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More must stand up against those who objectify women

While our society has achieved considerable development in establishing equal opportunities for women in the workforce, Mr John Lui's commentary (Real men don't look down on women in the SAF; July 16) highlights the misogynistic attitude some men here have towards women.

The observation that many comments were made about actress Apple Chan's face and breasts shows that the objectification of women is still very much present.

This behaviour of picking apart women's physical appearances is not a one-off occurrence, evident from the recent flak the Miss Singapore beauty pageant finalists received about their looks (Finalists take negative comments in their stride; July 16). The problem is especially bad on social media, which highlights a deeper issue of the lack of respect for women.

Having respect for women means admiring them for their abilities or achievements. Their gender or appearance has nothing to do with it.

The film Ah Boys To Men 4's recognition of women in the military indicates a mature, progressive attitude.

It is an acknowledgement that women can work in a male-dominated environment, and are able to do physical tasks.

What our society requires are people who condemn the objectification of women, an increased representation of women in roles traditionally confined to men, and further inclusion of women in such roles.

What has been done until now is not enough.

Change can be fuelled only through greater numbers becoming aware of the issue, and correcting those with the wrong ideas.

Isabel Chan Jia Yi (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 23, 2017, with the headline 'More must stand up against those who objectify women '. Print Edition | Subscribe