COMMENT | Shell has decided to pull out the life-size cardboard cutout of a female attendant that has been “shocking” people while they filled up their vehicles. But the pullout by the petrol station was not because of the shock. It was more… sexual.
Malaysian men have been taking pictures and videos of themselves kissing, groping and doing indecent acts with the cardboard cutout of the woman and then posting them on social media platforms. And what else? They all became viral.
The woman whose image was on the cardboard cutout, Nor Shafila Khairusalleh, expressed disappointment and embarrassment at what has happened. Shell decided to pull out the cutouts because they disagreed with the indecent acts that were carried out.
What this really shows is the deep-rooted misogynistic traits that our Malaysian society have where men think that they can do anything to a woman and there is nothing wrong with it. This is beyond patriarchy and is just plain disgusting.
One of the men, Shahril Azmi Abdul Shukor, who posted a photograph of himself kissing the cardboard cutout in a WhatsApp group (and eventually going viral) has apologised for his lewd behaviour and said that when he took the picture, it was just meant as a joke.
His video apology does sound sincere even though it came after the public threw all kinds of insults his way. But the fact that he had thought it was a harmless joke is again proof of how ingrained the problem of patriarchal misogyny is here. At least, he learnt his lesson...