For today, even though I am really out of my depth here but I would like to continue on yesterday's subject matter. The issue of men and women is a big issue - maybe readers would have more to say about it and I am just providing a short writeup about the whole topic as a stub as wikipedia would say.
Judging from the comments yesterday plus emails that I received, ladies seemed to be the majority of the commentators with men trying to counter towards the end. If I can summed up in one phrase all the comments yesterday is that the dice is stacked against women. One wrote about why we see plus men with women but never men with plus women; another on the difficulty for a lady to go up to men; another about age differences between men and women - men prefer younger women; one commenting on the perception that men prefers lower qualifications female partners; and another on cupids missing the arrows. Of the latter, I have a firm opinion that you have to make your own opportunities and go outside your normal circle. Cupids can only strike if you are with someone. Cupids can't strike if you are sitting down at home and your Mr. Right does not even know you exist. Later on the day when I think about it, to get two people together is the hardest bit especially when ladies are asked to play with one hand tied to the back - their handicap is the culture of not being seen as too forward and yet if they were not doing anything about it, they may find themselves left behind.
Therein lies the contradiction even within the Malay society. I would like to bring up two Malay proverbs which are contradictory to each other. One is the proverb 'perigi mencari timba' (the well looking for the bucket) and the other 'bertepuk sebelah tangan' (clapping with one hand). The former meaning that the well should not be looking for the bucket - hence in polite malay society, ladies should wait at home and wait to be asked for. The latter saying is contradicting the earlier one. One hand cannot clap alone, so therefore men and women have to somehow get together to form a union. Which do you follow?
One comment yesterday was there is no 'etiquette school' which teach you (how to approach the other side). True. Most books tend to be in English (the Mars and the Venus series is the one that come to mind). The Malay ones tend to be a bit preachy. The best I guess is to look for examples and tailor that to your situation. I looked around at my family, my friends and wonder how they actually meet each other. Sometimes I asked out of curiousity how a couple from completely different backgrounds ever meet. I have a friend who is a senior government servant and whose wife worked at the Fire and Rescure Services. They are not related but they somehow met somewhere at a picnic on a beach. The cupid took over from there.
At the end of the day, I am not out to provide a solution. I think that each situation merits its own solution. The important thing would be to trust in the Al-Mighty but at the same time, one has to make an effort somehow.