Letters to the Editor, March 9, 2016

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 March, 2016, 3:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 March, 2016, 3:41pm

Feminists are calling for level playing field

Hong Kong is a culturally diverse city, tolerant of different ­cultures and beliefs.

As it moves forward there is an increasing need for citizens to recognise that gender ­equality is a serious issue.

Feminism is an ideology that promotes equal opportunities and rights for women and men. Yet, many misunderstand it, thinking it is anti-men, and this ­requires clarification.

Being a feminist and supporting feminism is not about degrading the value of the male gender, but about encouraging people to break free from the status quo.

In fact, gender inequality is not only detrimental to women, but to society as a whole.

Men, as well as women, have been defined by deep-rooted social values on how they should look or who they should be. These stereotypes can be ­limiting for individuals and in some cases are actually dehumanising.

Making the necessary changes outlined by the feminist movement is possible with the help of both sexes.

The actress Emma Watson, the UN Women Goodwill ambassador, said in a speech in support of the UN’s HeForShe initiative for gender equality, “How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcomed to participate in the conversation?”

Men of all ages, and from all walks of life, should support the release of their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters from all forms of gender prejudice.

They do not have to conform to some of the stereotypes that decree men are aggressive and competitive, while women are expected to be pretty and ­demure.

In a liberal society, everyone is entitled to have their opinion, and no one should be judged based on their sex. Openly supporting feminism doesn’t make a man ­vulnerable, nor a woman unattractive.

It is time for men and women to stand together to combat injustice and unfairness.

All men and women are born equal, so women should receive equal pay, and have equal rights in all areas including education.

Feminism supports the empowerment of men and women, allowing them to lead their lives the way they want. I feel proud to be a feminist.

Yoyo Tsang Hong-yiu, Ho Man Tin

Don’t use concrete to fix damaged trails

I agree with David E. ­Pollard’s assessment of the need to ­improve some hiking trails (“Country park trails are in dreadful state”, March 8).

However, I wish to remind any government official eager to solve the problem that maintenance in country parks does not mean the relevant departments have to pour even more ­concrete. Nor should they add railings where none are ­required.

I urge officials to keep it ­simple.

Randall van der Woning, Tai Po

Students need emotional support

It always comes as a shock to read about the suicide of a ­student.

Some people are inclined to blame the students and accuse them of acting in a cowardly way. However, I think this is the wrong attitude and we have to take a different approach.

Students now face mounting pressure in their studies and from peers and parents. If they fail to meet high expectations this can damage their self-confidence.

They have to deal with intense competition for an undergraduate place at one of the local universities and may feel they face a bleak economic outlook if they fail to get one. Some teenagers find it difficult to deal with these problems.

Today’s teens are the future pillars of society. The government should consider revising the education system. It also has to allocate more resources so teens have access to social ­workers and psychologists.

Ensuring these youngsters get the emotional support they need is very important.

Chris Lo Chun-hei, Sha Tin

Newscast can help migrants integrate in HK

I refer to the letter from Fung Sze-man, (“TVB’s subtitle move will not be accepted”, March 6).

TVB has used simplified ­Chinese characters on subtitles on its J5 channel for its Putonghua newscast and I think this is a considerate move.

More new migrants are now coming from the mainland to live in Hong Kong.

They may not be able to speak Cantonese or to read traditional Chinese characters.

A Putonghua newscast with simplified characters can help them to learn more about Hong Kong and this can make it easier for them to integrate into ­society.

No Hongkongers are being forced to watch this newscast, but if you want to learn how to speak (or improve your) Putonghua, this new arrangement can help.

One of the core values of Hong Kong is that it is an inclusive society. We should continue to be willing to embrace ­different cultures.

Rick Hui, Kwun Tong

Offer viewers a choice over characters

I refer to Christy Ma’s letter (“TVB made a mistake with news subtitles”, March 2).

TVB is showing programmes from the mainland on its J5 channel and its news ­programme in Putonghua has simplified Chinese characters.

This has brought a lot of ­negative comments and in its ­defence TVB said it is trying to ­attract more viewers.

Hongkongers expressed concern, because switching to the simplified characters used on the mainland could be seen as sensitive given the present political climate.

They are concerned about the preservation of “one ­country, two systems”, which is meant to be kept in place for 50 years after the handover.

We are therefore almost at the halfway mark and so people are now paying closer attention to “one country, two systems” and to the freedoms it aims to protect in Hong Kong.

Critics said it was another ­effort to bring us closer to total integration with the rest of China.

I think TVB could have emerged from this dispute with a win-win solution.

Viewers of the Putonghua newscasts on the J5 channel should be allowed to choose whether they want to read subtitles with traditional or simplified Chinese characters.

The company would be showing that it was responsive to the different views of Hong Kong citizens on this sensitive issue.

I think in this way it would be able to answer its critics and it could still achieve its goal of ­trying to attract more viewers who want to watch newscasts in Putonghua with simplified characters.

Angela Siu Wing-yan, Tai Wai

Teens angered by lack of consultation

The issue of youngsters getting more involved in politics has aroused wide concern after Edward Leung Tin-kei, ­spokesman of localist group Hong Kong Indigenous, won a respectable 66,524 votes cast in the New Territories East Legco by-election.

I believe young people are becoming increasingly influential in politics. More of us are getting involved because we feel our opinions are being ignored by the government.

This has led to the formation of a number of student activist groups, such as Scholarism, which was founded by ­secondary school students.

They objected to proposals to have moral and national ­education on the school curriculum.

Students were angry as they had not been consulted over this proposal.

I think the introduction of ­liberal studies as a compulsory subject in schools in Hong Kong is another factor. It has led to young people thinking critically and having a greater awareness of social issues.

This has encouraged many youngsters to get involved in politics.

I think having more teenagers participating in politics is good for Hong Kong.

Carmen Lam, Cheung Sha Wan