What comes first? The flat or the baby?
In response to Singapore’s very own chicken-or-egg question, Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo recently sparked quite the firestorm among Singaporeans with the striking declaration: “You need a very small space to have sex.”
In an interview, the candid minister had talked about how the younger generation should prioritise baby-making over obtaining a home. While her comment can’t exactly be faulted for its logic, it was the contextual implications that got netizens all hot and bothered. An uproar promptly erupted as Singaporeans shook their heads and tutted that Mrs Teo had ‘missed the point’.
A common refrain was that having babies goes way beyond just doing the deed. Long-suffering Singaporeans, who have to contend with high housing prices and added pressure to start a family, commented on the importance of having the privacy that comes with possessing one’s own love nest and being able to provide a conducive environment to raise those babies.
Apart from the irate commentators who raised a ruckus on social media, Singaporeans also found ways to express their feelings on the minister’s remarks in a more creative, and tongue-in-cheek fashion.
A heartland approach to baby-making
IKEA delivers a masterclass in opportunistic marketing
Finding new meaning in painful childhood memories
Taking awkward family conversations to a new level
Even the neighbourhood cats got in on the action
More enterprising small space salesmen
Acknowledging the buzz she’s created, Ms Teo took the opportunity to call out on Facebook for an honest conversation on how Singapore can support millennial families.
Make what you will of Singaporeans’ desire to make babies, but the silver lining is that we surely haven’t forgotten how to laugh at ourselves.