It’s essay season from now till the end of term and so in celebration(/recovery) of a week spent successfully keeping on top of deadlines, plans for the weekend included “watch loads of terrible TV,” “play Real Racing 3″ and “abso-fucking-lutely nothing.” But I guess, at a stretch, I could squeeze in a little time for “engage with Singaporeans on the internet.”
The misogyny of “Purple Light” has been brought to well, light, and clearly this marks the end times for men and masculinity and everything that patriarchy holds dear. WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ, they cry. But what about the menz. I wasn’t going to comment on this at first because it really didn’t strike me as a big deal but whoa, people are angry, aren’t they? Hats off to every single person who has been slogging it out on the AWARE FB page and elsewhere since yesterday – I just read through most of it because I hate myself, but I sincerely admire those who’ve had the patience to engage with the ugly, ugly vitriol that’s been spewed all over the place since then, especially since so much of it has come in the form of personal attacks.
Here I’m going to do a quick sketch of the main arguments (“arguments,” some of them) that have been put forth by those who oppose the ban, and why they’re problematic or misinformed. Because the initial move might not have been a big deal, but the backlash definitely is.
I do not speak on behalf of AWARE or “feminism.” I believe in a plurality of feminisms, and I’m speaking as a feminist who happens to be sometimes an AWARE volunteer. These are also not all original points – a lot of it is skimmed from the online discussion threads, and in putting this together I’m working to (a) help those who don’t want to go through all of that (and I strongly recommend against it) get a sense of what’s going on, and (b) put into words what people might identify as problematic but don’t know how to respond to.
Now here we go.