I work very hard in trying to teach my four-year-old daughter that she can do and be anything she wants to and that being a girl or a boy makes no difference at all. What is important is that she is a human being.
But it’s really difficult even in this day and age when one would actually assume that gender equality should be understood by all; but the truth is the opposite. It seems that patriarchal sexism is still as dominant as ever.
Certain friends and relatives always throw lavish praises of how pretty she looks or how a good girl should act so as to look pretty, but never pour positive reinforcements regarding self-esteem, confidence and intelligence.
What is worse is the fact that gender biasness happens even in the public domain. And most recently, even women are putting that extra effort to make sure their fellow women are held down in life.
Isma’s head of family and society bureau, Dr Nur Farrah Nadia Najib, was reported to have said that Malaysia can be a high-achieving nation with the men leading the workforce and the women staying home and raising children.
She went on to say that men should put in most of their efforts in shaping the nation while women should get a good education and stay at home to concentrate on raising healthy and successful boys and girls. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Last night after dinner and right before heading off to watch a midnight film with my wife (David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” is pretty good!), I decided to drive over to Universiti Malaya.
As most would know, there is a group of students who have decided to “Occupy UM” by setting up tents in the small field by the front entrance in protest of the actions taken against the UM8.
The UM8 are student leaders who were recently fined and suspended by the university for trying to go ahead with a talk they had organised with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The talk was initially approved but the approval was withdrawn at the last minute. Anwar came anyway, and the students pushed their way into the university grounds.
I went for two reasons. The first: given the fact that I am a journalist, I wanted to go the ground and witness myself the happenings going on there.
The second reason is because I feel like I have a certain solidarity with students who are determined and confident enough to stand up for what they believe in.
It is not because I was a student activist back in university. Far from it. I was actually quite apathetic about politics, economy and social issues. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
I started travelling to the Borneo part of Malaysia quite late in my life. I was already in my thirties before I went there for the first time. But now I visit quite regularly.
Visiting that part of the country brings a sense of freshness in that it really feels like a totally different country because their culture and philosophy are totally different from that of the peninsula.
The most jarring difference is (yes, you know this was what I was going to bring up now!) the relationship between the different races and religions.
In the peninsula, everything is defined by race and religion. There are the Malays, Chinese, Indians and the Dan Lain-Lain (Muslims and non-Muslims).
But in Sabah it is basically just all the same people, and if any categorisation happens, it is merely between those who eat pork and those who don’t. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
At the start of the Umno general assembly this year, I told myself that I won’t be writing any opinion pieces based on the speeches, debates and discussions there.
Over the years, I have learned that the rhetoric spewed just does not appeal to me. And it is not just with Umno, but with all political parties, from the ruling coalition to the opposition.
The party’s representatives and leaders can say whatever to the public that seem progressive and promising, but when they start to face their grassroots, they play to their tune.
And this is just what has happened this year at PWTC when the main issue to date has been the Sedition Act and how all the party’s wings have agreed wholeheartedly that it has to stay.
This goes against many statements made by some of these same people that it will be repealed. So what has happened now? Why the U-turn? [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
I was twelve years old and attending a public junior high school in New York City. It was a social studies class and the teacher was one Mr Nelson.
My classmates and I entered the classroom and Mr Nelson had a copy of the day’s New York Times for each and everyone of us.
It was the year when President George Bush Sr and the United States declared the first Gulf War against Iraq after Saddam Hussein invaded neighbouring Kuwait.
Mr Nelson gave us twenty minutes to read the story about the war on the front page of the newspaper. He even taught us how to handle and fold a broadsheet!
Once we were done, we were told that we could ask any question we wanted about the story we had just read and about the war. Anything at all.
We started with basic questions like why the US had declared war with Iraq and why Saddam Hussein had sent his troops into Kuwait.
Then we went on to have a lengthy discussion on whether any of us were actually in agreement or disagreement with the decision of the US to declare war with Iraq. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]