Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fear of Female sexuality

Elizabeth Wong, Malaysian politician, has offered to resign in light of the fact that nude pictures of her in bed taken by an ex- boyfriend have surfaced.

Ms. Wong has long taken political heat in Malaysia because she is 37 and single.

This is another case of male fear of female sexuality and female Independence. This tends to be a pretty standard feature of human culture: female sexuality is seen as something that needs to be controlled and ordered, don't dare let it get out of hand!

Sad that there is still so much of this fear and need to control in the world. We are in the 21st century now, it would be nice to see a deeper appreciation of female independence and sexual expression.

The BBC has the story in more detail. And the following video explains the events:


  1. I posed this question to my wife the other night, what would happen if the U.S elects a woman as both the president and vice-president, and they in turn fill thier entire cabinet with women as well? Will the U.S be respected more around the world? We were both stumped for a while after that.

  2. I'm not really convince this issue can be fully cotained within a described notion of male fear of women's sexuality. Ms Wong's position is not that of mere celeb but is one of the democratic process wherein public confidence is a foundational componet to her fulfilling her duties. Today's society has instant access to media that was heretofore unheard of. A picture placed on the Internet is the shot heard round the world in very real time. An image conveys much about it's subject and a single instant in time can forever alter, for good or bad, the preception the public has of an individual. Raising the question of being treated differently in connection to one's sex woud also beg the I that of what would be different if similar nude photos of a male counterpart appeared on the Internet? I doubt the outcry would be much different. That said I believe our elected officials, male or female, should take greater precautions to protect and to project an image that is reflective of the constiuents who elect them. i

  3. Will,

    I think it would be different were it a male politician. Here is why: The image circulated was merely Ms. Wong semi-nude in her bed. The image was taken by a serious ex-boyfriend.

    This was not a case of adultery, or prostitution, or anything ordinarily thought of as a sex scandal.

    Would it be scandalous if photos of a semi-nude male politician taken by an ex-girlfriend surfaced? I doubt it. Why would anyone think it was problematic to be half-naked in bed with a lover?

    But it's also the context. Ms. Wong has been poked at for some time in Malaysia for being 37 and single, presumably because something is deemed "wrong" with a woman being independent.

    But nevertheless, moralism has effected our perceptions of appropriate behavior of political figures for a long time, and politicians are wise to behave in ways that take account of it.

    But lying in bed semi-nude with a boyfriend? I find nothing morally objectionable there. So I don't think she did something improper that should enrage her constiuents.


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