Feminism is about being equal, and not fit into countless preconditions of society

Feminism is about being equal, and not fit into countless preconditions of society

Imperfectly perfect

There is no such thing as perfection. Perfection is imperfection. Being perfectly imperfect is perfection.

women_300It is exhausting being a woman. There are just so many preconditions to fit into. So many things to learn and all the hard work that goes into pleasing those people holding our strings.

It seems that everyone is trying to fit us into a box they call perfection.

Take my parents for example. As the only daughter in the family, my mom made it her top priority to teach me how to be a ‘good mamak girl’. Thanks to her, by 18, I had mastered the art of homemaking. My dad on the other hand taught me to think outside the box, form my own opinions, dream big, be confident.

Both mom and dad wanted to create a perfect model of a daughter. Someone they could be proud of, someone who was a strong female as much as a strong individual. And I tried my best to fit into their definition of perfection.

At my (all-girls) school, my teachers taught me that being born a female, I had to put in extra effort just to be taken seriously.

Growing up, I had family members and relatives telling me what I should do and what I should not. How to behave and how not to. What was acceptable and what was not. How to dress, how to carry myself, how to speak, how to behave. I was even advised not to be too ambitious because it would be difficult to find a ‘mapillai’ (husband).

I had to try fitting into their definition of a perfect woman.

When I got married, once again I faced the dilemma of adjusting myself to my (ex) husband’s model of a perfect wife.

I learned that raising children was ultimately a woman’s job. Men should never be expected to lift a finger around the house. Stay home, clean, cook, wash. No driving. No hanging out with friends. No having your own opinions unless it resonates with his. No raising your voice. No saying no.

And I soon began to understand that only he held the remote control for sex.

As I continuously tried to fit into being his perfect model of a woman and wife, my exhaustion increased and I finally gave up. I walked out of my marriage at the age of 34.

I realised that despite being taught and trained to fit into the model of a perfect woman, I was far from perfect.

It is sad that we live in a society that thinks women are incapable to think for ourselves. That we need some sort of guidance from anyone and everyone. What’s best for us is decided by others because we are seen as incapable of thinking for ourselves.

From pink coloured mittens to red heels, we are told how to live our lives. We try putting up with these expectations, we try very hard to match the standard set by society to fit into society’s model of the perfect woman.

In my course of work, I met little girls complaining of being forced to learn ballet when all they wanted to do was play football; teenage girls who struggled to create their own individuality; young ladies having to put up with double standards in their workplace; wives being enslaved by their husbands; women struggling to earn respect from their male counterparts.

It is indeed very exhausting being a woman! We are constantly seen as incapable. We are never allowed to create our own identity.

While some of us adhere to the rules set for us and dance to the tunes of those holding our strings, there are other bold ones who resist. But they are judged. Our society looks down at them and taints them with ridiculous perceptions.

“Those who wear tight clothes and display too much skin are asking to be raped.”

“Those who take photographs in bed show they are hungry for sex.”

What screwed up mentality do these people in our society have?

How do they differ from those people in India who thought a girl deserves to be raped and murdered for staying out late with a boy? How do they differ from the people in Pakistan who think killing a female to uphold the dignity of a family is allowed? How do they differ from people in the Middle East who punish rape victims for allowing themselves to be raped?

Anyone who thinks they have a say on how others should live their lives are no different – be they parents who stop their daughters from getting a boyish hairstyle; aunties who keep urging their nieces to quickly get married or else end up a spinster; religious scholars advising females to cover up; and media who brainwash society into thinking being fair is beautiful.

Everyone deserves to make their own choices. Even women.

Our society needs to stop trying to fit women into their own perception of perfection. There is no such thing as perfection. Perfection is imperfection. Being perfectly imperfect is perfection.

So if you want to play football, go ahead. If you want to be a marine biologist, do it. If you are an adult and your parents still set you curfews, move out. If you are not allowed to be yourself in your relationship, screw the relationship. If you don’t want to get married, then don’t. If you are unhappily married, do something about it. If you are not ready to have kids, then don’t have kids.

Do not allow anyone to tell you how to live your life.

Be yourself. Stop putting up with people and their idea of how you should be. Stop being a head nodding puppet. Each of us are uniquely our own. We are masterpieces, not photocopies. We should not be made to turn someone else’s visualisation into realisation.

Stop being happy when others refer to us as ‘special’. The term ‘special’ is usually used for the handicapped, those less fortunate ones. We feel privileged to have ‘special’ coaches for ladies, ‘special’ parking spots. We allow ourselves to be given these special treatments without realising by accepting these special treatments, we actually are acknowledging the fact that we are less capable, weak, fragile and incompetent.

The biggest challenge for us women, is to resist these special treatments. Feminism is not about being special. It is about being equal.

Feminism is about empowering ourselves. Feminism is about being perfectly fine to be under our own skin without having to adhere to anyone else’s perception of perfection.

So have some guts. Dare to walk out from the boundaries set for you. Empower yourself. After all you are no ordinary human being. You are a woman!

“It is better to live your life imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”

~Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Love, Pray.

March 8, 2015


Published by

Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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