If this is their way of pranking us for an April Fools’ joke, boy they got it all wrong. It is bad enough that we are going through a global pandemic with many affected. Not forgetting that the economy might be going into recession as well. But advising women to wear makeup and dress up while working from home? It makes absolute sense why Malaysians are offended and upset.
The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry posted a series of posters on their Facebook page deriving a sexist message to all women.
What was supposed to be a message for women turned out to be this instead? “Avoid wearing house clothes. Dress up, as usual, put on makeup and dress neatly.” This has made many netizens express their opinions via social media calling the message sexist and misogynistic.
They criticised the Ministry for releasing such patronising tips.
Avoid wearing home clothes. Dress up as usual, put on make-up and dress neatly. OMG! This is what Rina, our Minister of Women, Family & Community Development thinks is important during the #COVID19 lockdown? No tips on how to deal with #DomesticViolence? Just state DV is a crime. pic.twitter.com/FfswtPBIPH
— Honey Tan (@honeyean) March 31, 2020
This whole debacle of how women should dress, act and say is absolutely appalling. Rather of moving forward, it may feel like we are going back in time.
Another swipe at women on their dressing. It’s online work at home. What’s Women’s Ministry’s problem with dressing? More serious issues like feeding the poor not resolved.https://t.co/JVTwldgB0T
— Maria Chin Abdullah (@mariachin) March 31, 2020
That is not all though, in another poster, it shows an illustration of a man and woman hanging clothes together with a message saying, “If your spouse does something that you don’t like, don’t nag him. Instead, try to be humorous and say ‘this is how you should hang the clothes, my love (impersonate a Doraemon-like tone and giggle coyly).
#KPWKM, the memes are politically incorrect, promotes gender bias & perpetuate misogyny. I’m disappointed that the Ministry is condoning messages which goes against the empowerment of women & gender equality. #definitelyXdoraemonvoice #sdggoal5
— Azalina Othman Said (@AzalinaOthmanS) March 31, 2020
One thing about being in the 21st century is that it’s quite proven that the fight for women’s equality and rights is far from over. Irene Fernandez didn’t work so hard to fight for women’s rights in Malaysia just so that women can cajole their spouses with a Doraemon voice.
Just for the record, if you ever wanted to use Doraemon to support your misogyny, you need to stop.
Doraemon is a champion for gender equality and recognizes the power and intelligence of women
He also stands up to bullies.
I think the Women’s Ministry should watch Doraemon
— Michelle Yesudas (@chelle_yesudas) March 31, 2020
The poster might state that it takes two to build a happy household, however, the illustrations says otherwise.
The Ministry also advised women in another poster to not ridicule their spouses if they aren’t helping around the house. Ask them for help and keep them “informed,” of their duties, only then they will know what needs to get done.
The fact that the spouse should be “informed” about chores in their own house seems a little ignorant.
Whereas on another poster, it tells us how to avoid any arguments at home between spouses.
“If something offends you, count 1 to 20 before responding (within those 20 seconds, the brain will be able to make rational thoughts and will be calm enough to act upon it).”
1. Nagging, or berleter, is a gender-biased word. It perpetuates sexist stereotypes.
2. Carework is the responsibility of men AND women.
Please do better in your PSA posters. Personally, I found all of these to be problematic. pic.twitter.com/FFFGmdMqE9
— Melisa Melina Idris (@melisa_idris) March 31, 2020
There are no words.
If there’s one thing we can learn from this is that we should “count to 20 before making a comment.”
Stay safe people.