17 April 2007

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at
http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com Please
Wednesday April 11, 2007

Thank the feminists out there


Feminist” may be seen as a derogatory term, even by women, but Malaysian women today can hold their heads high because of feminists.

TODAY I received an interesting email that contained, among other things, these statements:

If you are a woman voter, thank a feminist.

If your doctor is a woman, thank a feminist.

If you open the help-wanted section of any US paper and see job listings classified by occupation rather than “help wanted – male” and “help wanted – female,” thank a feminist.

If your depression is taken seriously rather than considered a by-product of having a uterus, thank a feminist.

If you can have birth control prescribed to you without first obtaining your husband’s written permission, thank a feminist.

If you’re allowed to teach school regardless of your marital status, and you’re a woman, thank a feminist.

If you are told you can become something other than a nurse, a grade-school teacher, a housewife and mother, or a nun, thank a feminist.

If you expect to be considered for admission to university programmes based on your qualifications rather than your gender, thank a feminist.

If you expect your qualifications for admission to educational programmes to be considered equally, rather than after every male application has been admitted, thank a feminist.

If you’ve heard of the crime of domestic violence, and know that it’s illegal, thank a feminist.

If you can drive, thank a feminist.

If you expect to be paid the same wage as a man doing the same job you are, with the same seniority and the same qualifications, thank a feminist.

If you are considered a person in your own right rather than the chattel of a man, thank a feminist.

If you’re legally permitted to own property in your own name, thank a feminist.

If you don’t expect to be fired because a man “needs your job to feed his family,” thank a feminist.

If the phrase “non-traditional occupation” seems a little old-fashioned or, better yet, you don’t understand it at all, thank a feminist.

If you hear terms like “firefighter,” “police officer,” or “postal worker” in everyday life, thank a feminist.

If the phrase “she’s a woman lawyer” seems odd, thank a feminist.

If you aren’t expected to leave the room at a party when the conversation turns to current events and politics, thank a feminist.

If you’re a grown woman and don’t expect to be called “girl” when you are 50, thank a feminist.

Feminists brought about all of these things. Before the feminists got involved, the reverse was true in each and every case.

Although this list applies mostly to the United States, there are some things here in Malaysia that we can thank feminists for, too.

For instance, the amendment to the Federal Constitution in 2004 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, the Domestic Violence Act 1994 and current proposals for laws against Sexual Harassment, longer maternity leave and workplace child care.

But whom do we have to thank when female flight attendants are grounded after three children while their male colleagues can keep flying even if they have 10?

When our national airline refuses to recruit and train female pilots even though there are already women fighter pilots in our air force?

When ministers insult bloggers by calling them unemployed women, liars and cheats?

When male judges allow women to lose their children by refusing to make just decisions just because it involves religion?

When women are blamed for “allowing” themselves to be raped even if they are 73 and doing nothing more provocative than washing dishes in their own home?

When career women are constantly reminded not to neglect their families while men who neglect theirs are never chided?

When the fact that there are more female students in universities is considered a problem that has to be corrected by preferential admissions for males?

When laws that protect the rights of Muslim women are overturned because God allegedly prefers it that way?

When women’s faith and morals are judged solely by the way they dress while men’s aren’t?

When unmarried women are deemed unqualified to speak for abused married women whereas it’s OK for men to speak on behalf of women?

When, despite the overwhelming number of cases of violence against women, men, and even some women, insist on focusing on the rare cases of women committing violence against men?

When women have absolutely no chance of becoming Prime Minister in this country?

When “feminist” is considered a derogatory term, even by women, while “male chauvinist” is worn as a badge of honour by some men?

Who indeed do we have to thank for these?

06 April 2007

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com Please
Wednesday March 28, 2007

A blog is no e-surat layang


People in high places featured on blogs should become Net-savvy and post their own version of things instead of labelling all bloggers as irresponsible.

OF LATE, there has been a lot of blather about bloggers from people in high places. Bloggers are apparently prone to lying, rumour mongering, and are not credible or authoritative. Some even go so far as to charge that bloggers can cause disharmony among our people, leading to that old bogey, inter-racial violence.

It’s all a bit puzzling, given this country’s embrace of the Internet and desire to build a knowledge-based economy. As the eleven million Malaysians on the Internet will attest, once you’re on, you’re on; there is no turning back. Otherwise, why would there be websites for everything, including for government ministries?

As many writers (especially those online) have pointed out, the only people really complaining about blogs are politicians. Obviously one only complains about something that makes one uncomfortable. Why blogs should make politicians uncomfortable is of course up to anyone to surmise. But it does look as if some events are not just coincidental.

For instance, recently there have been some allegations of high-powered hanky-panky that originated on blogs, mostly to do with large sums of money. Now whether they are true or not, doubt certainly has been put in the public’s mind about some people.

Therefore the proper thing to do is to investigate quickly to ascertain whether there is any basis to the allegations. If not, come out loud and clear that the poor guy is innocent. If they are true, then take the proper course of action.

Instead, the immediate reaction has been to divert attention by creating doubt in people’s minds about the Internet in general and bloggers in particular. The objective of this is possibly to allow for any allegations that surface on the Net to be pooh-poohed as just some fanciful stories, and of no need for any attention.

Memos are sent out, and calls are made to various media not to pay any credence to anything interesting on the Net. If the reputation of the messenger can be sullied, then there is no need to take any action on any allegation at all.

Which sounds fine, except that of course the reputation of the person accused will never be cleared at all. The bad smell lingers. In the end, it is unfair to both innocent parties and the public.

Some people have likened blogs to surat layang, those nasty anonymous diatribes against people that circulate and are read with the same voraciousness as gossip magazines.

But there is a huge difference between those letters and blogs. For one thing, many blogs are not anonymous, unlike the writers of surat layang. Therefore bloggers who write under their own names are taking responsibility for what they are saying.

Secondly, unlike surat layang, one can always instantly respond to a blog posting by simply posting a comment. The more intelligent your response, the more likely you are to persuade people that what’s reported in the blog is not credible.

Indeed, one way for politicians to counter what they view as untrustworthy and non-authoritative blogs is to start their own blogs. Since they view themselves as very credible straightforward people, whatever they say on their blogs must surely be persuasive.

In the US, politicians are increasingly turning to the Net to promote themselves, and it has worked well for many of them. Therefore, it is surely time for ours, especially those on the government side, to join in.

As they say, if you cannot beat them (and you cannot), then you might as well join them. Indeed, there are several politician blogs that could be very popular.

The only thing, however, is that politicians must be prepared for the Net to bite back at them. Unlike ceramahs to supporters and cosy chats to compliant reporters, netizens have a tendency to talk back, and not always very politely.

If they think you are talking garbage, they will tell you. The only solution to this is to not talk garbage, which apparently some of our politicians find very hard to do. Perhaps this explains their reticence in embracing the Net.

After a whole day of trying to figure out how to attract more development money one’s way, the last thing anyone would have energy for is to answer aggressive questioning about some new policy. Or how one built one's new house.

Worst of all, such grouchy foot stomping about the Net only makes politicians look outdated and out-of-touch. Telling the mainstream media not to look to blogs for information only backfires. It makes the mainstream media look stupid and raises the profile of blogs, justifiably or not.

Some blogsites get more than one million hits because they talk about things the papers won’t. It’s an irreversible tide. Might as well flow with it, or risk drowning.