LAST_UPDATEThu, 26 Apr 2018 5pm

#MeToo – M’sian Women Join In To Share Tales Of Sexual Harassment

The rape allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sparked a global phenomenon as thousands of men and women have come forward on social media with their accounts with sexual harassment using the hashtag #MeToo.

Allegations against the powerful movie producer first surfaced when actress Ashley Judd recounted her traumatic experience to The New York Times, when two decades ago the actress dropped by the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a business breakfast meeting with the producer – only to be greeted by a bathrobe-clad Weinstein who made sexually suggestive remarks to her.

“Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it's simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly,” she said.

Soon after her public revelation, a string of Hollywood A-list actresses similarly came forward with their alleged harassment, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cara Delevigne, Kate Beckinsale and the list continuous to grow.



A post shared by America Ferrera (@americaferrera) on Oct 16, 2017 at 6:52pm PDT


– NEW | Jennifer at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards in LA on October 17, 2017! | YES JEN, YES!!! #jenniferlawrence #jlaw

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But it is not just celebrities who have taken the courageous step in hopes of highlighting the ubiquity of sexual assault, as confessions and recounts from all walks of life have been flooding social media for days.

While this global phenomenon may have begun in a foreign land, Malaysian Digest would like to stress that sexual harassment occurs throughout the globe, even in our homeland of Malaysia.

“I was 15 years old, and I wore baju kurung with the hijab to school yet some guys in my school still made sexual remarks about my body,” 23-year-old Natassha lamented.

“They would look at me a certain way and trade glances amongst each other before and if walk closely enough, I can hear what they’re saying.”

‘Ini bawa katil sedap ni’ (It will be fun if I can take her to bed), “She needs to have a real man touch her so she’ll loosen up,” and “She makes my penis so hard that I masturbate thinking of the things I’d like to do to her,” were some of the comments she had to endure.

Stating that she did not have the courage to speak against her tormentors as she feared for her safety, she relayed that the fact that Malaysians see derogatory remarks as societal norms further influenced her to stay quiet of her ordeal.

The workplace is a common ground where sexual harassment occurs, and Carmen May wrote on Facebook that she was a victim of sexual harassment whilst working in Bangsar a few years ago.

“I went into the backroom to pick up more beers when the door closed behind me. I turned around and my manager was blocking the doorway, big smirk on his face,” she wrote and stated there was no way getting around him due to the confined space.

“He grabbed my hand and placed it on his pants. That’s when I saw he also had a wedding ring. I have the upper body strength of a kitten but thankfully I had to beer bottles in my other hand so I used them both to hit him square in the chest.”

The unfortunate incident prompted Carmen to resign the very same night, but sadly the manager managed to keep his job.



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Though sexual harassment not only happens in the workplace, as Sophia Ann revealed that she was at the receiving end of derogatory and sexual remarks uttered by her then-boyfriend for refusing to sleep with him.

“I was 19 years old and in love. I knew I would have done anything for him, but I also know that my virginity is far more valuable than my love for him.

“So one night, when I continuously said no to him, he grabbed me by my hair and called me names to a point he insulted my parents – I was scared that he would rape me or assault me, but what he did was worst.”

Sophia Ann relayed that he forced her out of the car in the middle of Cyberjaya, and drove off – leaving the now 27-year-old vulnerable to other perpetrators.

“I called my brother; thankfully he arrived within 15 minutes as I live in Putrajaya, but I was still scared and for years I blamed myself for what happened.”

How befuddling is that the more the world progresses to become more developed, the more people behave less and less like decent human beings?

With the #MeToo phenomenon widening its reach to all parts of the world, let us hope that people will take sexual harassment seriously and together, may we find a solution to put an end to it once and for all.

- Malaysian Digest