Singapore“Both parents female?” HDB replaces cartoon after people with too much time...

“Both parents female?” HDB replaces cartoon after people with too much time read too much into it

HDB is becoming like Disneyland?

When one prefaces their statement by saying “no offence ah, but…”, it is likely that the rest of the sentence will contain some offensive elements. Similarly, sentences that begin with a disclaimer that the maker of the statement is not homophobic usually encompass some homophobia. You may be tempted to think that this is a quirky truism of life, but that is not always the case, is it?

Sometimes, when a person displays obsession over a topic, there may be personal interests or other factors at play too. For example, there is even a “smattering of science” that suggests that homophobes may harbour same-sex sexual desires. But what is ScIEncE anyway?

We digress.

We begin with Iris Koh’s criticism of a cartoon posted by HDB on a *checks notes* retractable clothes drying rack. It is clear from her remarks that she had carefully scrutinised every nook and cranny of a cartoon that, frankly, most people would have scrolled past without giving much thought to it.

Before she accused HDB of becoming like the happiest place on earth (which she clearly did not intend as a compliment ), Iris made it clear that she was “not against LGBT stuff, afterall, I have many friends who are gay etc.”. After the pleasantries were out of the way, she began her critical analysis of a cartoon:

The text of her full post is reproduced below for easy reference:

I wish to know if Housing & Development Board is featuring 2 moms in this cartoon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against LGBT stuff, afterall, I have many friends who are gay etc.

But it’s interesting to note that there are what appears to be 2 moms in this cartoon. Just curious. Are we legalising same sex marriage anytime soon and they can buy flats is it? Seems very Americanised to me. Are we being infiltrated by liberal ideals covertly?

Please let us know if allowing same sex marriages are in the plans/works.

HDB is becoming like Disneyland, in my humble opinion

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Her comment on HDB’s Facebook post itself was devoid of disclaimers.

Two Twitter users offered interesting takes on Iris’ reference to Disneyland.

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Judging from the sheer enthusiasm that Iris has exuded in repeatedly questioning whether 2 women can legally get married, we’d wager that she is for substantive equality of LGBTQ+ persons. We may, of course, be wrong.

The Original Cartoon

The cartoon was originally published more than a month ago on HDB’s Facebook page on 14 May 2022. Anyone reading the first line of the caption that accompanied the cartoon would realise that cartoon intended to depict  a mother and her daughter. The first line states “Tell Ma, no more heavy lifting on laundry day!”

Despite the above-mentioned caption, at least 3 other Facebook users were also curious as to why “both parents are female”. Or as Raymond eloquently puts it, “How come the 2 parents look like zabor.”

A critical analysis of the cartoon

In the comments section of her own Facebook post, Iris embarked on a critical analysis of the cartoon. Amongst other things, she noted that there was no visible age gap between the parties, and the reference to “My Parents”.

Despite her valiant efforts, it appeared that Iris was unable to convince Daniel Lim.

One other Facebook user, Monique Young, observed that “two females implies they [are] lesbians” and thanked Iris for her “sharp eyes”.

However, the majority of commentators on Iris’ post did not see eye to eye with her.

Iris’ robust defence did not appear to persuade even her own comments section.

HDB Caving In?

HDB replaced the old cartoon with a new one on 16 June 2022 at 9.52pm a few hours after Iris’ Facebook post was published (16 June 2022 at 2.42pm). We will never know if the picture was changed due to the comments from Iris and like-minded persons.

When was the last time you played spot the difference? The old cartoon is on the left and the new one is on the right.

In the first frame of the new picture, the lady in orange has larger and rounder eyes. We’re not too sure what that is supposed to signify.

In the second frame, the lady in clad in green has visible furrows on her head which were absent in the previous iteration. This may have addressed Iris’ concerned about the women looking the same age.

On Twitter, some decried what they perceived to be HDB caving in to pressure.

For context, the actual post by HDB received more than 500 likes, 90 comments, and 111 shares. Out of this large audience, only a handful (like the ones exhibited in this article) expressed concern (to put it mildly) over the cartoon.

The vast majority of comments were focused on the product itself, and not the cartoon.

On Twitter, almost all of the people engaging with the tweet below expressed support for HDB and disagreed with Iris’ line of questioning.

All in all, it is safe to conclude that only a tiny minority took issue with the original cartoon. We could probably count them with 2 hands.

It would be interesting to know HDB’s rationale for changing the cartoon.


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The post “Both parents female?” HDB replaces cartoon after people with too much time read too much into it appeared first on Wake Up Singapore.

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