This is actually my article review for my English subject's assignment. I post it up thinking that I could make a good use of it, here in my blog. A bit lengthy, but please, do read 'till the end :)
Title: Gender Equality still falls short
Author: Marina Mahathir
In this article, Marina Mahathir was focusing on recent events of underage marriage as how it portrayed our gender equality in Malaysia. The event was about two little girls, who were married to grown men with permission of their fathers, their wali. Other fact that is disturbing was the marriages did not follow procedures, one having been allegedly conducted in a car. It is also stated in one of the case, the father claimed that he was “mesmerised” by the intended groom and therefore allowed his daughter to be taken in marriage.
The papers that was signed also legal as a loophole of the State Enactments gives judges the power to permit them despite the minimum marriage age for girls being 16.What make the issue a bigger worry is that subsequently, one of the girl was found dumped in a mosque, semi-conscious and god knows what she might have gone through. Marina questioned our society for not having the awareness of such cases and she said what else we should call an adult man marrying a child but a pedophilia.
She said, although having the ground to blame the parent, the parent themselves believed what the groom said when he claimed that such marriage is completely in line with religion base on what happen to Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. Marina stated that this is what happens when people have not only little religious knowledge but blindly follow what so-called religious people told them.
Had the father asked anyone with some knowledge, he might have found out the law of legal age of marriage, but just because somebody quoted him something that sounded vaguely religious, he believed him and gave his daughter’s hand. Marina questioned, why this never happen to little boys. It’s perhaps because we often view females as property to be given away as and when we feel like it.
From my point of view, I think the author is trying to question why do such terrible cases happened to little girl, and not boy. Just like how old Malay tradition goes, where a grown up female will be marry to other guy without giving her any choices to pursue whatever the individual have dream off, as if a property to be given away, and the author see this as gender inequality.
Personally, I never experience such cases, though I used to discuss, or more like arguing with my friend regarding how different the status of female, or women here in Malaysia compared to last 20, 30 years. She said that now, women are getting better than man, they have better jobs than man, having higher achievements than man while man, at the moment, was busy involving in social problems like illegal racing or infamously know as “rempit”.
Although I’m not against the statement, I rather like to see it in different point of view. I think it’s not the man that had gone down lower than their usual standard. Whatever man had achieved, it will stay as it is. It’s just that women have climb up to the standard of same level as men. Day by day, they increase their social status and having all kinds of job which used to be owned by men. Why it is so obvious? Because here in Malaysia, we are grow by abiding the custom of man have to go to work, while women have to stay home and take care of the children.
We Malaysian, especially Malays are used to the fact of women are not qualify to have their own career. It’s just recently that the trend has changed as Malaysia head to modernisation and regardless gender, capable people are hired for their specialities in certain field. Just as how great the increase in the number of female graduates in higher education centres. It’s not that man fall low and women rise from the slumps. It’s just that more women realise of how important is education to them and for their future, which is a good thing.
Regarding the social problem like illegal racing, it’s simple. Whenever you see a guy involves in an illegal motorcycle race, you will notice the passenger seat will be occupied by a women. No matter how many man involves in social problems, the number of women would not be different in a large margins. Man and women co-exist and dependent, no matter in what environment or situations.
Although she did not satisfy with my explanation, I stress that I am not trying to defend my own gang or sex, I just support equality. In whatever case could arise, gender should not be question because either man or women could succeed, and neither of them is perfect. Both are vulnerable to social problems and such. Maybe in some cases each sex triumph over another, but the gender should not be the reason. It’s the person itself, the attitude and the capabilities. In this case, I don’t think gender inequality exist, if not so obvious, here in Malaysia.
On the latter part of the article, Marina stress on how our society easily falls to whatever so-called religious people told them. This is one of the plague that been infect us, Malaysian for such a long time. In fact, it happened to the whole world. What makes it funny is, not only by blindly follow the order they defies logic thinking, they also done things that religiously wrong in order to achieve something religious. It’s as if they contradicting themselves. How ironic.
I can’t be more agree with the author regarding this issue especially in cases like wrong-teaching or "ajaran sesat" in Malaysia and politics. Some of them follow a false prophet in order to be able to enter paradise after they died, although they forgot, it’s the god that they must obey, not the prophet as prophet just only a medium for the spreading of religious teachings. In politics, in order for them to attract the people to join their so-called religious party, they curse each other and even simple-mindedly claimed that certain people, especially the one in different party, is condemned to hell. As if he is gods himself!
To wrap up my review, I personally agree with the article. It’s a very good article and it manages to reveal what’s been going in our country. Hopefully, it will succeed in rising awareness among us and together, we can prevent such terrible case to occur again in the future.