I was walking out of City Hall MRT Station when I faced a jarring sight. Surrounding me was a cacophony of pastel shades each bombarding me with a message of fertility. The perpetrators of this assault may have good intentions but the result is distasteful, invasive and accusatory.
Whether or not an individual wants to have children is a personal and private affair. Why is there a need for any organisation to fill up public spaces with advertisements that do not appear to serve any purpose apart from shaming and guilting those who have not yet added to the baby count?
Do the people behind this dubious advertorial campaign deem Singaporeans to be too dumb to realise the implications of having children later in life? Given that we are a well educated society, this is certainly an unnecessary waste of resources.
Besides being wholly redundant, it is insensitive and presumptuous. Do they suppose that everyone is able to easily conceive? Age is clearly not the only factor to conception or have the organisers of this campaign failed Biology?
Have they considered that they are subjecting the public who will include people who have suffered miscarriages or health concerns leading to conception issues to endless reminders of their struggles? The last thing they need is to be surrounded by propaganda that reeks of ill founded judgment and arrogant presumption.
Starting a family is a serious decision that requires due consideration. It is not a matter of being rushed and hurried to the maternity ward just because one may be nearing 35. There are financial concerns, childcare options and family support to think about just to name a few. Surely it is important for children to be born to people who are financially, emotionally and mentally ready as opposed to those at the magical right age?
If the people behind this campaign really want to raise the birthrate, perhaps they can channel their energies into seeking reform on the underlying factors behind why some people are saying no to the pitter patter of little feet. That may yield more results than an all out bombardment of our public spaces with empty words.
An advertorial campaign like this is not only in your face, it is also simplistic and myopic.
It completely discounts the fact that people are not having children because they may not want to as opposed to not realising that they are getting older. It also detracts from our government policy of not supporting single parenthood. There are many single parents amongst us who would rightfully roll their eyes at the blatant hypocrisy of these posters.
Instead of pressuring people who may not want to have children into procreation, why not focus their energies on appreciating the children of single parent families? If the presupposition is that having children is a wonderful opportunity not to be passed up upon, why not support the struggling single parents amongst us?
It is not a secret that Singapore’s official position is to only encourage children within marriages. What of the individuals who may want children but may not have met a Mr. or Miss Right? Is the government going to change its policies towards single parents?
This slew of bubble gum coloured propaganda is clearly not very well thought out. What is its desired purpose? As mentioned above, Singaporeans are a well educated lot. We certainly need not be told the pros and cons of when to give birth.
Given this, the only results of these advertisements are to shame single Singaporeans, guilt married childless ones, isolate single parents or needlessly remind and punish those who may be unable to conceive while the reasons as to why some who may desire a family and are unable to fulfill that goal due to financial pressures, economic challenges or a lack of family support remain unaddressed.
What an utter waste of money, time and human resource!
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