Internationally Speaking

Scrutinizing Selfies: A look into what the selfie stands for

Reading Time: 7 minutes

By Darrell Koh (16A13A)

When I look back and consider something that irked me in the past, my thoughts fall to Phewtick, the app that paid you to meet strangers. While fresh in concept and promising to strengthen social ties that have been weakening more than ever today, it pulled us even further apart by reducing strangers from people to money-making opportunities. There were countless more interactions happening yes, but what seemed to happen instead was genuine interaction being lost amidst superficial – and at times annoying – conversation. The focus of conversations shifted from the person being asked to the money to be earned from each person met. At least then, I could refuse by simply stating I did not have a Phewtick account.

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EmancipAsia: Knowing the Price of Everything, But the Cost of Nothing

Reading Time: 6 minutes

By Qiu Kexin (16A13A) and Naomi Koh Jie Min (16A13A)

It’s not an uncommon sight to see your average Singaporean consumer struggling with shopping bags.
It’s not an uncommon sight to see your average Singaporean consumer struggling with shopping bags. Source: The Guardian

Today, frugality is dead. We saw this with the release of the iPhone 6 last September, whereupon many Apple-obsessed fans queued overnight outside Singapore’s telcos, with fights breaking out over menial issues like queue-cutting. To many of us, this may seem to be an extreme example of unneeded materialism, and we scoff at diehards who camp in queues overnight, especially when the past iPhone models can fulfill the same functions – but we don’t realize that we are also guilty of indulgence and wastage. It shows in the ways we students try to out-‘step’ each other by looking for the trendiest clothes and overspending on artisan cuppas from atas coffee boutiques. It would not be an exaggeration to say that our reasons for buying things have shifted from need to desire.

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ALS: Kick The (Ice) Bucket

Reading Time: 8 minutes

By Kang Yi Xi (15S03N) and Myko Philip (15A01B)

Until the ban imposed just this morning, allegedly after a student fractured his/her collarbone, RI was in the grip of the Ice Bucket Challenge fever. The premise of the challenge, propagated by the ALS Association, is simple: if you are challenged, you are obligated to pour a bucket of ice water over your head, failing which you must make a $100 donation to a charity focused on helping those who afflicted by ALS. The campaign has been so effective that as of three days ago, the Association has received a staggering 1900% boost in funding from last year’s relatively paltry $2.1m. It is mildly comforting to know we have not forgotten the outside world in spite of the imminent major exams. In fact, one of us was challenged over the weekend by a friend – this, of course, amidst the general bangarang that is CCAs challenging entire other CCAs. But fun though this may seem, it might be prudent and worthwhile to take a step back and consider the broader implications of the challenge.

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Why There’s No Such Thing As “Not Feminist Enough”

Reading Time: 6 minutes

This article was written in response to an opinion-editorial by one of our members, which we published last week. You can read it here.

Cover photograph reproduced courtesy of the Huffington Post


By Michelle Lee (14A01B)

I’ll preface this opinion piece by saying that yes, I am a fervent feminist. I am that girl who spends her free time writing rebuttals to sexist RJ Confessions, who can’t watch a movie without asking herself whether it passes the Bechdel Test, who has interned with AWARE in the past. In short, the kind of ardent advocate for women’s rights who might be caricatured as being a bra-burning, man-hating, humorless lesbian.

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