll, they are rightly indignant at the amount of lies and excuses being offered in defense of an indefensible albeit thoughtless mistake. If you can't get your head around a simple and straightforward difference between consensual sex and sexual assault, then don't paint yourselves as these "sexually-enlightened", "intelligent", "modern forward-thinking" people. It would only make people laugh because you guys are really neanderthals at heart.

June 13, 2006 12:52 AM

Snowdrops said...

Hey 袁建滔‧ you wrote in this blog itself that:

I think Jol's comment "i truly think this is not a problem, i don't see why people freak out on this normal topic. this topic isn't a bigggg deal anyways.." has completely refuted your contention that this poll would not encourage or further endorse the view that "「非禮也不是甚麼一回事」".

So what have you to say to that eh? It's amazing isn't it that there really are some of the 時下年青人 who are 真的笨到這個程度吧. While they might not have gone on to commit sexual assault themselves, but they certainly think that sexual assault, a criminal offense, is no big deal. Do you not see something seriously wrong with this picture? Or are you all so male-centric in your thinking that you're prepared to condone or even legalise sexual assault? Did sex education in Hong Kong only teach the students the biology of sex and not also the attendant moral and legal aspects to sexual relations?


In relation to your view that "但最令我不安的是接受媒體訪問的各「學者」、「講師」全部一致狂插……在這股正義旋風下,要挺直腰板也不容易。" Perhaps you should consider that when 接受媒體訪問的各「學者」、「講師」全部一致狂插, then perhaps there really is a just cause for revision of your views rather than persisting in a state of denial. It's also hilarious how most of the people here have tried to describe 各「學者」、「講師」in Hong Kong as "單一思考人士們仍然未能放眼世界,突破傳統上一些腐敗的枷鎖而自我進步" in order to support their endorsement of the poll. Right, so all these academics with their overseas PhDs and international experience have "single-track minds" and "haven't seen the world to advance beyond corrupt traditions". What a laugh! You don't know anything about how gender studies and issues are tackled in the West if you don't understand the very basic concept of consent in sex. For Jol to tell the ladies to "get with the programme" just takes the micky - you should get with a basic and enlightened programme of gender relations rather than being stuck in the Stone Ages.

It's soooooo easy isn't it to just ignore valid criticisms by simply painting your critics as "偽善、缺乏幽默感、以道德標準高" rather than tackle their arguments head on. Just accept a thoughtless mistake has been made so that we can advance proper discussions about the state of sex education and gender relations in Hong Kong, rather than keep denying there is anything wrong at all. It'd make for far more productive debate as well as a healthier society.

June 13, 2006 1:55 AM

sidekick said...
寫了一篇, 是關於這個的:“常見到大家問及:“為何對商台此事窮追猛打的報章,自己卻刊有風月版?這不是賊喊捉賊,一百步笑五十步嗎?”這是我從“技術”層面上的看法,有錯還望大家指正。”內文有電台的節目標準連結,及其他更多資料,希望大家有空可以看看。袁說:“有說律政司正研究起訴與否,我想讓法律去解決反而是件好事。要知道,這種「以言入罪」(誘使他人犯罪)玩起上來,點砌都得。”<-這個“以言入罪”,用得不好,亦用得太好。電台,明明就是聲音媒介,會犯罪,亦當然是因為“言”,但,是否就等於“點砌都得”呢?不盡然...在電台的節目準則,已列得很清楚,這件事實在已犯了錯。當然,這個錯到底有多大?值得其他傳媒插得這麼狠嗎?我覺得不值的。現時,最有問題的,已經不是森美小儀,而是那些傳媒高層、政府高官、社團代表,及教育界高人了!

June 13, 2006 5:13 AM

Snowdrops said...
Sidekick says "當然,這個錯到底有多大?值得其他傳媒插得這麼狠嗎?我覺得不值的。現時,最有問題的,已經不是森美小儀,而是那些傳媒高層、政府高官、社團代表,及教育界高人了!"

