Monday, December 2, 2013

Reactions show need for education

(Published - ST, Nov 23, 2013)

Reactions show need for education

I support the Singapore Armed Forces' move to ban a verse of an army marching song, because misogyny, sexism and rape should not be tolerated ("Offensive verse of army song banned"; last Saturday).

Some online critics claim the lyrics are "no big deal" and sung in jest. Their argument trivialises and normalises sexism and rape, while justifying sexual assault as retaliation for infidelity.

Also, it indicates apathy and desensitisation towards the issues, resulting in some seeing nothing wrong with the behaviour.

Then there are those who argue that the verse is sung within the confines of the army. But locale is not an excuse.

Surely, there are many other ways for soldiers to cope with compulsory conscription and fatigue, as well as raise morale, without putting down women.

Some argue that the Association of Women for Action and Research is intrusive and prudish. This should not detract from the work it has been doing in raising awareness of prejudice, chauvinism and their normalisation.

There is no need to ascribe inferiority to women as a means to state one's masculinity.

National servicemen are obligated to bear arms as part of state-sanctioned violence in the name of national defence. Sexual violence and its rhetoric have no place in this.

We could perhaps reflect on how we have long taken for granted certain historical liberties taken by males with regard to attitudes and behaviours towards females.

The reactions to the ban show that we are in dire need of some education.

Ho Chi Sam


(Original version - sent 17 Nov 2013)

I refer to the recent ban on the verse of an army singalong song by MINDEF following a complaint by AWARE.

I support this because misogyny, sexism, rape and threats of rape should not be tolerated.

In the online criticism directed at AWARE and the ban, some claim the lyrics are "no big deal" and sung in jest. I disagree. This trivialises and normalises sexism and rape, while justifying sexual assault as retaliation for infidelity.

Furthermore, it indicates apathy and desensitisation towards the subject matter, resulting in few seeing no wrong in the behaviour. It is alarming and disappointing.

Some argue the verse is sung within the confines of the army, but locale is not an excuse. In addition, the responsibility of having done National Service does not give one the privilege to be sexist in any context.

It is also not an excuse to objectify women and joke about sexual assault - a tacit acknowledgement and imposition of gender superiority. Surely there are many other ways for soldiers to cope with compulsory conscription, fatigue, showing machismo, building caramaderie and morale etc. without the need to put down women.

Some argue AWARE is intrusive and even projected expectations on them to take up further causes with respect to conscription and traditional attitudes toward the expendability of male citizens' lives.

This should still not detract from the work AWARE has been doing in making Singaporeans more conscious of prejudice, chauvinism and their normalisation.

I feel there is no need to demean, trivialise abuse or ascribe inferiority to women as a means to stating one’s masculinity, building an army or engaging in war.

NSmen are obligated to bear arms as part of state-sanctioned violence in the name of national defence. Sexual violence and its rhetoric have no place in this.

Rather than focus on AWARE and label the organisation as prudish, we could perhaps take on a less convenient task in reflecting on how we have long taken for granted certain historical liberties taken by males with regard to attitudes and behaviours towards females.

For those who place great emphasis on masculinity or manliness, I kindly suggest these traits be constructed, embodied and impressed upon others without the need to be sexist, misogynist or partaking in activities that trivialise and normalise these attitudes.

The above-mentioned reactions to the ban only show that we are in dire need of some education.


lee said...

Would u rather it be kill BOTH the man and girlfriend then?Because it seems that to them,rape is worse than murder.Either that or they are saying atrocities committed against a man doesnt matter.I dont know how such lyrics can belittle women.It doesnt sing about how rape should be used against sinning women in every single verse.What about how the instructors always use the words fuck and cheebye on the recruits,saying they are the lowest lifeforms,blah blah blah.If aware women were subjected to such training,would they still regard the "rape" within purple lights as the worst,or the treatment during training?How is it rape can be a vilier word than vulgarities,and be coined above murder in the atrocity rating,just because it turns on all the signals within women?
As for the writer yourself,i have seen your blog entries,and u arent a hypocrite who seeks to bash down other men as i've seen how some profeminist men are.However i feel that u have your faith misplaced on aware.I'm not sure if u have seen the links i posted on your previous entry on how aware's supporters mass bombarded the men showing concern about their activities by distorting their intentions.The victim mentality is very much alive within them.
The word objectify is a very subjective term,and can mean a variety of things as individual interprets.I for one know feminists have been misusing this term,alongside with concepts of victim blaming.How does rape in the song 'objectify' them,firstly,what is the definition of the word,fundamentally,and how does this song fit into such a context?Are all the alleged claims mere interpretations of the worst case scenario?
Unless women stop imagining this image of objectification in every context,they'd never be free of this victim mentality.If men were just like them,i can assure u the number of times men raise an alleged objectification of men report to be no less,in fact maybe more.
As for education,i know for one that feminism has gotten infiltrated subtlely into every aspect of educational material.It's mostly educated people who keep preaching women rights rather than see human rights as a collective whole.To me,more education doesnt improve one's mentality if it shows a one sided picture.If men's rights activists were allowed to input the men's side of the story into education,only then will it balance out the potential myths spread of feminists.u can take a look at train of thought is that women have won this gender war and can write books however they like and hence rever in painting themselves a victimised picture so they can receive more symphaty and support.Do u see a men's movement anywhere?Fems claim more men are in power,but who do these "men in power" work for?who do they try to sucker up to and please?If a king listens to his advisor on every aspect of country matters and is a mere rubbver stamp,who then is truly in power?

