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Gender equality and household expenditure sharing

Re: Gender equality and household expenditure sharing

by 栄祥 林 -
Number of replies: 0
Can't really speak for everybody. My point is that I fully agree. Why is that the case?

I have been a home-maker over nearly eight years as part of my gender equality drive. I earned $55,000 per annum when employed professionally. As a male, I felt that I should stay in the household more regularly, and let the women have a chance at increasing their income profile and productivity. I support employment for women, I support better career progression for career women, I support corporate nursing and child rearing facilitations for career mothers. I support women outliving men. I support a lot more aspects of feminism whether women prime ministers and female presidents till women religious leaders and female directors. To me, I am willing to support the fact that women takes on major responsibilities in our modern society and this is because they are equally competent as men perhaps more.

As a male elder, I have wiped buttocks of children, I have done caregiving pushing elders around on wheelchairs. The last time I had Ruya deleting my message, I was telling her that I bought tampons for / with women too. I handled adult diapers too. Milk bottles, playgrounds, excursions, you name it, I have probably done some aspects of it. Men has to take on more householding responsibilities and because of this, I found the internet most beneficial because since I was trained as an honours computer engineering graduate, I could man the house while also being online professionally like now. One can either freelance on the internet as a social media expert, develop open-source software, support non profit infocomm causes, the list goes on and on - as long as there is an internet connection with a power socket available. I can even be doing a Masters programme online from home today as part of lifelong learning while the ladies are adequately employable if office life is their preference.

There was a stage when it was very difficult juggling, because as we grew on we noticed that when we were younger we lacked emotional maturity. Perhaps, emotional intelligence come with age and experience, hence growing pains and personal hardships, it is not that straightforward painting actual homemaking challenges as a human rights essay.

Today, I have it easier because several kids have grown up. One just topped the Life Sciences faculty in National University of Singapore on a state scholarship, while the old folks in the household generally live frugally so concerns on household expenditure sharing have taken a slight break from my life. In as far as there are no major hospitalisation crises or cancers or diabetes that require constant and ridiculously exorbitant medical fees, I fully agree that gender equality should and shall take on a more balanced sharing model of household expenditures.

Why I made such a decision back then is not unfounded, it is precisely because I wanted to appreciate the concerns that Nadege brought up. My mother was the breadwinner in my family throughout my entire life. I advocated women rights and career progression for women. I did not enjoy the fact that my father was spending more than my mother yet earning less during certain phases of my growing up, it felt silly because even in traditional Asian societies, it is quite normal historically that women spend in excess of men, yet men were expected to be virtuous and that included some degree of frugality or austerity regardless of income profile.

Summing my response up, by now today I have somewhat optimised my feminist household budgeting model. If the women want to spend more, I make them earn more or tap on their own savings if any. On my end, I do uphold a certain degree of asceticism on my end: simple environmentalist matters like quitting cars and cycling getting myself a workout staying healthy, quitting air conditioning and opening the windows letting green breezes blow through the home office, quitting canned drinks hence drinking unflavoured drinking water or coffee or tea at most. By not smoking cigarettes and not drinking alcohol, and skipping casinos and lotteries, the household budget can be made very efficient for oneself, and hence the extended family. What is a slight challenge is that the male has to lead by example and take on the necessary by himself, it is not easy to force or impose changes on him unless he is willing to take them up voluntarily, and this often requires proper modernised education.

As if a complete irony, on an ordinary day I spend around the same number of dollars living in the city as an average African villager do. Sometimes I spend $2 a day, there was a period of time when I actually spent more as a student. Yet, when I am minimising expenses, it doesn't mean that there is no major household budgets that I have overlooked. GDP per capita is INT$85,000 everywhere on this island.

You might think that a civilian that spends $2 per day is definitely poor, but in a developed country, society does not always work that way pinching pennies. You could be spending $2 in a day, but you are actually looking after millions of dollars in assets and liquidity.

There is a little science in economic theories that we have to work it out too, but this is beyond the scope of my response here with UNWTC today. Here are two news articles from my local pres that might interest another:
  • 4 financial mistakes Singaporean women are making [url]

  • Five gender gaps Singapore women still face in 2015 [url]

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