YOURSAY | ‘We do not want to be a society where rape is trivialised.’
ManOnTheStreet: I have to strongly disagree with activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi. He seems to favour a more "lenient" approach (to dealing with a teacher who made a rape joke during a lesson on sexual harassment in class).
There are as always "grey areas" in dealing with sexual issues. "Dirty jokes" abound in conversations and discussions at the workplace, and I am sure, in schools too. Unfortunately, rape is not and never is a grey area.
Rape should never be joked about. That should be the message to everyone. Teacher, student or office worker, rape is to never be a subject of a joke. It is never funny. Let’s be clear about that.
It’s all a "domino effect", Syed Azmi. The moment you "tolerate" a situation that rape can be joked about or used casually in conversation, you indirectly make it seem less of a serious issue. Then people will start taking the issue casually and start "accepting" it.
You can see it here. A male classmate has already threatened the student, Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, who raised the matter, with rape. Accepting rape as “funny” is a precursor to the actual act.
So no, I do not agree that this is a time for leniency or guidance or counselling of the teacher. The message has to be strong and uncompromising. We do not want to be a society where rape is trivialised.
Vijay47: From unsavoury jokes about rape to a rape threat, it would seem a natural progression.
Ironically, I would view the threat itself as the less serious of the two. It appears to be the work of another brilliant product of our education system, an immature hero playing to the gallery who believes that duty demands he protect the sacred icons that Ain has offended. No doubt that the student is destined to become a university professor one day.
My surprise, not shock, is with the advice from Syed Azmi. Child activist? Anyway, he sagely suggests that “it would be better for the accused teacher to improve and learn to explain things better, instead of having harsh action doled out against him”. Syed Azmi is merely advocating a local panacea for all administration illnesses - understanding, tolerance, and perhaps a transfer.
Some years ago, a young man was charged in court for a sex-related offence, attempted rape or molestation, I cannot remember. The judge let him off the hook on the generous grounds that the young man, being a national bowler, had a great future ahead of him. Syed Azmi has the makings of a great judge.
Sadly, the real victim here would be Ain. There would be further outrage that she dared highlight the poor conduct of her teacher instead of sweeping it below the carpet as is the expected norm, thereby bringing shame to sacred institutions.
Malaysia Is Surrealist Art: I do not agree with Syed Azmi. What is so important about the school getting a good name that harsher punishments should not be meted out, but rather, the school should be encouraged to have an open mind to improve?
I feel sorry for brave Ain and cannot imagine how judged she must feel.
Her lewd teacher has failed her, her self-preserving male classmates have failed her. Hopefully, her school and Malaysians will not.
ScarletViper9930: What the teacher did is totally unacceptable, he should have his pay cut, and rethink his career choice. I highly recommend rehabilitation.
Kudos to Ain for daring to stand up for truth, and kudos to her father for supporting his child on such an important issue. It’s time to say no to attacking whistleblowers who dare to highlight injustice and wrongdoing, as this is toxic and a misrepresentation of what is right.
Anyone who showed tolerance to rape jokes should have a mindset change. It’s because of this that good becomes bad and bad becomes acceptable. If we do not want our values to decline, we have to be firm in rejecting any action or behaviour or words that smack of disrespect.
Continue to fight the good fight, Ain, we are with you!
My2cen: Rape is not a joke. To those saying ‘it's taken out of context', 'she is humourless' - please tell your mother, wife, sister, daughter, nieces, the same thing and ask them how they feel.
The normalising of such behaviour has to stop. Threatening sexual violence is sickening, and carrying it out means you're a psycho. This must be condemned in the strongest terms.
Pokokelapa: There will be isolated cases of perverted teachers and predators. It’s good that this kid has decided to come forward and the father for taking the matter to the police. This is good parenting where rights are taught and voiced.
The classmate who has threatened rape seems part and parcel of our broken system. He has probably been enjoying speaking like this among his friends.
All this is partially due to social media and the kind of influence kids these days have. That is why he has the guts to post such a message on Facebook.
The education system is in the pits because there are no checks on these things and very few are brave enough to voice it out, plus getting parental support.
I am really sad that no police reports have been lodged till now on the "period spot checks". See the difference. It comes down to parental support, otherwise all will be swept under the carpet.
Clever Voter: Sexism has no place in our society but it’s experienced daily. Many have this attitude that women are to serve men, including food, sex and pleasure. Sexist jokes and remarks are common everywhere.
Even parliamentarians treat this every lightly. Many, too, at the workplace. Today, some have this twisted version that it's okay to assault and rape. Some walk around with this misguided notion that they can get away with this very wrong thing because it is a ‘way of life’.
It is not wrong to say we may have world-class buildings but there are people who have not matured and embraced the necessary change. We should begin at the top starting with rules, but it is tough with many simply not listening.
Freethinker: Not only has the male student failed to understand it’s wrong to joke about rape but he went to the extent of threatening to carry out the rape himself.
Our education system badly needs to be revamped. Is this the education system we want for our country?
1) Period spot checks
2) Jokes about rape
3) Inaccuracies/half-truths in history textbooks
Education minister, do your job and make the school a safe place for our children.
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