Breadwinner not always the man in changing HK

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 June, 2011, 12:00am


The role of men in Hong Kong has changed and they no longer have to be the breadwinner, academics say.

The researchers say that is one of the stereotypes that people must abandon in a changing social landscape. 'If you talk about sexual equality, not only should you change women, you've got to change men. Sexual equality is not just liberating women, men should also be liberated,' says Dr Susanne Choi Yuk-ping, an associate professor at Chinese University.

Choi was among the speakers at a seminar yesterday on gender stereotyping and has commissioned a study, funded by the Equal Opportunities Commission, on the impact of the rising status of women.

In the seminar, the commission's head of policy and research, Ferrick Chu, said the government should consider setting up a body on gender issues. 'We have the Women's Commission now. It would be best if we also have a gender commission.'

Shiu Ka-chun, a TV commentator who was at the seminar, said there were still strong stereotypes about men in Hong Kong. 'Men often ask: 'Am I masculine enough?', 'Am I being too mild or too 'wild'?' But what is masculinity?' he said. 'When we talk about metrosexuals, some say it is an insult to men. But is it not also liberating?'

Baptist University assistant professor Dr Simon Chan said care must be taken on gender issues and 'absolute equality' should not be sought among men and women.