August 31, 2015 § Leave a comment
Todays’s GP exam: Essay portion
Signing up for LNATs with a decent test date \o/
There were two test centres we can take it at and I was shown the remaining available test slots of the first test slot first – and I nearly had a brain aneurism
Because all the slots were taken up except for like super early dates like 4/5th September which was literally FOUR DAYS AWAY. #notmentallypreparedforthisshit
But then when I clicked for the second test centre there was much better dates so I was okay HAHAHA
August 30, 2015 § Leave a comment
It seems that I may be freaking out unnecessarily. Having gone back to read the slides the school gave for applications, they stated we best sign up for LNAT at least prior to 4th of October (more than a month away). Which probably means that there should be ample space(s) until then.
August 30, 2015 § Leave a comment
Instead of freaking out on how I have yet to receive my confirmation email for my LNAT account (who even does real person email verifications anymore? I want to book a bloody test not give you my bank details, jesus) and without which I can’t even book my LNAT dates. Which apparently the test slots prior to 20th of October are running out, just like my blood pressure at the thought my procrastination has led to my own inability to even register for Oxford. God I am an idiot. Can all of us (i.e the 1 – 3 people who still read this blog) hold a prayer circle that I can get a LNAT test slot in before the 20 October deadline? It is much appreciated. Really.
Though this piling inadequacy has been enough to get me cracking on my PS (literally just started, I may have an H3 in Lit but I’ll let you know I’d have a H5 in Procrastination) After reading a few Law PSs (one of which was a Lithutianian student who wrote about how she once led the campaign against having her school closed down, like what the seriously?) I realised the whole “additional and wider reading” component is much more critical than I once thought. Which just means more reading on top of all the backload of history reading I have yet to do.
Speaking of reading, GP Prelims is tomorrow Hurrah! I am not too concerned because I find that when I am stressed out I simply cannot write. The minute I write essays that I go, “didn’t prepare at all, let’s YOLO this mofo” I magically perform better. So as a public service to all you people worried about tomorrow’s exam: be afraid. very afraid. Ms Hidayah mentioned something on the comprehension being more difficult than usual, which leads me to believe it might just be on science/technology (ugh for us Arts students) or it is about the very philosophical-how-the-heck-do-I-have-examples-for-this-crap topics like kindness, or gratitude or hard work or some other inane topic.
As for essays, the heavy emphasis on Language might mean that Language question is coming out. Hopefully, it can be on a topic that I am good on, such as writing etc But if worse come to worse, I am planning to do the social/gender question. In the recent time trial, they combined one of the iffy subtopics I predicted which was Gender and Politics (the horror) so hopefully there would be a gender-only question this time. So as a public service, I am compiling a list of examples for all of you plebeians to use if you are also planning to do those kinds of topics. May the bell curve be ever in your favour.
Women in politics
(1) As of two decades ago, the number of women sitting in parliament has doubled. However, while commendable strides have been taken to balance the playing field for women in such male-dominated areas such as politics, this only equates to women taking up an average of 20% of parliamentary seats across different countries. (Source: UN Women)
- Nordic regions top the list at an average of 40.5%, Americas at 26% and Asia at only 18%
This might have been useful for the Gender and Politics question in the time trial:
(2) “More women in politics does not necessarily correlate with lower levels of corruption, as is often assumed. Rather, democratic and transparent politics is correlated with low levels of corruption, and the two create an enabling environment for more women to participate.” – UN Women
(3) There is a UN Resolution on Women’s political participation, which calls on member countries to reduce discriminatory practices that directly or indirectly bar women against political participation as well as inculcate zero-tolerance practices against gender-based work place harassment of elected women officials or within political parties.
(4) In Columbia, government bodies and the women civil society has partnered up to impose a legislature mandating that its parliament must reach the quota of having at least 30% women candidates in national elections. An accompanying ad campaign titles: “Democracy without women is incomplete” similarly drove home the message on the importance of gender inclusivity in politics.
- However, does the implementation of such a quota really solve the root cause of female discrimination in politics? Moreover, it may perpetuate even more discrimination against women as it seems to implicitly imply that the female candidates who were chosen to run for election were able to do so, not based on their individual merit, but instead on the quota system.
- Hence, to tackle the root cause of the system is to engage a shift in the mentality of the country’s political system itself. More education and support systems have to be put in place to encourage girls to go forward into politics (and other male dominated fields, such as STEM) and through this grounds-up movement, only then can we truly eradicate the root cause of inequality. The feminism movement is a movement based on equality and not superiority or favoured treatment of women because we are women. For true gender equality to be attained, it is not so much about simply giving women positions or places in male dominated fields on account of their gender, moreover it is enshrining an equitable and fair playing field for both genders to compete for the job without the fear that their gender might hold them back. It is about equal opportunity for women, not simply patronising them.
(5) Singapore scores poorly in the area of leadership. With 94 male ministers versus six female, the country is in 128th place in terms of the share of women in ministerial positions.