I agree broadly with your post, and also completely agree that the point has now become where the "problem" is no longer Sammy and Siu Yee. At least, all Sammy/Siu Yee did in effect in my view was to uncover much more starkly the underlying attitudes towards sex in Hong Kong in spite of all the education and Westernization that its populace has received.

What I would disagree however is that the problem lies only with "那些傳媒高層、政府高官、社團代表,及教育界高人" - at least, the problem is not as straightforward as the Sammy-SiuYee defenders would paint them as. It's hugely insulting for "社團代表,及教育界人" to be lumped in with the Government and the Next/East/Apple media, when there have been many occasions when these stood in opposition with one another, so it's really unfair for S/SY critics to ignore their voices just because these happened to chime in with the Government agenda. It's rather galling that S/SY defenders persist in the lies that the former is being co-opted by the latter because they could find no better argument to defend what S/SY has done. The worst form of "argument" in a debate is to resort to labelling your opponents as undesirables, such as happened in the state of the U.S. political discourse where Liberals are painted as unpatriotic lily-livered intellectuals who are too stupid to realise that they are being co-opted by the Al-Queda agenda. I see the same type of portrayals being at work here which is extremely worrying. Can the majority of "forward-thinking" "liberal" Hong Kong populace do no better than the U.S. Republicans?

So all the "其他傳媒插得這麼狠" partly is because of fact that the opposing side just cannot accept that there is a fundamental problem at all. By persisting in a state of denial and ignoring responsibilities, as quite a few posters on here have done, the debate just spiralled into a slanging match on both sides. You cannot have a row with only one side 插得這麼狠, it's about time that the S/SY defenders realise the role that they have played in the row itself, and how they themselves have 插 feminists and community organisations as well as the educators 這麼狠, to the extent of character-assasinating them as sexually-repressive and insulting their legitimate critics' all-round intelligence. And again please realise that by legitimate critics I DO NOT include the likes of Next/Apple/East media who are indeed being hypocritical in the extreme and has no right whatsoever to criticise S/SY. The fact though is that the voices of legitimate critics have been drowned out by these mainstream media also whilst at the same time they were being accused of being co-opted by the agenda of these same mainstream media.

Simply put, I would argue that there is a dire need to look at this problem on a far more sophisticated level than simple name-calling on both sides.

June 13, 2006 12:30 PM

P.s. There is also another really brilliant essay, excerpted below, by Yat-Chee over at the DiuMan Park blog, which decodes in a much more sophisticated manner the politics underpinning the debate and how it is not as simplistic as S/SY defenders made them out to be:


於是風波鬧大,社會輿論狠批,商台和森美小儀才手足無措地道歉。曾蔭權及其SPIN DOCTOR看在眼裏,機不可失,正好從中抽水。...




在政治對弈當中,你爭我奪,借題發揮,本來就是常事。... 即使你是爭取民主的義士,你在大遊行中涉嫌抽水,還是要受到審判。雖然,在政治鬥爭中,往往為達目的不擇手段,偶然要掩著良心做事,但如果那個虛構的民主鬥士在遊行中抽水,我們為大局視而不見,我們又是否真的希望這樣的一個新政府上台?...

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At Tue Jun 13, 03:29:00 p.m. IST, Anonymous augustine said...

Thanks for speaking out the Truth, I applaud your efforts. It is just very upsetting to know that some people in Hong Kong are so thoughtless and disillusionated. I pity them and feel rather hopeless for the future of this city.

At Thu Jun 15, 04:07:00 a.m. IST, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Thanks Augustine for your really kind message. I sometimes wonder though if the more I write the more futile it is to get people to listen to our voices... I love HK so much and would hate to feel hopeless for this once vibrant city, but it's really regrettable that it seem we could do little but to be resigned to the fact that the state of discourse in regard to sex and gender relations could only remain at such a low level... Thanks a million though for your really kind support and it's so heartening to know that there are still people like you who remain clear-thinking when, to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, all around you people are losing their heads...


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