Misogyny. This is obviously, a deeply rooted narrative embedded within society. It exists almost everywhere we go. The word conventionally means hatred of women and was once a radical accusation. Thereafter, the words “sexism” and “chauvinism” were used instead— two common words which have been used in almost all headlines related to the discrimination of women. Since it’s the 21st century, and currently in the fourth wave of the feminism movement, it’s time to use “misogyny” to hold those accountable for their actions and wrongdoings.
This week was indeed a hectic one, as we witnessed the heroic moments of our athletes in the Olympics, and watched the Parliament sessions which were apparently more entertaining than any other reality TV series. However, these happy and hilarious moments were quickly dampened by misogynistic actions and statements given by some individuals. So far, we’ve had three incidents, this week!
Starting on Monday, we had the CEO of AirAsia Thailand, Tassapon Bijleveld using profanity and bullying a female staff who was asking a question. The aforementioned woman appeared in the midst of talking when Tassapon abruptly cut her off and dropped the f word.
He said, “What’s your f**king question come on.” The flustered staff continued answering the question and he further rushed her by asking, “What’s your question? Come on, don’t talk a lot.” Following this, Tassapon received a lot of flak from netizens and one of the AirAsia AllStar staff expressed her discontentment too. She wondered if Tassapon would have behaved the way he did if it was a man speaking.
2. The Olympics
Following that, we’ve witnessed the sexist remarks made by netizens towards Farah Ann’s self-designed leotard during the Women’s Individual All-Around Event. According to some netizens, albeit the fact that Farah Ann is a 7-time SEA Games gold medallist, she was wearing clothes that were too “revealing”. Facebook user, Razman Bahari’s commented, “Even Allah does not allow you to succeed because gymnastics is not an appropriate sport for Muslims.”
Another misogynistic incident happened in regards to the Olympics too. National diver, Leong Mun Yee was questioned by an Astro Awani host during an interview post her Olympics event. The host asked, “When are you going to end your singlehood?” This was a largely inappropriate question pertaining to a sportswoman! Mun Yee, who was clearly not comfortable with the question, answered, “Er, I guess after the Olympics.”
Saw a disgusting interviewer with @AngelaLeong Mun Yee just now on Astro
Interviewer: Hehe, bila nak menamatkan zaman bujang..?
Mun Yee: Er, um, lepas Olimpik lah (clearly not comfortable/puzzled with the question
Bodoh punya melayu, geram aku tengok perangai rempit masuk TV
— Sensei! (@SenseiUcu) July 27, 2021
3. The Parliament
Moving on to national issues, we’ve also noticed the misogynistic actions of the Tuan Speaker, Yang Dipertua Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun towards the female members of Parliament, particularly, Hannah Yeoh, Kasthuriraani Patto and Yeo Bee Yin.
As highlighted by these female politicians and Tehmina Kaoosji, their microphones were muted and they were not given a chance to speak. When Hannah Yeoh suggested to the August House that she wanted to extend the session beyond 15 minutes, the speaker denied the request in the most unprofessional method possible by saying,“Can you please keep quiet?”
Saya tak dapat 5 minit untuk bahas semalam. Setiap kali saya lihat Arau dapat peluang bahas dengan kerap (hampir setiap hari) dan membuang masa Dewan saya….. saya….. pic.twitter.com/GL3VEPd7RT
— Hannah Yeoh (@hannahyeoh) July 28, 2021
Silencing of female MP’s voices: YB @PattoKasthuri submitting written copy of debate, YB @hannahyeoh’s assertion Speaker mutes female MP’s mics. Mcm ni ke, kita layan our wakil rakyat wanita & isu2 wanita & isu masyarkat yg mereka ingin dibahas? Women are 49% of pop & voters tau!
— Tehmina Kaoosji (@TehminaKaoosji) July 27, 2021
Kasthurirani Patto had to eventually, submit a written copy of her debate to the Prime Minister as a consequence of being silenced during the Parliamentary session and Hannah Yeoh had to be assertive throughout the Parliamentary sessions in order to be heard.
These issues might seem minute to many and some would even deem women to be extremely sensitive beings. However, this is not true. Each day seems like a battle for our womenfolk all around the world. Let’s do our part in combatting misogyny by educating ourselves regarding this matter!