By: Ben Matchap
Singapore may be a first world country but slut shaming is still a very big problem over here. You don’t have to look far – find any online news about women getting molested or sexually harassed and you will see the comment section filled with comments like:
“What was she wearing?”
“She was asking for it la.”
“Who ask her to work at a car show/as a model.”
I think slut shaming is a real problem because of the kind of advice we give our kids. We teach girls how to dress to avoid getting raped, instead of teaching boys that they should not rape. The fact that a Singaporean lawyer could bring up a molest victim’s breast size as a justification about why she was molested by saying: “…I want to show that if she is wearing a very low cut (top) with a very voluptuous breast protruding out, (of a) half cut (top), then of course… the higher the tendency that people might commit such an offence.”
I am ashamed that a lawyer could say this in a Court of Law and that too, right in front of the molest victim. Singapore may be a conservative country, but we need to move past this village mindset. What women choose to wear, should never be an excuse to commit a crime.
For example, if there is a naked woman running around on the street is that an invitation for sex? How would a sane person’s response be “oh, she’s naked I need to have sex with this person”? What would be the response in a civilised country? After all we are supposed to be a first world country right?
Wouldn’t the sane, civilised response be, “Hmm something is off about this situation. Maybe I could pass the woman my jacket to cover her up and alert the proper authorities.”
Victim blaming and slut shaming needs to stop because this promotes a rape culture, and as it is, I think most men in Singapore are blind to the already existing rape culture here. We keep blaming the victim for being there, for dressing that way, for not being with her friends, for getting drunk…
There is no good reason to rape, there is no justification for rape, rape is rape. If all of this seems too complicated just remember – CONSENT IS KEY…”NO” MEANS “NO”.
The root problem is that we have a terror based sex education that doesn’t properly teach about consent. Sure the program mentions consent, but most of time time is spent on showing teenagers disease-ridden sex organs and scaring them away from sex, which more often that not does not work.
We need to have a proper program teaching people the concept of consent, we need to stamp out slut shaming and victim blaming. More importantly, I believe more men need to speak up against it. We will never be an open, forward moving society if this sexism isn’t called out and stamped out.