More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Name, Age, Sex

So you've got a form to fill out. What's the first three questions you generally see. Name, Age, Sex. The name part is obviously needed. The Age and Sex part used to never bother me, until I spoke with a work colleague on Friday.

Since my birthday is coming up, I had innocently asked an older work colleague how old his was. He said that he makes it a point not to tell anyone his age. I asked him why, as usually women don't want people to know how old they are but men don't really care. His answer was unexpected. He said something along the lines of, "What does age have to do with anything. This is my small way to get rid of ageism."

I didn't really understand so I asked him to elaborate. He was saying that ever since he was young, he always felt that our society as a whole was ageist. For example, kids get put through the education system due to their age, not their mental ability. Why is this? Because it's easier for the Government to deal with. Doing this though, it limits the mentality of all people from a young age already. You are taught to socialise with people your own age and anyone else is "different". If kids were sorted into classes due to race, there would be a huge outcry, but yet somehow age is ok.

He kept elaborating and discussed other forms of prejudice that I never even realised MIGHT be there. When you fill out a form, why do you need to put what sex you are. Most people will fit into either male or female, but in 99% of forms, why is that needed. Why does buying a DVD online require you to say whether you're male or female. Why does obtaining a library card mean you have to categorise yourself? What purpose does it serve? He asked me any situations where disclosing your sex on a form is actually necessary. I could only think of in a medical situation where dosages of drugs may be administered. The second one I thought of (tongue in cheek) was for car insurance, boom boom. Don't shoot me ladies, I'm just joking.

If forms required us to say whether we're Asian or Black to get a library card, there would be uproar. Yet society (myself definitely included) has accepted things as they are and not question anything. He said that only when the feminist movement started was it illegal to ask a women whether she was married or not when interviewing for a job. Before that, it was the norm to know whether a woman was married or not, despite it having no relation to the job at all. So to make change, you need to push for it.

This really did get me thinking how we just live our lives from day to day conforming to so many small things that we feel are insignificant. But in reality, they are all small ways of making us submit to the controlling authority. We really are like sheeps following the herd, with no sheep in particular knowing where they are going yet the whole group is going somewhere. Have you ever experienced that? I definitely have. You're with a whole group of friends and you all seem to be walking in our direction. Finally someone asks, "Where are we going?". Its then when everyone replies "I was following you" and hear back the same reply.

So from now on, I will try to remind myself to occasionally think about things before I do it. You might not be able to change it, but at least knowing about it will give you options on what you may or may not want to do, rather than just being a sheep. Baaa Baaaa!


Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Whenever the reporters interview you, they will always ask for your age. Once I told a report I was 51 years 4 months and 23 days old.
He was flabbergasted at the accuracy!

5/06/2007 4:20 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Choo, thats a fabulous response. It is strange what your age has anything to do with the interview they are doing. Unless you're turning 100 and the story is about your hundreth birthday. :-)

5/06/2007 8:21 PM  
Blogger mutemonkey said...

Was wondering why the apology to ladies regarding your tongue in cheek comment about car insurance? After all, it's women who pay cheaper car insurance premiums because statistically women are less risky than men behind the wheel. Shouldn't you be apologising to men? ;)

5/24/2007 2:13 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Well Mutemonkey, for a mute monkey, you sure have a lot to say :-).

Firstly, I didn't apologise to any ladies so why would I apologise to any men either.

Secondly, statistics can be interpreted anyway you want. I can read from that stat that women drive less so obviously would make less claims as the chance for accidents is less. This doesn't make them better drivers, just drivers who drive less.

Or I'm going out to buy a dress now hahaha.

5/24/2007 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Do ever had to fill in an application form asking for his weight, he'd have to change to measuring unit provided


2/13/2008 4:56 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Anonymous, at least I can have a unit of measure named after me, the Thanh hahaha.

2/13/2008 9:14 PM  

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