Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Build 'singles village' to help young people get hitched

[On the same day that Singapore was reported to be the happiest place in the Asia Pacific, and the 22nd happiest place (or people) in the world, this letter was published. Which tells me that while we may be happy, we are a sad, sad people with no real world smarts.

I will let you read the horrifying proposal by this forum letter writer. The comments were mostly negative. The positive/supportive ones... were likely sarcastic. 

And yet, the ST Forum Page Editor felt that this letter was worth printing. This blog continues to find new material. My "response" at the end.] 

Mar 16, 2016,

While I respect the decision of those who have opted to remain single, a check with my single friends revealed that most of them did not choose to be so ("More young people staying single"; last Friday).

Our working schedules are so packed that we simply cannot find the time or opportunity to meet other singles.

We have to think out of the box to increase the odds of a meeting exponentially. 

[An intended double entendre, here? No? Probably not. This writer seems quite devoid of humour.]
Most of my friends got attached during their university days, when they stayed in hostels and had chances to mingle in places like the canteen and library.

Hence, building a singles' village would be a good way to go.

For this to work, a lot of criteria will have to be fulfilled.

First, the rent to stay in the village must not be high. However, the term of rental should be restricted to two years as singles are there to find love, not access cheap housing.

Second, these rental units have to be small or even shoebox-size. We do not want those staying there to be too comfortable with living alone.

Wi-Fi or other entertainment should not be provided in the units. Those who want to watch TV or surf the Internet will have to go to community halls. All day-to-day activities, such as laundry, must be done in public places, so that singles will have the chance to meet and chat with strangers.

There can also be meetings or outings planned every weekend, or even every night.

At the end of the day, even if one does not leave the village with a soulmate, one will leave with more friends than before.

Chua Boon Hou

[The temptation is to spoof his idea with sophomoric twists with puerile intent. I shall resist temptation. It would be too easy, really. 

Another temptation is to poke holes in his little details - like not providing wifi in the units. Apparently, he has never heard of mobile wifi, and smartphones with extended data plans. 

The really really sad thing about this suggestion is that it is so yesterday. No, so last week. No, so last decade. Or 3.

This is basically "SDU 2.0 - Summer Camp" Or "BMT" if you like.

The same reason people resisted SDU at first is going to be the same reason they will resist SDU 2.0 the Singles Village.

Men may well sign up for this. After all, low rent, social activities, chance to meet women - why not?

But women will think long and hard about how they will be seen if they signed up and lived in such a village.

Besides the labels - "desperate", "easy", "party girl", she might as well just wear a sign "Open Season" on her body, cos every male in the village will be trying to hit on her. 

This would be SDU writ large and in your face. Especially if you are a woman. You couldn't walk into the "singles village" without the potential for sexual harassment. 

Of course, it is only sexual harassment if he doesn't look like Brad Pitt, but realistically, why would a Brad Pitt lookalike be living in a Single's Village?

Leaving aside the costs of setting up such a place, the expenditure of resources, the opportunity costs, the sacrifices for other possible use of these resources, the sad sad sad thing is that the writer in all seriousness, believes this can work.

Which shows his lack of appreciation of the reality of human nature, human motivation, human concerns, social interaction, social rules, and social mores.

Worse, he seems to have imbibed of the SG govt's penchant for social engineering. At least the govt's penchant from the past. Only more clumsily. ]

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