NUS Undergrad Alvin Tan Blog Saga

The recent saga involving NUS undergrad Alvin Tan and his blog posting has garnered much attention. I won’t delve into his actions as I do not know him a personal level.

But I would like to explore a bit about our thinking behaviour here.


Let’s be honest. All of us have sex. Some of us take pictures of ourselves having sex or of our own naked bodies. In fact many of us do. But in private. Be quiet. No one should know. We shouldn’t let others know we do it. Otherwise, they will judge us. So, fact is all of us have sex, take pictures of ourselves. But pretend that we do none of that.

The funny thing is we do these very things but when someone else does the same – have sex, take naked pictures of themselves – we are quick to judge them for doing the same. We watch porn and like looking at naked people, and yet we are quick to judge others who do so, or post their pictures online, even though it’s pretty much like the porn we watch.

And then, we use arguments of morality and ethics to justify that what they do is wrong. They shouldn’t be taking these pictures. Of course, we do the same, but no – we cannot judge ourselves! How can we be immoral and unethical? No, these people are immoral. We are not. Well, everyone is saying they are so they are! Thank goodness they do not know what I do in my bedroom!

So, even though they have sex, take pictures of themselves, we label them as obscene – what we do as well. We engage in the same behaviour we label others as immoral, unethical and obscene as. We’ve learnt to simply bring out these terms whenever we need to judge someone for sexual behaviour which we think we should be labelled. Do we even know what these terms mean? Do we really?

The question I want to know is why? Is it because we truly think it’s immoral and unethical? – when we have sex and take pictures of ourselves, we are immoral and unethical then? Is it? Or is it because the predominant societal discourse is that we should label sex as being immoral and unethical, and therefore, we feel that we should take on the same discourse?

We have become part of the unthinking people of society? Or is it this – society thinks that we should not talk about sex publicly, and so we do not talk about it. Because it’s shameful, embarrassing – it’s just not something to talk about? Really? Is that why we talk about sex to our friends secretly? Is that way we think about sex to ourselves? Is that why we talk about sex but when someone else does it, we label them? Because we’ve chosen to carve ourselves within what we think society wants us to be, and we pretend that we shouldn’t talk and think and actually have sex, because that’s what society wants us to do?

What did this couple do? What they did was like what everyone else did – they had sex, they took photos of themselves. What they did differently though was to post it up. But are they the first ones to do it? You gotta be kidding me when you tell me no other person has ever done it. Do a search online and you can see many Singaporeans with naked pictures online. Do we bring them out and flame them? Sometimes we look at their pics and we get aroused. But no, no. This is something we shouldn’t talk about. This is something we shouldn’t be saying aloud that it’s ok.

What does it mean if people know we think it’s acceptable? No, people cannot know. So, we have to judge them. We have to label them. We have to be like everyone else. We have to say its wrong. Because we cannot look like we are accepting, even though we think so in private and continue to enjoy watching what they do.

Oh, and by the ways you know what? They are foreigners and wait, they are in NUS. What? I didn’t get to attend NUS and they did. How dare they! They don’t deserve it. They are talking away my right to study and how dare my government let people like that in! Never mind that there are many Singaporeans like them! Nevermind that during the Tammy incident, we didn’t make as big a fuss but we shared her photos like wildfire. Because the couple is cute and they are local. Never mind all at. Now it’s about taking a stand. It’s wrong. We shouldn’t talk about sex. We shouldn’t be taking photos. We do that too but we should think it’s wrong. And they are foreigners and taking my place in Singapore. They are wrong, wrong, wrong!

We are hypocrites.

One comment

  1. Musing

    One can talk loudly at home. Talking loudly at home is not wrong but put it it a public arena when it involves other people, then it’s a different game. Mainlanders are criticized often for being rude and talking loudly with NO regards or sensitivity to people around them in public. The act of talking loudly is not wrong, but when it involves other people who do not share the same belief in talking loudly at all times, then it’s just blatant rude inconsideration for others. The same goes for Alvin tan.

    I don’t give a shit if he is law student or ah Beng on the street. I don’t give two hoots if he have sex with one or 1000 gals. His act doesn’t bother me but that doesn’t mean I agree with him. Not caring about it does not mean it gives him free pass to cross the cultural acceptable threshold or even society niceties. Yes, Alvin and his believers can continue to think this is my body and my freedom. Do u guys even realise this is signs of erosion of a society boundaries that stops itself from collapsing to sin city.

    Freedom comes with accountability, as well and consideration that it does not offend. Just like playing mahjong in your own home is fine, but when through the nite and it disturbs others at night is not fine. The thing about youth is that we think we know best and we can do anything we want, however when u get older, one will starts to realise the bigger implication to the social fabrics and the type of society and values you like to pass on to your next generation. Perhaps u are fine if one day you find out that your mum slept with 1000 men and it was splashed all over media archives and she is a porn star not because situation causes her to do so ( think Annabella cheong who snapped after her rape), but just that your mum was narcissists and crave for media fame. Personally, i would find it hard to accept.

    Yes. We only live once. Make it count. If Alvin has the brains which I think he does, it’s just a pity that he is wasting his talent and time in these sex acts rather than actively contributing to make this society a better place with his intelligence. He world could do better as a pro brono lawyer, a great journalist etc, however, he choose to squander his time in such unproductive acts.

    I hope Vivian understands too that contracting HPV is a precursor to cervical cancer and I hope she won’t regret this day when she has to face the choice of amputating her cervix or to remove her womb in her rush to get famous for her exhibitionist sex fetish. Yes Hpv has no cure either.

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