lee said...

I'm abit disapointed that u havent been able to move on beyond this aware song thing.Loso,as my dad would say.It doesnt even merit any attention,much less the 2 meticulously prepared articles u have honored it with.I wonder really,why wait until now before complaining about the song?It has been around for decades!
Instead,aware should be working to stamp out pornography and prostitution,and by that i mean ALL brothels,not just those with underaged sex sellers.Nightclubs with bargirls should also be closed down,alongside Hooters which purposely puts their waitresses in a provocative attire.Is that all not worse than a mere word?and as i stated before,anime which promotes female violence against men(hardly any are vice versa) should be condemned and abolished,or at least censored too.

lee said...

I bet u i can see the word mysogynist about 1 hundred times more often over the net than the word misandry,but does that really mean misandry hardly exist or pales in comparison?Think...underreporting and media bias.these days just about anything can be coined by fems as mysoginist,so long as they bosong with it.They pin the existence of porn the blamne on men,but really its the men who are the victims.Like a drug they get addicted and it degrades their minds n cause them to behave in self degrading ways.and if women didnt accept pay to pose and undress for such pictures,there wouldnt be porn.No supply,end of market.Then being forced into cold turkey those men would eventually have to clean up their minds,clean up their act,and live more like normal humans.

lee said...

having served NS doesnt give one to be sexist?Assuming this one little word can even count as sexist,then how about aware frequently ignoring men's concerns just because they are a "women's group",despite the fact that feminism claims to fight for both gender in its very initial stages?trivialise abuse?how can one mere word "abuse" the women of the country?does saying the word rape prick their skin everytime its mentioned?What about how some NSmen are abused by their peers and superiors,something the women never have to worry about?true,u say one abuse doesnt make right another,but it is also true we must prioritise what needs to be done which is most imperative.and this word isnt an imperative.if it were,why doidnt aware raise it when it was made?no woman has lost an ounce of their flesh by the song being sung,and laws in singapore has been protecting women,excessively at times,that they dare to go outside in various degrees of revealing without any fact it seems men fear to expose their bodies more than women these days.does that mean men are really the ones fearful of rape?fact is,the word being said or sung doesnt encourage or stir anyone to commit the act,it'd be idiotic to think it would,and aware is exactly just that not follow in their fact,a previous repeal has made it impossible to question the "victim"'s dressing or behaviour at the point of assault,giving them yet another layer of protection to act as they please.Because of sexist definition of rape,a woman will almost never be condemned of committing one.Does this excuse the sexism of definition,that subjects the men to a forever losing end?
I guess fans of superman would also jump off a building,thinking they'd be able to fly,just by watching it.

lee said...

what we have truly taken for granted is our men serving this country uncomplaining.the women take advantage of the peace and safety of singapore to behave as they please without checking themselves or taking safety precautions,because the law will always seek their redress when they get "victimised",so they will never lose out.The women,especially aware,takes the men's contribution to the army for granted and only seek to complain and nitpick the inadequate areas rather than show any drop of appreciation-look at how women treat men these days.without men,there will not be construction workers,care mechanics and so forth,much of our comforts we take for granted are contributed by men,including military defense.women can use their childbirth as leverage,and can also take over certain jobs,most of which are sedentary,but can they ever take over construction?yet office women who sit on their comfy chairs,possibly in a provocatively short skirt,has never given though and appreciation to the sweat of construction workers who toiled under the hot sun labouring bricks and mortar to make it all work out.At least we men have sweated under the sun and heavy weights in the army.fems still seek to claim that men are obsolete,despite it all,if u cared to search around online.piching in with them will only lead to disapointments.come visit

lee said...
Here to give u something to ponder on.This is an actual threat,NOT just singing out a single objectionate word.Shouldnt this MP be forced to publicly apologise n resign?Where are the feminists when such occurances happen?