Thursday, April 3, 2008

For Fun... and Syiok Sendiri lah... :-)

Thought you might like to know that all you critters are always on my mind, all the time. Unconditional love for cool people, that's what I like to think!

But more than just verbal expressions of how much I value all of you, sometimes I even manage to sneak you all into my published writing as well... hehehe... here is an excerpt that might interest you. My reference to critters occur close to the end. Enjoy!

Feminism and the Women's Movement in Malaysia : A Review

Barisan Nasional MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin must be simmering. The old adage, “loose lips sink ships” has never before proven so metaphorically true. His slip of tongue has resulted in an unstoppable torrent of public criticism from women and men alike. The DPM’s pathetic attempt at salvaging Bung’s rear end by claiming the remark was innocuous only smacked of complicity. I suppose this is what members of the old boys’ club do: they back each other up, they forgive and forget, and return to the task of running the country. What’s a little crass ribbing among MPs? Women should be more thick-skinned.

What the op ed pieces and newspaper reports don’t tell us is that Bung’s callous remark is a hardly an anomaly. Witness Datuk Seri Samy Vellu’s comment a few days after the infamous “bocor” incident: “A woman 50 years ago, she looks beautiful, but today she won’t look so beautiful.” He said this when referring to the RM90 million renovation work done on the Parliament House. Clearly, the old boys cannot stem the tide of their patriarchal lingo and prevent another sexist screw-up.

To surmise that all our MPs are sexist or male chauvinists would be an overgeneralization, but there is no denying that retorts against women are nothing new. Comments during Parliamentary debates about menstruation, sexy clothes, unmarried divorcees and outspoken women, in some ways reflect the limited influence that the women’s movement in this country has had on men in power. The fact that the female MPs from BN failed to publicly take Bung to task during Parliamentary debates also showed that partisan politics will always trump gender issues.

.... (a lot of paragraphs omitted for brevity)

Nonetheless, for us to chastise Bung for his remark and to get upset with those members of Parliament who took it lightly is only the tip of the iceberg for what needs to be done. The fact remains that MPs such as Bung exemplify the absence of intelligent thought in Parliament. To equate the leak in the Parliament House roof with the menstrual cycle is to commit a commonplace logical fallacy—false analogy—that any student of critical thinking can point out. A woman’s menstruation is as natural and God-given as a leaky ceiling is man-made. To menstruate is part and parcel of being a woman (and even then, with a few medical exceptions) but for a million ringgit construction and upgrading effort to spring a leak? What else can it be but an effect of corruption?

Rather than throw red herrings into the august halls of Parliament, perhaps some of our MPs should pick up a book to sharpen their critical thinking skills, to cultivate rational logic, and to expand their sorely limited knowledge of the struggle and gains made by women in the past 50 years. It would certainly behoove our MPs—male and female alike—to give Feminism and the Women’s Movement in Malaysia a read. Merdeka is around the corner—it’s the least they can do.

For full text, please go here.


KahJoon said...

i read this in ur blog d. i did not notice that u indirectly implied us in ur work. good lah. haha. kembang d..lolz

Harwina said...
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