Gender equality: A stalled revolution.

DSC00429

Out of 195 countries in this entire world, women only led 19 of them. In parliaments globally, women hold just 21 percent seats. Only a mere twenty-three of all Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In the United States where they pride themselves on liberty and justice for all, the gender division of leadership roles is not any better. Since the suffragettes first marched in the street of Washington, D.C. back in 1913, revolution of gender equality started till this day where both men and women are given the same opportunity to pursue our education and career. This phenomenon had us believe that the revolution of gender equality has succeeded and the fight is over. However, the happy ending has not arrived just yet. The revolution of gender equality has stalled and the fight is far from over due to a few reasons.

It is true that women in many countries have been granted the rights to vote, for instance, Malaysia. And the accesses to health care facilities in many countries are readily available to women. However, the revolution of gender equality has yet to succeed because there are still places in this world where women are being denied their basic civil rights. This is unarguably true when about 4.4 million women and girls are still caught up and stuck in the sex trade. Countries such as Afghanistan, fifty percent of the women still suffer from all types of rights violations such as forced marriages, rape and sexual harassments. To make matters worse, teachers are threatened not to teach young girls and girls are constantly being abused. If the fight for gender equality were over, such disparity would not still exist.

According to an article published by Time.com, women are still earning significantly less money than men. The sweeping changes in the 1960s was indeed huge and revolutionary; women’s employment increased significantly; women caught up with and surpassed a lot of men in terms of college graduation rates and more women got doctorates as well as professional degrees. However, the existing wage gap between men and women tells us that the legendary revolution has in fact stalled. The U.N. Women report revealed that although there are more women in the workplace taking up leadership positions, the pay levels are anywhere but near the reaching of equality worldwide. This is particularly obvious in the South Asia where women are earning thirty three percent less than men. Thirty three percent is a significant gap in the generation that brags about gender equality. If gender revolution is still in rapid progress, such wage gap between male and female shall not exist in such significant statistics.

Far from being a victorious revolution, the fight for gender equality has stalled, as discrimination against women is still prominent. There may be laws made to protect women’s rights and to ensure that both gender receives equal respects in today’s society. However, the stereotypes and discrimination held against women are still strong. Just as the most current controversial reports of the Indonesia military that imposed “virginity tests” upon female recruits and even the fiancées of military officers. Not only is such test harmful and humiliating to women, it also sets back the civilization of mankind to the medieval age. Virginity testing is being recognized as a form of gender-based violence, which according to the guidelines issued by World Health Organization, has no scientific validity at all. In the globalization era that we live in, if it is true that gender revolution had succeeded, then why are the capabilities and the intention of a woman who wants to serve her own country be defined by the status of her virginity?

Reaping the fruits of what women so many generations before us had sowed with sweat and blood should have us feeling grateful. Not a single soul would stand out and disagree with the fact that in the current era that we are living in, the female gender is lucky to have equal, or almost equal, opportunities as our male counterpart when it comes to pursuing an education or applying for the highest of positions. However, this does not mean that the revolution has come to a victorious end. In this part of the world where women are being respected, on the other end of the exact same world, women are still being oppressed. Women might have been given a fair share of opportunity but a significant wage gap still exists and to top that off, discriminations and stereotypes against women are still a problem that needs to be solved. With all these being said, it is sufficient to win the argument that the revolution for gender equality has been stalled and the fight has yet to be over.

***

I know  I stopped updating my blog. I tend to just let thoughts dissipate into air. It’s either I feel too lazy or as I grow older, I became less expressive. Well, I do express a lot on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Microblogging, if that counts. I will be off to my exchange in a few weeks and we shall see if there is any improvement.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed this piece I did for my Expository Writing class.

FYP submitted, like finally. It came to a point where I don’t care how he grades me anymore, as long as I have submitted it! 🙂

One leg out of university. Ops, there is still finals of course! Study mood, come on, work your magic!

Till then!

