Active social media user and online advocate for gender equality

Tan Ching
Posted February 17, 2016 from Singapore

I believed and still believe that experiences shape us. But now I also think that to a certain extent about the inner nature or personality of a person is tough to change. The divorce taught me a hard lesson. I had thought a person could be moulded but not to be so for someone already in adulthood or even one of younger age. My years of being a tutor made me think so.....I have seen too many students already. The ones of good nature can go far in life but those of lower quality ones, are difficult to be moulded into one of high quality. My personal experiences, I guess especially the bad ones really changed my views towards certain aspects of life. How to handle certain matters in my life? The decision to remain my current status as a divorced as of my lifetime. Getting married is enough to be once, especially when having been through such harsh marriage and divorce. Marriage or being married at the end of one's life is not just the only sense of achievement every woman should have or think it to be so. There are so many matters in life to tend to or to achieve in life. Many women perceive having to get married is what one must always go through in life, maybe not. I wrote is as of this, based entirely on my personal experiences. The entire process of going through marriage and getting out of it, legally and emotionally reshaped my opinions about marriage. Marriage is not a fairy-tale story. It also doesn't promise being a successful one that can last a lifetime....Promises can be forgotten easily by a human being. Alot of hard work needed but if only based just on one side, it cannot work so do alot of thinkings before going into one. It maybe not perfect but definitely there cannot be too many flaws, then this is doomed to fail...just like mine. Settling for a partner without higher expectations because I was getting on of age and should be "realistic" in my society ...in life; to be married so as not to be left alone without a companion. After learning an extremely teaching lesson, I admit that I was just one silly girl wanting to be just like any married women, to enjoy being blissful with a husband and maybe a child. Marriage means having to handle life challenges. I have had enough of such challenges on this chapter of my life, so far. The status of being divorced is different as of one never married before, more so for women. Women are comparatively still of lower social status if this is so. Gender equality hasn't crossed my mind before, I wasn't even taught this topic in my years in schools. It is only when I experienced being cheated even though it was a legal marriage. Divorced women aren't just something that are cast away. They are just as equal as before, or equal to men who are divorced. Women in whichever marital status they are in, whether single, separated, divorced or widowed are the same. Marriage is not always an avenue one has to go through. Even having to go through such unpleasant experience, gender equality becomes a topic close to my heart. I guess I chose the "easiest" option of being one who is keen to advocate about gender equality. I read up information of it, source for ways online to be one...internet is a tool that is convenient and when it was a time I preferred to be in the comforts of my home. Joining an online movement, sharing articles of it via social media, writing in my opinions in forums and beign open about my story etc. Being visible online no longer puts me off...as I used to treasure my privacy. One has to step out for this cause, and others together to be united for fellow women. I am just doing my one small and simple part. So...please do not look down on divorced women and neither should I view too little of myself.

Transforming the World from the Inside Out

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Sarah Murali
Feb 17, 2016
Feb 17, 2016

Dear Poh Ching,

Your message is very powerful, and very important! No one should be looked down upon because of their marital status. There are so many valuable ways of being in this world. Man or woman, one doesn't have to be married to be valuable, powerful, and equal.

You said, "Women in whichever marital status they are in, whether single, separated, divorced or widowed are the same. Marriage is not always an avenue one has to go through." So true! What an important message for others to hear!

The difficult children you tutor are a good example here. Often it is the difficult children who surprise us! They struggle to follow the rules, and school can be a challenge. But many children who struggle in this way end up being some of our most creative thinkers later in life! They have become inventors and artists who change how others see the world. So too with difficult experiences. They can unexpectedly become great sources of power. I think your choice to advocate for gender equality is not easy, but very brave. From this painful experience you had, you seem to be gaining power and momentum toward the future you want to see for yourself, and for other women. Your message is bold and inspirational!

In support,

Sarah