Some say, this is just men behaving like men. Others say, this is men behaving like cavemen. I tend to agree with the latter.
The MP who said it says it is just a joke and that there’s nothing wrong with it.
Really? A joke? Do you see me laughing?
Sadly, this type of insult disguised as a joke has existed for ages and men have been getting away with this for so long. Maybe it’s time that they all wake up and watch what they say.
No, it’s not about women being overly sensitive. It is about people respecting people enough not to make jokes about the physical appearances or bodily functions of the opposite gender, whichever it is.
And the fact that it happened in the august house that is the Parliament just saddens me to no end. Does the Parliament consist of Neanderthals?
During one of my shopping trips recently, I encountered two boys who were practically laughing to tears at the sanitary pads aisle. They were making some jokes about the womanly cycle and obviously thought that that was very funny.
I told them off and they ran away. Looking back now, I wonder if they are the MP's sons?
As we all know, Neanderthals breed Neanderthals.
Meanwhile, here’s the Press Statement made by the Bar Council Chairman over this issue.
PROMOTE GENDER SENSITIVITY IN PARLIAMENT
In 2006, Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution was amended to prohibit discrimination against anyone on the grounds of gender. Prior to this Malaysia had acceded to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1995.
As Malaysians, we have every reason to be proud that there was recognition by us as a nation that any discrimination on the grounds of gender was unacceptable and now in fact expressly prohibited. These moves were wholly in keeping with international human rights norms.
Against this background, the sexist statements reported to have been made by members of Parliament to the effect that another member of Parliament who is a woman "also leaks once a month" are most unfortunate. Worse,those who spoke the words apparently saw no fault in them, thus adding insult to injury.
The remarks made are offensive, distasteful and wholly unbecoming of members of Parliament. Unfortunately it reflects a mindset that remains despite the Government's official position of gender equality. Enacting laws is one way to ensure equality but no amount of legislating canremove deep-rooted prejudices that lie in the hearts and minds of the people.
Gender equality is a responsibility of all Malaysians. It is a responsibility that manifests in many ways. One is to work towards removing gender bias from our laws. Another is to ensure that gender bias does not exist in our conduct and that gender insensitive comments are eradicated from our vocabulary. If made, they should not be tolerated. We expect our Parliamentarians to lead the way in being gender sensitive in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Federal Constitution.
We must seriously pursue our desired objective that women may participate fully in the political, economic, cultural and social life of thiscountry, without having to tolerate discrimination.
Dated 11 May 2007