Scribbled,

Mich

10421611_10152601828292570_2910313093024174954_n

Ducking out: The #IceBucketChallenge

To begin this post, I’d like to express my utmost gratitude to Mr. Pravin Nair, the tall and slender President of AIESEC in University Technology Petronas for granting me the honour by nominating me for the ALS awareness ice bucket challenge. Although I know I sendiri cari pasal. Lol, sorry Nicole.

That macho look!

 

Well, to continue this post, I have to express my deepest apologies to Pravin AND Nicole because the duck has to decline this ice bucket challenge. Yikes, sorry for ducking out!

Truth be told, I’m sort of keen to accept the ice bucket challenge because an ALS patient confessed that every single challenge accepted and performed moved him and it meant a lot to them. Also because having a bucket of water poured over your head already feels good, what else with an ice bucket head-pour? I asked my sister if she would help me record it, but then she reminded me of my condition.

With my heart condition alone I wouldn’t mind with a few steps of precaution. But freshly recovered from a mild injury and currently on antibiotics due to dental infection, I am more than just wary to take the risk this time. Oops. Sorry, guys! Pay back next time alright?

So, due to such a bummer I became of this meaningful challenge, I do what I do best; I blog it out loud.

ALS; acronym of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is one of the many kinds of neurodegenerative disease. As the name ‘neurodegenerative’ suggests; your brain, the main mechanism that controls you, slowly stops functioning. And slowly, step by step, it takes you away from your life.

You stop being able to dance, run, walk, sing, talk and finally, breathe.

The first time I got to know about this disease, or at least similar, was through One Litre of Tears. The girl was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease too, but I’m not quite sure if it is ALS too. And I got to know it better through my favourite book, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It is said that Mitch Albom, in his own way, has educated the world about ALS.

Here is an excerpt from his book.

Source: Mitch Albom Official Facebook page.

This ALS Ice bucket challenge awareness campaign, I must say is the most successful awareness raising campaign I have ever seen. Starting from United States, it went viral around the world. Of course, credits to the power of social media and influence of celebrities. It set off a trend for a good cause.

However, it also saddens me that there are countless of people doing the challenge for the sake of fun and for the sake of; “Because I was nominated and I want to nominate someone else.”

You know what I mean.

It got me feeling so helpless too when you hear ridiculous people saying; “Accept this challenge OR donate 100USD.”

It is not a matter of OR, but a matter of truly understanding what ALS is, why your action matters, how to do your part. But for most people, this is not it.

Regardless, this campaign along with this challenge has gain success! This disease has yet to find any cure, but knowing that we do care, I hope it paints the days of ALS patients a little brighter ! 🙂

If by now you’re wondering; “Eh, woman, you talk so much, don’t want to accept then donate la.”

Well, meanwhile I am declining this ice bucket challenge, I’m taking this nomination as a calling to act. Taking one of my friend as example, I choose to not donate to alsa.org because like she said, it has gain much attention and donations are flooding in. Thus, I would donate to two causes that I’m passionate about and hope that it bring some light to this two cause and awareness within you about this two cause.

The first one is Teach for Malaysia. One that I am passionate about and want to work towards joining it.

Another one is a cause for congenital heart diseases in Malaysia as I am one who is going through such defect. However, I still couldn’t find the channel of such support community in Malaysia and never heard of one, I shall ask my doctor on my next appointment. If you know one, do let me know! Another chunk of information, as common as heart diseases are,  most people are not aware of Congenital Heart Disease are the most common defect among newborn babies.

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 11.44.44 PM

Source: Jump Start Your Heart

There is effort of raising awareness of CHDs in the states but not yet in Malaysia. At least, my family didn’t have any support group or community to turn to 22 years back when they needed one.

Yep.

Last but not least, instead of nominating(which I obviously won’t since I declined the challenge) three people, I’d like to express a token of personal appreciation to some people who I find amazing.

If you still remember Sarah that I blogged about her going bald for a cancer cause. Yes! She is the friend I was referring to above. She accepted the challenge and also donated. But she made a wise decision to donate to a cause that she feels more passionate about and a cause that also needs attention. Good job, Sarah!

Next is my sister, Mrs Er. An unsung heroin where she quietly donated to ALS even before it began going viral in Malaysia on her own accord and passion. Not only just ALS but also World Vision. So proud of you.

