15 March 2010

On Spinster


If the women in Hong Kong are getting more romantically cynical, it is because they are unable to locate a creature that can appease their yearnings. There is a group of women who have recently been labelled as what native English speakers may clumsily call "spinsters". If we turn to the Oxford Dictionary, it is generally referred as an older woman who is not likely to marry. In Hong Kong, however, the case is peculiarly different. The status of spinsters is fully acknowledged from the age of twenty seven, while lacking any romantic partner, rather than being championed as feminist ideal role models, the public mocks their daily routine behaviour of spending evenings alone, rendering the term "spinsters" completely derogatory.

So much intellectual ramblings this phenomenon generates, there comes the time when women who belong to this category are in protest of the herd instinct. What makes men being alone more privileged than women being alone? Is the only purpose of women's existence destined to be premised on a Platonic search for someone who can fathom their soul?

If their protest deserves attention, it is because it suggests something inherently paradoxical about this complicated species. On the face of it, their outcry is anchored from the usual feminist reasons, but at the same time these reasons are the ones that they do not wish to be accounted for. They intentionally suffer from a self-deception in order to cover up the somewhat deeply disturbing psychological evidence, the evidence of longing for love, just like a fat man who deceives himself he is thin by tucking his stomach before confronting the analytical truth of a full-length mirror.

But why do they have to produce and swallow this untruth at the same time? Is this society so lack of good men that no one can alleviate their sense of loneliness?

Hong Kong is a financial city. Driven by this pecuniary culture, we are compelled to rewrite the definition of love in the dictionary. The definition of love depends not on the articulacy of two different souls, but on the male counterpart, whether he can compensate for the garments missing from his girlfriend's wardrobe and whether he can afford an overpriced apartment in order to assure financial security. Love can be precisely defined by purely economical reasons as opposed to the commonly supposed abstract conception of love. How easy the age-old philosophical debate of what is love is settled by a group of young women, rendering pages of profound philosophical writings a pile of gibberish.

The accusation of women as spinsters in Hong Kong, instead of stemming from our hatred of feminism, it arises from the disguise of their deep love of material possessions. Men have been said to be devoid of the quality of romance. Unfortunately, the epidemic of this disease equally infects the female romantic souls. This society will not be sane until an education of love is enforced. Little wonder the feminist societies and organisations in Hong Kong emerge with their unusual display of passiveness.

W

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