Being a Malaysian in a cultured country seems fine and good, but when you are a woman in this country, you can see the ugly dirty truths. No matter where you are, women just don’t get breaks, we can’t rest and when we do, someone will take advantage of that to step on us.
Only a woman knows the struggle of being a woman, in a country like Malaysia, mostly dominated by men, the chance for women to voice out and talk is very small. Yet we proudly say Malaysia is a harmonious country that respects people. The voice of women has always been neglected and declined as though we are asking too much, and yet you can’t take NO for an answer? All we want is freedom, our own independence, space for us to breathe, all we ask for is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T
But what do we get in return? “Women are being over-dramatic”, “Women are just too much to handle” and here comes the infamous “It’s so susah la to understand women.” It’s so hard to understand us? Just go ask yourself what it would be like if you were a woman and think of the things you did to a girl or any woman in your life. If you are still clueless, well sadly sir, you have fallen into the dumps of misogyny.
You see you don’t understand us, but we clearly understand you. Men have this ego that they have never done anything wrong in their life. This may be due to the fact as to how men are raised in Asian countries. If you visit any Asian household you would always see most women serving their brothers or fathers, you may notice how much the boys get complimented compared to their sisters and at first glance it may not seem to be an issue. However this may have been the root of the issues that are happening today. The thing is no matter how much you deny yourself, at some point in your life you may have mistreated a woman, it can be you being disrespectful, judging, raising your voice or even raising your hands. The reason I am saying men in general is because it may not be all men but it is enough men to make a woman feel unsafe and unheard.
Let’s Take A Trip Down Social Media
Social media is a green light for anyone from anywhere to basically say anything they want. This braveness comes from the protection of them hiding behind a profile or the anonymous label that gives them the authority to do and say whatever they want to. So there is definitely no hope in protecting women in social media.
V2K is also known as “Vitamin 4 Testicles”, a group from a telegram that consists of more than 100 male members that recently went viral. They are well known for sharing explicit and regular pictures of women in the group to make those women go viral as their sexual content. “We are not raping anyone.” That’s what they say, by shameless and proudly accepting that they are perverts. It took a while for the Malaysian government to notice these unpleasant events, and to them a little longer to take action.
There are many more cases in social media regarding inappropriate harassment and cyberbullying that are targeted at women. 99% of women always get peer pressure from men to send nudes once they have accomplished that they have the power over the women, and they would blackmail if you pissed them off. Not only, name-calling, body shaming, sexual comments and more is a common thing on social media.
The “Respect” Women Get In Real Life
Every womens’ worst nightmare is getting catcalled, harassed, being followed, and getting violent attacks when they are on the street. The stigma for women to carry pepper spray, keys between knuckles and ALWAYS being on the tense of alert about their surroundings is true. There are many cases of a man groping, catcalling, and even violently attacking women on the street.
Back on 28 March 2021, a motorcyclist groped an 18-year-old woman who was walking by the streets in broad daylight. On April 27, 2021, a Malaysian motorcyclist harassed and then attacked a woman sitting in her car. The motorcyclist crashed her window and pulled her hair.
Around the MCO period, when many were having bad times in their lives, during the police roadblock, many women were sexually harassed by Malaysian police officers.
“Seriously, you’re not wearing a bra? Show it to me. Lift up your shirt. If you show me, I won’t issue you a summon.”
That word comes out from the very police officers, who supposedly protect and ensure the law enforcement are fully secured; saying to a woman who was driving in her car at Putrajaya. The reason why they even begin talking was that the woman forgets to bring her identification card, which is a part of the requirement during the police checking, but asking inappropriate questions to a city while being a police officer is an example of unethical and immoral act. There were other similar issues that happened at the Jalan Duta roadblock, where women were also forced to give their personal details such as phone numbers so those police officers can chat with them.
You may think this just ends on the street, but nope. From January till the end of February 2021, four school janitors at Hulu Terengganu, who are all women were sexually harassed by the school principal. On January 25, 2021, a school security guard assaulted a school student at Kota Bharu. A religious headmaster of a secondary school raped and sexually assaulted students for 3 years. A school is a place for kids and teachers to educate, learn and one of the safest places for them but what if it’s not as safe as we thought?
As a Malaysian,I am so tired of not being treated right and just being a sightseeing view for men. I’m so tired of the way we are being treated in this country. As though this is just something women have to deal with. As much as victimology involves women, men are also in this problem, so why isn’t this a men’s issue and not just a women’s issue?
Women always get the extra attention, from being concerned to sexualizing, from a baby to a grandmother. We have just been given too much of the attention and spotlight, and yet men portray us as someone who can’t make our own decision because we are too dense.
Remember the Kelantan phone store incident that happened 3 days after Women’s Day, where a man with no pants tried to harass 3 women employees.
If it’s another woman it’s fine, it’s her issue, her problem but if it’s your sister or daughter you get all angry and furious, not the problematic system that the very men created but on the women for being a victim. And when we fight for our rights, for women’s rights we are considered as slapstick or tragedy. It Is as though Malaysia has already achieved women’s rights and we have our freedom.
People usually go blind during those kinds of situations, and then you blame it on a woman’s clothing, on her jewelry and accessories, or on how unaware she is. Do you blame the women for being the victim, and not the men for sexualizing us?
I really wish the Malaysian government shows the same enthusiasm as when they showed during the Sugarbook incident. I vividly remember one of Malaysian MP says that “Ok for rape victims to marry their rapists” It causes outrage among the women’s community. How would a traumatized victim marry some stranger that violates a person?
Maybe the only way to keep a woman safe is to restrict her and lock her up forever? But that’s the thing, this is the system that men designed, just for themselves and they don’t put in enough effort to create a safe environment for women. Men are just proud of being the dominant gender, so-called alpha male.
Maybe I’m attacking men way too hard, maybe some of you deserve it and maybe some don’t. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter, as a Malaysian woman, I am still clicking on when proper rights for women will be established. Protecting women’s rights is very crucial, maybe not for you because you are a man but for your mother, your wife, your daughter, your sister, your friend, and for all the women out there, she doesn’t have to be a part of your family or any part of your relations. Instead of looking down on them, respect them and give them a space to voice out, support them.
Women are not born to serve you, she is an individual just like you. Being a woman is tough and difficult, we may come across as soft and tender but never underestimate the power a woman could hold. Remember, if it wasn’t for a woman that brought you to this world, you wouldn’t be here.
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