As youth, it is not only our responsibility to be aware of certain condition and issues, it is also our responsibility to take action and make things better.

Scribbled,

Mich

5 AMAZING things CDM 25 taught us that being a road bully can achieve..

..preferably with a car plate that screams CDM 25(note: a White Peugeot 208, optional), with a steering lock. AND possibly with a rather bad temper.

Just in case you need some demonstration:

Yes. I am so sorry you have to come across this piece of news literally everywhere you go on the social media and now my blog too.

I, for one, have absolutely no idea that this is going to happen. But seeing all these negative things crawling all over my laptop, I can’t help but, you know, put in some positive things in the midst of all these negativity.

They said, there’s always a silver lining to every cloud, right? Whatever.

So, I came across with a blogpost earlier this morning on 6 Scary things that CDM25 has taught us. Still a piece leaning towards the negative side. Thus here is something more enlightening to the whole situation, whatsoever.

Here is a list of 5 amazing things the owner of CDM 25 had achieved, that you probably want to learn something from it.

1. You gain INSTANT fame with MINIMUM effort.

You know how hard some people try just to be famous? Not to the extent of entering the hall of fame but famous enough to be the topic of even just a day? Some people made videos, some people made sex tapes. Some people trained all their life, or even, you know, run around the city naked? Yea. That sort of things.

And if you google How to be famous or How to gain instant fame, there is bound to  be millions of lists or How-tos teaching you. But thousand thanks to technologies nowadays, you can gain instant fame, yes, INSTANT fame just by being outrageous enough. Fastest way is non other than bullying the shit out of an elderly that is so helplesss. (refer video for demonstration)

2. Gain public interest.

Fame alone is not your style? Fret not. Fret not. I understand that fame alone doesn’t last. Rising to the level of possessing public interest is the key to the throne of glamorous life. Do you think it’s easy to have reporters running after you or radio stations fighting over you? You need to possess a satisfying amount of public interest in order for that to happen.

No, you don’t need to be a famous stunt actor. You don’t have to work your ass off as an athlete either, nor a footballer, those are too mainstream. Just get your ass out there and bully some uncle who unintentionally scratched your car. Oh, remember to have the whole process recorded down.

With that, you’ll become a person of public interest. Every single thing you said or say or post or tweet or shit, the whole world will pawn it before you can finish saying banana. That’s a breathless life of a world class celebrity! Phew, not that hard to gain, though.

3. A boost of self-esteem.

You know that saying; haters gonna hate? People hates you, the internet hates you, the whole friggin world hates you because of one simple reason; they’re jealous of how awesome you are.

Man, who wouldn’t be flattered if you’ve got so much haters? It reflects how awesome you are, yes? Increase of traffics to your page. Increase of numbers of reach out effortlessly!

4. Interview with top local radio stations.

Erh. Ma. Gawd. Say WHAAAAT? Yes. A radio station interview. No, scratch that. A handful of radio station interviews. Who knows, possibly television interviews, too? Wait, I think that too.

But, hell yes! And you guess it right, just have to be a road bully and you’ll land yourself an interview in famous radio stations that some people had to make countless calls, connections and whatnots to maybe only gain a 10-20 minutes of exposure. No joke. #OnlyinMalaysia though, I think.

5. Free 24/7 car security system(huge bonus!*gasp*)

Never mind those expensive satellite car safety system or cheapskate steering lock to keep your car safe from car thieves and car snatchers.

Again, bully someone on the road, get it caught on camera, pray for it to go viral and kaboom! Everyone recognises your car and car plate. Who dare to steal your car or snatch your car some more, you tell me.

Even if you really lost your car, no problem tracking it down now that all across the nation, not one single soul doesn’t know your car.

Amazing things, aren’t these? A list of things that countless of people probably not able to achieve in their entire life time and just in one night; Bucket list, all checked!

Yes, I am exploiting this whole incident to gain traffic, omaigod, jumping up the bandwagon, omaigod, just like any other famous blogger wannabe, omaigod. Sue me.

