KUDOS to the brave young lady for standing up to those who tried to trivialise rape. We, the civilised people of Malaysia regardless of gender, stand by you in calling rape what it is – a heinous crime that takes a heavy toll on society.
The joke by her school teacher and threat from her school mate as well as the condescending comments she received thereafter are insensitive reflections of normalised sexual harassment. They reflect the lack of awareness and understanding of gender-based violence.
The saddest part is that those involved in our children’s ethical education are passing on negative values to the young in our education institutions.
As adults, our attitudes, mindsets and behaviour play a big role in moulding our children to become good, conscientious citizens. What happens when role models don’t understand their responsibilities or say one thing but act differently?
People lacking such awareness should not be allowed to work closely with young, impressionable minds. The government should therefore implement and support gender awareness programmes and training in all levels of society.
Children should be taught and encouraged to challenge their peers and people of authority who make sexist remarks.
Rape is not about sex. It is about power and control over another person’s body. In reality, not only girls and women are raped but also boys and men. Get this: One in three women and one in four men have experienced physical and sexual violence.
We urge the civilised people of Malaysia to take a stand against rape culture and victim-blaming. Support those who speak up against rape.
WOMEN FOR EQUALITY ASSOCIATION