Demeaning to men as well
JUNE 9 — I was brought up in a family where girls and boys were treated the same. I had a brother and a sister, I being the youngest of the three siblings. My sister was, in fact, treated more special than the two boys; she was the only one who was sent for piano lessons. It was also perhaps because my dad could only afford piano lessons for one kid.
In all other aspects, my sister was treated no differently. She went to University of Malaya, graduated with first-class honours in maths, and obtained a scholarship to do her master’s degree in the renowned East West Center in Hawaii. She went on to become an actuarist and worked in both the private and public sectors in Singapore, and is now retired in Singapore because her children are all Singaporeans.
In those days, the ‘60s, some families did not send their girls to universities even when the girls had good results. One example was a cousin of mine. She had been accepted by a university but her father refused to send her there.
I remember my father made a special trip to Teluk Intan (I tagged along and that was my only visit to that town with the leaning clock tower) and tried to persuade his cousin to allow the daughter to go to university.
In the end, after three days of talks, the father finally agreed to let the daughter go to MTC (Malaysian Teachers’ College) as a compromise. Her brother was more fortunate; being the son he was sent to Nanyang University to study and is a prominent businessman now.
In the old days, even in government service, men were paid more than women for similar positions held and for similar jobs done. It was in the ‘60s that finally women were given the same pay and leave as their male counterparts, after many women leaders fought hard to get the same recognition.
Women today are recognised as equal to men, although each may have different roles to play, thanks to the efforts of some of their pioneers in fighting for their rights. As more and more people are educated overseas, where the women’s emancipation movement has long taken root, we are seeing equal status for women in more and more fields.
I too treated my children equally regardless of their sex, like thousands of other Malaysians.
Emancipation of women is here to stay.
Alas, wait a minute! In Malaysia, even though I know that anything is possible, I have never envisaged that an Obedient Wives Club would be set up by certain women themselves.
In this age and time, wives are equal to husbands and how some women can come out with this idea just baffles me. The aim of this club apparently is to make wives more obedient/subservient, and it also plans to teach women to be more sexually attractive so that husbands do not stray into the arms of whores…
As a husband, I wish to register my strongest protest here; the actions of these women are not only demeaning to women but to most men as well! These women have also missed an important point.
In matrimony, sexual prowess is not what holds a couple together. It is mutual trust, respect, understanding and love that are the key to a lasting marriage, not by asking either the wife or the husband to be obedient or subservient, or train them to be good in bed.
I just don’t know how obedient or subservient these founder-members are but one thing I know, they have already made Malaysia the laughing stock of the world again.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.