Women and the Media
(1) The Media as the Fourth Estate drives home its power as a powerful channel of information, with the ability to influence social norms and perceptions. Ideally, the Media should strive for impartiality and unbiased viewpoints, however in the case of gender, females are more likely to be grossly misrepresented. Female politicians/political candidates receive on average, less air time as compared to their male counterparts
(2) Human Rights Lawyer Amal Alamuddin received international fame after her marriage to actor, George Clooney. However, media coverage seemed more fixated on her clothing and fashion choices, rather than her work as a lawyer (she is one of the lawyers working on the Armenian Genocide case as well as campaigning work to end rape and sexual violence towards children in conflict zones.) Prior to one of the hearings for the Armenian Genocide, journalists pestered her about the “designer” gown she would be wearing to the case.
Women in the Workplace
(1) There is a persistent wage gap between men and women consistent around the world, with women earning only 70% of a male counterpart of equal educational or workplace criteria. A study by (insert random university here, they don’t really check but the study is real) found that given a completely identical work portfolio for a high-position leadership role, employers tended to choose the male applicant over the female applicant up to 40% of the time. Hence highlighting the subconscious bias towards males in the workplace.
- “Contributing factors include the fact that women are more likely to be wage workers and unpaid family workers; that women are more likely to engage in low-productivity activities and to work in the informal sector, with less mobility to the formal sector than men; and the view of women as economic dependents; and the likelihood that women are in unorganized sectors or not represented in unions” (UN Women)
- In Singapore, blue-collared male workers earn up to 30% more than their female counterparts!
(2) Women bear a disproportionate responsibility on unpaid care work (which means household chores, caring for children etc). In the EU, 25% of women cited “care for family and personal responsibilities” as being the main reason for not being in the labour force. This is as opposed to 3% of men who cited the same reason. On the whole, women also have less time for leisure, political participation, self-care and education as compared to men and in virtually every country men spend more time on leisure, whereas women spend more time on unpaid housework
- In Singapore, it is cited that although an equal amount of women and men enter tertiary education, there is a fall-off of employed women in their 30s, with the top reason cited as being caregiving and child-rearing
(3) More women than men work in vulnerable, low-paid or undervalued jobs. On average, 49.1% of the world’s working women work in vulnerable employment, opening them up to exploration and work-place harassment, unprotected by any legal legislation. (Men take up a lesser percentage of 46.9%.) In Southeast Asia specifically, this percentage goes up to 63% vs men’s 56%
- Could be due to the limited education opportunities open to women, especially in patriarchal communities where males are given more access to higher education
(4) However, it has shown that having female representation in the boardroom actually contributes to overall enhanced business and organisational performance. Companies who have three or more women in senior management and top leadership positions have displayed higher scores on all dimensions of organisational effectiveness.
- According to a 2012 study by the NUS Business School and BoardAgender, more than 60 per cent of Singapore Exchange-listed firms do not have a woman on their boards, and only 7.3% of the current 5,000 board positions available are held by women (AWARE Singapore)
(5) In a rural Indian province, there has been increased allowances for women onto the police and fire department force, a field typically viewed as male-dominated and unsuitable for women, who are perceived as being physically and psychologically weaker. There has been an increase in female participation in these forces up to 30% which is a huge milestone for the province, given its history of child brides and female disenfranchisement.
(6) 40-50% of women in the EU have reported experiencing unwanted sexual advancements or harassment at the workplace
(7) In Singapore, a recent survey done on Human Resource departments in Singaporean firms, it has found that up to 52% of them believe that women are not given the same career opportunities as men. The most commonly cited reason (at 71% in large corporate firms) being lack of work-life balance and lack of opportunities for women to fulfil their personal familial duties.
- Which brings me onto how peeved I was when the Speaker of Parliament came down to our school and simply dismissed the question on the fact that there isn’t much being done to ensure women in the labour force are afforded the additional protection against discriminatory work policies regarding parental leave etc. Yeah sure, giving women “four months of parental leave” is sooooo generous as compared to the 1970s! (for the record I think in the Nordic region women are given up to a year of PAID parental leave) Wow, I didn’t know we were still measuring ourselves to the outdated and patriarchal standards of the Confucian times.
- I think there has been a ratification in the Singapore parental leave policy, which is that women still get 4 months of parental leave while men now get 1 month (if I am not wrong) However, this unequal leave periods still entrenches the gender stereotype that women are the caregivers, while men are the providers
- There is also the whole discriminatory practices by companies against pregnant women or companies terminating the contracts of female employees who have become pregnant
- A 2011 Survey on Parental Leave by AWARE have reported that a majority of companies only offer 3 days of parental leave (36% of companies)
- And the whole baby bonus thing as an incentive to have babies is pure bullshit. While it is generous of the government to give families money for each child they have, that in itself isn’t much of an incentive but more of a “here have some spare cash cos you are going to need it”. Raising a kid in Singapore requires a whole lot of dough. I think it is safe to say that if it weren’t for us, our parents would be comfortable millionaires right now.
