Not OK to say boys will be boys and girls must beware
The alleged groping of a woman by four men at the Siloso Beach Countdown Party on New Year’s Eve sparked much debate in the media in the first two weeks of January.
AWARE was asked by RazorTV to comment on the matter. We did not think that it was appropriate to comment on the incident itself since the facts are not clear, but the public reaction to the incident was disturbing. This is the statement we made:
“The photos show a woman being groped and molested by four men. It is difficult to give a good analysis of this event because we do not know what led up to it and what ensued. But what we can clearly analyse is the public reaction as expressed on RazorTV.
The majority of interviewees focused on the woman’s behaviour instead of that of the men. Many essentially said that she deserved it. It has been suggested that both her actions and her clothing invited this behaviour.
We find this reaction both incredible and disappointing.
A woman who attends a beach party in a bikini is not “asking for it”. Wearing a bikini to a beach party is not an invitation to be molested.
Likewise, flirting with a guy is not an invitation to be groped or raped by a gang of his friends.
Nor is a woman getting drunk consent to letting a stranger put his hands down her pants.
A woman has the right to be safe in a crowd whether she is alone or with her friends, whether she is drunk or sober, whether she is in a bikini or ski suit. To suggest that a woman is obliged to modify her behaviour to assure her safety is to accept that men are sexual predators and do not need to take responsibility for their actions.
We don’t accept or believe this. We don’t think it is ok to simply say that boys will be boys and girls must beware.
We aspire to a society where men and women respect each other. This is not a world devoid of sex and sexuality but one in which people treat each other with dignity and consideration.”
Do you have another point of view? Tell us.