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You've got me feeling emotions



Rafidah Abdullah/ sun2surf

"You cannot control people's emotions."

This is the excuse given by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, for the sexist and degrading comments made by two male MPs to a female MP while in the midst of a parliamentary debate.

So, once again, a high emotional pitch seems to be good excuse for bad behaviour. Or is it? Interestingly enough, the good Datuk then contradicts himself by saying that such statements (the offending remarks) were part and parcel of parliamentary debates and Parliamentarians should not be easily offended by the heckling between MPs.

But Datuk, emotions cannot be controlled, right? I can't help it if I feel angry and offended. And given that I wouldn't be able to control myself, my words and actions under such circumstances (short of breaking the law) could certainly be excused, right?

Please tell me this is right because I've been told that I'm quite an emotional person and I would love to use this as justification for extreme rudeness.

Or is this excuse only available to a privileged few?

We're constantly reminded not to stir up "warrior blood" because hey, someone could suddenly snap and give in to a fit of amok and then people could literally lose their heads.

But then again, why have I never heard anyone being warned against inciting the anger of, say, women - a group that makes up half of our population?

Is it because women are not given to violence and are therefore "safe" to be demeaned at will? Is it because, despite the tired old stereotype of the hysterical female, women are actually the cooler-headed sex and are able to face insults with grace and intelligence?

Or is it because, despite protests to the contrary, there is actually a deep-seated, subconscious belief among a lot of men that women are too trivial for their feelings to matter?

Recall, for example, the dark day when our female senators were arm-twisted into voting for the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Amendment Bill 2005 in spite of their protests that the Bill was discriminatory towards women.

Then, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin was quick to accuse the women senators, as well as women's groups, of "being too emotional".

So if women get angry at laws and policies that affect their lives in fundamental ways, they are wrong? If women get angry at remarks that are meant to belittle them, they are wrong?

But if men get angry in the midst of a discussion in an august House of Parliament, and indulge in behaviour that should be beneath them, they are not wrong?

Wow, what blatant double standards.

But then again, why am I not surprised? After all, we've been conditioned from the earliest age that it's perfectly acceptable for men to give in to their "manly" emotions - anger, aggression, lust, to name a few.

If they get into fights, well, "boys will be boys". If they disturb girls, "boys will be boys". If they make sexist jokes, "boys will be boys".

So then it's up to girls to watch what they wear, how they act, where they go, because men "can't help themselves" and therefore it's the woman's fault if she is raped, right? How many times have we heard this one?

And is it so far removed from what happened in Parliament that day?

Well, I for one, am sick and tired of "emotions" being used both to exempt some people from common human courtesy, as well as to trivialise the real concerns of others. Such an attitude is an insult to all thinking people, women and men.

If we can't control our emotions enough to respect the dignity of others, and if we can't be accountable for the damage that we do when we do lose control, what business do we have being humans? We may as well be as animals and live by mob rule.

Now that's something to get emotional about.

Comments :

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matjang said...
on 

salam...

pasir salak mmg memalukan...
x profesional langsung
mcm budak2...

slmt berjuang YB...

 

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