Yeah, in any case the SOP’s PC PAP response to the question really pissed me off.
Women and violence
(1) A 2013 global report by UN Women have found that an average of 35% of women have faced some form of sexual or physical harassment by either an intimate partner or a stranger. However, in some countries, the percentages go up to 70%
(2) 1 in 10 girls have been forced into sexual intercourse/sexual acts world wide
(3) However, such cases of domestic abuse or sexual harassment by a family member/partner against women often goes unreported to the police. In the EU, it is reported that only 13-14% of women go to the police regarding their most serious incident of partner violence
(4) In the US, staggering 83% of girls aged 12 – 16 have faced some form of unwanted sexual harassment in public schools.
(1) The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force surveyed 6500 transgender individuals in the United States in 2011.
- 41 percent reported that they had attempted suicide compared to 1.6 percent in the general population.
- 64 percent had been sexually assaulted
- 55 percent had lost a job due to their identity
- 78 percent of transgendered individuals that have identified in their schooling years have reported they had been harassed
- 35 percent had been physically assaulted.
- Nearly 15 percent left school because the harassment was so severe.
(2) As of May 2015, 32 states still had no laws banning job discrimination against transgender individuals.
(3) The US Army issued a new rule that transgender soldiers could not be dismissed by mid-level officers. The discharge decision must be made by top civilian personnel.
(4)Also in 2015, a U.S. federal court ruled that the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination against transgender individuals by a federally-supported health care provider.
August 11, 2015 § Leave a comment
Today was a decently okay day that got ruined a bit when I ended school but things turned around a bit and you just have to appreciate the little things you know?
Got back the history time trial essays for RF and SBQ, as well as the China essay that Yew Hwei
morally blackmailed coerced me into doing early that one day two weeks ago. I totally thought the RF essay was going to be super super screwed but it turned out strangely better than I expected. SBQ I did not bad as well, which I am glad because it means I kind of got the whole SBQ skill set (at least for IH) comfortably down. Now it is just the matter of rehashing and finding more CK so I have a wider variety to substantiate for trend analysis. China essay was my best one yet!! 😀 And I did it (kind of) under timed condition and within two hours with about 15 minutes of planning only. Seriously guys, if you want a taskmaster to encourage/morally blackmail/coerce you to do your goddamn history/GP/Lit/Econs essay (relatively) on time and within exam conditions, just go find Yew Hwei, she is like the Q to my James Bond HAHAHA
Then econs lectures + tutorial and basically just mucked around and copied notes and pondered with Waves about the fracking oil case study for the time trial paper. It was honestly a quite difficult paper, I bet the Y7 seniors were all “Frack my life I’m gonna become a gua farmer in India” after that paper :’D
Then had a two hour break (all my free periods all sucked up by H1 math now) and just powered through H3 Lit as far as I could go, then rushed to GP immediately to do the goddamn paper 1 essay. I was dreading it because while GP essays are much more chill than the other humanities, but they are damn tedious to do in the middle of the day especially after food coma-ing. BUT there was a question on there I quite liked: “Consider the view that spoken language is more important than the written form” and seriously, if I got that question for A Levels I would be so damn happy because it involves me talking a whole load of shit about something I am quite passionate about!! 😀 So I quite enjoyed myself writing that essay so I didn’t mind so much after that.
What I did mind was the 1.5 hour H1 math lesson right after GP .-. Yep, but anyway I got to meet my girl Yan Lin as always so those lessons always past super fast for me 😀 (or as fast as a math lesson would go) Gossiped about *~stuff~* as always, did a lot of math, sulked at how difficult the ancient math problems were etc. And I realise I like math lessons because there is always Yan Lin senpai there to teach me and I don’t get stuck and frustrated so often. It was great lesson as always ^^ (just remembered I have a semi-legit time trial tomorrow damn.)
Anyway, then after that I was super hungry during math but I decided for the sake of time I would do H3 until my parents fetched me. It strangely worked though! Because the minute I started working on H3 I stopped being a whiny kid and you know how the saying goes, “language is the food for souls”. Or something. Idk. I promised myself last night that I would finish reworking the first H3 argument and send it by 6pm, and while I was 1 hour late I still managed to stick to my plan and it feels great to waste a bit of time knowing you deserve it. H3 still is needs tons of work until the start of September though. God bless my soul.
Then continued H3 at foyer, and it is strangely peaceful. But I might reserve it for minor editing as it is not as easy to focusfocus there. Dr Foo ambled along and said some vaguely encouraging stuff about going up to shake his hand on stage next year (hopefully!!!!) and questioned whether I was J1/2 (probably because of my face), and when I told him I was doing “H3 Literature”, he was like “history literature??” and let me tell you history literature sounds like the most horrifying thing ever.
August 10, 2015 Enter your password to view comments.