Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dear Nabilah, girls can do anything

The constituency that I live in publishes a thin family-style magazine that is distributed to all the residents in the ward.

One of the regular columns is a 'Kids Talk' section where a question is posed to young children living in the district, mostly in the hopes of getting cutesy or smarty-pants answers that only kids can give, along with pictures of them grinning, their fingers flashing a V sign that only young innocents can get away with.

This issue's question to them was "Would you like to be the Prime Minister of Singapore?" Most of the children, mostly aged 5 to 8, were completely disinterested.

Louis, 5: Uh-uh. (Shakes his head).
Q: Why not?
A: I don't even know what that is.

Nabilah, 8: Isn't it only boys can be PM?

The first answer is cutesy-funny but the second almost chilling. I don't know what's more disturbing, the girl's answer or her picture, in which she is already wearing a hijab. Strictly speaking, that's not required of her for some years yet, she's only 8 and clearly pre-pubescent. And already, she's somehow got the message that some jobs are for boys only.

I want to talk to her mother.

1 comment:

The Cat's Whiskers said...

Her mother probably also wears a hijab and has the same mindset. It's the father who has to be convinced that there are options for women. Or the father's father ... .