My Bangkok trip in summary (L-R: Pratunam Market, Chatuchak, Platinium Mall and my 12 kg shopping baby) #bangkokadventure #iloveshopping #cheapcheap
Just a little bit of context: AWARE Singapore (a women’s rights group in Singapore) was alerted by seven National Service (NS) men to a verse of Â Purple Light, an army marching song, that went like…
Carrying on my rant from yesterday, I loved this article. I am by no means a militant feminist (in fact I think most feminist arguments are kind of circular and don’t quite make sense. Plus I love having men (see: Eugene) do stuff for me and am absolutely not beneath acting like a weak female so I don’t have to do things like lift my own 25kg luggage into the overhead compartment on the plane) but this issue really makes me so angry and disappointed in my fellow countrymen.
This articulates everything that I have felt angered/ been disturbed about since this entire saga began. It’s shocking how many of my friends and acquaintances have felt protective of these lyrics, seeing AWARE’s efforts as an attack on their own personal freedom. That is simply not the point - we don’t care what you sing in the army and we have no desire to control what you sing in the army, but rape is not something to be taken as a laughing matter by any one under any circumstance; yes, not even you. Particularly so in a military environment given the extent and sheer magnitude of sexual crimes that are perpetuated in a war context by soldiers against enemy women and sometimes even men or children. You may argue that NSmen are not in a war situation and are unlikely to find themselves in such a situation. That is true, but it does not change the fact that these songs will be the ones they carry into battle, the songs that they will associate with memories of camaraderie with their NS mates and of NS in general and the ones that they will remember fondly for the rest of their lives.
More than that, these lyrics send a subtle message that rape is an appropriate means of revenge against a woman who has disappointed you, or even against womankind (or mankind) in general. Say what you like about being discerning enough to know right from wrong, but as we have seen from propaganda through the ages, one is influenced by what he sees and hears, and subliminal messages that we are exposed to everyday affect us in profound ways that we may not notice or understand.
Even if singing about rape had no repercussions or effect on the incidence of rape or the propensity of NSmen to rape whatsoever, it does not change the fact that joking about rape is trivialising rape. For a crime that is so hideous and abhorrent, that leaves women and children emotionally and physically scarred for life and in certain situations, scorned by society, people (both in Singapore and abroad) seem to take a surprisingly flippant attitude towards rape and the survivors of rape.
If only people could dissociate themselves from this ‘purple light’ lyrics issue and consider how the trivialisation of rape has already been assimilated into our common language and culture (think: colloquial use of terms such as ‘I just got raped by that exam man’ or ‘He got raped by that imba dota player’), perhaps they would see more clearly the basis for this whole debate and would be more willing to acknowledge the need for change.