Scribbled,

Mich

*Footnote: If you take this whole post seriously, I don’t know. Perhaps a moment of silence for the loss of a sense of lame humour. 
Here is my personal thought on the whole Kiki CDM 25 drama:
Like what Timothy Tiah said in his blogpost, this incident really taught us a lot. And just like him, initially, I really did not give a damn about all those videos spamming my Facebook newsfeed. But then, with enough of friends sharing and news site gradually mentioning #CDM25, too, I gave in and watched the video. 
My reaction was; Holy shit! 
I did not gave much comment, rather enjoying reading comments instead. But being a normal human being, I felt sad and scared for the uncle. At some point in the merely 2 minutes plus short clip, I held my breath, horror-struck, and thought; Oh god, is she going to hit the uncle? And her last words as the video ended abruptly was the greatest disappointment I felt towards her throughout the whole incident.
All assumptions aside, I asked myself; What does it take to provoke me into such state? What makes me screaming irrationally  and hysterically at an elderly in a public place? I have been driven into a state where I started screaming hysterically at my family members during quarrels or whatnots, when I was really, really, really young. 
Undeniably, when you are enraged, you have the urge to scream at people and also the desire to inflict pain towards the other person who hurt you, your love ones or well, in this case, things you love. And that is where anger management comes in. 
I looked at the whole thing without too much of a note of judgement apart from feeling really sorry for the uncle and a little bit speechless for the woman’s behaviour. But, like everyone else, I was moved by the uncle’s kindness of not pressing any charges against her and condone all the things she did to him. (Honestly speaking, if that were to happened to any of my family member, I highly doubt I will remain so calm and forgiving. Watching the video alone was humiliating enough.)
And then she apologised, towards the uncle that she humiliated, sincere or not, that is not for me to question. But personally, I think she owes the public a proper apology. Whatever she did that went viral had in fact, set a very bad example to the public. Not to mention damaging the image of Malaysians. It is Facebook and YouTube we are talking about. Available to the whole wide world. Also, personally, again, I think it is only appropriate to leave the video on the social media sites. It very well serves as a reminder to the her to mind her actions and also to the world to watch your steps. Because, literally, the whole world is watching you.
Just when I thought the drama ends here, the largest disappointment dropped as a bomb to me this morning when Hitz.fm announced that they are going to interview the woman involved in this incident. I honestly thought that there would have been a limit as to how disappointing our local medias could be. How wrong I was. Highly filtered news, manipulated news and dishonest news is merely not enough. Seems like our media has decided to take it to another level.
I could not fathom what are the messages that you intent to bring to the people by interviewing a road bully(I am sorry to label her as such, but fact is, it’s a fact.) I mean come on, even you titles highlighted that it is an interview with a road bully to hear her side of the story. Whatever she did was considered civil crime, no? She threatened another citizen with a harmful weapon. She damaged another citizen’s property. She has committed a crime and then at the end of the day, she landed an interview so that she could justify her behaviour and wrong-doings? 
And what could be the intentions behind these radio stations that interviewed her? A free publicity? Boost of ratings? Really? What happened to “Together with Hitz, say no to road bullies?”
Yes. She deserves a second chance, no one denies it. But is inviting her to your radio station for a nationwide broadcast a part of giving her a second chance? A second chance can come in many ways but definitely not helping her to rise to further fame. I mean; WHAT. IS. THE. POINT?! Is there a need to increase her rate of exposure when thousands of other people’s voice who needs help needed to be heard? 
At the end of this long footnote, you might label me as a hypocrite saying I am doing the same thing; taking the advantage of this incident to gain readership. 
Your freedom of speech or accusation will not be denied. 
So, don’t you deny me my freedom of expressing my thoughts, in my own ways.
 
 
10245349_858673407481043_492978667757341567_n
Aside

Move on.

Someone asked: How do you know if you have moved on?

I thought for awhile and settled with a satisfying answer: When not thinking about it requires no effort.

Yes. That must be it.

When not thinking about it becomes something that requires no conscious effort, that’s when you’ve moved on.

Frozen pane