Thursday, December 08, 2005

Walking the Talk

Was engaged in a rather vehement debate last night.

It was sparked off by a newspaper article written by a student from my sec sch, on my DM who was retiring this year. Not surprisingly, the article practically put him on a pedestal, extolling his work as a DM, and playing up his so-called noble ways of upholding the disciplinary standards of my school, which by the way, is known to be strict to the extent of being labelled 'communist'.

I had a good laugh reading the article, and scoffed at how biased the entire report was. Well, my main issue stems from the knowledge of the various ways he dealt with 'wayward students'. I found his integrity and approach in discipline questionable, feeling that he had gone beyond boundaries in some of his actions. What I felt most strongly about was his practice of stopping female students in their tracks, and lecturing them on their choice of bra - from design (too lacy), cutting (half-cup) to color (silver, black). Imagine being subjected to such a lecture from your DM, in Sec Sch, complete with his signature smirk, accompanied by gesturing with his hand (你是在发出什么讯息..?) He never shows anger or raises his voice - his soft and snaky tone is much more efficient to run chills up your spine. *shudders* Tink a Chinese version of Snape! Well I have always felt that he stepped out of line in this area, and his actions were entirely unacceptable.

So you can imagine how flabbergasted I was to hear someone defending him, even fully supporting him, finding nothing wrong with this at all. I could not understand how anyone could see such actions as justified, much less commendable. I was totally revolted at the suggestion that this is necessary, since ours was a co-ed school and thus it is right to ensure that girls do not dress provocatively lest they 败坏校风, or worse, incite lewd thoughts in the guys who are in the adolescent age.

Then it hit me that for a person who has always believed in respecting the rights of each individual to his or her opinion, I was practising double standards in this instance. It was one of those critical instant that I realise just how hard it can be to accept an alternative viewpoint for something I feel strongly for - for a person who resents having others try to impose their point of view on me, this is really a time when I'm practically doing what I detest being subjected to.

I struggled for a moment, then let go of the matter, albeit grudgingly, to accept that I should respect this alternative perspective of the matter.

A lesson learnt indeed.

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