Features from today’s Sunday Times
On AWARE’s sexuality programme:
“Virginity is also suggested as a neutral term, or a “state of mind” as it may not necessarily be physical. For example, girls may be considered virgins if they have not experienced being in a sexual relationship with men.”
I really don’t get what they mean here. Given that they go on to talk about “anal sex” too as a neutral term, I’m guessing what they mean here is that a girl is considered a virgin even if they have experienced a sexual relationship with… another girl? What do they mean by virginity ‘may not necessarily be physical’?
Anyone who understands what this means, please enlighten me.
Please do not confuse our youth by throwing in more terms like ‘state of mind’ vs ‘physical’.
On the other hand, I find what the Sec 4 student says at the start of the article questionable too, “[In referring to her form teacher’s sexuality education] He was quite open about it and injected his own views on the subject. He told us very firmly not to even think of trying it.” Something about this statement just doesn’t cohere. He was ‘quite open’ and yet ‘told us firmly not to even think of trying it’. Where is the ‘openness’ there?
There’s no point telling youths, or anyone, not to think of even trying it because I believe anyone, any human, would have considered it or been tempted by the possibility at one point or another in their lives. What you need to tell them is how to deal with those thoughts they have. Of course, asking teenagers or anyone to think for themselves in a mature way is infinitely harder than telling them what to do. (For this, read Janadas Devan’s article on “Curious incident of the boy who dreamt”. I really like that article very much.)
On the Mas Selamat and AWARE:
Kudos to ISD and MSD for working together well to capture the man.
The article “For Muslims in S’pore, a sense of relief” strikes me as awkward, especially the subheading, “Mas Selamat’s capture affirms community’s stand against violence”.
I think reaffirms would have been a better choice of word here.
The article goes on to say,
“Now that Mas Selamat has been caught, a sense of relief is as much felt by the Malay community as by the community at large. This reflects the fact that the Malay-Muslim community is mature and rational and understands that whatever threatens the nation is also a threat to them, and therefore, we are as single-minded about how we need to address and look at the threat of terrorism,” he said.
I understand where the journalist is coming from, based on the anxiety of some that Mas Selamat might have been harboured by some sympathisers here in Singapore.
How is it that concerns over “some sympathisers” translates into an entire community of Muslims feeling a ‘sense of relief’?
It really speaks of the maturity of a society if they generalize based on a few sympathizers to all Muslims.
This is the gripe that I hold too against the influx of articles over the past weeks which associated Josie Lau’s actions with Christian fundamentalists or even Christians. I was especially unhappy with a one page article on whether religious groups should take over secular organizations. I had more objections with the headlines than the article content itself. I would argue that the new guard is equally unhappy with both The Straits Times and the Old Guard.
No – no – the actions of a group of individuals or one church cannot and should not speak for an entire community of people. Those six individuals who so-called ‘took over’ AWARE are hardly even a religious group. If COOS wanted to take over AWARE, perhaps then I could understand where the article was coming from (but still object to the headline). That clearly wasn’t the case.
I’m digressing a little. Back to the point…
The statement that the Malay community is rational, mature and understands that what affects the nation also affects them is really… patronizing?
I know there are global concerns about the loyalty of Muslims to their nation of origin, but a part of me thinks that the Muslim community has already proven themselves to be able to look beyond that. I’m sure the hundreds of Muslim full time NS men who went out to search the jungles or set up check-points along the road would have realised that Mas Selamat was a national issue that concerned them.
Furthermore – the Mas Selamat matter is not a race issue, it’s a national security issue. The key concern of the matter is not whether Muslims could have harboured them, but how in the world he managed to escape a high security detention centre? How did he manage to traverse that stretch of distance from Whitley Detention centre to the crossing point near Senoko Power Station without being spotted or caught? This is what scares/scared us.
Let’s not confuse the issues here with articles like this, just like how the AWARE incident was never and should never have been an issue of religion.