The AWARE Catfight

April 17, 2009

catfight-5

Cat fight cat fight! After weeks of baiting from the ‘old guard’ of AWARE, the new president Josie and her Pussycats have lashed back. Sorry, I apologise for the term ‘old guard’ – it’s both ageist and not gender neutral. In a statement to the media today, Josie Lau literally threw back the same accusations that the ‘evergreen guardresses’ had originally leveled at her new exco – “disclose your motives and objectives openly and honestly” (Channelnews Asia, 17 Apr 09).

 

No doubt, the evergreen guardresses of AWARE will retort, well our open and honest motive and objective is to ensure that you disclose your motives and objectives openly and honestly. Hmmpf, well our open and honest motive and objective is to ask you to disclose your motives and objectives openly and honestly…meow! And on it goes….yawn. It’s a bit like watching two spiders fighting and then slamming your hand down on them in a fit of boredom.

 

I’ve never had much time for AWARE. It’s always been a glorified tea party for gentrified women trapped in an outdated bubble of feminist ideology floating in the 21st century. And because of this it is full of contradictions. It screams for equal rights, and yet it has never championed the right of women to do NS. It argues for gender neutral terms, and yet it has never sought to change the Women’s Charter to say, Men, Women, Gay, Lesbian, Transvestite, Transexual, and Everything in-Between Charter. It demands equal treatment of the sexes, and yet it has never argued for the use of the rotan as corporal punishment for women criminals. It admonishes anyone who treats women like fragile pretty ornaments, and yet it does not fight against Western notions of romance and chivalry. Like I said, I have little time for it.

 

However, I dislike Christian fundamentalists even more. Any group that believes that it is absolutely, one hundred and one percent morally right, and expects everyone to abide by their code of morality is, to me, nothing less than a tyrant. This anti-gay, anti-abortion brigade is stretching its slimly self-righteous tentacles into as many facets of Singapore life it can from law (377A), economics (protest against the casinos) and now civil society. This holy-molely brigade has realized that it must leave the comfort zone of the church compounds to fight the rising tide of liberalism and wanton hedonism. And ‘fight’ is the right word because evangelical Christians believe that they are engaged in a spiritual warfare against Satan. In their minds they are fighting an epic Lord of the Rings-style battle against the anti-Christ, or as we known him by his earthly name, Siew Kum Hong. These fanatics sincerely believe that they have to prepare the ground for the second coming of Christ, an event that is taking almost as long to happen as Guns N Roses’ release of Chinese Democracy. And, like Chinese Democracy, it’s going be one helluva anti-climax.

 

So there you have it. Two irritating spiders fighting away. Sure, all this politicking is good for civil society. It helps mature our political culture and alerts us to the fact that the pluralism in Singapore cannot always be swept under the carpet. But f**k it, if only I could slam my hand on them both.

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6 Responses to “The AWARE Catfight”

  1. sushibar Says:

    这篇是至今我读到关于这件事最精彩的评论。

  2. Wilson Says:

    “However, I dislike Christian fundamentalists even more. Any group that believes that it is absolutely, one hundred and one percent morally right, and expects everyone to abide by their code of morality is, to me, nothing less than a tyrant. This anti-gay, anti-abortion brigade is stretching its slimly self-righteous tentacles into as many facets of Singapore life it can from law (377A), economics (protest against the casinos) and now civil society.”

    What you have put across, it the same action that has been done by the gay activists as well.

    377A did not start from a religious group but by the government. And this government followed the Basic Law of England which I concur is influenced by Christian values.

    To say that Christian values is bad for the human race is unfair to say the least. US of A has become technologically and politically powerful is because of the values as held by its founding fathers.

    And to put it very straight, it is the very presence of Christian values that allow religious freedom in the first place for the US constitution and for places elsewhere.

    If we really want to compare, pray tell which Christian country did not allow freedom of religion?

    That’s why other religions can thrive in western country. The notion and value of Christian world view allows others to debunk Christianity’s claims. Can we say the same about other society that has adopted a single religion?

    As there are people being anti-gay and anti-abortion and view strongly against it, the opponents of such activists also cannot escape the fact that they are abusive to them as well.

    The way I see it is this. When something is true, no amount of argument can make a truth to be a falsehood. And reality now doesn’t necessarily mean it is truth for the future nor in the past.

    Christians may claim they are the only way and so does the other religions (Hinduism states Karma and reincarnation, Buddhism states nothingness, Islam stated Mohammed’s way). But I don’t see why the other religions are being judged the same way.

    Has Christianity hit a nerve so raw that it attracts more brick brats than other claims so much so it speaks of more of the truth? The disparity in treating the claims of Christianity and the value it holds shows much and one can argue till cows come home but still none the wiser.

    Before saying Christianity is a system for tyrants, then one ought to use the same lens to view the other religions. Failure to do so is akin to intellectual suicide.

  3. groundnotes Says:

    “To say that Christian values is bad for the human race is unfair to say the least.” of course its bad…billions do not subscribe to Christian values like Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, atheists and so on…..

    “US of A has become technologically and politically powerful is because of the values as held by its founding fathers.” the founding fathers championed separation of church and state. most of the founding fathers were deists, not theists.

    “Christians may claim they are the only way and so does the other religions (Hinduism states Karma and reincarnation, Buddhism states nothingness, Islam stated Mohammed’s way). But I don’t see why the other religions are being judged the same way.” I presume you mean “are NOT being judged the same way”. That’s because, in Singapore at least, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists are not as vocal as Christians, and are more tolerant too.

  4. Shane Says:

    What bothers me is that the “old guard” (and/or it’s supporters) is/are organizing a similar “coup” by getting “new members” who had nothing to do with AWARE in just so they can oust the new EXCO members. Complain, complain, complain about how unfair they’ve been, then do unto them what they’ve done unto us. Talk about the irony. It reminds me of Tocqueville’s democracy (and its associated trappings) as the “tyranny of the majority”. I don’t have time for Christian fundamentalists either, but unfortunately the response is leaving a bad taste in my mouth as well.

  5. xinhuazidian Says:

    Only the rich with too much time on their hands are involved in this kind of politicking in Singapore. The rest of us less fortunate and privileged got no time (or money)for this. We are too busy trying to feed our families and ourselves.

    The only way this might be interesting for the rest of Singapore is when the 2 sides decide to strip down to their thongs and have a mud fight at the Padang to settle the matter. And NO, I’m not joking.

  6. Agagooga Says:

    Just a clarification – women being Slaves to the nation is not about equal rights, but about equal responsibilities/obligations

    A right is something you are entitled to do, while an obligation is something you should do

    Rights come with obligations, but they are different things


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