Whither Malaysia’s #MeToo movement? — Boo Su-Lyn

Source: Malay Mail Online


JANUARY 19 ― While the #MeToo movement has brought down powerful American men in Hollywood, politics, and the media, the clarion call against sexual harassment is strangely silent in Malaysia.

#MeToo (or “wo ye shi” [#我也是]) has also failed to take off in China, although a former doctoral student’s sexual assault allegations against a leading computer scientist, who allegedly attacked at least seven other students, have gone viral and led to the professor’s suspension from Beihang University in Beijing.

Actresses in Bollywood and other Indian film industries have also spoken out against sexual harassment that is considered an open secret in Indian cinema.

Malaysian women, however, have yet to widely embrace the #MeToo movement, though several did use the hashtag when it came out several days after allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein broke last October.

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Rape culture alive and kicking in Malaysia, says women’s rights group

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Rape is a real threat to women and girls – it's not a joke, says women’s rights groups the world over. – EPA pic.

Rape is a real threat to women and girls – it’s not a joke, says women’s rights groups the world over. – EPA pic.

THE recent incident of a rape “joke” by local college freshmen that went viral on social media further underlined the fact that rape culture was very much prevalent in Malaysian society, a women’s rights group said today.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Sumitra Visvanathan said rape culture in society became evident when threats of sexual harm were dismissed as merely “jokes”.

“Rape culture is the way society and social institutions normalise and permit rape.

“This includes blaming the victim and excusing the perpetrator. Every statement that threatens sexual harm to a woman must be taken seriously. Rape culture enables men to make rape threats – and minimises them as ‘harmless jokes’, Sumitra told The Malaysian Insight through WhatsApp. Read more