In conjunction with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which was on the 25th of December(yes, I'm rather late. Better late than never, no?), I am here to not only rant about how our Malaysian government is not doing right, but to also suggest some reforms that we might perhaps consider.
So you see, I'm a visionary ranter! Ha. Genius.
First I would like to address what Najib said about how our country does not need a women's rights movement.
Let me just remind you that in the history of Malaysian women's rights, it wasn't the government that fought for justice, no, it wasn't the government that fought for equality and reforms.
Yes , it was our women's rights movements!
To say that we'll do without them shows how arrogant and ungrateful you are towards what we have turned into today, and do I smell some male chauvinism here? (ah no! I was exaggerating on that part. Don't mind me, I'm a little over-dramatic at times.)
Also, you said at the Women's Day Celebration, "In some developed countries, the men were allowed to vote before women but, in Malaysia women had the right to vote from the start. Don't think that everything is better(in the developed nations) as we are way ahead especially in terms of women's rights."
Dearest Mr. Najib, are you implying that we as women should be grateful that we had the right to vote when it was rightfully ours? Why should we be satisfied with just that? Malaysia, you are not perfect, stop pointing out the one actual good thing you have and ignoring all the flaws, that is arrogance. That statement is insulting to other countries and reflects upon our arrogance. How many times have I used the word arrogance? Gosh I need a new synonymous word. I cannot believe you would settle for that much when it comes to women's rights and not go all the way, to strive to be the best!
Malaysia, let me remind you, we have a long way to go before achieving equality. You think we are achieving progress? Well yes, but at a snail's pace my fellow Malaysians, and I will expose why in this blog entry.
Also Mr. Najib, you are not a woman. Please give up the post as Minister of Women, Family and Community Development! You cannot take on that role unless you are truly, actually a woman. You will never understand us, never, Najib. Give it up please, to a capable woman. We already have enough men in the Senate with just two women(correct me if I'm wrong, I've been rather outdated on the politics lately, but I'm doing my catching up now that the 13th General Election is around the corner, so exciting!).
Well, now, time for some reformation.
Do visit the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development's webpage.
Now, at the bottom of that page there is an online poll. The question states "The ideal marriage age for a woman is:" And then they go on to state 15-20, 20-25, 26-30,31-35 years of age as the choice of answers. I am deeply insulted by this. I am 18 years of age and to think that the one of the choices for the "ideal" marriage age falls in 15-20 years. NO, just no okay. At this age we need empowerment, education! Not marriage. Also, as a (rather radical) feminist, I am deeply insulted because they didn't give "never" as a choice. Assuming that women will marry and enslave their lives to marriage? Yes, marriage might work for some people, but what about for people (like me) who don't believe in marriage and that marriage is just a wicked institution that enforces patriarchy?
OH GOOD LORD. Please, if you want to start somewhere, start by changing your mentality! Patriarchy is wrong in every aspect and it only enhances superiority in men.
Malaysia! Please no. As soon as babies are born they are given their father's name. No Malaysia no! Shouldn't we have a choice??
The father is NOT the head of the family. No! We have both the father and the mother working an institution, both are leaders in their respective areas. Marriage is a partnership! Stop this mentality, dear Malaysians!
Well, I'm afraid my argument has gone rather emotional, I need an objective perspective on this issue, but it is just so difficult because it is so dear to me, this issue on equality.
In an ideal world where equality exists, both parents will be taking care of their children, not assuming that a mother's role is childcare. There wouldn't be advertisements where the tagline says "Mothers, if you want the best for your babies, Spotty Nappy Rash Cream is the way to go!" I would be rather insulted as a man not to be included in the upbringing of my own child.
If we were in an ideal world, mothers would have longer maternity leaves, the same amount of time given to the father, so that the baby's first few formative months are touched with love and care from both sides. EQUALLY. In an ideal world, mothers would be allowed to breastfeed whenever and wherever she would like to. There is nothing shameful with breastfeeding, it is society that is messed up and evil. In an ideal world, if parents cannot afford enrolling their kid to private nursing homes before resuming work, government based nursing homes would take on that role. If parents still refuse to let childcare be taken over by strangers, their workplace would be enhanced with play areas for kids with working parents so that mothers never ever have to choose between her career and her child. NEVER EVER. That is an ideal world. An ideal world is never assuming that some women DO NOT WANT children(like me!)(yes, just because I have a uterus doesn't mean I want a child in it.)
Dear Najib, with a picture of what a feminist's ideal world looks like, I hope you are able to build a society around this, or at least something close enough. Because Malaysia, with the headlines you've been making about statutory rape and whatnot, you are nowhere near equality, especially with such things as women's parking areas, women's coaches, etc etc.
Why do we always work on keeping women safe and not in fact making the environment safe for her? Heavier punishments for women offenders, the importance of equality in our textbooks, the shift in mindset of Malaysians that we are equals! Why do we in fact work on "protecting" our women. Oh don't wear this or you'll attract some random man who will rape you and chop you into little pieces. Oh don't go there at night because it is unsafe. Oh don't do that or you might offend someone.
Men have lust, so what? Learn to control it. The very fact that you need to control women and deem them as submissive because of your lust, sort of insults you. It shows that you're a sex maniac and that all you can think about is your lust. Doesn't it show how impure your mind is? If you're looking at it from a religious point of view.
*sigh* but who am I ranting this to? To the society? Hopefully this puts some sense into some male chauvinistic pigs and women who claim feminism isn't important. Feminism is the notion that women are humans too. If you're striving for equality, then you're a feminist. Men and women, likewise.
Say AYE if you're a feminist!
Peace out, y'all! :D