The time has come for women to not be portrayed as the sole thread holding a household together. As social media is abuzz with the viral post by our Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development on how women should behave to keep the peace at home during this MCO, we felt it was important to focus on the key issues instead of mocking it.
Yes, these posters were definitely discriminatory to women due to their poor choice of words and images. Perhaps the Ministry had good intentions in the messages they wanted to highlight. However, these were instantly lost in poor execution.
The most infamous poster of the lot, stating women should adopt a ‘Doraemon voice’ when telling husbands to do their chores correctly, left many men feeling dumbfounded (and may we add insulted too)! We’re pretty sure many men are responsible and good at chores.
The fact is, women don’t need to be told the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to dress, or to ‘manage’ their men. It truly is a partnership, with both parties taking responsibility in keeping a home happy and safe.
It’s 2020. We’ve moved on from talking about juggling between home and careers. We’ve embraced being our best and most authentic selves. We know we can’t always have it all and understand it’s about balance. And that’s okay.
What Team Weekly & Her World Has to Say…
As a team, we’re sharing our views. As women, we want our voices to be heard and to take a stand for Malaysian women!
“I’ve struggled with finding self-worth within myself, and it had a lot to do with internalized misogyny, which many of us grow up with as it’s part of our culture – endorsed, even, by the very Ministry representing women and our rights. Here’s what I’ve found out, the very hard way: no one else can make you feel good about yourself. A good relationship is built on trust and respect; for yourself, and for your partner. You have to enter into it as equals, or it’s never going to be anything but toxic.” – Adelina Tan, deputy editor
“This incident reminds me of the many times I was told I couldn’t be a class monitor, as only the boys get to be one. I was then appointed to be an assistant class monitor. That was my first experience of being told that I’ll have to follow the lead, to be the ‘limbs’ instead of the ‘head’, not because I was less capable, but because I’m female. This happened to me almost a decade ago. On a brighter note, things sure have changed; not entirely, but I remain positive. We cast a light on women empowerment and gender equality a lot more these days, to shatter stereotypes and avoid pigeonholing by gender roles. Cards weren’t dealt equally between genders back in the days — subtly, and not s subtly — but we’ve evolved, and so should our views. Women can be the breadwinners, leaders and decision-makers. We can contribute not only to our family but also to the society. We can impress the world with our intelligence and wit, but not by mimicking someone — or something — else. For better or worse, we cannot change the past. Hence, what we can do is to appreciate and love who we are, and to ourselves. To quote one of my favourite writers, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “It’s so important to not think that you have to perform for somebody else. It’s really important to what I like to call ‘own yourself ‘. ” – Lorraine Chai, features writer
“I don’t think my self-worth or value — or any woman’s, for that matter — should be defined by outdated standards. If I have to wear makeup — but never too much, or else I’ll look ‘cheap’, they say — have a 23-inch waist, be good at cooking and cleaning, and never speak my mind in order to be ‘woman’ enough, what message am I sending to the younger generation? Is that what being a woman is all about? In my opinion, if you are kind, hardworking, and responsible, you are enough.” – Nadhirah Othman, fashion & beauty writer
“I thought we had been making good progress in helping women rise up so we are treated as equals with men, but it looks like the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development wants us to move four steps backwards. What century are we in again?
That a woman in authority is asking other women to behave in a subservient manner is not acceptable at all. Objectification of women is one thing, but think of what kind of values the Ministry’s ‘advice’ is going to be instilled in our children. We will be raising generations of children who think that it’s okay disrespect women and what more, we are expected to accept this without questioning because it’s ‘women’s place in society’?
No, the progress we’ve made is hard earned. We must ensure that our sons will grow up to be honourable men who treat women right, and our daughters will reach for the stars because they are not held back by outdated patriarchal values.” – Aileen Chow, sub-editor
“For years, we have been writing about empowering women and speaking up. So, what hurts the most is how with one post, the key people who are meant to stand up for women’s progress ended up doing the opposite. For me, personally, it took a long time to fully be self-aware of my worth, and how I am who I am because of the choices I’ve made and the experiences I’ve lived through. I have a son and a daughter, and the last thing I want is for them to think that they have to be, or act, a certain way to get others to like them. Accepting yourself as who you are is the first step to understanding self-worth. So believe in yourself and make the choices that are best for you.” – Eena Houzyama, editor-in-chief