Friday, January 28, 2005

Matchmaking for 'educated people'

I was surfing around the government websites doing some research for a friend who's thinking of setting up a non-profit. Managed to somehow stumble upon this portal that contains all sorts of interesting links. One link says 'get married'. There's useful information on how to date people and be happily married. If you click 'find a soulmate', you'd be brought to a site that advertises the government matchmaking service. So far, so cute. Then the horror starts. There seems to be two matchmaking services available. One's called SDU, the other's called SDS. It turns out that not everyone can join the SDU. In the membership section, it says that only uni grads are allowed to join. Also, if you're angry with your spouse and are temporarily separated, you can't join too. On the other hand, you can only join the SDS if you're not a uni graduate. I actually read the thing three times to convince myself I'm reading correctly. Has institutional discrimination even managed to sneak into something as innocent as a match-making outfit? Man, this is sick. If I'm a uni graduate, why can't I join the other group? (And vice versa?) Why? Because ex Prime Minister Lee thinks (years ago, I'm not sure whether he still thinks this) that uni grads should marry uni grads so that their baby will be cleverer. You don't want to mix genes with less clever people, do you now? Hell, no! So I looked at the two websites. Here and here. Tell me which is the one for the uni grad. Yes, the one with the nicer website design. I seriously don't get it. In this day and age? I can understand the membership restriction against married folk who are alone temporarily, but this is just getting too far. And then the myth gets propogated, and everyone starts to believe it...

4 comments:

JulAngel said...

HAHA.. u must be once again bored ...
or were u trying to find a partner online??
well which ever it is... you should perhaps go check out the HK yahoo soul finder site.. the ppl put there pics on there.. its hell FUNNY ,... hhaa.. it just makes my day .. haha i'm mean man!

but I agree with u , everyone should just go with their feelings and wat they want.. if they want a stupid husband or wife.. why not? !! lol ;p

Ali said...

I thought that the SDS website looked cooler.

But maybe the uni/non-uni matchmaking sites think that it's easier to match make this way. Like, people who are uni grads prefer other uni grads as partners? And visa versa. Not just the PM thinks that way.

jeffyen said...

Yes Ali, I agree that one reason for such an arrangement is to facilitate the success rate. And they are pretty successful in what they do.

I think the bigger issue is a little similar to Brown v. Board of Education. To what extent does this sort of segregation/discrimination harm the way people perceive themselves and each other?

In Singapore, it's not that difficult to see the 'putting people in their places' mode of operation, giving labels to the different 'classes' of society. This sort of 'public education' is really quite insidious. By separating people according to their 'educational attainments', it makes it far easier to control the population.

Maybe the real story isn't as extreme as I've imagined it; the original people who fomulated membership policies might be simply looking at 'product differentiation' to maximise their ROI. However, from a 'national culture' POV, I reckon the idea of segregation according to educational levels is prevalent, and accepted, to the advantage of those in power.

altricial said...

SDU hunt down "attractive singles" on Friendster too, it is really quite disturbing.