Liyana and I totally talk about how people mix us up— although I don’t think having almost 50 thousand followers is my kind of thing, or will ever be! She visited my #GeraiPuisiSegera in its earlier days and told me that my poem for her was in her latest music video. See if you can spot it.
Can I just say? I mean, it’s happening more this year than last year, and at the very base of that feeling is that “YES I AM BEING LISTENED TO AND THEY AGREE WITH ME” which can be the most validating thing when you’re trapped in a repressive and claustrophobic cement urbanite aquarium.
Some tweets that resonate:
— Liyana Dizzy (@liy) June 5, 2015
Typical Malaysians: Demonise sexual bodies. 100% pressure kawin. 100% pressure beranak lepas tu. Senyap psl violence. Bangga tambah umat.
— Liyana Dizzy (@liy) June 28, 2015
Resist misogyny syoksendiri. Islam takde original sin. Lousy excuse to be a sexist control freak. U make ur own hell. pic.twitter.com/M4wFsl1UNg
— Liyana Dizzy (@liy) July 2, 2015
— Liyana Dizzy (@liy) March 20, 2015
I don’t think I have the energy / attention span to be simultaneously active and excited on both networks anymore. I no longer work in social media, which means I can take time off it more. I’ve been sporadic on Twitter at best all of last year— maybe because I was on Facebook more. This year I’m on Facebook not more than an hour a day. I find Twitter more exciting at the moment— less echo-chamber-ey, less ranting-in-the-same-circles.
This year I decided to step out of my comfort zones and center voices on my timeline that aren’t represented by mainstream media anywhere. Now my timeline is full of non-white women, male feminists, Muslim feminists, Muslims from all around the world actually, Malaysian teenagers, genderqueer people, people in non-media lines of work (scientists, academics, even the aviation industry), people way outside the scenes I’m familiar with, and people who tweet in Bahasa. Twitter feels like the place I can go to laugh at the news after reading the news.
I can feel the difference. I receive affirmation from Malaysians (especially Bahasa-speaking Malay people) that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to connect to before. I definitely feel, by contrast, how much whiteness is in media all around me. I feel comforted from conservative Wahhabi-influenced Malay-Muslim drivel by reading terribly witty Bahasa tweets and experiencing how Muslims from around the world externalise their sense of humour and faith. And the voices of other women! Everywhere! Saying substantial things! Can be the most healing thing ever after a long day.
My thoughts are today with the victims of rape, sexual assault, and harassment who never saw justice in Malaysia, who think they never will, and whose stories are met with skepticism, disbelief, shaming & blaming.
You’re statistically NOT a Malay dude yang boleh selamba je meet-cute with the Prime Minister over your scholarship dreams of being a pilot. Your alleged rapist is also unlikely the govt’s most disliked Malay dude either. Paham-paham lah kan.
We all know now that if THAT was your situation and your question is “Will the court take my rape seriously?” They will say “Yessss we believe you sangat-sangat, jom kita lokap up your attacker so no one gets hurt by ’em againnn”
My thoughts are today with you,
the people who have yet to experience that justice,
who are watching the judgement of this case blow up,
who don’t give a shit about what “really” happened because
they’re seeing a narrative of rape that shows
it really IS about power & privilege,
not what x or y were wearing or whether they were ‘asking’ for it.
(“We must not forget who’s involved in this rape allegation […] women have a tendency to exaggerate abt a sexual act” – Justice Zamani Abd Rahim, who also thought in 2012 that children find it hard to differentiate fact from fantasy re: rape. In 2013, verdicts also show Malaysian judiciary pretty much believed 2,097 out of 2,111 men were good dudes just wrongfully charged w/ raping kids. A 2005 WCC Penang study found attitudinal and structural factors stack the odds against victims of sexual crime EVERY step of the way in the courts: first, in getting a case to trial; second, in getting a hearing free of stereotypical prejudices; and finally, in getting a conviction.)
We need to stay undistracted, stay connected, stay aware of injustice. Our condition can only change when we change ourselves (13:11).