“Perpetrators who go unpunished, will continue intimidating, humiliating and traumatising the victims thus resulting, at least, in an unhealthy working environment.”
- Federal Court judge Justice Suriyadi Halim Oma
COMMENT | Since when has dressing appropriately ever stopped some men from harassing, molesting and raping women in Malaysia? This horse manure coming from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) president Mohd Taufek Razak that sexual harassment is merely a relationship gone wrong is the kind of nonsense that religious authorities claim: that stricter control is needed in the way women behave and think.
Here are some of my points to clarify the matter because there was a whole load of dumbness in the NUJ statement.
“…the issue of sexual harassment faced by female journalists is not new.”
Really? If it is not “new”, then what has the NUJ done about it?
“…suggested that female journalists dress appropriately and be mindful of their conduct.”
Except there is enough empirical evidence in this country and in many so-called “religious states” that harassment, assaults and misogynist behaviour towards women has nothing to do with the way they dress. Indeed, women dressing appropriately has not stopped women from getting harassed or assaulted.
"In the context of female journalists, particularly attractive ones, this (sexual harassment) can easily happen if both sides reciprocate."
Sexual harassment is not about reciprocity. It is about an imbalance of power. It is about specific attitudes certain men, and women, have towards women. Believing that women should dress “appropriately”, for instance, is the kind of attitude that enables men to believe that they can behave any way they want.
“…it was natural for men to be attracted to women and for women to be attracted to men they like, and it was the process that determines whether this devolves into sexual harassment.”
Yes, and it also natural for some men to be attracted to other men and some women to be attracted to other women and some people to self-identify as the opposite gender. But what has this got to do with unwelcome sexual advances? A woman (in this instance) just wants to do her job and a man (enabled by social and religious imbalances) gives her unwanted attention.
Remember, this is a country where the religious police knock down doors to stop Muslims from engaging in consensual sex but who seem oblivious to the harassment that some women face in Malaysia...
Unrestrained power in your hands
For almost 20 years, Malaysiakini has stayed true to the cause of providing the Malaysian public with the truth. We believe that with unadulterated information, the people will obtain power to make informed decisions.
Decisions which lead to a healthy, robust nation - ours!
Keep the truth alive. Support your robust, independent media. You have the unrestrained power to do so.
Who says it's not our fault?
We aren’t trained to take responsibility.
Everytime we observe an injustice - and choose to keep mum - the prevalence of injustice becomes our fault.
Astute journalism paves the way for the public to be continuously furnished with the fastidious truth. You are continuously empowered to act and to uphold the integrity of the nation.
The Rakyat owns Malaysiakini
We choose to take a risk on independent media because we believe that only through independent reporting can one be NOT beholden to the interest of businesses or organisations. This allows us to really pursue the truth - aggressively.
Independent for 20 years.
The victorious people
In the light of holding the truth to power, Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its mission of providing credible news to its discerning public. Your support for Malaysiakini is always treasured as a testament of innate nationalism. Your victory is our history.
Quietly. Effectively. Says it all. Malaysiakini.
Speaking truth to power
When we embarked on this journey 20 years ago, we knew we would face intimidation, harassment, raids, arrests and perhaps even jail terms. We got into this venture with our eyes wide open.
The main reason we have survived this long - when many others have folded - is partly because we are prudent in our finances. But while we may be tightfisted in our budgeting, we do not hold back when it comes to speaking truth to power and holding power to account. And certainly, this new administration will not stop us from continuing to do so.