Michelle Obama confesses, “Marriage is hard” and I was advised a few months ago to seriously consider getting married if I want to climb up the corporate ladder. Blimey!
Not too long ago, I was thinking that I should ‘hire’ a husband because in most corporations, married women enjoy various benefits, especially medical coverage for their spouses and children. Since I am single, shouldn’t I too enjoy such coverage for my parents, for instance?
But lately, I was told, married women too suffer in their corporate climb. In some conglomerates, women who went on maternity leave will have their performance rating downgraded by one notch. In some other companies, mothers are not entitled for a bonus for the financial year they went on the maternity leave. I wonder why we must penalize mothers for giving birth to our bundle of joy.
While writing this, I wonder if our social activist, Fahmi Fadzil, deserves to be penalized in such a manner (that is to make public apology over Twitter for 100 times a day for 3 days) because the corporate world out there is indeed so cruel!
It is not marriage or being a mother that is hard, being women is hard in this modern world. With the rise of baby girls being born for the last few decades, boys are regarded as heaven-sent to most parents. As a result, most boys grow up into irresponsible men.
So, what do I mean that we have more irresponsible men.
Irresponsible men are emotionally handicapped. They grow up, expecting to have their material needs fulfilled and their messes to be cleared by others. They are so self-centred, they forget about the sacrifices made by their parents. They feel it is acceptable not to give a monetary token to their parents on monthly basis. The world revolves around them, without no care at all about their family member. The saddest part of this sexist upbringing is the rise in divorce rate and marital abuses. More and more youths run away from their broken homes while more and more old folks living in poverty while others are being abandoned in old folk establishments, under the care of strangers. By and by, social ills become permanent stumbling blocks, inflicting the young ones right up to our golden-aged folks.
Irresponsible men lack drive to excel. It shows in the declining number of boys getting into tertiary education system. This further proliferates into a strong force of women entering both our public and private sectors. Still, in the name of survival of purely egoism, women hardly make half of total workforce and mostly earn lesser than their male counterparts. No wonder our nation has fallen from its previous ranking of 72 to 98 in 2010 Global Gender Report, produced by World Economic Forum.
Irresponsible men think life is that simple - Just take care of their own needs and everything will be alright. It is never a case. Life is a wheel. What goes around comes around. I stand on these words that men, no matter who they are, should learn to be good sons before turning into good workers, husbands, fathers and leaders.
Only then, this nation will be a good one for everyone.
So, will the real good men please stand up?
p.s. A survey done on Fortune 500 companies shows that those with the highest representation of women on their top management team have better financial performances. In Malaysia, women only make up around 14% of decision-making positions and with this representation, instead of standing up for other women under them, these female decision makers will try to outdo their male counterparts by often showing others that their harshness signifies power. For a nation to truly push itself into a greater height, it is imperative for it to foster greater understanding and respect towards each gender.