Enough of ‘softie’ bashing

Today’s guest post is from Marina Mahathir. Mahathir describes herself as  “a newspaper columnist, blogger, occasional TV and film producer, activist and general nuisance. She feels most comfortable amongst colourful characters and despite a great fondness for clothes and shoes, can’t abide cocktail parties for the smart set. Most people know her by her constant talk about safe sex for HIV prevention but occasionally she also irritates some people by going on about feminism and Islam. She yearns for the days when her legs were still skinny and dreams of writing a blockbuster one day. Meanwhile she tries to be nice to husband Tara and patient with her children Ineza, Haga and Shaista.”

If you are to believe certain TV commentaries, lots and lots of Malaysian women are losing their husbands to transsexuals who are prettier and sexier than them.
There can’t be very many things more amusing, at least for a short while, than people willing to go on TV to make fools of themselves. That’s why reality shows make good TV.

For many people, just being famous, no matter for what, is all they care about. They become celebrities for the infamous Warholian 15 minutes.

Which is the only explanation I can give for the women and men who went on TV last week to discuss the “threat” that transgendered people pose to women these days.

Apparently, if you believe these people, lots and lots of Malaysian women are losing their husbands to transsexuals who are more beautiful and sexier than them.

The alarm bells have to be sounded now before society deteriorates even further.

I think when we have shows like these passed off as intelligent TV, our society has already deteriorated beyond redemption.

With absolutely no evidence to support their thesis, these women and men mouthed off the most hateful prejudiced warnings about the scourge that apparently is threatening marriages these days.

Not for a moment did any of them pause to consider whether their argument was logical at all. Are they saying that all those second and third wives are transsexuals? If so, by what miracle are they producing all those babies?

And as always, women blame the other party for everything, quite forgetting that there is the man in between who is more than a willing partner to such shenanigans. How come nobody blames him?

The subtext (if you can call such unsubtlety sub anything) is that no man can resist a pretty and sexy woman who’s out to entice him. This is baffling. Are the complaining women thus saying that they themselves are therefore not pretty and not sexy?

And that the Lord of the Manor, who they serve hand and foot and swear to obey no matter what, becomes a total weakling when faced with an alluring look and the toss of some well-blown locks?

Shouldn’t they just throw such a spineless creature out of the house?

The blame should also go to the TV producers who put on a show like this. I am trying to imagine the preparatory meetings beforehand. “What shall we put on next week?” asks the head of programming.

“Oh I heard somewhere that women are losing their husbands to transsexuals,” pipes up the producer of the show.

“Oh! Hey, great topic. Go for it,” says the boss.

And there you have a programme, based on some rumour that the producer heard “somewhere”. Is it any wonder that TV is called the idiot box?

More seriously, however, is the unashamed attempt by the media to fan prejudice and discrimination against a part of our society – transgendered people – for no good reason other than to hide their own shortcomings.

This is only the latest in a long series of both TV programmes and articles in tabloids that have consistently been shrieking the most vile accusations against transgendered people, all in the belief that they have religion to protect them.

The result of this constant stream of disgusting news has been that transgendered people and lelaki lembut have been subjected to so much harassment and injustice that, for some, it has become unbearable.

Not too long ago, a transsexual whose application to change her name on her identity card was refused by the courts died out of dejection and despair. And no doubt, the self-righteous patted themselves on the back for a job well done.

We are facing a world these days with so many challenges. There are people out there who are hungry or have no roof over their heads.

In our glittering capital city, there are people taking their showers in the Dataran Merdeka fountain because they have no bathrooms to call their own.

So many others are finding it harder and harder to get by on what they earn as prices rise.

And yet what does certain media care about? Whether our men are being enticed away, not by the sort of sexy young things that the same certain media like to showcase every day but by transsexuals!

Or whether we should do something about the “epidemic” of soft men who generally have done nothing to harm anyone. Soft men are not known, for instance, to become Mat Rempits or to snatch anyone’s bags.

Is it too much to ask that certain media not insult our intelligence? Can we demand a stop to the sort of prejudiced nonsense that they pass off as smart commentary?

When the annals of our history are read 50 years from now, would certain media like to be recorded as having contributed to the dumbing down of our people?

Apparently they do.

cross-posted from The Star