03 Dec Inside Story: Timothy Seet
I believe that staying silent, staying apathetic, allows me to be happier. I believe that other people’s issues don’t concern me as long as it wasn’t affecting me. I believe that by staying quiet, I am not being selfish. I am wrong.
It took me years to realise how huge a mistake that decision was until I myself faced discrimination and hate over things I have no control over. My qualifications, my personality, my beliefs didn’t matter because of who and what I am. My entire self-identity was stripped away because of quick, biased judgements people made of me, things that I had no control. But I am not the person that posts articles or statuses in hopes that my friends/ peers educate themselves and then end up with a long list of comments arguing, that eventually leads to anger and more annoyance. No judgement to those who do that, I think discussion and awareness is highly important in today’s society and it’s always great to see such passionate people out there.
But for myself, I like to start personal conversations with people, share with them the stories I gained from my own experience, and the stories I’ve heard. To me, these stories have such a personal, intimate touch to them. It awakens the part of you that refuses to talk about social issues. Stories, especially the untold ones, hold so much flavour and fire in them, that they move people, that they inspire people, that they change people.
To me, being a Singaporean Daughter is a woman who is proud to live in this country, through all the discrimination and problems it still has. A woman, who may not be born here, that is proud to call herself a Singaporean, no matter the colour of her IC or her skin. And a Singaporean, who no matter what religion, race, financial status, marital status or sexuality, that is proud to be a woman.
My mother lost her father at the age of 17. She witnessed her father get washed away at sea and since then carried the burden of supporting the family. Being the eldest, she knew she had to take up the responsibility of raising her family. Many people asked her why she did so, she could’ve easily asked her younger brothers to do it, the “let the man run the household” mentality. But she knew they still didn’t fully understand the burdens and sacrifices.
She’s worked as a mechanic, a technician, a landscape designer and a delivery (wo)man. These are “male” jobs, jobs that women aren’t supposed to do. But it paid, and what was a 17 year old girl supposed to do? She refused to subscribe to the notion of “male” and “female” roles. She only did what was necessary.
Now, she works for SingPost, where it’s heavily male-dominated. But it doesn’t faze her. It does not mean she is less of a woman, in fact she is much more.